RN or BSN??? Help!

  1. 0
    Hi everyone. I'm a Paralegal with a BA who's considering going back to school to become a Nurse (Neonatal or Pediatrics). I'm interested in working 3 night shifts/week and spend more time with my 2 kids during the week. I'm currently taking prerequisites at the local community college (Chem, bio, anatomy & physiology).

    My questions are:
    1- How realistic is it to be employed "Full time" while working 3 night shifts/wk?
    2- Should I get my BSN or my RN - in other words, will my BA count for anything?
    3- Should I get the RN, start working and then get my BSN? I'm wondering if any of my BA credits will transfer at this point like they will now - with no RN.
    4- As I'm a contributing member of the family, can I go on "loans" to cover living expenses for a RN program or just for the BSN program?
    5- Are there any part-time RN programs for working professionals in Southern CA???

    Thanks!!! :typing
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    1- how realistic is it to be employed "full time" while working 3 night shifts/wk?
    doing fulltime work (36-40 hours) and a full time nursing program are incompatible. even the nursing school will tell you that.
    2- should i get my bsn or my rn - in other words, will my ba count for anything?
    you are talking about two different things. an rn is a legal designation for someone who can practice nursing. you have to complete a state board approved nursing program and pass the nclex exam to become a legally licensed rn. the schools that offer this training grant a diploma, aa degree or bsn upon completion depending on where the school is located.

    if you already have a ba and you apply to a nursing school that is at a college or university, they will evaluate your transcripts from other colleges you attended and determine if they can accept any previous courses you took for transfer credit. all colleges, however, have their own requirements that students must satisfy before they will bestow one of their degrees upon them. consult their college catalog or one of their counselors for specifics.
    3- should i get the rn, start working and then get my bsn?
    i wouldn't recommend it. when you start working as a new grad rn it is an extremely stressful time. there is still a lot you have to learn in the first year out of school. ask any new grad who has gone through that first year. to also be back in school during that period is not a good idea.
    i'm wondering if any of my ba credits will transfer at this point like they will now - with no rn.
    see my answer to question #2.
    4- as i'm a contributing member of the family, can i go on "loans" to cover living expenses for a rn program or just for the bsn program?
    ??? depends on how much you need to live and how much you can get in loans.
    5- are there any part-time rn programs for working professionals in southern ca???
    ??? call the different nursing schools and ask.
    http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/programs.shtml - links to rn schools in california
  5. 0
    Quote from daytonite
    1- how realistic is it to be employed "full time" while working 3 night shifts/wk?
    doing fulltime work (36-40 hours) and a full time nursing program are incompatible. even the nursing school will tell you that.

    2- should i get my bsn or my rn - in other words, will my ba count for anything?
    you are talking about two different things. an rn is a legal designation for someone who can practice nursing. you have to complete a state board approved nursing program and pass the nclex exam to become a legally licensed rn. the schools that offer this training grant a diploma, aa degree or bsn upon completion depending on where the school is located.


    if you already have a ba and you apply to a nursing school that is at a college or university, they will evaluate your transcripts from other colleges you attended and determine if they can accept any previous courses you took for transfer credit. all colleges, however, have their own requirements that students must satisfy before they will bestow one of their degrees upon them. consult their college catalog or one of their counselors for specifics.

    3- should i get the rn, start working and then get my bsn?
    i wouldn't recommend it. when you start working as a new grad rn it is an extremely stressful time. there is still a lot you have to learn in the first year out of school. ask any new grad who has gone through that first year. to also be back in school during that period is not a good idea.

    i'm wondering if any of my ba credits will transfer at this point like they will now - with no rn.
    see my answer to question #2.

    4- as i'm a contributing member of the family, can i go on "loans" to cover living expenses for a rn program or just for the bsn program?
    ??? depends on how much you need to live and how much you can get in loans.

    5- are there any part-time rn programs for working professionals in southern ca???
    ??? call the different nursing schools and ask.

    http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/programs.shtml - links to rn schools in california
    1- you misunderstood me here... what i was asking is whether it's common that hospitals hire someone as a full-time employee (ie, w/benefits) if they work only 3 nightshifts per week. rather than having to work per diem and picking up shifts here and there. i'm looking for a stable schedule.

    2- i understand that rn and a bsn is not comparing apples2apples. i guess i should have said adn vs bsn. wondering if there's much of a pay difference between an rn w/adn vs w/bsn. if so, do you think having a ba will assist here?

    3- i agree, once i start working, i want to only focus on that...

