ABSN or AS-RN....confused, help

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Hi everyone,

I am so confused on which path to take to become a nurse, so i figured you all can help sort out my head :) so here is my situation. I already have a BS in Public Health, and am looking to become a Nurse now. There are two options for me to do that. one of which is to do an associates degree at a local community college that would allow me to become an RN and the other is to go for the accelerated BSN program, which will also allow me to be an RN. the amount of time for each would be 2 years for me. the associates is two years and i have most of the prerequests done from my previous degree( its been 4 yrs since i graudate so i need to go back to schoo like real soon!) and the BSN program is 1 year but since they usually require more prereqs i have a couple to complete and it would take me about a year to do those, so basically the amount of time it would take me to finish both is somewhat the same. it would definately cost less to do the associates though but i am wondering, is the extra money spent to get BSN worth it give the situation? the nurses i know of that started out doing their associates end up going to get their BSN and i would like to be done with school after this so whats the best route for me to take? thanks for your advices in advance! :)


254 Posts

I guess that depends on what you want to do in the long run. If you want to become a nurse manager, or you want to go on to get your NP, you should go with the BSN. From what I am told, by my instructors, there isn't really much of a pay difference between BSN/ASN nurses. If I were you, and the BSN didn't cost too much more, I would just go for it--especially if it takes the same amount of time.

Good luck.


1 Article; 501 Posts

Specializes in PCU, LTAC, Corrections.

It depends on what your goals are and even where you live. In the NYC-area there area a few hospitals (they tend to be the magnet ones) that don't hire GN's unless they are BSN-RN's.

To be honest there is no pay difference between a new BSN and a new ADN/ASN nurse. The difference is when it comes to opportunities. BSN-prepared nurses are more likely to be given a supervisory role over a ASN prepared nurse. Just look up some jobs for nurse managers and see what they require and you might see what I am talking about.

If you know that you want to become a NP/CNS/CNL you should go ahead and just do the ABSN. ;)

I have not finished with my first degree yet however I could have easily received entrance at a 2-yr nursing program close to my home. However, I know that I want to become a Neonatal NP or a Pediatric NP who specializes in Oncology. The requirements to even get in the graduate programs for these areas usually requires 1-2yr. experience. I don't want to have to worry about completing my BSN while gaining experience. I am going to a CUNY to finish up prereqs and hopefully I will be accepted into LIU-Brooklyn for the Fall 2010 semester in the spring.

However, do what works best for you. I am taking this option because I am not married nor do I have children..so I am pretty free to do this option and since I don't have a degree yet I qualify for Pell, SEOG, and all those other federal goodies.

Research what option is best for you physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially.


4 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I am in an accelerated BSN program right now. It was definitely the right path for me, but there are drawbacks. There is one thing that you didn't mention in your post that you might want to make sure you consider. Even though the associate's and the accelerated BSN will take you the same amount of time to complete (as in number of months), they won't take the same amount of your time DURING those months. An accelerated program is just that, accelerated. You will be extremely busy. It is most certainly doable, but you need to make sure you have the time in your life to commit to it.

Comparing my daily schedule with that of a friend who is in an associate's program right now... her schedule is MUCH lighter. Accelerated programs are packed. During some semesters, I was in classes or labs or such 8 am to 5 pm or longer 3 days a week and then in clinicals for 8 hr shifts on the off days. There was also a semester in which I was in class 8 am - 2 pm and then at the hospital that same day 3 pm to 11 pm. It is just the nature of fitting that many courses and clinicals in such a small amount of time. It is hard to hold a job. Our school strongly discourages working, but of course, many people have to. They tend to work a shift or two a week on the weekends or occasional overnights.

You just have to be sure you are okay with having a VERY busy schedule for that year or two. Like I said, for me, it was the right path. I knew I wanted a BSN and I didn't want to have to go back to school in a few years.

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