Quote from runningredsfan
I have a BS degree already and now I am researching nursing school options and am debating between an accelerated BSN or an ADN. I would have to relocate to go an accelerated program and the finacial strain would be HUGE as I would be out of work for up to 2 years and have loans. I also live really close to community college that offers a nursing program. That option is much easier on the finances and location. So I am wondering whether an accelerated degree is really worth it. Am I thinking too short term and is it more beneficial to me to just suck it up and do the accelerated program?
You'll need to look at the financial end of things, plus:
- How long is the wait list for your local ADN program? Near me, it's ~2-3 years
- What prereqs do you need to get out of the way for the accelerated & ADN programs? MAKE SURE that any prereqs you do at your community college would be acceptable to the accel program, BEFORE you register/pay for the classes. With many programs only accepting candidates at set intervals (i.e. 1x/year), you don't want to make any stoooopid mistakes.
- Consider distance learning (internet, print, or video tape) based courses in addition to the normal face-to-face style classes. This might let you get some prereqs out of the way faster.
- Any special prereqs for the accel program? Do they require GRE, higher than normal GPA, letters of recommendation, resume, and the like? If so, find out their deadlines & start crunching away on the paperwork ahead of time.
- If you use any other colleges to do your prereqs, make sure their academic calendars match up with your target program's calendars. I was looking at doing a distance learning Nutrition & Disease course from a college up in MI, but found out that their "Spring" term begins in freakin' icy cold nasty snowy JANUARY. My local community college, and Univ of Cincinnati's Spring terms both start in March. So much for doing it via distance learning. As shown above, avoid stooooopid mistakes!
As to the financial strain, I'd think that it would be rough for you to work during either the ADN or accel BSN program. Plan on being out of work for 2+ years (3/4 year for the prereqs, 1+ year for the accel program). If you're married, your spouse had better support you 110% of the way (like mine!).
I chose the accel BSN program since:
- my local ADN program had a ~3 year wait list
- after 3 years wait, plus 2.5 years of a "2 year" ADN program, I'd end up with my Associates degree. I'd need another 2+ years to get my BSN
- I was able to get into an accel program ~50 miles from home (University of Cincinnati), and I'll commute each day starting in June 2007
- despite having an excellent background from my local community college (graduated 2nd in my community college Paramedic class 1991, 4.0 GPA since 1990, Bachelors in Chem Engineering, active in EMS since 1988, blahblahblah), the nursing program director at the local community college (Sinclair) ignored an email I sent her several years ago, seeking information/guidance. She ignored the followup letter I sent a few weeks after that (no reply). This told me that they were too busy to teach. Screw 'em!
Choose what makes the most sense to you. Take the time you need to feel comfortable with your decision, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. DO SOMETHING.