Confusion regarding how to enter into Nursing.

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I graduated in May of 2011 with a B.S. in Finance. I have been working business jobs since then. A few months back I started volunteering at the Emergency Department of a hospital in Des Moines, IA. After carefully considering what direction I would like to take my life in, I have decided I would like to pursue a career in Nursing. That being said, I had a few questions. I had a tough time finding the answers to these questions on the site so I apologize if I'm repeating anything. Thanks in advance for your insight.

    1) I am a resident of Iowa. I would like to pursue my BSN. Should I go on the waiting list at the local community college (Des Moines Area Community College-DMACC) and pursue my RN? And then from there, should I enter into an RN-BSN Program (University of Iowa offers an online RN-BSN program with some classes meeting in the Des Moines Area)?

    Or should I just bite the bullet and attend a 4 year institution and pursue my BSN? I hope that some of my credits from my Finance degree will knock out some of the general education requirements. I'm hoping to obtain my BSN in 3 years if I go this route. Attending the University of Iowa (and hoping I get into the Nursing School there), would cost me about 60K for 3 years. If I pursue advanced education on top of that, the debt will easily double I assume.

    There are also private universities in the Des Moines area, but just the tuition alone will easily be 60k for three years as well. I would be living at home should I pursue this route so it would be about the same price as going to a public university and paying for housing/an apartment. Given my situation, does anyone have any suggestions regarding what kind of a path I should consider? I'm very concerned about my ability to repay my loans. I was very fortunate and did not need the use of loans to finance the Finance degree. That being said, I will need to fund any Nursing degree entirely out of pocket through loans, scholarships, grants (if any are available to a 2nd degree student). Any debt incurred from nursing would be the only debt that I would have.

    2) Say I do decide to pursue further education down the road, do nursing schools give any sort of preference to their BSN alumni?

    Thank you very much for all of your help and guidance. I'm confused about what is the best path to take in my position.
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    You already have a BS degree in Finance. Why go to school for another four years when you can complete your prerequisite classes and enter an accelerated nursing program and be done with it all in a much faster time frame?

    An accelerated BSN program is designed for people who have previous non-nursing degrees. It compresses your education so you'll graduate with a BSN in 12 to 18 months.

    Also, there are direct-entry MSN programs (DEMSN) designed for people who have previous non-nursing degrees and want to skip the BSN altogether. These programs compress it so you'll graduate with an entry-level MSN (master of science in nursing) in anywhere from 15 months to 24 months.

    Buyer beware: accelerated nursing programs tend to be very expensive due to the time they save. Since Iowa is a state with very low nursing wages, I would carefully weigh the benefits with the drawbacks of borrowing more student loan funds.
  5. 0
    Thank you very much for your prompt and informative response. I had not looked into the accelerated BSN and direct-entry MSN programs. I also appreciate your words of caution in regards to cost vs benefit. This is truly something I will need to think carefully about and only move forward when I'm sure I'm making the optimal decision. Thanks again!
  6. 0
    I'm from Iowa as well near the Des Moines area.

    I think it's great that you are considering nursing. I did the 2 year ADN program at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo and currently work in Ames and I am doing a 1 year BSN program through Upper Iowa University. I know that Allen College in Waterloo has an accelerated program but it is so expensive. DMACC would be a pretty economical way to get the RN degree and then most hospitals will help way pay back loans or aide in the pursuit of the BSN. Like the previous post stated, Iowa doesn't have amazing pay rates. Without a BSN I'm making the lower $20s. I am not sure what your financial situation is but hopefully that helps!

    Also the U of Iowa would be a great learning experience. I am going to start their Nurse Practitioner program in August and just love their school and program. Many of my friends are in the RN-BSN program now and think it is fantastic!

    Anyways, best of luck to you!
  7. 0
    Accelerated baccalaureate programs offer the quickest route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) for adults who have already completed a bachelor's or graduate degree in a non-nursing discipline. Fast-track baccalaureate programs take between 11 and 18 months to complete, including prerequisites. These programs are intensive, fast paced requiring great deal of crammed studying.

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing Accelerated Nursing Programs link has program description and college list.
  8. 0
    Thank you for all of the responses!

    sacwebb, thank you for the information regarding your situation. Your compensation package sounds very similar to mine and I am just fine with that. I agree that DMACC is a very economical way to pursue my interest. I will have to look into the waiting list there.

    NRSKarenRN-Thank you for you information and for the link! I'll definitely go through the programs listed there to figure out what might be a good fit for me.


    Thanks again everyone for all of the help! There is a lot of information out there, but to actually get some insight from actual people is a HUGE help. Thanks again!
  9. 0
    Hi ColdInIowa! Just wondering what you decided to do regarding a nursing program. I too have a non-nursing Bachelor's of Science and am looking to return to school for nursing. I was tied between Mercy College of Health Sciences and Des Moines Area Community College. Mercy is much more expensive, but has no wait list, while DMACC is much cheaper but has a waitlist of 1-2 years. Just curious if you had any recommendations. I have also heard a little about Indian Hills Community College, but they are not accredited which makes me nervous.

    Any help would be amazing!
  10. 1
    Quote from *Wishin*and*hopin*
    Hi ColdInIowa! Just wondering what you decided to do regarding a nursing program. I too have a non-nursing Bachelor's of Science and am looking to return to school for nursing. I was tied between Mercy College of Health Sciences and Des Moines Area Community College. Mercy is much more expensive, but has no wait list, while DMACC is much cheaper but has a waitlist of 1-2 years. Just curious if you had any recommendations. I have also heard a little about Indian Hills Community College, but they are not accredited which makes me nervous.

    Any help would be amazing!
    Hi, *Wishin*and*hopin*! As of right now, I'm in a state of melancholy. Around the time of my initial post, I was very sure of following through on my plans to enter into Nursing. I went to DMACC and took their CNA Basic program. I took the licensing examinations so that I could work but I was just too afraid to take the plunge and go head first into a complete career change. Between having large tuition payments at Mercy or being on a long waiting list at DMACC, I just wasn't sure what to do. I am currently working in a field that uses my original degree. I'm unsure what to do. Sorry for the long winded response and sorry it's not that helpful. Whatever you do though, I wish you the best of luck!
    lindarn likes this.
  11. 1
    If I were you, I honestly would stick to jobs in finance. Why go back to school for another four year degree and get into a lot of student loan debt for something you may or may not even enjoy? New grads apparently are having a hard time getting jobs as nurses now. As a 9 year RN, I can honestly say that nursing hasn't been what I imagined it to be when I was in school. Though I'm always thankful I have a job at all, nursing has been a major source of stress for me. Lately I have been having many more bad days than good on my job. Maybe you could work in the finance department of a hospital : )
    lindarn likes this.
  12. 1
    Thank you for responding. I have been going back and forth between returning to school and staying in my current career as well. I graduated from college in 2011 and am just now feeling like I am ready to take the plunge. I plan to look a little more at DMACC, although there is a waitlist, that will give me more time to save while I wait to begin the program. Because the thought of nursing is something that has never left my mind, I decided I should go ahead and take a leap in that direction. Besides, in 2 years when they call to offer me a spot, I can always say thanks but no thanks. Maybe you will be there with me!

    Best of luck to you!
    lindarn likes this.


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