    4 & 5 - thanks anyway.
  6. 0
    1- you misunderstood me here...
    i didn't misunderstand what you wrote at all. i read it very carefully.

    what i was asking is whether it's common that hospitals hire someone as a full-time employee (ie, w/benefits) if they work only 3 nightshifts per week. rather than having to work per diem and picking up shifts here and there. i'm looking for a stable schedule.
    do some job hunting and find out.
    2- i understand that rn and a bsn is not comparing apples2apples.

    i guess i should have said adn vs bsn. wondering if there's much of a pay difference between an rn w/adn vs w/bsn. if so, do you think having a ba will assist here?
    my opinion is none whatsoever. educational level of an rn (diploma, aa, bsn) doesn't have much affect on their salary if they are a staff nurse. certain job positions (supervisor, manager, utilization review, nurse practitioners) get higher pay. supervisors and managers in acute hospitals are often required to have a bsn.
  7. 0
    Quote from daytonite
    1- you misunderstood me here...
    i didn't misunderstand what you wrote at all. i read it very carefully.


    what i was asking is whether it's common that hospitals hire someone as a full-time employee (ie, w/benefits) if they work only 3 nightshifts per week. rather than having to work per diem and picking up shifts here and there. i'm looking for a stable schedule.
    do some job hunting and find out.
    2- i understand that rn and a bsn is not comparing apples2apples.


    i guess i should have said adn vs bsn. wondering if there's much of a pay difference between an rn w/adn vs w/bsn. if so, do you think having a ba will assist here?
    my opinion is none whatsoever. educational level of an rn (diploma, aa, bsn) doesn't have much affect on their salary if they are a staff nurse. certain job positions (supervisor, manager, utilization review, nurse practitioners) get higher pay. supervisors and managers in acute hospitals are often required to have a bsn.
    thanks for your opinion on #3, but frankly, if you didn't have anything to add why respond? "do some job hunting and find out"????? isn't that what these boards are all about?
    and yes, you did misunderstand #1, because i never mentioned working 3 night shifts while in school full time... thanks again, anyway... no need to reply further.
  8. 2
    I'd like to take another stab at your questions.

    1. Yes, 36 hours/week is often (but not always) considered full-time employment, with full-time benefits. Find out what's typical in hospitals in your area.

    2. This depends on what your short- and long-term goals are. For entry-level staff nursing positions, prior education and work-experience outside of healthcare is often not considered - a new graduate nurse is a new graduate nurse. But it certainly adds to the picture of you as an employee and should be discussed to some extent during interviews. If you think you'll want to teach at some point, definitely go for the BSN. It is possible to advance in nursing administration/management with bachelor's degrees in other fields.

    3. Some of your prior BA credits will most likely count towards your BSN but this will vary from school to school. Also check into second degree programs.

    4. You can apply for student loans regardless of where you go to school -- federally-guaranteed loans such as Stafford are available for all post-secondary education.

    5. Can't help you much there, as I'm on the other side of the country.

    One other thought: have you worked nights before? If not ... and your prior work experience was all of the mostly M - F daytime variety ... don't plan your & your family's entire future around the idea of you working nights until you & your family have a chance to try it out. But you have a lot of time for that yet, and "reality" changes every few years as kids progress through different ages & stages.

    Good luck to you!
    cabolissa and Elvish like this.
  9. 1
    Working 3 12-hour shifts a week is considered full-time hear with all the benefits of a full-time worker.

    You're BA will not neceessary matter as a new grad entry level bedside nurse. It depends on what you want to do with your career later on, and what the job market is like when you're looking for a job away from the bedside years on down the line. Many of us work and get the BSN part time after getting the ADN first.

    You can get loans for living expenses while persuing an ADN degree, not just a BSN.
    cabolissa likes this.
  10. 1
    I won't get into the RN or BSN debate, it's been going on for years. I will say that working nights and going to nursing school can and will be difficult. If nursing is what you want to do, I suggest that you contact the school of you choice and speak to someone in the School of Nursing. I went back to school at 36, part time, and 2 years later I graduated with a 2 year degree in nursing. It doesn't matter if you graduate from a 2 yr program, a diploma program or with a 4 year degree in nursing. We all took the same boards. Paying for school and supporting yourself and your family is a whole different boat. Johnson & Johnson has a website at discovernursing.com that offers grants and scholarships. Also check into Fastweb.com for scholarships. Very ofter local hospital will offer fellowships and/or reimbusment for their employees. Research your opinions. Working, school and children can often be difficult to manage. My kids were 10 and 5 when I went back and nursing has given me the opportunity to help them with their dreams. Anyway, I hope this helps. Good Luck and stay stong
    cabolissa likes this.
  11. 2
    Agree with several of the above posters:

    1. Most hospitals consider 36 hours or 3 12's per week to be full-time with the associated full-time benefits. Working nights is not easy especially at first. I did nights for 15 years in various jobs in various states. I did it so that I could be home with my kids in the evening.

    2. Having done the piecemeal thing of LPN to ADN to BSN - I would advocate that if you have the time, money and availability that you go straight for the BSN. It will give you more options down the road. Another option for you since you already have a 4 year degree might be an accelerated BSN - you might look into that. (I think if you do a search here, you might find some info on this subject).

    3. Again, if possible, I would just go for the BSN in order to save you time, effort and $$ later.

    4. It is possible to work and go to school - many of us have done it. Much depends on your individual situation: how old are your children, do you have a supportive spouse, how much $$$ do you have to contribute to the household. I did work fulltime and go to school fulltime but mainly because I had no choice. Don't listen to the naysayers who say it can't be done. Everyone's situation is different and so is every family.

    5. Can't help you with this one personally. However, if you go to the pull-down menu for Career, you will find some listings for schools and that might get you a good start.

    Good luck...we need more nurses and we need to welcome them! (I'm getting older too and will eventually need some nursing care too - lol). Take care...
    Altra and cabolissa like this.


Top