ASN/BSN/or Accelerated MSN?

Students Pre-Nursing


Hi. I've just decided after a lot of soul searching and research that I want to be a nurse. I have a Bachelor of Arts in media, and thus, really no science or math courses to my name. I'm trying to decide which type of program to pursue, given:

A) I already have a BA

B) I'm 24 and want to choose the most effective and valuable route for use of my time

C) I'm going to have to take the pre recs of A&P, micro, stats, etc., so should I put that toward a BSN or an MSN? or should I do an ASN and potentially get to work while doing a BSN or MSN?

I really am new to this world, and I'm hearing that its getting harder to get hired with an associates. Also, I'm wondering how often an inexperienced MSN gets hired? Anyone who could offer a little guidance would be an angel! Thank you!

Kuriin, BSN, RN

967 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

Best route would be to go the MSN way. However, you have no science classes under your belt and you are required to have some volunteer experience to even be remotely considerable. ASNs are the past. BSNs are the present and future.


1 Article; 676 Posts

I think a lot of your choice should be based on personal life situations. I am married with a toddloer and thus, I am taking my ADN first to get a job faster. Many programs will do a second semester-second year internship program for those who want to get the bedside experience to get a job faster once they graduate. That is what I will do so yeah, there are still possible jobs out there for ADNs. Then ill just bridge to my bsn and msn online. I think this is the best choice for the market honestly (IMO) just because most schools wil pay for your bsn completion if you already are hired at a hospital with your ADN. So look into that. If you want to be a "nurse" then get in there asap. The quickest route is getting your ASN. then do the other things I just mentioned and you will get your MSN with more experience. most MSNs require a BSN as well as a minimum of 1-2 years of ICU experience. That part takes timee because most people want to hire someone with experience just to get in the ICU (this is where getting your experiences earlier with an ASN program would benifit you down the line). This is exactly what I am doing. Best of luck to you!

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma.

OP, first look into your market; the trend is BSN prepared nurses for the market, even for getting preceptorships at this point of the market; the BSN so you can have the advantage of the market.

You can start out in a CC for your pre req's then transfer into a BSN program; I did this and saved a TON of money.

Cast your net wide and find out what schools you are interested in and their requirement into their nursing programs.

Sending positive vibes in whatever you decide.


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

Do you know for certain that you want to go for your master's at some point? Here, MSNs with no experience have a very hard time finding work, but different markets may vary (we live in one of the most competitive markets in the US).

How long are traditional BSN programs where you are? Here they vary from 2-3 years. Do your prereqs, regardless of which route you choose, at a community college (make sure they all transfer!).

If you don't necessarily need to be an MSN to do what you want to do as a nurse, or if you still don't know what you want to do as a nurse, don't waste your time and money on an MSN yet.

Only you can decide whether you could handle the rigors of an aBSN program or if a traditional route, which is still pretty fast, is right for you.

Do some research- look at job postings, call HR departments, etc, and see what the trends are where you are, as far as ASN vs. BSN-prepared nurses and the job market.


35 Posts

I would knock out the prereqs at a community college and get some healthcare volunteer experience and obtain letters of recommendation and apply to an entry level masters nursing program. I just graduated from one and will be starting a family practice job as a FNP in 2 weeks.


1 Article; 676 Posts

I want to correct part of my last post: Schools dont pay you for BSN completion; hospitals do when you work their and they usually push their ADNs to getting one.


357 Posts

If you already have your bachelors I would forgo the ADN all together. Especially if you know you want an MSN one day. Why go the ADN to BSN to MSN route if you can just go straight to the BSN or MSN?

Research your market, call nurse recruiters and ask if their hospital is still hiring ADNs, I would even ask what they think of MSNs with non nursing experience.

research, research, research and do what's best for you.

good luck!

Specializes in ICU.
Best route would be to go the MSN way. However, you have no science classes under your belt and you are required to have some volunteer experience to even be remotely considerable. ASNs are the past. BSNs are the present and future.

I disagree with this quote. I am getting my ADN and my job market will be fine when I graduate. It really depends on your area and what they are hiring. I can't speak for yours but around here people with BSNs are management. That's not where I want to be in the beginning. Bedside is where I want to start. I would go back for my master's later if I needed it to teach or something. But I thought most MSN programs wanted some kind of bedside experience.


14,633 Posts

If you want to be a "nurse" then get in there asap. The quickest route is getting your ASN.

For someone with a BA/BS in another discipline, this is not true. Most accelerated BSN programs are significantly shorter than traditional ADN programs.


468 Posts

I think the general rule is, if you have a bachelor's you don't want to go backwards and get a ADN, especially when you'll probably eventually go into getting a BSN anyway. I'm in a similar position. I don't know much about how an MSN works for someone that isn't a nurse. If you can find an accelerated BSN program, I would do that. Personally there are none around me so I'm just cranking out a regular ol' BSN, although at least a lot of credits from my previous degree still count, and it was a science degree so I had chem, math, bio, etc done.


1 Post

For an individual who holds a non-nursing B.A. or B.S. degree, I would argue that they should complete all the pre-requisite science courses, and then apply to an accelerated BSN program. The only disadvantage to this route is that it is impossible to work a day job because the nursing courses and clinicals would coincide with their work hours. Most accelerated BSN programs do not recommend that students work any way, although, I have several friends who have completed their BSN via this route while working at night, usually as CNAs. If you do have a day job that you do not want to leave, then I would recommend that you enroll in an ASN evening program and then matriculate to the BSN. It is important to note that the Accelerated BSN route is much faster to complete versus the ASN to BSN route. So, if you are fortunate to not have to work, then definitely the accelerated BSN is the way to go!!!!

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