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ADN vs BSN...help

GANDA GANDA (New) New Student

Hello. I’m a senior in high school and I’m having trouble deciding between getting an ASN (ADN) or a BSN first. I always thought that getting an ASN is better because I can work early and it cost less but after looking at the requirements, I realized that it was gonna take me 4 years to complete my associates which is so weird because I will be going to school full time. The associates for nursing are all by lottery meaning they put your name in a box and if they draw it then you’re in and if you don’t then good luck (basically not guaranteed you will be in). That’s why I need to take a whole lot of prerequisites because the community colleges have different requirements. With the BSN, the 4 year programs are either from schools that are 2 hours away from me or private schools (aka super expensive). The BSN programs near me are all 5 years.

So that’s my problem, I don’t know what route to go in. All I want to do is to work early and have a degree without having so much loans. Any feedback would be amazing...

And also how are the ASN programs where you guys live or the ones you’ve been in....just so I can understand why my program is like this.

PS: I don’t know if I’m posting this right, I’m new to this site.

Edited by GANDA

Aim for the BSN. Get it out of the way and you will have the minimum for many employers and depending on your career trajectory, you may never need to go back to school. In say, six or seven years, it will cost more no matter what type of program. You will actually be saving more money in the long run by getting the most bang for your buck in the beginning. The only possibility that might be better than a BSN now might be an entry level MSN that allows early exit with a BSN.

As for the number of prerequisites: make a list or chart with each program and the individual prerequisites. Start applying with the programs where you finish the minimum prerequisites required for application first and so on and so forth until you reach the program that has a unique prereq. Or you can use the list to help you plan the sequence in which you wish to apply. If your most favorite program requires X, Y, and Z to be completed before applying, then take those courses first, apply, then move on to your second and third choice if you don’t get in. This list or chart can help you stay on track and organized through the process.

Thank you so much for responding. The problem with the prerequisites is that my counselor said I have to take my sciences one after the other and told me to take a required science per sem and I have 4 so I would go to school for 4 semesters (2 years). Also I will be commuting so driving to those 1 hour schools are kind of a deal breaker to get my BSN. Nevertheless...thank you for responding.

MotoMonkey, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 2 years experience.

I would start by looking at the hospitals in your area to see if they require nurses to have their BSN. In my area almost all the hospitals either outright require nurses to have their BSN or it is strongly preferred, that was a large motivating factor when I was deciding between ADN and BSN.

Four years for an ADN and five years for a BSN is not at all uncommon, there are some for profit schools where that timeline is shortened, but I don't think they are worth the extra money you will have to pay.

Your counselor is likely right and wrong. Some classes have to be taken one after the other. These are either classes that have a prerequisite, for example my college required I take cell biology before I started the anatomy and physiology series. Or they are classes taught in series, like anatomy and physiology where they probably would not want you to take A&P 3 before you took A&P 1. For other science classes it does not matter the order and you can take them whenever offered.

At the end of the day, ADN or BSN you are likely to spend about two years working through prerequisite courses before you are even able to apply to a school. I know the idea of spending five years to get a degree sounds kind of crazy, but you can either sit on your butt for five years and have nothing to show for it, or you can go to school put the work in and have a degree and good job prospects to show for it.