Not sure which path to go - page 2
by Cherzilla 984 Views | 10 Comments
I would like to become an RN, and after doing a lot of research I'm still uncertain of which path to take. I have a bachelor's degree in Biology, so for a while I was weighing the BSN or ADN-to-BSN path. But then I stumbled... Read More
- 0Jan 29, '13 by SquishyRNQuote from CherzillaI was in a similar position as you 3 years ago, so I'll share my experience. I graduated with a B.A. in History in 2008 and could not find a job when the economy tanked, so my family suggested I go into nursing. I had zero pre-requisites completed, so I figured that these were my options if everything worked out as expected:Thank you! Yes, an accelerated BSN would be out of the question for sure. At least right now. But what I was wonerding if even taking the pre-req's would be a problem with my schedule. My schedule is not flexible (work in biotech) but I would have flexibility to do some coursework/homework during work hours.
Guess I could always quit my job, move back in with my parents and go back to school full time! haha. Tough choice though, i'm 29 years old and make twice as much as a new grad RN but have been wanting to go into nursing for a while now, and feel I would make a really great nurse. If I had a sh*tty job this decision would be so much easier!
I have no kids and no husband, so it's not like I would be inconveniencing anyone by switching my life around... anyone been in this position????
1) take my pre-reqs for a year, do an ADN program program for 2 years, do an RN-BSN program for a year (4 years to BSN, 1 year of RN work experience under my belt by the time I got my BSN)
2) take an LVN program for a year, work as an LVN while I take my pre-reqs for a year, do an ADN bridge program for a year, do an RN-BSN program for a year (4 years to BSN, 2 years LVN experience, 1 year RN experience by the time I got my BSN)
3) take pre-reqs for a year, do an accelerated BSN program for 2 years (3 yrs to BSN, but still only 1 year RN experience after 4 years)
All 3 options would take the same amount of time for me to have a BSN with one year of RN experience under my belt. I chose going option 2 because it allowed me to be able to work in the field faster (as an LVN) and I could work and pay my way through each step, unlike the aBSN route, which would have required me to take out student loans and keep me not working for longer.
I started my LVN program in June 2009, it was 5 days a week of 8 hour days (2 days lecture, 3 days clinical). I did not work, but my parents paid out of pocket monthly and the entire program cost less than $5000 because I went to an adult school. However, many of my classmates worked part-time during the weekend, and about 3 of them worked full-time as CNAs with 11-7 shifts. They had families, so not working full-time was not an option.
I finished my LVN program in June 2010 and started my pre-reqs that Fall. I only needed Anatomy, Physio, and Micro plus Psych and Dev. Psych because all the other GEs I had already completed for my B.A. I worked full-time hours as an LVN while I took my pre-reqs and it wasn't difficult to do at all. I only took 1-2 classes per semester because it was difficult to get classes and I was waitlisted for all 3 of Anatomy, Physio and Micro, so it took me 3 semesters to finish my pre-reqs.
I started my LVN-ADN program at a CC this past June 2012. From June to November I started working part-time instead of full-time and went from working 4-5 days a week to 3 days a week (8 hour shifts mixed between 7am-3pm and 3pm-11am). In December I started a new job full-time (3 days a week with 12 hour shifts during 7pm-7am). I go to lecture 2 times a week and clinical 2 times a week. It's very difficult to manage, but I'm surviving. I literally have to schedule in sleep on my calendar because of the havoc done on my circadian rhythm of having to work 7pm-7am 3 nights a weeks, but having to be at clinical 2 times a week from 7am-5pm. The 2 days I have clinical are the days that I keep myself unavailable for work so that I don't go 24 hours without sleep, but because lectures are twice a week starting at 8am, and only for 2 hours, I am able to work 7pm-7am, go to lecture, and then sleep afterwards. I make it through by telling myself it's only difficult now, but it's only a sprint until I graduate in May and am finally an RN. I'm also currently in the process of applying for ADN-BSN programs for next Fall. I'm applying at online programs only so that I can work full-time without having to worry about scheduling concerns the way I do now. If all goes according to plan in this last stretch, I should have my BSN by Spring/Summer 2014. And all without loans because I've been paying out of pocket.