Please Help : 4 Years University vs. 2 Years Community College?

  1. Hi everyone, I have been following this website for few months now and this is my first post. I am a senior in high school from Chicago area and will be graduating this summer .

    As I am getting ready to start college this fall, I am seriously considering nursing as my career choice. However, I am having hard time to decide which route to take . Here are my options:

    Option 1# BSN at University of Illinois Chicago (extremely competitive + not GURANTEED if I can get into their college of nursing after sophomore year).

    Option 2# Enroll in a community college to get my Associate in Applied Science to become an RN.

    From what I have understood after reading numerous posts that as far as job responsibilities + salary goes it's about the same for both ADN and BSN since the objective for both is to pass NCLEX- RN. So my questions are:

    -Which one would you recommend? (UIC or CC).

    -Which route do you think is best for me? (For a B average student).

    - Which one would be faster? (I know I have to take prereqs for ADN which will make it for 2-3 years vs. BSN 4+ years??? )

    - If I end up going to UIC and can not get into their college of nursing, what are my options for getting BSN and to become RN?

    - Can I eventually become NP or PA with an ADN or BSN? If so, how long would it take?

    - Is it true that from 2015 all NPs must have PhD instead of Masters?

    - Are there any accredited ADN-MSN bridge programs in Chicago area?

    * Thank you all in advance I would really appreciate any advice.
    Last edit by boipoka72 on May 21, '12 : Reason: spelling
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    About boipoka72

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 4


  3. by   KelRN215
    -which one would you recommend? (uic or cc).
    i recommend the bsn. you are in chicago which, i imagine, is a very competitive city for nurses. i am in boston and there are virtually no jobs for adn new grads. i would bet the major academic medical centers in chicago have similar hiring preferences to those here.

    -which route do you think is best for me? (for a b average student).
    nursing school is hard. it's hard in an associates program and it's hard in a bachelor's program.

    - which one would be faster? (i know i have to take prereqs for adn which will make it for 2-3 years vs. bsn 4+ years??? )
    your bsn at a university should take 4 years. it should not take longer than 4 years. the adn program after prereqs is 2 years. you have at least a year of pre-reqs for an adn program but i think it tends to take longer than that. i did nursing in a traditional bsn program so i'm not the best to speak of adn requirements.

    - if i end up going to uic and can not get into their college of nursing, what are my options for getting bsn and to become rn?
    i would imagine your options would be to a) transfer to another university, b) complete your bachelor's in another field and then try to do an accelerated bsn program or c) resubmit your application to enter the nursing program the following semester/year.

    - can i eventually become np or pa with an adn or bsn? if so, how long would it take?
    if you want to become a pa, i wouldn't suggest starting with nursing. if you go the adn route and want to enter graduate school, i believe there are certain classes you need to take in the interim to make up the classes you don't take in an adn program. i could be wrong about this but i do remember having rns in a few of my senior year classes in my bsn program because they needed to take certain bsn classes before they could enter the msn program. how long an np program takes depends on a lot of things. i do not know how long pa programs typically are.

    - is it true that from 2015 all nps must have phd instead of masters?
    no. a phd is not a clinical degree and a phd does not an advanced practice nurse make. what you are thinking of is a dnp which is a doctor of nursing practice while a phd is a doctor of philosophy (in nursing). a phd prepares one to be a professor of nursing. a dnp prepares one to be an advanced practice nurse. it's currently 2012 and many nursing programs are just beginning to graduate their first dnp grads. i highly doubt that this is going to be a requirement in 3 years. and, even if it is, you won't even be done with nursing school by then so it's not like you'll have started working towards a degree that you won't be able to use.

    - are there any accredited adn-msn bridge programs in chicago area?
    i don't live in chicago but i imagine you could find the answer to this question with google.
  4. by   sauconyrunner
    I also recommend the BSN. ADN programs are also highly competitive, as they are less expensive, and usually there are only a certain amount of spots.

    If you are considering nursing, but unsure, I'd go the 4 year college route as you will be able to take a few classes in other areas, so you can sort of poke around a bit to be sure.

    I was a second degree student. I really wanted the ADN only as I already had a Bachelors. The BSN program ended up being much less competitive. Like 400 students applied for 80 sports in BSN program and in ADN program about 1500 students were applying for 80 spots. You can ask the schools how many apply...this may guide your decision, it did mine.

    You also don't know what kind of student you will be in college. I was a B-C student in High school. Made Deans list and Honors society etc. all through college... and GOOD LUCK! Hope you find exactly what you are looking for.
  5. by   Elena224477
    From my own personal experience I went to moraine valley for about a year and the transferred to Uic to finish my pre reqs. I had very good grades a's and b's. I applied for the bsn and did not get accepted. If I were you I would have back up plans to other schools just in case and apply for Uic.
  6. by   macgirl
    Well here's my 2 cents ...

    Do you live at home? How are you paying for school? Can you/do you want to relocate after?

    -If you live at home the extra year in BSN is the way to go. It's a year.
    -Yes ADN is shorter and CHEAPER ($500 vs $5000 a semester here), good if you are paying, and a bridge program is only a year. Plus most hospitals pay for tuition.
    -BSN are prefered to ADN, espeicially in competive markets, however if are willing to live else where for a year or 2....

    I went for ADN, since I'm paying and wanted no debt. I know some are taking out loans and are living off them while going to a 4 year school (crazy). I make the same as a BSN, (after a year my hospital will pay me to get a BSN). One of people who got her BSN with the loans has to pay back $80,000. Don't know how much a month that is or how long it will take. At $21.00 an hour, almost a 1/4-1/3 for taxes and benefits per check. granted I work nights an weekends so I get another $9 an hour...But she has 3 kids.
    Last edit by macgirl on Jun 6, '12 : Reason: typo
  7. by   NurseJJ12
    I recently just graduated with my ADN and I believe that there are many pros and cons to both routes..

    Money. my tuition was a little over 3 grand a year at my community college which isn't bad comparing to other schools. And now I have little debt in student loans and my employer is paying for me to receive my BSN, but I am going to have to work full time and be registered in classes full time.

    Associate degree schools are very fast paced (I cant speak for BSN obviously) our classes only met one day a week for 2 hour class, so I felt like the majority of the time I taught myself the material and lecture just reinforced it. You have to be able to devote your all to nursing school and be very diligent.

    It took me a complete 4 years to finish my degree (and no I didnt fail any classes at all) and still only ended up with an associates degree (granted my first year of school I wasn't sure "what I wanted to be when I grew up and took some unnecessary classes) I still don't believe that I could of fulfilled all of my required pre reqs in 1 year though.

    I do think that I missed out on a lot by not "going away" to college, if you go to a BSN program you will be able to participate in sororities, experience dorm life, be out on your own, etc...

    As for PA if that is your dream I wouldn't recommend doing your RN at all, the degrees are completely different, the way PA's treat patients is different, etc. Now an NP is still achievable with either degree, some schools have ADN to MSN programs but I am not sure about the Chicago area. I would recommend a BSN first though.

    Overall my recommendation to you would be to go for the BSN now, I wish I would have!!!

    Good luck to you! Let us know what you decide
  8. by   subee
    Hands down...go for BSN. You live in a big city where BSN is becoming the norm for entry level positions. I had a BA and borrowed some money, worked part-time and it still took 3 years to take BSN but started grad school after a year of med-surg experience and never looked back. Jobs are very hard to get so you need to have the best resume to be competitive. Good luck. I'm at the end of my career and it's been a very interesting journey. I've missed out on a lot of things because of job commitments but glad that I chose the path I did. Now get out and get that BSN!