ABSN route or ADN plus RN-BSN?

  1. Hi everyone!

    I am just about to be finished up with all of my nursing school pre-reqs, and am trying to decide if I should go the ABSN route or get my ADN, and then go right in to an online bridge program for RN-BSN.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has had the same dilemma, and am also curious what route you decided to go and why.

    A little bit about myself and my current situation:

    I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and photography, and just turned 30 years old. I decided to go back for my RN license because what I want out of life has changed as I've gotten older. I now crave stability over adventure, but would still like to have a job/career that is meaningful. I am applying for the ABSN offered at CSUSM which costs about $55K (not including living expenses, I may even need to take out additional student loans for that unless I can survive two years of nursing school while living under my mother's roof). The other option I am considering is getting my ADN at MiraCosta Community College which will cost about $6K in total, and will allow me to work at least part-time. The CC program will take roughly 4 semesters, and I will have summers off to work more and perhaps even have some kind of social life. (Important because I am still single, but keeping an eye out for my husband-to-be ) Based on research I have done most RN-BSN bridge programs cost about $15k-$17K, take about 15 months to complete, and can be done part-time as well as online. The downside is that this route would take me roughly 3.5 years to complete vs. the ABSN program which will take only 2 years. I have also considered the opportunity cost of not earning a California RN income for that extra 1.5 year difference, but am having a hard time figuring out just how much I would be able to pay back in student loans over that period of time. Lastly, I should also add that I currently have about $15k in student loan debt from my first undergraduate degree.

    Has anyone gone the ABSN route and regretted it because of the major debt incurred? Or has anyone gone the longer ADN plus RN-BSN route and regretted it for any reason?

    I keep going back and forth between both options and can't seem to make a solid decision!! Any help or advice at all would be very greatly appreciated!!!!!
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