B.A. student looking to go into nursing and then specalize. Help please!

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    Hi everyone, I have a question I will be graduating from a traditional 4 year college with a B.A. in history at the end of Fall 2010. I currently have a 3.85 gpa and will most likely graduate with the highest latin honors. The only science classes that I have taken were Principles of Bio I & II, Gen. Chem I & II and AP Psych Credit (5). for Intro to Psych.

    I want to become an RN and eventually specialize. I have a family friend who is CRNA and it seems like a job that appeals to me but I will find out for sure after I work as an RN for several years.

    Can you tell me what is the best option for me if I certainly plan to specialize.

    Should I apply to an accelerated BSN program for 2nd degree students. There are 2 programs that will let me take all pre-nursing classes at the school. For every other 2nd degree BSN/ABSN program I will need about 2-3 semester to finish all prerequisites and can do it before matriculation in Sept 2011.

    Or another option is to get a Assoc. Degree in nursing/ADN it should take 1.5-2yrs, I think I can complete it in 1.5 since I have a B.A. degree and some credits should count.

    Which option would be better if I want to specalize after working for a few years?> WIll it be hard to find a job as a RN, wont applicants with a BSN get a job over me. From my experience, I interview well and will be able to explain that I went the ADN because I already have a B.A. money is a factor, etc. After I get a job as an RN with an assoc. degree I can complete a bridge program/RN-BSN online or maybe a traditional program and then I can have my pick of any CRNA programs.

    Please help me out by providing some personal experience, anecdotes, insight, etc.

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  2. 25 Comments...

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    Also a question I had was in terms of getting a job nowadays, will it better to go for the ADN or BSN option. I *definitely* plan to get a BSN as soon as I am hired.

    Also CRNA programs look for 1-2 years of experience in critical care, can I do that with an ADN or will I need a BSN to work in critical care?
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    You probably have at least 1-2 semesters of prereqs to take before you can even start a nursing program, so tack that on to whatever time frames you have been given for each of the routes you described.

    If the job market was what it was 3 years ago, I might say go with the ADN and get your experience at the same time you are completing your BSN, assuming that that is quickest route. The challenge with this option is that you MIGHT find it more difficult to get hired because employers in some regions are hiring BSNs over ADNs. This isn't the case everywhere and it might change by the time you would graduate, but you can't ignore the possibility.

    If the accelerated BSN is the quickest, including prereqs, then hands down I'd say to take that route, this time assuming that you can afford this route. The benefits of this option are that it sounds like it might be at least as fast as the ADN, and you wouldn't have to worry about losing a position to someone with a BSN that you didn't have. This route might cost you more, at least up-front, and you still might have a challenging time getting a job if the market doesn't change by the time you graduate.

    If you are intent on pursuing the CRNA, you obviously will need a BSN regardless. So, factoring out the job market and the cost of tuition, I think your best option is probably going to be the accelerated BSN.
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    Thank you for your response!

    GM2RN there are second degree BSN programs at NYU & UPenn that will let me take all the prereqs as part of the program and it takes 2.5 years to complete the whole program. I will see if I get in those schools, if not I'll take prereqs at CC.

    Would getting an ADN from CC and then going for a BSN immediately also be an option? Of course I need to apply to schools and see if I can get scholarships and such but if its way too expensive I might go the ADN -> BSN as long as their are no waitlists. For employers hiring new grads is RN-BSN same as a BSN degree in terms of landing the first job?
  6. 1
    Quote from n1cktm
    Hi everyone, I have a question I will be graduating from a traditional 4 year college with a B.A. in history at the end of Fall 2010. I currently have a 3.85 gpa and will most likely graduate with the highest latin honors. The only science classes that I have taken were Principles of Bio I & II, Gen. Chem I & II and AP Psych Credit (5). for Intro to Psych.

    I want to become an RN and eventually specialize. I have a family friend who is CRNA and it seems like a job that appeals to me but I will find out for sure after I work as an RN for several years.

    Can you tell me what is the best option for me if I certainly plan to specialize.

