Should I get my ADN or BSN based on my life goals?

  1. 0
    Hi. Im in my senior year in highschool. I have decided that I want to get into nursing. I just dont know if I should go to the community college and get my associates(about 2yrs) or to go the the university and get my bachelors(about 4 yrs).
    My dad really wants me to get my bachelors but he has no research or info. to back up his view. My mom says I might as well get my associates and she was in nursing school but had to stop due to medical issues. My mom says that people get their BSN if they want to eventually manage something or get higher up in the nursing field(which is what ive researched). I will have been the first person on my dads side to go to a community college though(like i care).
    I dont want to get into the managing or later become an LPN. I just want a simple career so that when I marry my future husband of almost 3 yrs(im pre engaged) we can have children and I can just become a stay at home mom and maybe work part-time when they get a little older. My future husband is very very mature as am I. He will be getting into computer engineering($70,000/yr). So even if I didnt have a job we'd be financially stable. If it doesnt work out and we dont end up staying together(God forbid) then id still have my nursing career to look forward to and then maybe id get my BSN. But those chances r low. we rnt ur typical teens/young adults.
    So what im saying is that is it worth it to go to school for another 4 yrs (im an artist i hate school) to get my BSN (when once I have kids like a year after I graduate or right after) ill be taking a long break from nursing to stay home and be a traditional housewife.

    Is it harder to get a job with an associates degree?my mom says the demand for nurses is so high that it isnt.
    Won't I get paid nearly the same as one with a BSN? my reaseach and mom says yes.
    Cant I just go and get my BSN after my ADN if I cant find a job(those chances r low)? yes i believe so.

    What do you all think???? Sorry it was so long. I really need your advice! HELP HELP HELP!

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  3. 30 Comments...

  4. 0
    Employers are starting want to hire more and more BSN's. I would go straight for the BSN. I am working on mine now and WISH that I had gone into a 4 year program from the start.
  5. 5
    Nursing needs to increase its education value if it wants to progress along with the rest of medicine. I am a very proud ADN but as I progress through my bridge to MSN I am really seeing the value education brings not only to nursing but to my patients as well. BSN does not mean you have to be a manager, and to be honest I wish they would leave the BSN's at the bedside so they can use the additional education to benefit the patients.

    BSN education is not perfect by any means at this point in time either but I do feel now that if you have the means to do so, go for as much education as you can get your hands on.

    For me the ADN->BSN->MSN track in stages worked best for me.

    I am reading an interesting book on the reformation of nursing education by Patricia Benner et al., called Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. What I like about this book so far is that it doesn't discredit any level of nursing currently in practice and seems to be heading towards the idea of combining a lot of the curricular elements of ADN/diploma/BSN into a new form of nursing education.

    You might want to check it out if you have time. It is a very straightforward and non-jargon laden book.

    Best of luck!

    wecan11, futureRNMena, kiwinarz, and 2 others like this.
  6. 7
    First I have to point out:"nursing is a simple career" Please please don't ever get that idea, that is the furthest from the truth. I am still a nursing student so I still don't know half of what RNs go through on a daily basis in their jobs, but I do know "simple" will cause an uproar. Just my opinion...anyways...

    I am currently in my final year of an ADN program, which will have taken me 6 years to complete. I want to make sure you understand that an ADN is NOT a 2 year deal. You have to take many prerequisites before you can even apply to an nursing program. In my case, my school takes 2-3 years for just the prereqs alone. I took 3 years because on top of the prereqs, I took transfer classes because I know eventually I am going to need my BSN. Then if you get into the nursing program right away, that takes another 2-3 years, depending on the school you are at. My program is a 3 year are eligible to sit fr your NCLEX-PN boards after two, and the NCLEX-RN after the last year. So that is 6 years MINIMUM, that does not include being wait listed or denied from the program.

