I want to go into nursing, but I'm overwhelmed by the options for schools and degrees! Right now, I'm attending the University of Florida and obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Family, Youth & Community Science. I'll be finished with that in under a year, and I want to go to nursing school after I finish that degree. I am not taking any classes like Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, or any of the pre-reqs for a second degree accelerated BSN program, and I'm not going to take them at UF, so that isn't an option.
I want to end up with a BSN and start as a regular bedside nurse in a hospital setting and explore different specialties and other career options at that point to decide what I want to do from there. So basically, my current goal is BSN and bedside nurse.
What I am trying to decide is whether to get an Associate's degree first and then the BSN, or just skip the ADN and get the BSN right away. I will obviously have a lot of gen-ed credits that will transfer over, so it shouldn't take as long to do either degree as it would if I were first starting out. I'm kind of partial to the idea of the ADN then BSN idea because I don't want to feel stuck for 3-4 years in the same place/college (that's how I feel with UF, and I really don't like it), but if obtaining the BSN right away is better, then I would certainly rather do that.
A second dilemma I am facing is the comparison and selection of schools. I don't think I'm going to want to work in administration or management or teach because I would much rather have hands-on experiences with patients, so I am wondering how much the name of the school really matters. If I attend a school with high NCLEX pass rate, then that should be enough, correct? I don't want to spend thousand of extra dollars if it is unnecessary, and I am worried about what schools I would actually get into (I am probably being overly paranoid about that because I did very well in high school, and all of my college GPAs are 3.0+, but I do have a failing grade in chemistry because of other circumstances unfortunately).
I'm sorry this is so scattered with so many different questions, but I just feel so confused about this. :P
Jun 2, '12
Look on some of your local hospital websites to see if any of them offer a scholarship program. I was fortunate enough to find such a program here in AZ. Banner Health paid for my RN degree. It was an ADN program but there is no difference in pay/starting salary for ADN vs BSN here. I do have a 3 year contract with them, but with the market the way it is here, I'm happy to have the job. I am now able to work full time while I complete a RN to BSN program, with tuition reimbursement. Not only that but I am getting the floor experience while I get my BSN.
Small community colleges offer great programs at a fraction of the cost of larger universities, keep that in mind when looking around. I think many hospitals do prefer the BSN when hiring because of Magnet status and accreditation but there are still jobs out there to be had for those with the ADN.
There are unfortunately 25 different ways to get to your end goal, just find one that fits your lifestyle and don't give up till you reach it.
Jun 8, '12
Why are you moving ahead on a degree that you don't plan on using if a BSN is your real goal? Why not just go for the BSN? Keep in mind that some funding sources will be cut off if your BSN is a 'second degree.
Jun 8, '12
I only have 6 more classes to take for this degree, and I'm currently getting paid to go to school, so why wouldn't I finish this degree? It's a very broad degree, and I definitely want to finish it. Plus, I would feel awful for wasting the past two years of classes if I didn't finish this degree. I know that my BSN options will be limited because of my first degree, but it doesn't matter, I'll make it there regardless of what I need to do.
Also, I decided to get my BSN directly, rather than my ADN first.
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