    Should I apply to an accelerated BSN program for 2nd degree students. There are 2 programs that will let me take all pre-nursing classes at the school. For every other 2nd degree BSN/ABSN program I will need about 2-3 semester to finish all prerequisites and can do it before matriculation in Sept 2011.

    Or another option is to get a Assoc. Degree in nursing/ADN it should take 1.5-2yrs, I think I can complete it in 1.5 since I have a B.A. degree and some credits should count.

    Which option would be better if I want to specalize after working for a few years?> WIll it be hard to find a job as a RN, wont applicants with a BSN get a job over me. From my experience, I interview well and will be able to explain that I went the ADN because I already have a B.A. money is a factor, etc. After I get a job as an RN with an assoc. degree I can complete a bridge program/RN-BSN online or maybe a traditional program and then I can have my pick of any CRNA programs.

    Please help me out by providing some personal experience, anecdotes, insight, etc.


    Hi there. I would strongly suggest you go for a BSN program rather than an ADN program. I have absolutely nothing against an ADN program however so don't get me wrong. The reason I suggest this is that I was in your shoes and it makes more sense to go the BSN route specially when you already have a previously bachelors degree and can apply for an accelerated BSN program. If you want to go for a CRNA program you'll need to complete your bachelors beforehand anyhow so I would strongly suggest you go straight for the highest degree you can get at this time. Also, the person that posted above is correct regarding hospitals now making a point to try and encourage nurses to go for their BSN degrees and are preferring to hire BSN prepared nurses. You'll come to learn that this is a huge debate in the nursing community. You will encounter amazing ADN nurses at almost every hospital (they comprise the majority of rns out there!) but some hospitals are now leaning towards hiring bsn prepared nurses over ADN. I would suggest the ADn and then the bridge program for someone who doesn't have a previously bachelors and doesn't have the money or the time to complete a bachelors degree at the time. However for you, already holding a Bachelors degree, it makes more sense to get your BSN degree because you're eligible for the accelerated BSN.

    I have a BA is Psychology and I made the decision a little over a year ago to go for nursing. There are 12 month and 16 month accelerated BSN programs. I believe some of the ADN programs around my area take about the same time to complete. So it made no sense to come out with an ADN degree instead of a BSN for approximately the same amount of time. I would take your prereqs as soon as possible and get them out of the way. Look carefully at some schools and see what their prereqs are. For me it was a toss up between two schools in my area... one had more prereqs than the other and they were both equally strong programs. So you may not need to complete extra courses if you don't need to. Also pay attention to the passing rate for the programs you are looking into. Mine kept stressing that their passing rate was around 97% I believe.. and I didn't think this important until we I took my nclex recently. Lets just say that no one in my class has failed the nclex the first time around (yet at least) and it made me realize we were well prepared going in.

    Also... if you're looking to work while studying, which is incredibly difficult to do in an accelerated bsn (until perhaps your last semester depending on the courses) then you are eligible to work as a CNA after you've completed your first or second semester. I don't recall the exact details but you have to complete your first round of clinicals and some particular beginning level nursing courses. Each state differs of course.

    If you have any questions I'd be more than happy to answer them for you! Feel free to pm me anytime.

    Best of luck!
    n1cktm likes this.
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    Quote from n1cktm
    Thank you for your response!

    GM2RN there are second degree BSN programs at NYU & UPenn that will let me take all the prereqs as part of the program and it takes 2.5 years to complete the whole program. I will see if I get in those schools, if not I'll take prereqs at CC.

    Would getting an ADN from CC and then going for a BSN immediately also be an option? Of course I need to apply to schools and see if I can get scholarships and such but if its way too expensive I might go the ADN -> BSN as long as their are no waitlists. For employers hiring new grads is RN-BSN same as a BSN degree in terms of landing the first job?

    All routes are an option, it just depends on which is best for you based on costs and time to complete the program.

