I want to become a nurse, but I already have a MA in a different field - advice?

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    Hi everyone!

    I have my BA and MA in anthropology, and I focused on forensic anthropology for my MA. I also have a lot of experience in disaster recovery and relief. I have met a lot of great nurses while working different jobs and volunteering with the Red Cross. Now, after working as a teacher for a few years and doing forensics (very part-time) on the side, I realized that I really want to be in a hands-on field with more real-world job opportunities. The nurses I have met are so inspiring that I am thinking very seriously about going back to school, and I want to make the right move.

    Long story short, my question is: For those of you who had different graduate degrees before entering nursing school, what path did you take to become a nurse? Did you become an LPN first, or did you transfer core credits over into an Associate's or Bachelor's program to become an RN?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

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    Accelerated BSN or second degree BSN. They are for people that already have a bachelor degree in another field. They are usually 12-18 months long (after taking your science pre-reqs). I have 9 months left in a 15 month long ABSN program. It will take me less time than an ASN from the local community college.

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Accelerated Nursing Programs
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    Either an accelerated BSN (ABSN) or a Direct Entry MSN. The former is less expensive and much faster (as Don said 12-18 months).
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    I have a bachelors in business and an MBA ... after working 15 years in the business field, made the switch to nursing. I opted to go for an ADN and later plan to "bridge" to BSN. Why? Several reasons: 1) all the accelerated BSN programs in my area are impacted and very difficult to get into, 2) ABSN programs are much more expensive than the ADN program, 3) I'm an older student and I frankly didn't want to spend more time on prerequisites as the ABSN programs required more prerequisite classes than the local ADN program. 4) both ABSN and ADN degrees result in RN and in my area, I know plenty of ADN grads who got jobs in hospitals without issue and their jobs are paying for a good chunk of their continuing education towards a BSN.

    Given my GPA, TEAS score, among other things, I knew I had a great chance of getting in on my first application to the local ADN program and I did. I start in Spring and excited to finally get on to "plan B" of my life.
    INN_777 likes this.
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    My advice is anyone is to ALWAYS follow your dream.
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    Thanks to everyone who replied so far! As much as I would love to do an ABSN, I live in New York and the programs in my area are very expensive. That is one reason I was considering doing LPN first (since I could pay it off as I go). I would love to have as little debt as possible after this! ADN is another option, thanks Bratty.

    And thanks, PurpleAsh, for the reminder! I have been in a bit of a rut trying to figure out how to implement forensic anthropology without spending 5 more years and going $100,000 into debt earning my PhD, and I keep running into brick walls. Plus, there are so few FA jobs out there that it might not be worth it! So I haven't been able to get nursing out of my head since there are so many levels, specialties, and options...and I definitely want to find a way to go for it!
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    I have a Bachelor degree of Science in Education (B.S.E.). I would recommend first attending a technical school to become a L.P.N./L.V.N. That way you could get your feet in the nursing field much quicker and start making some money as a nurse. Most accelerated B.S.N.s or A.S.N.s require too many prereqs and it'd take a good while to get a nursing license. Also, if you need to be able to work to pay bills, it'd work out all right.
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    krc229:

    Before you discard the idea of ABSN due to cost, check out these programs in State schools. Here in CT, ASBN in state schools ranges from 18K-25K. Not free, but reasonable, in my mind. I have, like someone above an MBA and a BA in a completely unrelated area and I was able to finish my prerequisites in 1 year (while working). And the ABSN program is 1 year. So I will spend 2 years in total which is the time it takes to do the ADN plus prerequisites plus the bridge later.

    Not trying to convince you, just giving more food for thought.
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    to me an LPN is a waste of time (no pun intended) if you already have a Masters. I say get enrolled in a BSN program, where you can transfer alot of your credits. Even into an ADN program, you may finish it faster and im sure you've done alot of the pre req. Do not do LPN (my opinion). You could even become a Forensic RN or Flight Nurse since you have experience in both areas.
    INN_777 likes this.
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    Thanks everyone!

    Has anyone here earned their ABSN, BSN, or ADN online and done their clinicals in their home area? It doesn't seem like too many online programs exist at these levels, but I am just curious.

    Ladyt, I was also thinking about forensic nursing in the future, since it combines a lot of my areas of interest!
    Ladyt03 likes this.


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