Best way to explain why I did AAS instead of bridge to BSN?



I have a B.A. in Psychology (with Honors) from 1997, and when I decided to enter nursing a couple of years ago, I researched 2 year programs for AAS, and entered into an accelerated program, b/c I needed to get into the workforce asap (just got divorced, have 3 kids). I had been a stay-at-home mom for about 10 years when I started nursing school, and I tested out of 4 classes, which cut 4 months off of my time.

I was totally unaware of the 1 year bridge programs for people who already had a Bachelor's, until I was well into my AAS program, so I finished the program I was in (I have 3 weeks left). However, now I'm trying to figure out the best way to address this in an interview, as I'm about to graduate and look for a job. I feel like an idiot saying "I was unaware of the 1 year bridge programs", but that's the truth! I have a 3.9 GPA, so it isn't like I'm a complete dummy. If I had it to do over again, of course I'd have bridged to a BSN. I still plan to, eventually, but right now I just need to WORK!

Any input/ideas on how to address this (inevitable) question?



1 Article; 1,905 Posts

Why are you so concerned and why do you feel that you will have to defend your choice of programmes to a prospective employer?


240 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical & Nursing Manaagement. Has 21 years experience.

The bridge program, from what I understand, is INTENSE. You live, breathe, shower, eat, sleep etc NURSING. Be somewhat have a family and needed to do both and wanted to excel at your studies, which you did with a 3.9. I'm sure it'll be fine.


37 Posts

I am not concerned with "defending myself", so much as having a good answer prepared in case I'm asked about this. I have been asked by instructors so many times that I just figured that a prospective employer will probably ask, as well.


1 Article; 1,905 Posts

You were able to get into the programme and it met your needs as a nursing student, not really sure what else needs to be said.

iPink, BSN, RN

1,414 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 10 years experience.

If it weren't for the LPNs at the clinic I was at for a checkup who brought to my attention of Accelerated BSN programs, I would have gone into an LPN program.

Now, why would potential employers care and ask you why you never went the ABSN route? An RN is an RN no matter ASN, BSN, MSN, or DNP. You can work on your BSN later.

red2003xlt, LPN

224 Posts

Specializes in Addiction / Pain Management. Has 5 years experience.

Be honest; a divorce and three kids, the AAS was the quickest way to work.


272 Posts

Specializes in adult ICU.

I did what you did ... BS degree, and then ADN. When I went through the ADN, there were only 4 ABSN programs in the country and they were extremely expensive and I would have had to move to do one, and their existence was not well known. The ABSN is a relatively new degree for entry to practice, and I certainly wouldn't sweat you not knowing about them....I sort of did the same thing with my MSN. I should have looked for ADN to MSN programs, but I didn't -- I went through the BSN. There are just too damn many degree options these days to keep it all straight. I honestly don't think that you are going to be asked why you went the route you did, and really, it's none of their beeswax why you chose the school you did --- even if you feel like you were uninformed about all the choices at the time.

If you got through school, got licensed, and got good grades (if they ask for them), I think that is sufficient information for anyone to employ you if they don't state "BSN preferred" on their postings. I would stop worrying about it and focus on the positives with your resume and work experience and play that up instead. There is always going to be a "shoulda, woulda, coulda" in life.


37 Posts

Thanks, everyone! You put my mind at ease. One less thing worrying me now. LOL!

Specializes in ER, Trauma. Has 30 years experience.

"Analyzing all options, in my situation, this was what was best for me at the time." Trust me with your degree in psych and an RN license you've got nothing to worry about. (Warning! Going into class clown mode now.) If they push the point ask them why it's so important to them. Were they not breast fed? Do they need a hug? Are they having troubles in the bedroom? Did they vote for George W Bush? These wont get you the job, but you'll have a heck of a story to tell your friends for years to come! Almost worth losing the job, now that I think of it.


1,319 Posts

Nothing is wrong with the path you took. I am doing the same thing. Doing the one year bridge would have required me to quit my job and take on substation loans. The ASN route allows me to keep my full time job and not have to take out any loans! In the end, I'm still a RN.