    As for ADN vs BSN for employers, it's really difficult to say. Right now, in some areas, the BSNs are being hired over ADNs. Who knows if this will still be the case a couple of years from now when you are applying for your first job. You are the only one who can decide which route to pursue.
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    I'm currently in your shoes, I hold a B.S. in Biology but I don't have the extra money for a BSN program because remember once you obtain a bachelors you will become ineligible to receive any type federal aid such pell grants or grants given by the state you are currently living in. I decided to take my chances on the ADN route and pray and hope once I pass the NCLEX I will be able to get a RN job then I will work on getting my BSN(some jobs pay for you to go back to school). Money is a huge factor for me right now because most BSN programs are full-time which can be difficult trying to work full-time. I currently own a home so I can't afford the BSN route. I look at it like this apparently those programs are still around for a reason so ppl have to be getting hired with an ADN but if you can afford the BSN route go for it like the previous posts stated. If I had the money I would go that route myself because it doesn't make any sense to me having a bachelors just to go back to get an associates but money is tight. Good Luck to you.
  9. 0
    Quote from illusion5
    I'm currently in your shoes, I hold a B.S. in Biology but I don't have the extra money for a BSN program because remember once you obtain a bachelors you will become ineligible to receive any type federal aid such pell grants or grants given by the state you are currently living in. I decided to take my chances on the ADN route and pray and hope once I pass the NCLEX I will be able to get a RN job then I will work on getting my BSN(some jobs pay for you to go back to school). Money is a huge factor for me right now because most BSN programs are full-time which can be difficult trying to work full-time. I currently own a home so I can't afford the BSN route. I look at it like this apparently those programs are still around for a reason so ppl have to be getting hired with an ADN but if you can afford the BSN route go for it like the previous posts stated. If I had the money I would go that route myself because it doesn't make any sense to me having a bachelors just to go back to get an associates but money is tight. Good Luck to you.

    Where employers are hiring BSNs over ADNs appears to be specific to facility or region, so yes, some ADNs are getting hired. I wouldn't discourage you from this route if it's the ony way you can go, but don't kid yourself that the programs are around to serve YOUR interests, because they are self-serving. They are in it to make money (nothing wrong with that) and won't go down without a fight. They will also tell you what they need to so you will spend your money with them (something wrong with that). Also remember that the job market is tight right now for both ADNs AND BSNs, so it's no guarantee that you'll land a job right away with either route.
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    Hey GM2RN, the school where I am getting my B.A. degree now also offers a B.S. degree in nursing. However, when I looked up the passing rates it was 65-75% between 2005-2008 on the NCLEX. Should i just graduate and see if I get into NYU or UPenn? I'd really love to take the prereqs at the school im doing the BSN in since your part of the school and get a feel for things and move right into nursing afterwards. Both those schools let you do just that (well UPenn you need to take micro before enrolling). If I dont get in it becomes more difficult as I will have to take prereqs after I graduate in Dec. I'll apply to 2-3 other schools that dont have TONS of prereqs and you can apply before you take all of them. So if the school accepts me and classes start in Sept, ill have 8-9 months to do all required classes and they wont pull their offer unless I fail the classes.
  11. 0
    Quote from n1cktm
    Hey GM2RN, the school where I am getting my B.A. degree now also offers a B.S. degree in nursing. However, when I looked up the passing rates it was 65-75% between 2005-2008 on the NCLEX. Should i just graduate and see if I get into NYU or UPenn? I'd really love to take the prereqs at the school im doing the BSN in since your part of the school and get a feel for things and move right into nursing afterwards. Both those schools let you do just that (well UPenn you need to take micro before enrolling). If I dont get in it becomes more difficult as I will have to take prereqs after I graduate in Dec. I'll apply to 2-3 other schools that dont have TONS of prereqs and you can apply before you take all of them. So if the school accepts me and classes start in Sept, ill have 8-9 months to do all required classes and they wont pull their offer unless I fail the classes.

    Someone else may have a different opinion, but I don't see any harm in taking your prereqs where you are currently enrolled if that works better for you. Just make sure you know the material well since it will be the foundation for all of your nursing classes and form part of the basis for critical thinking in clinicals and your nursing practice.


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