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!