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BA AND ADN, MSN IN THE FUTURE

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by Ej2020 Ej2020 (New Member) New Member

129 Profile Views; 6 Posts

I need some advice

 

background: I attended UC Irvine and earned a BA in a non-nursing field. 

I now want to go back to school for Nursing. The accelerated second degree BSN programs are 1) extremely expensive (approx $50k and I still owe $50k for my first degree) 2) very hard to get into 3) would require me moving to a whole new area 

I’ve considered getting an ADN. From what I’ve heard, it’s harder and harder for ADN RN’s to get jobs. What is the best route for me? 

 

My idea was to go back to school and get my ADN from a community college, get a job as a nurse, and within the first few years of working go back and get my MSN and skip the BSN altogether. Is this a good idea? Will I be able to get a good job going this route? 

I’ve noticed a lot of people saying they were hired at a hospital with an ADN on the condition that they go back right away and get the BSN. Will hospitals allow me to skip that step and go straight to the MSN.

Is it really true hospitals will require the BSN by 2020??

I really don’t want to have to go back for a second bachelors after competing my ADN given I have a bachelors already in something else.. 

 

any advice? 

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Silverdragon102 is a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

6 Followers; 1 Article; 38,772 Posts; 142,480 Profile Views

Moved to the Nursing Career forum 

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not.done.yet is a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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Most ASN to MSN programs having you earning your BSN along the way, so you don't really get to skip that portion. Even though you have a BA in a non-nursing related field, those classes were not nursing classes. You will still need that content to be qualified to have an MSN and any school that is accredited is going to require you to meet those minimum requirements. Therefore you may as well accept the degree on the way to your MSN, as you will still have to take the classes.

As far as working with an ASN, it is definitely increasingly difficult to break into acute care with a two year nursing degree in many parts of the country. You did not state where you live now. In my area, the ASN has a very hard time now finding acute care employment. This is due to many factors, including how many nursing schools there are in this area (a LOT), hospitals pursuing Magnet status (requires 80% of RN workforce to be BSN or higher), the 2020 recommendations, etc. However, if you are willing to work SNF, LTACH, community health, urgent care, corrections, clinics and tons of other types of jobs, there will be a job for you most of the time. It all depends on your job market. The less desirable a place to live or work, the more likely it is they need nurses badly enough to not be picky about degree type. The fewer four year nursing schools there are in an area, the more likely there will be acute care positions for the two year RN. This has changed very rapidly over the past seven years.

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llg is a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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As the previous poster suggested, you will have to assess the job market in your area as conditions vary from place to place.   In many regions, it is very difficult for a new grad with an Associate's Degree to get a job in acute care.  In other regions, it is not so difficult.   What is it like in YOUR area?   Are you willing to move to an area where you would have a better chance of getting a good job if necessary?   (I don't mean moving to the next town, I mean ... like ... moving to a small town in another state if necessary.)

What are your long term career goals?   It can be difficult to transition from a long term care job to an acute care one.   Once you get "pigeon-holed" as a long-term care nurse, most employers in acute care will hesitate to hire you.  Most nurses want the types of jobs that require an acute care background.  If you are one of them, try to avoid working in long-term care if possible.  So if you live in an area where the only jobs that will be available to you as a new grad ADN, be wary of that situation.   It might start your career on the wrong foot, making it difficult to get back on the track of your dreams.

Why did you finish a degree that doesn't interest you?   Why not use that degree to get a job for 2 or 3 years and pay down that existing student loan while you take whatever pre-reqs you need for nursing?  Then you will be in a better position to go for the BSN right away -- or maybe even a direct-entry MSN program.

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6 Posts; 129 Profile Views

Thank you both for your feedback!

When I started at UCI, I had no idea what I wanted to do. By the time I figured it out, I was told it was impossible to change majors to Nursing. I tried changing schools, but all the other UC’s with nursing programs would not accept transfers. I attempted to transfer to a Cal State, however was told a large portions of the GE’s I had completed would not transfer. At the end of the day, it felt like I had no option but to finish my degree at UCI. 

 

I  did not realize how hard it would be after graduating trying to go back to school for Nursing. 

 

I currently live in the Los Angeles area. However, I am willing to relocate. The cost of living is ridiculously high here and not somewhere I plan to stay forever. I am willing to relocate to, for example, areas like Phoenix , AZ. However, I am not sure I would be willing to relocate to a rural town with very few people. 

 

My biggest concern is being accepted to a accelerated BSN program since they are extremely competitive.

 

I think I need to do more research on the direct entry MSN programs. They did seem a bit scary and overwhelming for someone just entering the field of Nursing.