    Although I LOVE my schooling, and have had the greatest experience, I sometimes wish I would have gone the BSN route. The reason I went to my local community college is because my parents could not afford to send me to a university, but they make just above the cut-off amount for financial aid. You want my honest opinion? Research universities around you that have a BSN program, and find out all prereqs they require. DO THEM ALL at your local community college. This way, you save a ton of money on basic classes such as english, math, sciences (lots of sciences). Then when you have all your ducks in a row, you can apply as a transfer BSN student.

    You say you dont want to go into management. Think of it this way: You get your ADN, you work for a few years, then BAM! You hurt your back. You can no longer work bedside care. Yes, there are many ADN positions that you dont need to do hands-on care for patients, but if you have that BSN, your doors are open more than if you just have an ADN.

    I know not all hospitals are going this way, but a lot are starting to require at least a BSN. WHen I graduate in May with my ADN, there are many hospitals around my area (bay area in CA) that I can't apply to their new grad program because I won't have my BSN. Ex: Stanford, Lucille Packard, which I have dreamed of working at. I have applied to the RN-BSN program at a state universiy by me for Fall 2012, and if I go full time, it will take another year and a half. That is 7 1/2 years to get a BSN! And that is me working my butt off with over full-time units in school every semester for 15 semesters.

    Do you understand where I am going with this? Nursing school is hard, VERY VERY hard. You will have no time for family, friends, let alone your future bf/hubby. It takes pure dedication and commitment. If you're saying you don't like school, you might want to reconsider not going to nursing school, because it is school full speed ahead. Although your Mom sounds like she is trying to help you, there are NO JOBS right now for new grads. Maybe by the time you are finished, the economy will turn around, but people need to get off the idea that hospitals are screaming for nurses and pounding down new grad doors because that is NOT reality.

    Please don't let this deter you from your dreams. If nursing is truly your passion, I wish nothing but the best for you!
    britney:), kiwinarz, jmeadows1, and 4 others like this.
  7. 0
    I would go for your BSN I am starting my BSN program in January. It will take you four years total if you go full time. Once you start in a school it is usually required that you go full time to stay with the class you started with. It may vary but that is the way it is in Kansas. It has been a hard road getting my associates and yes, I did have time for my husband, children, etc. Its all about how you spend your time and focus on studying first then you will do fine. Go as far as you can go with your education while you are still young and have no kids.
  8. 1
    In my opinion, I would say go for you ADN first, then get your Bachelor's degree. I only say this because nursing school for 2 years is stressful enough, by the time your halfway mark comes up in a 4 year program, your gonna wish you would've bridged instead. At least that way, you get the the two years of hell over, and then you can always get your BSN online. Thats what I am doing, and I am glad I did.
    DarkBluePhoenix likes this.
  9. 4
    You can save TONS of money if you get your ADN first and then bridge into a BSN program (ADN tuition is often $85/credit whereas BSN will run upwards of $300/credit). But do your homework ahead of time. Talk to lots of people currently working in the types of places (eg, hospitals, other facilities) in your area and find out if they in fact hire new graduate ADNs (some may hire ADN's, but not new grad ADNs). Different regions/cities vary a lot in terms of how ADNs are viewed. I live in a large metro area. In our city, there are a couple hospitals that have changed to "BSN only," but the funny thing is they are not the magnet status hospitals, nor are they the hospitals that are winning awards for quality of patient care, research or anything else really. They are simply looking for an easy way to "distinguish" themselves and they are taking advantage of the fact that we are currently in a job market that favors employers. A hiring manager at one of our hospitals that actually is an international leader in many specialities told me that the BSN-only mindset is extremely short-sited. This hospital hires ADN new-grads, but they do expect these new-hires to complete a bridge program within a specified time.

