Deciding between ASN or BSN

  1. I am 25 years old and live in California. I've just been accepted into two nursing programs, a BSN at San Francisco State, and an ASN at Ohlone College. Ohlone starts this fall and is two years long. SFSU starts next spring and is two and half years long. So I'm looking at a one year difference in time. There is also the consideration of finances, as I will have to do student loans for either choice. I've priced it out with cost of tuition and the extra year of living expenses--going the BSN route will cost me another $15000-20000 in student loans. Is it worth it? Is it better to get it done right away or go the ASN to BSN bridge part time while working? I've heard better nurses come out of ASN programs because of more clinical emphasis but I'm sure this all depends on the school. The NCLEX success rates for both schools is about the same, around 90%. I have straight A's so I'm sure I could do well in the BSN program. I would love to get it done the quickest, at Ohlone, but should I bite the bullet and get my BSN all done with up front? I would love some advice from experienced nurses. Thanks!
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    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 1


  3. by   TazziRN
    You will hear from both sides. Some will say to go for the BSN now because it's "better". Others will say to get your ADN first. I don't think that having a BSN is better unless you want to go into administration, but if finances are an issue, then you should go the ADN route first. That way, while you're working toward your BSN you are working as an RN. It may take longer, but in the financial long run it might be the way to go for you.
  4. by   errn-nurze
    I was accepted into both ADN and BSN schools I went with the ADN because of the cost and now I am getting my BSN online. Another, reason I went with the ADN was in my area BSN nurses pay are no different than ADN nurse.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    if financially doable, i'd go straight for the bsn.
    nsg is definitely trending towards that, whether it's mgmt or bedside.

    wishing you the very best.

  6. by   Dolce
    If I were you I would probably do the ASN route. I learned so much in my ASN program--it really prepared me for work as a staff nurse. It was quite easy to get my BSN after I had my ASN and it only cost me around 5k.

    Either option is a good one though. Just be glad you are a candidate with options! There are many pre-nursing students that wait years to get accepted. Congratulations!
  7. by   Wsmith16
    As a current ADN student with a bachelor's in a completely other field.
    I'd go with the BSN, since it's not such a huge difference in price. And you most likely will not go back to school afterwards. Plus you will stand out a bit from the ADN students, since it's what most hospitals desire at the moment.

    Good Luck with whatever you choose! Either one you choose it will be alot of work--but worth it at the end.
  8. by   czyja
    Quote from Wsmith16
    I'd go with the BSN, since it's not such a huge difference in price.
    The OP noted that there was a 15-20 thousand dollar difference in price.

    That is significant in my book.

    On a loan of 20K, with an interest rate of 7% (current rate on a stafford loan = 7.22%), over ten years, the total amount paid is $39343. This is no small chunk of change.

    I am not suggesting the OP should go to an ADN program - only he can make the decision. I am going to a direct entry MS program (not cheap) but it is the right choice for me.

    I would, however, advise the OP to speak with financial aid counselor. The question to ask should never be "what are my monthly payments?" but rather "What is the total cost of this loan?"

    It may be worth the extra $$ but one ought to know what the cost will be.
  9. by   lucky1RN
    I would think about your long term goals. What's more important to you...time or money? The BSN only takes 1 more semester. If your long term goals include an advanced degree, it may save considerable time later for you to finish the BSN now (assuming you'd be working FT and finishing your BSN PT). That way, when your comfortable enough with your job to consider returning to school, you can work toward your graduate degree instead of your BSN. If your long term goal does not include an advanced degree, your ADN is really all you need. If your goals are to get into management, the BSN may open some doors for you but I see ADNs hired into management positions all the time here (I live in the Southeast).
    You said you had an extra year of living expenses to do the BSN but it's only 1 semester (16 weeks) longer than the ADN.
    My personal story: I had 2 Associate degrees when I decided to go to nursing school. It was 2 years for the ADN and 2 years for the BSN. The ADN would have been free...yes FREE. The BSN cost $20,000. I chose the BSN because I just wanted to be done with it at my age and my long term goals include an advanced degree. For me, time is more important than money. Oh, and my hospital is paying off my student debt so it worked out pretty good for me.
    Good luck! And whatever path you choose, a new nurse is a new matter what type of program she/he graduates from!
  10. by   mcubed45
    depends what you want to get out of the program as well. it's true that oftetimes ASN/ADN programs produce nurses with better technical skills b/c this is what the programs emphasize. however, the nice thing about BSN programs is you get a lot more theory. this may not be for everyone. if you're someone that wants a lot of the theory then you'd prolly be happier in the BSN program.

    i'm in a similar situations. i'm almost finished with my BS in mathematics and came to realize that i'd really like to go into nursing instead. i'm an alternate for an ADN program for fall 08 and was told i'm pretty much guaranteed acceptance in a BSN program in my area for spring 09 as well (couldn't apply for BSN's fall 08 b/c of additional pre-reqs needed). up until now i just wanted to get my license ASAP and as cheaply as possible so i could start making money and working off loans. however, after taking all my pre-reqs at the university with the BSN i realized i WANT a more rigorous and theory oriented nursing curriculum. many nursing applicants for the BSN program take their pre-reqs at the community college (ADN program) so they can get an "easy A" and have a better app for the BSN program. i realized i'd rather be in a program that is more academically rigorous though possibly less technical. of course nursing programs vary A LOT so it's prolly best if you take a lot of time to look into the programs you're considering (in terms of curriculum and not just time/cost).
  11. by   OC_An Khe
    In the long term the BSN is better, so that should be your eventual goal. Going the AD route will be quicker and less expensive but more limiting to you over the potential of 40 years of career ahead of you.
    Economics of the BSN will over 40 years far outway the short term economics advantage of the AD.
  12. by   crunchymomx3
    IMO it's better to go for the ASN first, get a job, and have them pay for you to get your BSN. That's what most of my peers are doing. I'm graduating in May with an ASN and my total cost for school including rerequsites was under $20,000. I'll get my BSN paid for by the hospital I'm working for.
  13. by   classicdame
    The "clinical emphasis" is mandated by the state and there is very little difference in what each school does. Differences always come down to the instructor and the student. If you can afford it, the BSN is the better route in my opinion as you will get it all done at once. Some people never return for that second degree and that could affect your finances in the future.
  14. by   ann945n
    I am an ADN and am now working on my BSN. My BSN is taking 4 FULL semesters of work, thats 2 years. And it is costing me 9,000 in tuition alone. I would go straight for the BSN as doing the bridge after your ADN will take just as long and be about the same amount in the end. EIther way you put in nearly the same time and money. Plus a BSN is really what is perferred everywhere. Not that ADN have ANY trouble at all, its just nice to have that BSN in my opinion. My vote is BSN, youll be happy when its done.
    (also if you bridge you will most likely be working full time and wont do school full time so add a year or so on to that 2 year time line for the bridge. You're in student mode now, go for it)