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Hoosier_RN is a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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For larger metro areas, you will need that BSN.  And understand, even at that, it will be very competitive, as those markets are generally flooded with new grads.  Grads who have connections etc.  If you're willing to move, perhaps you could do so for school and make some connections/network.  It's a suggestion

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20 Posts; 179 Profile Views

I am in the same situation in Arizona. I was determined to do an accelerated BSN, but the cost and difficulty to enter have made me rethink. I am now aiming for the Maricopa Community Colleges' Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) which allows you to do your Associates in Nursing in their clinical program on the ground while you do your BSN online with partner universities. NAU's finishes so you get both degrees the same semester - so never have to apply for jobs without a BSN

If you are willing to relocate, it is a very affordable BSN and the cc's NCLEX pass rates are the highest in the state.

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20 Posts; 179 Profile Views

Also, ASU has a new direct entry MSN that you many be interested in. (UofA has one in Phoenix as well).

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6 Posts; 129 Profile Views

I did see that U of A and ASU have the direct entry MSN's, however another thing I have to consider is some programs have a LONG list of prereq's. Since I am working full time, I can only take 1 class at a time at night. So, it will take YEARS to complete all those classes. So, I am really trying to find a program that only requires the general 4-5 prereq's. 

 

Thanks so much for telling me about the CEP program. I didn't even know these existed. I saw that there are also some at the community colleges near where I currently live. I will be looking into these. 

 

To anyone else reading this.. are there any disadvantages to doing a CEP program? Will it look different to an employer if I got the associates then BSN over just the BSN

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Hoosier_RN is a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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9 hours ago, Ej2020 said:

To anyone else reading this.. are there any disadvantages to doing a CEP program? Will it look different to an employer if I got the associates then BSN over just the BSN

your highest level of education is what they care about, not how you went to get there.  In saying this, I will add that you need to make sure that they school, wherever it is, is reputable and is accredited for the state board where you plan to work/live.  There are so many pop-up for profits that will take your money and leave you high and dry, so do the research, and not from the school's website.  Learn from the state BoN and from friends who have attended there. Good luck!

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Gentleman_nurse specializes in Behavioral health.

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Hi Ej2020:

I ask these questions not to be flippant but truly want to help.  What did you get your BA in?  Why do you want to be a nurse?  What do you plan on doing with the nursing education?    

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Maybe I can offer some advice as I was in a similar position (UC grad wanting to switch to nursing who considered ADN vs ABSN vs MEPN and currently reside and attend nursing school in LA). 

1. Get your prerequisites done before even considering ADN vs ABSN vs MEPN. Students underestimate the difficulty of getting into these classes at the local CC especially as a post-grad student. You're at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of registration. When I took my prereqs some years ago, there were always 10+ students trying to add for each of my "big 3" courses. I'm sure its become even more difficult now with the trend of everyone moving towards a career in healthcare. 

2. Avoid adding more debt. You already have $50k debt from your previous degree. There are only two ABSN programs in California that cost less than $50k in tuition (CSUN and CSULA), and they are extremely difficult to get into so don't put all your eggs into one basket. You need to consider living expenses too. Sadly, younger individuals don't understand the crippling effect that debt has on their life until it's too late. 

3. Going back to #2, go the ADN route then do RN-BSN. Many students are misled by what they read on the internet. Yes, most hospitals in large cities are moving towards BSN only, but some of them will hire you on the contingency that you'll earn your BSN within x number of years. There are some BSN graduates who are having difficulty finding a job as a new grad even 6 months of school. Having a BSN DOES NOT guarantee you a job, do you want to be the BSN graduate with $100k in debt? Plus, if you're a permanent resident of California your education at the community college level is covered by government grants. I pay roughly $40/semester for my nursing degree so I cringe when people tell me that they're going to spend $100k for the same education. 

4. Going back to #3, most hospitals will prioritize hiring internal applicants over outside applicants. Most people who have difficulty securing their first position is because they never networked outside of their clinical rotation. My advice for you is to find a part time position as a CNA or PCT while doing your prerequisites, apply to ADN programs, apply for the CEP at CSUDH, CSUN, CSULA, or APU (literally so many options) then you'll be considered a BSN applicant for most hospitals when you get licensed. You'll have a good chance of getting hired at whichever hospital you worked as a tech. 

I spent quite a while researching these things when I was thinking of changing my career to nursing. I have learned a lot about the "BSN only 2020" while in school and talking to nurse managers during my rotations. Feel free to PM me if you want to get into specifics. 

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