Associates or BSN?


I have an Ivy-league BA and a master's in public admin from a top school. I ultimately would liek to go into Nursing education or to be a Nurse Practitioner. I an get an Assoc. degree for less $$ from a community college (though it has a waiting list) or get an accelerated BSN from a local college. would one be better than another when it comes to going for an MSN or getting into a NO program, given that I have 'proven' myself academically in other areas?

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traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

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Would definitely get a BSN versus ADN because it would give yoiu more options. Have you considered a direct entry MSN since you already have a master's degree? That might be another option.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

I am under the other opinion, that is you already have a BS, and even a Masters degree, then the community college would be just fine for you. What they are looking into seeing is the RN after your name and the other initials.

I do not have a BSN, but a BS in a science, and it has never hurt or stopped me one bit. As well as a Diploma in Nursing, and never an issue. Go with who will give you the best clinical teaching and where you can get in and out in the fastest amount of time.


29 Posts

BSN hands down... you'll be able to have more pull later. Once you get your BSN, you could look into a BSN to PhD program- University of Louisville (in Kentucky) has one... my Dean keeps reminding me :mad: . It would be great for you if you eventually wanted to teach... research... even become a Dean someday...


101 Posts

Please tell me more about direct entry MSN programs. My MS and BA are NOT in science or nursing. What schools have these programs?


22 Posts

Columbia University has a program for students with a non-nursing BS. They also have a program called Entry to Practice (ETP) where you earn a BSN the first year, and the second year you earn a MS/NP.

I'm not sure what other schools have this. It's pretty expensive though, and they don't recommend that you have a job the first year.


79 Posts

I'm not a nurse (or even in nursing school for that matter) but I am in a similar situation as you are APP in that I already have a BA and a masters (in public health though) and am considering a career as a NP. I've done a lot of research into this and there are quite a few direct entry BSN/MSN programs out there. Depends really on what kind of a NP you want to be - some of these schools are limited in the specialities that they offer. And I will echo that these direct entry schools are VERY expensive. I got into one this year and had to think twice about it - and actually turned it down because I'm already in debt from undergrad and grad school. I think (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that you will need a BSN in order to get a MSN. You could get an RN (associates) and then do a RN to MSN program - there are schools that offer that too. I'm opting for the cheaper route for myself. I'm applying toward a local (public) college in my state to get an accelerated BSN and then I plan to work for a hospital which has tuition reimbursement to get my MSN. That's my plan - but if you don't have a lot of debt already and not worried about the financial aspect of going to get your MSN - definately do the BSN/MSN direct entry school option - it's a lot quicker. You can go onto this website to search for the schools that have direct entry programs:

Good luck!


48 Posts

Like some of you, I have a BS in Business Management and working on getting into the nursing school. For the past 1 1/2 years, I have been taking pre-reqs so I can get into either the accelerated BSN or any BSN program. But whats happened is that every school has different requirements and test taking scheme which is driving me insane. Also, I cant quit my job and be in school full time unless I get inot the nursing program, so I still have to continue taking 1 class at a time. Another issue is that I graduated with a huge undergrad debt, so going back to school full time and doing a BSN from any university is costing me a whole lot and I would have to take out at least 40-50K loans. BSN is not cheap. So now, I am focusing on getting into a community college and working on my Associates in Nursing so I can become a RN and start practicing. Its cheap to go to a community college. Now if I want to do my MSN, there are programs where you can take a few classes for a semester and go right into the MSN program. That program is only built for people who have a BS or a BA. Doesnt make sense to have to 2 bachelor degrees.

If I was starting from scratch having no degree, I would have gotten my associates, and had the hospital pay for my BSN. Thats a smart move so you are not in a debt...

Hope this helps :)


4 Posts

That is my delimna too. I have a BA and a JD. A friend of mine who has a BSN tells me to go for the BSN. That makes sense if you have high aspirations in the profession - but the ADN looks cheaper and a viable option if you can't get admitted into the local BSN program as quickly as you would like. By the way, noting that getting wait-listed is a common occurence, if one has the prerequisite grades (B average or better) and a BA and some other graduate degree, is it easier to get accepted in a BSN program versus an ADN? WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


2 Posts

You have to have your BSN in order to get your Masters degree. I would choose the accelerated BSN program. It may be hard work during, but it's a quicker option and it'll get you the MSN faster too, so you can make the big bucks sooner!


35 Posts

Being as money is a BIG issue when it comes to our education, I would consider the ADN program at a community college and then while working as an RN complete your BSN. Also like someone said, you could always go to work for a hospital and let them pay for you to go and get your RN? You will have to commit to them a few years or pay them back if you don't stay working with them, but they are usually very flexible with your time while you are completing your BSN on them.

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