You're welcome! It is a complicated and highly debated process, but it is comforting to find others who at battling the same storm. The other thing to think about is that sometimes associates schools
and BSN/MSN schools are completely different in regards to what they consider when they look at when the accept you. For example, apparently part of what my school does is looks at your resume and takes note of your volunteer hours. So a great student might not get accepted all because someone else had volunteer hours on the resume!
Meanwhile, the associates school I was accepted to looks primarily at your NLN-PAX scores and science grades. I'm not a fan of standardized testing, but in my opinion it probably shows more about your intelligence and ability to learn to be a nurse than your number of volunteer hours does. Don't get me wrong volunteering is great and I'd love to do it someday, but right now I can hardly support myself! Right now, "free time" (whatever that is) should be spent on homework, making money so they don't shut the lights off, or cleaning my house! In my experience, associates programs tend to be geared towards a more practical sense of priorities.
In a BSN you'll find yourself taking 3 credit courses you do not really need on topics like 'concepts in community health'.... which is basically a 16 week long course about how HIV is a worldwide problem, health is affected by drinking water in many countries, and the varying different kinds of influenza that spread rapidly can kill people. You will find yourself sitting in lecture thinking "yes this stuff is true, and yes it is significant in our world, but for over a 1,000 dollars per course please teach me something I didn't already learn from the 6 o'clock news that will help me be a better nurse".
Every RN I've spoken to that has enrolled in the RN to BSN program can't believe the classes they have to take. After being in the field of nursing and then returning to school to get a higher education, many of them feel quite frustrated and some feel it is a waste of time depending on where they want to go with their career because half of the courses are ones like I just described. Bottom line: after AP I, AP II, Micro, and Chem, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and nutrition are the courses I've taken which seem to stand out between the associates and a BSN. Good luck to you too!