Transitioning from Military - Corpsman to ASN to BSN - Route to take

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    Hello all,

    I am leaving the military (Navy - after twenty years) and sadly, there is no equivalent to the Navy Hospital Corpsman in the civilian world. Time to get a degree I guess...lol. Any others been in a similar situation?

    My past grade school transcripts are nothing to be proud of but I would like to complete a BSN ultimately from a good Nursing school. Thoughts directing towards Clemson University. I'm sure that I can't get directly into their program solely on years of medical experience in combat and my good looks, so considering doing the ASN through the local community college to attain the needed GPA to continue along to BSN.

    I guess my question is, am I wasting my time by getting the ASN and then the BSN?

    Any people with similar experiences would be much appreciated. Better ways to go about this?

    Thanks
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  4. 0
    As a corpsman with plenty of hospital experience you can go ahead and challenge the LPN/LVN boards. At least here in CA, which state are you? Then you can work as an LPN and maybe do the LPN-RN bridge education. Thank you for your service, my husband is a corpsman too, going currently to IDC school. Good luck to you!
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    If Clemson is your first-choice school, I would talk to them directly before making any other plans. People do get into BSN programs with no prior healthcare experience or college work, and many school have some kind of preferential program for military vets, so it couldn't hurt to start with them and see what they have to say.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  6. 0
    Quote from doc8406
    Hello all, . . .
    I guess my question is, am I wasting my time by getting the ASN and then the BSN?
    Thanks
    Short answer, no, you're not wasting time getting the ADN and then progressing to the BSN. At least in my opinion.

    You can get your ADN, then take the boards and become an RN and at that point, work on the BSN while working as a nurse. This will likely be your most inexpensive route: Tuition at your local CC for the ADN should be very reasonable and you could then go the on-line RN-BSN route (there are any number of schools that have sub $10k RN-BSN programs). If you really have your heart set on Clemson, you may still be able to do the BSN program as a CC transfer - would probably be worth checking with Clemson to see if they have articulation agreements in place with any CC's in the area.

    It's becoming increasingly difficult for ADN/RN's to find jobs (that may not be the case where you are) but ideally, you'll be able to land something after getting your RN and this new employer will provide tuition assistance for your to get the BSN. Bottom line in my opinion is that no matter what, you should plan on getting the BSN.

    By the way, this is the route that I took (ADN to RN to on-line RN-BSN) and when all is said and done - which will be this Dec - I will have gotten my BSN for under $13k (full disclosure - I already had a bachelor's and most of the science and math pre-reqs, so YMMV). Like you, I'm prior service, although in my case it's Army and was 11C not 68W. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the number of male RN's who are vets.

    Best of luck to you.
    Last edit by chuckster on Jun 13, '12
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    Hey Doc, thank you for your service.

    There are schools that will give you more credit for what you've done and studied in the Navy. Some folks have found the distance learning route with Excelsior to work for them. Others have gotten a leg up with Touro (which has a lot of active duty students, or did in my time there). So look around for who will give you maximum credit as you come out of the Navy. You may be closer to a BSc or BSN than you think.

    The community college route makes good sense for a lot of people. Not too long, close to home, and you can do an RN-to-BSN transition program on line after that while already working.

    Take a look over on FlightWeb and see if there is some relevant discussion there.
  8. 0
    Quote from DocsWifey
    As a corpsman with plenty of hospital experience you can go ahead and challenge the LPN/LVN boards. At least here in CA, which state are you? Then you can work as an LPN and maybe do the LPN-RN bridge education. Thank you for your service, my husband is a corpsman too, going currently to IDC school. Good luck to you!
    Used to be only army medics could challenge in Calif but then other states such as Arizona would not recognize LVN license if you did not graduate from LPN program, but that was 20+ years ago.
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    I agree with chuckster. Don't waste your time and money challenging the LPN/LVN boards. If you go LPN-RN bridge, it will only take out a semester. Check with the school of your choice and see their career path/ RN program. I just graduated few months ago with the ADN (16 months). It is very easy to get accepted for the BSN once you get your license. Only bad thing is there are no jobs because of the recession. I have spoken with recruiters and they do not like corpsman/medic experience compared to RN experience because "we weren't RNs when we were in the the military". I suggest go for ADN and then BSN. While you are in school, start networking with your professors, your clinical charge nurses, nurse managers in the unit you are assigned. They might offer you a job some day once you get your license. Good luck.


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