RN hopeful. New to Arizona, Need advice.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I've been looking into getting my ADN with one of the Maricopa community colleges. I have two more prerequisites to complete in order to apply so that I can be put on the wait list. However, I'm wondering if getting my ADN before a BSN is a good choice in 2018 Arizona. I chose the ADN because I thought

    1. It was the cheapest and quickest way to get to work as a nurse and to help support my family after completing 4 years in my BSc.

    2. I felt the wait time would be good for me to raise my little one.

    3. I was hoping I could get an employer who would help take care of my BSN.

    But upon further consideration it seems, if I stick with the ADN it will still take about 4 years or more to complete. Also, from my little Internet research, it appears most employers prefer BSN. My questions are:

    -What other options are available for someone like me?
    -How difficult is it to get a job with an ADN in 2018 Arizona?
    -Also, do hospitals still pay for employees to get their BSN and how does it work?


    Here's a little about me:
    I have a BSc. Biological Science, but I am currently a stay at home mum with a 6 month old. I just joined my husband who got a job in Chandler last year.
    I am 31 years old now, and would like to be a WHNP hopefully before I turn 40 (I'm really passionate about women's health issues).

    Any advice for me? Please talk to a new Arizona sister.
    Thanks for all the help in advance.
  2. Visit Kenmikeade profile page

    About Kenmikeade

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 16; Likes: 3
    from AZ , US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    9 Comments

  3. by   amynye
    You have a bachelors of science already? I would schedule an appointment by calling Gateway Community College and and attend an orientation session. The only way to get up to date info is via the advisors. I believe you could apply for the accelerated BSN to RN option.
    I'm 32 and in block 1 currently. The best way to finish sooner is to get started faster
  4. by   Apple-Core
    Welcome to the desert!

    Most of the Maricopa colleges now offer the CEP program, which is a 2-2.5 year hybrid degree of the ADN and BSN together. If you already have a bachelors you can even enroll in the hybrid Masters degree.

    The program is called CEP, and it stands for Concurrent Enrollment Programs (in Associate-Baccalaureate Nursing). You need to fulfill all the pre- and co-requisites prior to submitting your application. That is all the pre- and co- requisites for both the community college and the University you choose. Currently there are, I believe, 6 Universities to choose from. It is worth noting that entry into this program is competitive and you do need a good GPA/excellent HESI scores to get a seat. However, it does mean you will graduate with a bachelors in under 2.5 years (or Masters if you choose that route).

    In a nutshell, you attend the community college just as you would if you were in the ADN program (without the CEP part). Then, you will take your University classes primarily online with some of the Universities offering a few classes in person.

    It's intense, yes, but given the demand for bachelor-educated nurses it is definitely worth it. Not to mention the amount of money it saves to go via community college.

    For me, I started Block 1 in the community college in the spring semester (January) of this year. I am just now finishing up Block 1. However, I started my University portion of the course in the fall of 2017, so I had a semester done by the time the ADN at college started.

    When (and if.....fingers crossed) I graduate, I will receive the ADN degree certificate from the Maricopa college, and the Bachelors from the University. Essentially what happens is that the University takes all the ADN credits and includes them into their degree, and adds it to the classes you take with them to make up the Bachelors degree. Hope that makes sense.

    Anyway - in terms of practical skills and what you will know about actual nursing, it is now different really from the people who graduate with "just" the ADN, but future employers seem pretty keen so see the Bachelors degree, which is what pushed me to take it. I don't feel it makes you any more competent than those with the ADN; the advantage is you may get a slight edge in an interview for having the BSN (or Masters in your case, since you already have the BSN).

    We're very lucky here in Arizona - this is a relatively new concept to meet the demands of the "nurse of the future" concept, so not many states offer the CEP-type degrees yet. Eventually, I am sure more will join in, but for now AZ is a bit of a pioneer!

    Here's a link for more info:

    Concurrent Enrollment Programs (CEP) | Academic & Student Affairs | Maricopa Community Colleges
  5. by   rachaelofcourse
    The only thing of note I can add is that employers don't necessarily pay FOR your BSN. I work for the largest healthcare system in the state and they offer tuition reimbursement, but it is a competitive application process. I'm not sure how other systems are, but I can't imagine they'd be too different.
  6. by   Kenmikeade
    Thanks, guys for the info. And congratulations on getting into nursing school. I will look into both Accelerated and CEP programs. Apple-Core, could you kindly share the tuition cost for the CEP program you chose with me? I'd really appreciate it since it will help me make an informed choice.
  7. by   Kenmikeade
    Quote from rachaelofcourse
    The only thing of note I can add is that employers don't necessarily pay FOR your BSN. I work for the largest healthcare system in the state and they offer tuition reimbursement, but it is a competitive application process. I'm not sure how other systems are, but I can't imagine they'd be too different.
    Thanks for the clarification, Rachelofcourse. Actually I am just curious as to how the tuition reimbursement process works. What are some things that are required to make one eligible? Considering the extremely high tuition costs nowadays, it's refreshing to know that with an employer's help a nurse can get a higher education with little or no debt at all.
  8. by   rachaelofcourse
    Quote from Kenmikeade
    Thanks for the clarification, Rachelofcourse. Actually I am just curious as to how the tuition reimbursement process works. What are some things that are required to make one eligible? Considering the extremely high tuition costs nowadays, it's refreshing to know that with an employer's help a nurse can get a higher education with little or no debt at all.
    For my system, they factor in the degree you're getting, school you plan on attending, as well as years of service. To be eligible, you must be a full time employee with at least 6 months of service. I would like to add that in my system, tuition reimbursement is very hard to come by. It might not be that way in other systems, though.
  9. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from Kenmikeade
    Thanks, guys for the info. And congratulations on getting into nursing school. I will look into both Accelerated and CEP programs. Apple-Core, could you kindly share the tuition cost for the CEP program you chose with me? I'd really appreciate it since it will help me make an informed choice.
    Hi - I sent you a private message, but your best bet is to look into each of the Universities that you can partner with (I believe there are 6 choices as of now - subject to change! lol) and decide which one would work best for your particular circumstance. For example, some of them may take more of your previous credits, which will save you a bunch of money. Some of them work with the community colleges to "share" the financial aid, and some don't, and so forth.

    In general though, when I went to the information evening, and going entirely from memory, the cost of the degree (regardless of which Uni) should not exceed $20,000. That figure may have changed since then of course, but that gives you a ballpark figure. That number will vary tremendously based on how you utilize federal aid, scholarships, credit transfers and so forth.
  10. by   Kenmikeade
    Got it. That helps. Thank you.
  11. by   RNmama2019
    ASU offers a post bacc accelerated BSN program. It's not as cheap but all you need are a few pre reqs and a previous bachelors degree in anything. Applications are due by September 1st of each year and the class starts January and through the whole year to graduation in December. 12 months to a BSN is nice. I'm applying this fall.

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