Debt vs No Debt? ADN/BSN?

  1. So I have 2 acceptances for fall. This is more a question of debt vs no debt? I'm planning on getting my MSN (specifically midwifery) and have a prior non-nursing bachelor's degree. I have 6+ years doula experience and I work as a patient care tech in labor and delivery. I'm planning on applying to midwifery school as soon as possible (it varies for different programs as to when I'm qualified to apply- so that's a variable)

    First, an accelerated BSN program. I'd graduate summer of 2012. It's $35,000 that I'd have to borrow all of, but I have no other debt. It's a private hospital affiliated program, and I work at this hospital. Fully accredited, and my OB clinical supervisor is a midwife I have a relationship with. Another instructor happens to ALSO be a lay midwife who was at my 4th child's birth, and is a homebirth midwife who is pretty well known. Her work at the college as an instructor is mainstream maternal care. Additionally, a midwife who was an apprentice at my first child's birth has offered to be my preceptor for my last semester elective- essentially an intern type situation. Everything about the quality of these experiences is very exciting. They also have very expensive SIM labs, and state of the art facilities. Class sizes in lecture are about 24, clinicals about 8.

    Second, a community college ADN program. I'd graduate summer 2013. It's $5,000 per year but I could pay cash. I'd have to do additional schooling (bridge or BSN) in order to start a midwifery program. This puts me graduating as midwife at LEAST 2 years further out. This program gets sloppy seconds for clinicals- could be anywhere any shift. I also, however, work at this college. (Faculty member for 17, I know the instructors, for good or bad. They don't do the last semester elective, so no chance of working with my midwife as a preceptor, I'll just graduate and then have to get the extra experiences on my own. Upside- my job would pay for $1200 per year in return for a year of service. I'd be locked in - but this program has an amazing schedule. 1 evening per week plus clinicals every other weekend. I have 4 children, so this would be the best fit PERIOD.

    Midwife school is expensive, so it's not only the cost of the BSN, but also the additional cost of the MSN. This "could" be offset by entering the workforce 2 years EARLIER as a midwife - making the financial issues a little muddier.

    So, besides my personal preference (the accelerated BSN would win) and the cost issue (the CC would win) and getting to work with a few really great faculty (the BSN would win) and maybe even factoring in the issue of additional schooling....but the schedule of the CC is such a plus.... I'm feeling like the BSN would be better for me as a nurse, but the CC better for me as a wife and mother, and the debt concerns me.

    What else am I missing? Are there other factors I've not considered??
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    About cookderosa

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 157; Likes: 74
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  3. by   oklahomagal
    Your first option sounds like a dream! :-) I know that is alot of debt but the experience sounds worth it!
  4. by   European
    First one I am doing ADN now and as times are in nursing it is really difficult to find a job with ADN if I could go back I would have def done BSN.

    In the long run BSN will save you time and in nursing there are scholarships and aid available that you don't know right now but will be available as you start navigating the system. Also Community Colleges have very poor Fin aid packages whereas senior ones have much more opportunities.

    The choice is ultimately up to you but I would deff go for the 1st one.

    Good luck.
  5. by   cookderosa
    Thank you both for your thoughts. I'm still thinking it through- though I did have to give the 1st program a $100 deposit but it buys me a little more time.
  6. by   iPink
    I would choose Option 1. In fact, I actually did. My ABSN program is around $30k for the 15 months. I graduate May, 2012. After speaking with a few nurses, they told me I made a wise decision because the hospitals aren't hiring ADNs. One hospital near me has forced their current ADN nurses to go back for their BSNs. I'm also hoping my hospital will pay for my MSN.

    If you did decided to go for the ADN instead, could you not go in a bridge program RN-MSN, skipping the BSN? Some nurses have actually taken that route. This was my plan B route IF I didn't get into my ABSN program.
  7. by   chiasmus100
    Do everything you can to avoid accruing student loan debt. That's all I have to say. Everyone around me who has student loan debt feels less then a person. My sister is a nurse with no debt and tons of money because she went to a CC and stayed at home. Do not go into debt.