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Becoming an RN with an associates degree and currently have a Bachelor's degree in Biology

nicolep17 nicolep17 (New) New

I am 22 years old have I graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor's in Biological Psychology in 2014. Throughout my education at Pace I took many science courses that fulfill the requirements for a Biology major as well as courses in Psychology. Initially I wanted to become a PA which is not completely out of my mind for the future. However, now I wish to become a RN considering its a good career path and I would gain a lot of experience that I would need to become a PA in the future. I tried applying to accelerated BSN programs but considering they are extremely competitive now I haven't had much luck with acceptance. I have since decided to apply to a local community college where I was accepted and will begin a RN program and gain an Associtate's in nursing. I pretty much wanted to know if I would be limited to job opportunities with only having an ASN rather a BSN and should I consider pursuing a BSN when I complete the ASN program? I would also like to know if anyone is willing to give their opinion on how they like this career. I have heard great things about becoming a nurse and I am still considering continuing to become a nurse and possibly specialize in other fields of nursing like surgical instead of doing PA. Hopefully someone will be able to give me more insight on my options within this field.:yes:


Has 43 years experience. Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

You need to check out job postings in your area/ call facilities interested in working at to see if they are hiring ADN graduates as many areas of the country, especially Philadelphia-Boston area hospitals have BSN required for new RN applicants.

Best wishes in your journey.


Specializes in Medical-Oncology, Nursing Education, Family Med.

Are you set on pursuing PA, or would you go with NP instead since you're starting nursing? If you're indifferent, get your BSN so you are set to move onto NP. otherwise, the BSN won't mean much for PA admissions.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Has 16 years experience. Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

PA training and nursing training are quite different--medical model vs. nursing model. One isn't better or more important than the other, just different.

If you're still considering PA school at some point, a 2nd BS degree is probably overkill, although you'd knock out the healthcare experience requirement.

Nursing is a great career though, with incredible opportunities to branch out and grow--critical care to wellness/prevention, premature newborn to geriatric, private duty to population-based public health... bedside, leadership, transport, research, education, office... advanced practice.... nurses do all kinds of things. You could go the NP route too, if you wanted to become a provider in the future.

I would love to give you my thoughts on how I like being a nurse! I love the odd hours. Working mostly nights and weekends has allowed me to continue working but not have to put my children in daycare. Unlike most corporate America type jobs, I have the option to work full time, part time, or casually. I love that I can help people and their families during their most difficult times. I am honored by their trust in my care. The pay relatively relatively little education (until this spring I had a 2 yr degree, making > $40/hr.) I love that if I grow weary of one specialty, I can simply apply for a job in another area of nursing. In fact, I know somebody who works full-time in an ICU, and casually in a nursing home; this RN likes the variety.

Nursing is very stressful, physically and emotionally taxing. Some people complain about their care no matter how much you give or how hard you try. But every profession has its challenges--including having to deal with jerks. :mad: For me, the good outweighs the bad, by far.

How far you can go with an associate's degree depends a lot on your local job market, and on what type of nursing you want to do. Many hospitals are getting away from hiring ADN RNs. School nursing and public health positions will almost always require a BSN. Long-term care and home care tends to hire more ADNs (at least in my area.)

However, there are advantages to going the ADN route and then finishing your BSN later. The obvious one is you will get to licensure faster. You can work as an RN while finishing your BSN; even if you can't get your dream position as an ADN, you will likely find something. If you decide you hate working as an RN (being an RN can feel very different than being a nursing student), you'll find that out before sinking that extra time and money into the BSN. There are many RN to BSN completion programs designed for working RNs. These programs tend to be more flexible then traditional nursing school because the expectation is the students are working adults; colleges will have daytime and evening classes, one day per week class schedules, and online classes. In fact, completely online programs are becoming widely available.

If you have other questions, "like" my post (the alert will remind me to check back on this thread), and ask. I can send you a PM too, or you can PM me once you have enough posts to enable PM'ing.

Wishing you the best!

applewhitern, BSN, RN

Has 30 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

I have to disagree with the post stating you need a BSN for school and/or public health nursing. I worked In 2 different states and you did not need a BSN for school nursing. I haven't worked in public health, but do know ADN nurses who do. Once you have your associates in nursing, there will be very little left for you to take for the BSN. Actually, an ADN and a BSN have the same scope of practice, and take the same NCLEX. With your prior degree, you probably already have most of the additional classes you will need for the BSN. You can take the extra classes you need online. Most schools no longer require the BSN practicum.

As a pp suggested, I would see about open areas of jobs in your area. No sense getting an associates in nursing if they are not being hired. However, if psych is your thing, there may be psych facilities in your area that do hire associate's degreed nurses.

Another thought process is to go to a direct NP program. There's many for someone who holds a bachelors in another field.

If you were going to go a PA route, you may want to consider becoming a Paramedic. That would give you some indication of a medical model as opposed to a nursing model.

Best wishes!

As of right now I am solely trying to pursue nursing and after I get my ASN I will try to pursue my BSN and I will try to move on to become a NP eventually. I have been doing more research in nursing and I think that I would like to continue a career path with nursing.

I'm glad that you were able to tell me about your personal experiences in your field of nursing. It helps hearing from people who are actually working in this field with my decision in becoming a nurse. I like the fact that you mentioned that you have somewhat of a flexible schedule as a nurse either working, part -time, full-time nights or weekends and you are available to watch your children during the day. I at the moment do not have any kids but when I do intend to have children in the future it is good to know that it is possible to take care of them myself without the need of daycare.

I have seen that there are some jobs in my area that are accepting applications from ASN. However there are more jobs that require you to have at least a BSN. So as soon as I receive a license to practice with my ASN. I plan on trying to look for jobs as well as apply to an online BSN program. I have been researching several BSN programs that are strictly online and I think that this would be ideal for me because I will be able to stick to a demanding work schedule as well as finish courses online.

I also like the fact that nursing seems to be a pretty broad field that offers many specializations. Im not too sure what exactly I might want to specialize in at the moment. But for now, hearing the experiences of other nurses defintley helps in me making a decision

I was also wondering whether or not if it would be necessary to obtain an MSN after I receive a BSN for doing specific specializations Within nursing or is a BSN good enough? Is that needed to become a NP?

-And I appreciate all the well wishes. í ½í¸Œ

Look at a small technical school. Many have cheap ADN programs where they will let most of your bachelor's degree courses transfer so you might just end up with the nursing courses. Then get your associates degree. Go find a hospital that will hire you and many have a good tuition reimbursement program of some sort in exchange for staying x number of years after you get your degree. Take a year and do the RN to BSN bridge for a local college (most of these are 100% online and can be completed in about 12 months while you work full time). Then if you decide you want to do NP then you can do most of it online with clinical check offs/some classroom work a few times each semester.

I was in this boat at one point and time.


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