ADN vs. BSN in Boston


Hi there - I have gotten into an associate's program and a direct entry BSN/MS program (I already have a non-nursing bachelor's and am 28 years old). I know in the long run the BSN/MS would be better but that program is WAY more expensive than the ADN. I am wondering how the job market is in the Boston area for ADN vs. BSN graduates, and if anyone has any words of wisdom about the liklihood of obtaining a hospital job with an ADN? Both programs are highly regarded but I am worried about making the wrong decision and either having trouble finding a job (if I go for the ADN) or having trouble paying off massive loans (if I go for the BSN/MS). Advice please?!?


462 Posts

I was in your same spot a few years ago. I opted for the ADN program. Some accelerated programs were 40-60k and I just couldn't justify that when I could be an RN for less than 10k at a local community college. Everyone I know got a job, you just have to be willing to be flexible, which is the same if you get your BSN as well. I found work in pedi home care which can be challenging with the right patient.

Also, during school I would get a CNA job at a community hospital. That would help you significantly.

And, enroll in an RN to BSN program ASAP after graduating. UMASS Boston offers one but they recently decided to stop offering a summer semester for nursing courses and they just added an 80-credit clinical for one of the semesters. On top of that it was going to be very expensive and take roughly 2.5 years when all I needed was the few nursing courses. No thanks. I found the University of Texas online program which is nationally and regionally accredited and am applying there. They have several start dates throughout the year and you can finish is as little as 8 months to 13 months. It's also less than $10k so that's the path I am taking.

I don't regret it. You still may have a difficult time finding a job even with a BSN so I wouldn't add more debt on top of that this necessary.

Good luck!

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

The likelihood of finding a HOSPITAL job as a new grad with an ADN in Boston proper is pretty much zero. You may be able to find jobs in other places if you're willing to be flexible but you need to know what you want.

Specializes in OMFS, Dentistry. Has 5 years experience.

I was thinking the same thing. In doing a lot of research, I have to come to find that it really depends on your preference. You obviously want to go the BSN route. If money is a factor (which it is for me) I think getting your ASN and then enrolling in an online RN-BSN is the way to go. I have spoken with a few students that have gone this route and they are very happy.

Good luck with whatever you choose!:)

allnurses Guide


3 Articles; 5,581 Posts

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 12 years experience.

Go BSN/MSN route. If you have a prior Bach degree you can get federal loans if its a MSN program, you can't if its a ASN/BSN only program. You will finished your BSN in a year an a half and then can wok full time as a BSN RN while you go to school part time. You will struggle tying to find work as a new grad ADN in the city.


517 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Rehab.

Go the BSN/MSN route for sure! I was in your shoes several years ago. Previous BS in Biology, hospital (non-clinical) job in Boston. I thought I had a guaranteed in because I already worked at a hospital. Spent 4 years part-time getting my ADN and had to leave the hospital to get my nursing experience because no one wanted to hire me. Yes, I did find work but I've spent the last two years trying to get back IN to Boston.

I graduated magna cum laude from one of the top ASN programs in the state but the fact is that there's just too much competition for the Boston hospitals. Don't make it more difficult for yourself than it already is!


462 Posts

Go BSN/MSN route. If you have a prior Bach degree you can get federal loans if its a MSN program' date=' you can't if its a ASN/BSN only program. You will finished your BSN in a year an a half and then can wok full time as a BSN RN while you go to school part time. You will struggle tying to find work as a new grad ADN in the city.[/quote']

I actually secured federal loans for my ADN program...and it was my second (well, third if you count my double major) bach degree.

Also, I just want to remind you that there are MANY hospitals OUTSIDE of Boston and they are usually more willing to hire and ADN. However, I agree with everyone they BSN is important, so of money isn't an issue do BSN directly, if it is, ADN and then RN-BSN will save you thousands!


10 Posts

Ditto on previous posting. I heard nothing back from Boston area hospitals as I neared graduation from my MA ADN program last spring but found a very nice New Grad Internship in another major city at a University hospital that is more than happy to hire ASNs.

Specializes in Psych; Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

There are some hospitals that will hire ADN grads, you just have to be willing to look hard. A friend of mine works with a lot of ADN nurses at one particular hospital and everyone gets along fine. There's also a nurse there with a prior BA like her and got his ADN at a community college and has been working there for over 5 years. I could care less what degree I get as long as I get my RN (the only reason I want a BSN is so that I never have to go back to school ever again xD)


146 Posts

I couldn't justify the cost of the BSN program either. I went the ADN route, was working at a rehab hospital as a CNA and they promoted me to an RN the minute I passed the NCLEX. I'm now enrolled at Curry College in their RN-BSN program and am using the tuition remission offered by my employer to pay for the classes. Its a win/win situation for me, although it may not appeal to others.


254 Posts

Specializes in Health Education.

So glad that I found these old posts! I'm also in a financial crunch and I've decided to go the ASN route. I have a Bachelors in Health Sciences and a Masters in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. I got into Simmons ABSN but the cost is causing me far too much anxiety. I already have debt from my BS and M.Ed and cannot take on anymore.

I work at one of the big hospitals in Boston as a Health Educator and my job will be flexible with the evening ASN program. I am highly doubtful that I will be able to move into a RN position here with only an ASN but I enjoy my current job and have my CNA so I can always fall back on that if I want. I'm also flexible to moving outside of the city towards Worcester as well as working in any facility.

I'm glad folks here talked about the RN-MSN route -- since I already have a previous Bachelors and all the prereqs I think I'll go for a ASN to NP the long run I guess I'll end up with a lot more experience considering it will most likely take 4-5 years. I just cannot take the anxiety of taking out more loans -- I'd like to buy a house and have children within the next 5 years as well so it just makes the most sense.

Specializes in Psych; Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

SKay226, don't worry so much about which degree you get. Like you, I also have a prior BA in a non-nursing field. I spent a lot of time (and wasted money) applying to BSN programs and never got accepted. Now I'm in an ADN/ASN program and I love it! I can honestly tell you from all of the research I've done on hospitals, there are many out there that will hire ADN graduates. I've spoken to some HR reps and nurse managers, as well as my clinical professor, and they all say the same thing: as long as you work at a particular hospital as an CNA or have a very nice friend or even leave your resume with a nurse on the unit you had your clinical, you will have a greater chance of getting hired. Some hospitals will even help to pay for your next degree.

I hope this helps!