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ADN or BSN?

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by momofboys2 momofboys2 (New) New

Hi! I'm trying to decide between going for my ADN or BSN. I'm currently a stay-at-home mom to two little boys. I have a BA in History (graduated with a 3.9 GPA) but I'm interested in a career in nursing. I've been to nursing school before (LPN) many years ago but was unable to finish due to illness.

My options for schools include two ADN programs less than 30 minutes away and two accelerated BSN programs 1.5 hours away. The BSN programs are more expensive but I've heard that employers prefer BSN grads. The ADN programs are four semesters long, one BSN program is one year long (but VERY expensive), and the other is 4-6 semesters depending if I do the evening or traditional program (none of these lengths include pre-reqs). I'm having a hard time deciding which would be a better fit. Should I just go the cheaper and more convenient route (travel wise) or go for an accelerated BSN?

Thanks.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Two questions you NEED to answer before you decide are:

1. What types of jobs/career will you want when you graduate? What types of settings? What type of patient population? etc.

2. What is the job market for new ADN grads in your area?

In some regions (such as mine), the job prospects for new ADN grads is very limited. Anyone wanting to work in one of the top acute care hospitals or in a specialty unit of any kind (ICU, peds, OB, etc.) had better have a BSN if they want that type of job. But in other areas of the country, that is not the case and new ADN grads are still being hired by reputable acute care hospitals. What is the exact situation in your area? ... and what types of job will you be wanting? That's what matters most and that's what should be guiding your decision.

If you lived in my region, I would recommend the accelerated BSN for most people in your situation. But that might not be necessary in your case if you will be happy with the options for new ADN grads in your town.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

If the job market in your area is slim for ADN grads, is it really cheaper than a BSN if you can't find a job? How much would it cost for a ADN-BSN program? Add the cost of the ADN program plus the ADN-BSN program and see if it is cheaper than going straight for your BSN. I have seen job postings that require a BSN and can't be from an RN-BSN program.

Two questions you NEED to answer before you decide are:

1. What types of jobs/career will you want when you graduate? What types of settings? What type of patient population? etc.

2. What is the job market for new ADN grads in your area?

In some regions (such as mine), the job prospects for new ADN grads is very limited. Anyone wanting to work in one of the top acute care hospitals or in a specialty unit of any kind (ICU, peds, OB, etc.) had better have a BSN if they want that type of job. But in other areas of the country, that is not the case and new ADN grads are still being hired by reputable acute care hospitals. What is the exact situation in your area? ... and what types of job will you be wanting? That's what matters most and that's what should be guiding your decision.

If you lived in my region, I would recommend the accelerated BSN for most people in your situation. But that might not be necessary in your case if you will be happy with the options for new ADN grads in your town.

1. I'm interested in working in Geriatrics. When I first attended nursing school, I did a clinical in a nursing home and I very much enjoyed it. I also did a clinical in a rehab hospital, but didn't like it as much. Oncology seems interesting too.

2. Right now the local hospital is hiring a lot of ADNs since expanding but I don't know what the opportunities there will be like once I graduate. I'm willing to relocate though.

I guess my main concern is when applying for jobs, will it be difficult as an ADN. I worry employers will prefer those with a BSN and that it will limit my options with an associate degree. Just out of curiosity, is there generally a difference in pay for an ADN vs. BSN?

If the job market in your area is slim for ADN grads, is it really cheaper than a BSN if you can't find a job? How much would it cost for a ADN-BSN program? Add the cost of the ADN program plus the ADN-BSN program and see if it is cheaper than going straight for your BSN. I have seen job postings that require a BSN and can't be from an RN-BSN program.

Provided I don't choose the private college offering the accelerated BSN, it's the same price for me to get my ADN then do an ADN to BSN as it would be to just get my BSN. The only problem is that both the accelerated programs are 1.5 hours away which would end up costing a lot in gas to fill up my SUV. Having said that, going the ADN route then later BSN might be the better option for me.

ladyvp05

Specializes in Operating Room.

It really depends on were you live and your situation. Also check your school to see if they limit financial for people with previous bachelor degrees. I believe the max credits I can get financial aid for is 45 and I already used 12 on pre requisites. So that limited my choice. Bsn is about 66 core hours and adn is about 33 core hours so I chose adn. We don't have many nursing programs where I live. We have 1 bsn school, 1 diploma school, and one adn school. so they still hire adn. I plan to bridge right after. I think adn is a good choice. It's not like you will have to completely start over and go 4 years to get a bsn. There are so many online bridge programs you can do that usually only take a year.

Student Mom to Three

Has 2 years experience.

I went ADN as an older second career student. Perfect choice for me!! I have had great outpt jobs and just recently got hired into a hospital in the PacNW. The hospital will fund my BSN or MSN. Perfect situation!

Sounds like ADN might be your best route......only you can decide. Good luck!

applesxoranges, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER.

Look into what types of partners the ADN school offers for getting your BSN. My school had about 8 partnerships with some of them being online and some on campus. I would also look to see if the ADN school is NLNAC accredited. I think the NLNAC renamed itself ACEN. If it is not NLNAC accredited, then your options for continuing on for a RN to BSN or RN to MSN (which bypasses the BSN) is limited. A lot of online RN to BSN schools require you to have graduated from a NLNAC accredited school unless it's a partner school.

My school was NLNAC accredited but the first few months it was not. They managed to get it accredited again and all graduations after this certain date were accredited. I looked at the partnerships and found it was a partner school for OU's RN to BSN online program in the beginning so I was able to take a few fluff classes with my nursing classes like dance history because I didn't have a fine art credit and it would transfer. Because I did plan out my degree, I graduated in Dec. 2013 and started OU's RN to BSN program March 23ish. I will graduate in Dec. 2014 if I keep up with my current schedule. I worked full time in an ICU and now I work in an ER full time.

There are many options for RN to BSN programs and many of them are respected. In my area, Ohio University is all the rage. Seriously. I work out of state now and everyone knows about Ohio University. Many hospitals have partnered with them to get reduced tuition for their nurses. OU has really sold their program to everyone and it's known plus a benefit so far is that they don't make you jump through hoops to get into the program. It's very straight forward whereas another online program took forever to "admit" me and then wanted me to start classes before they would even give me a degree plan or tell me if I was in the school of nursing. Ohio University was so easy after I sent a complete application file.

I would meet with a financial aid counselor of each school and talk to them about your situation. Bring a complete transcript. There's new rules regarding SAP or satisfactory academic progress. Some schools waive it and some schools stick with it.

Miss.LeoRN

Specializes in Cardiac Stepdown, PCU.

I just wanted to throw in that you need to consider your availability to the program as well. The BSN's are 90 minutes away, and an accelerated program means all the information that a nursing program already overwhelms us with in LESS time to study. You said you have two small boys. Do you have the support system you will need to be able to give an accelerated program the time it is going to require, and for all the driving you will have to do for classes and clinicals, because it's unlikely your clinicals will be local to you but rather local to the campus. And don't forget to factor in the cost of gas.

Im married with 3 kids and decided to go the ADN route cause I needed to start working ASAP and so that the hospital I worked at could foot some of the bill for my BSN. Im happy with that choice.