ADN then RN-BSN or BSN?


  • Specializes in GI & Urological Surgery. Has 4 years experience.

Another one of these threads.Many of the threads I found though were from 2005-2012, and would like to get a more UTD perspective.

I did one year at a traditional 4 year university, and didn't adjust well. For various personal reasons, I made a not-so-good choice to go to Full Sail University (I didn't know regional accreditation was important, etc. - parents were paying for my education so by the time I realized it they wouldn't let me transfer again). Anyway, so I graduated in 2012 in Graphic Design, and have been working in that ever since. I truly do not want a desk job. I love people, I love working directly with people, listening to them, and advocating for them. I never considered nursing until about a year ago because 1. I didn't think I was smart enough, and 2. My friend was a CNA and hated it so she discouraged me. Then she was put in the hospital from anaphylaxis, and the nurse was amazing. She taught her how to use the epi-pen, answered all of her questions, was so incredibly nice, and made my image of hospitals so much better (some people kept telling me how awful they are for a long time). I started considering it then, but only recently decided to go for it. I've studied nutrition on my own the last couple years, love teaching people, and know quite a bit of ASL, and feel it could also be helpful for d/Deaf/HoH patients.

Anyway, I live in NC (Raleigh area), and am deciding whether to do my ADN at Wake Tech CC then an RN-BSN bridge, or to do prereqs and try to get into UNC's BSN program. The latter is much more expensive, but faster and easier. The former I feel would give me basically the same results however.

I will be doing my CNA certification Nov-Feb. I'm reaching out to volunteer at a nursing home as well.

Any advice on how to proceed would be appreciated. Thanks!

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

My advice is always to get the BSN as fast and as directly as possible. This is largely because life happens, so you might intend to gt the BSN later but if you can't, then ... It is also because in most job markets, the BSN new grad will always get the job before the ADN new grad.

The thought of an earlier paycheck is seductive, I know, especially when paired with the assumption that you can work on the BSN while getting the paycheck. That depends on 2 big ifs: IF you can get a job and IF you know how much work your first new grad year will be.

Also, now that BSNs are more prolific, employers have more experience with the different ways they are obtained and are beginning to look beyond the letters alone. Online BSNs are getting extra scrutiny, and grads from reputable on-campus programs are coming to the front of the line. ADN + online BSN = circular file more and more than in the past. Food for thought.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

If none of your previous credits are transferable (because the school was not regionally accredited), you're basically going to have to start from scratch with all your nursing pre-requisites. Get information from the programs in which you're interested - they will list all the courses you need to take. Start with Community College for the requirements for the ADN program and see how it goes. You're going to have to get really good grades in everything in order to successfully compete with everyone else who is applying. If everything is going well with your pre-reqs, then you may want to opt for a BSN program instead. If so, you probably will just need to take a few more courses.

If you have a great deal of trouble with the pre-requisites, you may discover that nursing is not a realistic goal. However, there are a lot of other healthcare jobs out there & not all of them will require a lot of science and math. HERE is a huge list of potential careers along with information about their requirements.

Best of luck to you.

Majoraty, RN

9 Posts

Specializes in GI & Urological Surgery. Has 4 years experience.

Thank you both for the feedback. I have always excelled well in school, and am currently learning anatomy on my own since it is new for me, and I find it completely fascinating. It was more of a confidence issue vs. actual results. I did well in school, I meant by not adjusting well to the 4 year uni, I didn't adjust well emotionally.

I truly believe I can do a nursing program. I see it's very different and more rigorous than what most people expect, and there's no way I can know until I try, but I'm preparing myself the best I can doing a ton of research.

I have a spreadsheet going of the BSN programs and their prereqs vs. the ADN prereqs at my CC. They differ so much, while some certainly align - so I don't know which classes to do to prepare for a BSN if I choose this route, because I don't know which program I'd get in (looking at ECU [i did my 1 traditional year here], UNC, UNCG, UNCW).

Grn, I do worry about in 2018 or 2019, whether an ADN/RN-BSN would be sufficient enough to get me in the running for good jobs (especially as a new grad). While I will do CNA during school & gain experience, I know my degree will be a factor in employment.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

CNA experience does not count as nursing experience when applying for work as a nurse. You'll be a new grad, period.