    I'm about to graduate from an ADN program. Lots of us in my class are currently interviewing/accepting job offers. What I am observing is that plenty of us are getting hired at hospitals, but the only people who are even getting interviews or getting hired have healthcare experience (ie, work as a CNA/patient care tech). Those who are getting job offers are usually getting hired at the same facility where they currently work as a tech. Those who don't have this experience are not even getting called for interviews despite applying for dozens of jobs. I think the biggest advice nursing schools should be giving incoming freshman (whether ADN or BSN) is get a prn (which means "as needed" - it's a type of part-time status) tech job - preferably at a facility you would like to work at after graduation. I would go as far as to say don't allow yourself to finish school without getting this experience. If necessary, take time off of school to first nail down a tech job, then pick up school again and finish. Take the CNA class and get certified (that will make you eligible for tech jobs & also help you get into nursing school). Network like crazy to get into a tech position. Call hospitals, talk to nurse managers, ask if you could come and shadow a nurse (that will also help you really decide if nursing is for you). If you have any friends who know nurse managers, see if they can connect you. Then when you have some of those connections, ask the nurse managers if they would consider hiring you as a tech. Nurse managers love to hire new-grad RNs whom they have already observed for months as a patient tech. It is the best way to determine your work ethic, attitude, teamwork, the way you treat patients, etc. When you have a tech job, view every day as if it were a job interview for a future RN position. Work your tail off, help the nurses beyond the minimum expectations, attend all the unit meetings and participate, complete all of your mandatory trainings before the deadlines without needing to be reminded. If you do all of those things, you will be noticed - and hopefully hired!
  10. 3
    If you hate school, I would be hesitant to recommend going into nursing at all. The coursework and clinicals are VERY demanding. You will most likely have effectively NO social life outside of school for the duration of your training. Training for nursing can be very difficult on relationships unless your S.O. is very supportive. Also while nursing can be flexible in what shift you work, depending on your setting there will be requirements to work weekends and holidays. So outside of agency work there may be concessions your family will have to make.

    Don't get me wrong nursing is very rewarding and I wouldn't do anything else; but it isn't exactly a 9 to5 weekdays only while the kids are in school job either.
    Last edit by FLArn on Nov 8, '11 : Reason: misspelling
    ProfRN4, NJMike, and Fixit like this.
  11. 4
    Honestly, it doesn't sound like nursing is a very good choice for your career goals. Nursing school is a big commitment and new grad nurses don't usually get the ideal shifts after graduating. There's a good chance you'll have to work nights for the first year or two after graduating. You'll have to work weekends and holidays if you

    If you're looking for a career that will work best with a family, consider getting a degree in education and becoming a teacher. You can easily take time off after graduating. When your kids are old enough to be in school, you can work while they are in school, you get weekends, holidays, summers, school vacations and snow days off so you are always home when the kids are home.

    If you're looking for a two year program, you can become certified as a teacher's aid or a special education technician. Honestly, teaching is a much better option for raising a family. Sometimes, when I think about how my kids are going to have to be in daycare and the holidays I will miss with them, I wonder if I made the right choice going into nursing. Just food for thought.

    There is not a high demand for nurses right now. In fact, the nursing market is very competitive. Some nursing graduates can't find work for over a year. You'll definately have a better chance of getting a job is you get your bachelors. Especially if you take several years off after graduating, you might find it next to impossible to get a job when you try to go back, whether you have a BSN or not.

    Also, an LPN is a different career choice. It's not a higher level of education that you get after your BSN. You can just get your ADN and then get a BSN, but that route will be more expensive and take longer.
    obprof, NJMike, Fixit, and 1 other like this.
  12. 1
    I have an ADN. I work in a rural hospital and my degree doesn't make a difference in the pay scale here. I worked nights for 6 years, but now I'm working in clinical IT for the better hours. I have looked into doing a bridge for my BSN and then possibly my MSN, but I can't justify the cost to do so. I was 'pre-engaged' when I graduated high school too, which probably drove me towards the ADN more, since I wanted to finish school before getting married.

    If you want to make sure you have a job when you get out of school, I would NOT go into teaching. My sister had a TERRIBLE time finding a job after getting out of school as a teacher as did many of her classmates.
    mmc51264 likes this.

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