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Bachelor's Degree in biology, doing traditional BSN Route

Pre-Nursing   (2,182 Views 4 Comments)
by nursestudent94 nursestudent94 (New) New

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I am interested in going into nursing. I am currently majoring in biology. Do you suggest that I become a "transfer student" and switch to a nursing school in two years? I will finish all the prerequisites by the end of my third year. OR is it better for me to finish my degree in biology and then transfer to a nursing school? I'm interested in doing the traditional BSN route instead of the accelerated BSN route because the pace is much slower and I want to absorb all the information well instead of having to rush through the program. Is it possible for me to do this route or will colleges only accept incoming high school students? If I do the traditional BSN route, do I have to retake all the GE's again or can I just finish the nursing program in 2-3 years?

Thanks.

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1,068 Posts; 26,423 Profile Views

There is no easy answer to this; different BSN programs will have different policies on this. Some programs accept only high school grads, other bring in everyone as incoming juniors and complete the program in 2 years.

One thing you might want to consider is whether you would need financial aid/scholarships or Stafford loans? Currently, federal regulations limit federal aid (Pell grants, Stafford loans, etc) to only the first 150 credits of undergraduate study. So if you completed your present 4-year Biology degree, you very well might run out of aid eligibility before completing a second undergraduate degree in nursing. You could still qualify for student loans for the BSN, but perhaps not the lower-interest federal loans.

I would encourage you to look at the transfer requirements of some of the BSN programs near you to see if you could transfer from your present BS program into a BSN program. There might be some prerequisite classes you need (especially Human Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Human Development across the Lifespan, etc) as well as some testing (TEAS, HESI, ATT, etc).

You might decide to complete the BS now and pursue the second degree later. But I think you own it to yourself to investigate the options now in case you need to adjust your courseload for the spring semester. I am a firm believer in that investing in research now will allow you to make the best decision for yourself --- and not regret the 'not knowing' at a later time.

Good luck.

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52 Posts; 2,489 Profile Views

Wow. My first Bachelor's is in Biology, and I had the same questions as you!

My original plan was to have a BS in Biology and go on for Occupational Therapy (Masters). After doing some job shadowing, a therapist recommended that I work as a CNA to get patient experience. Once I finished the CNA training and starting working, I realized that nursing was for me. At that point, I had 2 semesters left for my BS in Bio. I, too, was wondering if I should transfer, finish that degree and start a traditional program, or finish that degree and apply for an Accelerated program.

I chose the Accelerated program. For me, I figured that I only had 2 semesters left of my Bio degree. I figured that I might as well just finish that out since I was so close (sorry, I don't have any insight on transferring). I looked into traditional and accel programs. It all depends on the school. With a bio degree already, I could have enrolled in a traditional program without re-taking my GE courses, but the clinical schedule would still require me to be in school for another 3-years, which also meant I could have gone to school part-time. Basically, I chose the Accelerated because I didn't want to be in school for another 3 years.

I would definitely look into the schools that you are interested in and ask them questions based on the two scenarios: if you are a transfer student and if you are going for a second degree. Make sure you look at the pre-reqs that you need, how long the program is, if you can go full/part time (if you go for a second degree), etc.

Good luck :)

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 44,945 Profile Views

I encourage you to make the switch now if you're sure about nursing. You don't want to wast time & $ on courses that you will not need for your BSN. Also - once you get a bachelor's degree, you are SOL for many types of financial aid... because this funding is limited to people who don't have a degree yet.

You are VERY wise to go the traditional route. I work for a very large health care system - our hiring managers are actively avoiding new grads from ABSN programs unless they have prior health care background/experience in another healthcare profession such as RT. This is due to issues they have experienced - found that ABSN grads are just not as well prepared as the generic BSN grads. Also, goes without saying that new grad hires are limited to BSNs only. This is driven by a corporate initiative to comply with IOM recommendations for RN staff to be 80% BSN; this also satisfies Magnet requirements.

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