DO I NEED MY BSN?

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    Hi. I am new here and desperately hoping for some advice. I have a BS in Business as well as an MS in Communications - after 10 years of serving Corporate America and feeling nothing in return, I have decided I need to serve a greater good. I am going back to school to be an RN. It seems many hospitals are currently, or soon will be, changing their philosophy and will be hiring BSNs only.

    I am in the Nashville, TN area and likely will not graduate until late 2014 or early 2015. Should I not even consider Associate degree programs at this point and look at only Bachelor's programs?!?!

    The associate program is attractive due to cost, but I certainly do not want to waste the next 2-3 years of my life. Please share your thoughts and advice. Also, if you specifically work in a local hospital - please let me know if your hospital has definite plans to move to hiring BSNs only!
    Thank-you so much in advance!!!
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    Most hospitals are jumping on the BSN bandwagon, or will hire an employee with an ADN if they are enrolled in a BSN program or expect to get their BSN within a certain time (usually within 24 months). I'm not sure about the TN area, but I think most, if not all, hospitals will require a minimum of a BSN to be hired. I would personally just go for the BSN. Having a BSN also opens up doors to advancing your degree even further if you decide to teach, go into nursing administration or become a CNS or NP (which the latter two will require a doctorate degree by 2015, I believe).
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    Most hospitals are phasing out RNs and are only hiring BSN. And here is the kicker. Retirment homes, even schools will not hire a RN and will prefer LPNs because as an RN they will consider you overqualified. Nursing homes etc will only hire RNs as managment positions which aren't as easy to come by. So BSN is really the only way to go these days. It is one more year and worth the extra cost.
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    I am in the west TN area and even lowly associate degree RNs are snapped up pretty quickly (especially in LTC). I'm not sure about the hospitals though. It is true about RNs mainly working management in LTC, but job availability depends on where you go. I know that the local VA home has an RN supervisor for EVERY shift.

    I personally chose to start with my associate's degree (which I should be finishing in Feb 2012). There is nothing saying that you can't return to school and get your BSN if you need to do so. The Associates classes will count toward your BSN, so it's not like you have wasted your time (but as I stated, even ASN/ADs seem to find work quickly here). Of course if you are interested in management or teaching, BSN would probably be the way to go :-)

    Good luck!
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    What's the point of asn programs in Tennessee
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    Get the BSN. It'll cost more money and more time, but you'll make more money and have much more employment opportunities when you graduate. If you want to work in critical care, don't even consider anything else! There are some ADNs in the ICU I work in, but they've all been there for a long time. It's really hard to compete with BSNs for jobs as a new nurse.
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    Quote from Sloan RN
    Get the BSN. It'll cost more money and more time, but you'll make more money and have much more employment opportunities when you graduate. If you want to work in critical care, don't even consider anything else! There are some ADNs in the ICU I work in, but they've all been there for a long time. It's really hard to compete with BSNs for jobs as a new nurse.
    As a new grad you won't neccesarily make more money as a BSN- some hospitals pay more to BSNs but some don't, and it's rarely a large difference for equivalent work- one hospital I worked at offered 25 cents an hour more to BSNs than ADNs, my current magnet hospital offers no difference in pay and still hires ADNs.

    BSNs *may* be hired preferentially, and more management and other non-floor positions are certainly available to BSNs with experience, but as a new grad seeking a staff nurse position, the competition is stiff for everyone and factors like networking, a stellar preceptorship, good recommendations, and other methods of distinguishing yourself individually are just as if not more influential. A BSN alone doesn't land you the job- I've sat in on peer interviews of woefully underprepared BSNs. I was a new grad ADN not that long ago, and though the new grad market is oversaturated, ADNs absolutely are still being hired for hospital jobs in many areas. Experienced ADNs are much more marketable than new grads regardless of degree, and while that may not be the case forever, it will probably not change in the next 3 years so it's mostly a matter of determining what your new grad prospects are at the time you graduate, and what your timeline is for completing a BSN post-licensure.

    I recently interviewed for several hospital positions in Nashville, and although I am not a new grad anymore, I was interviewing for specialties outside my current one and I was still offered the job after each interview. The only one who brought up the issue of BSN in any of the interviews was me, asking about their facility's support of employees pursuing further education.

    I intend to complete at least my MSN in the next few years, so I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from pursuing a BSN, but I do think that the best approach varies widely. If time and money are no object, then a direct BSN is a great idea. But for many students, starting work years sooner, paying less for the initial degree, paying less for the BSN completion, and often receiving tuition assistance from an employer is a sensible plan that can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in savings and income. What makes the most sense for each individual varies with circumstance, resources, and timeline.
    tnmarie likes this.
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    Thanks to everyone who posted. I very much appreciate it. I have decided to only pursue my BSN and not consider the Associate's option. Thanks again!!
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    Vanderbilt Hospital,which is the largest employer in Nashville, has recently started requiring BSN for new hires for magnet status, from what I understand. You can find that info written in detail on their website. I am in Nashville and am pre-nursing. I was originally going for my ADN/ASN but am now going for BSN. After all the research and talking to tons of people already in the field, the BSN has the ability to offer more options for me in the future. Also, if you combine getting an ADN plus going back for a RN to BSN bridge program, in the future, the BSN is only 2 or 3 semesters longer but is more expensive of course.
    I think for some people, the ADN is cost effective and can be the most useful for those who need to get into the field more rapidly to support their family. Especially for those going back to school as a 2nd career. One could then go back to school for the bridge program(RN to BSN) during the evenings. This can even be paid for by your new employer. There are however certain requirements for the bridge. For example, one Nashville school requires applying with in one year of obtaining the ADN.
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