Okay, I was recently accepted to Shepherd University for nursing and have been very anxious ever since I first declared the major. I got a feel for the social side of nursing, and I'm not sure it really fits my personality. Also, I was examining the prerequisites for entrance to a physician assistant program, and there are many I won't complete as a nursing major.
My main concern is--and I can't seem to find an answer to this particular question anywhere on the internet--if I obtain a BSN at this school, will it limit me in any way that a traditional BS wouldn't? Would I only be able to go into graduate school for nursing, or could I still do a physiology or chemistry masters if I wanted? Would a BSN allow me entrance to a physician's assistant program or pharmacy school (candidacy, not necessarily a place in such competitive programs. What I mean is, would it make me eligible)? The programs that I've looked at all say that they don't really care what you major in, provided that you complete all the prerequisites and have a bachelor's degree. But the examples of past majors/bachelor's degrees accepted included BS in biology, chemistry, psychology, engineering, or BA in English history, etc. I've seen no examples of a BSN doing anything besides pursuing MSN, DSN, or PhD in nursing.
Don't get me wrong, I really want to be a nurse. I think they know a lot about disease, medical treatment, pharmacology--medical science in general; and I'd love to be a part of that, but I ultimately do not believe that I want to be a nurse for life, and I don't think I'd want to be a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. I have a strong interest in the physician assistant and pharmacy programs, and possibly graduate work in physiology or chemistry--but not nursing, and while I think the experience would be incredibly beneficial, I want to make sure the credential has the value that I need it to have.
So, is a BSN as valuable as a traditional BA or BS? Can I use it to apply to PA, pharmacy, and graduate school(for subjects other than nursing)?
Jan 29, '13
Yes. You can apply to Pharmacy school, PA school, and other grad programs as long as you have the required prereqs chemistry 1 and 2 (not the nursing chemistry), organic chem, genetics, physics, calculus etc...is what they will usually require. You will most likely have to take the GRE as well. The reason you don't see many nurses pursue those fields later is because they are dedicated to nursing and stick with it. They might want to go back and take the extra harder sciences. Most nurses may decide to go to PA school as PA and NP basically do the same things or choose to go into academia or administrative positions. Sometimes admissions committees will question your commitment and ask why you didn't choose pharmacy (for example) instead of nursing. You just have to be able to justify that.
Jan 30, '13
Quote from zackdesot
Would a BSN allow me entrance to a physician's assistant program or pharmacy school?
I would think a nursing degree will open many doors. Unless you are absolutely sure about pharmacy, then go for it. But, please do a thorough research (e.g. cost of program, opportunities as pharmacy interns) before you sign on.
Jan 30, '13
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]CORRECTION...I meant nurses might NOT want to go back to school to take the extra hard sciences and many NPs go into administrative positions and academia. Also keep in mind that many PA schools are meant as a second career in the medical field and require a certain amount of patient contact or clinical experience hours (usually paid), so working as a nurse would be great to fulfill those hours.
Feb 9, '13
Quote from NinaAnder1225
CORRECTION...I meant nurses might NOT want to go back to school to take the extra hard sciences and many NPs go into administrative positions and academia. Also keep in mind that many PA schools are meant as a second career in the medical field and require a certain amount of patient contact or clinical experience hours (usually paid), so working as a nurse would be great to fulfill those hours.
I agree. Direct patient care experience is a huge component when looking into PA schools, therefore, your nursing hours will make you look fabulous for apps! However, admissions will definitely question your commitment to the profession so be sure to think about that as well if you do ever decide to go through with it. Good luck!
Feb 9, '13
No, a BSN won't automatically get you in to PA school. You would have to meet the program's pre-requisite requirements. I am planning on going to PA school after I get my BSN. The nursing experience is definitely a plus when it comes to the required number of paid HCE hours you need to get in. While the PA program I want to attend requires a minimum of 500 paid HCE hours. The average accepted student has about 2,500!
I am working on courses that apply to both the BSN & PA school while waiting to hear if I'm accepted into the nursing program. And yes, it means 3 more semesters of Chemistry, another Statistics class, etc. Luckily, all the other pre-reqs are the same as the BSN program (A&P, Micro, Pharm, Psych, etc.)
Must Read Topics