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best way to get into nursing

Pre-Nursing   (7,977 Views 10 Comments)
by MadameFreckles MadameFreckles (Member) Member

2,102 Profile Views; 33 Posts

I am hoping someone can help me out here as all the different pathways to becoming a nurse are making my head spin! I would really appreciate if someone could outline for me what the education for each of the nursing credentials (ADN, RN, BSN, LPN) entails and which you would reccomend in my circumstance.

Here's my situation: I have recently decided on going into nursing. I am actually currently registered for my first semester of an MSW degree but have decided not to go that route. I would like to become a nurse but am not sure where to start. I have a B.A. in Spanish. Right now, I have 2 little kids and am a SAHM. I would love to just jump right in and take a full course load but I don't want to take out huge loans to cover childcare expenses. I was thinking of taking the prereqs very slowly, and maybe getting my CNA cert. in a year or 2 when my kids are older (my youngest is still 1 yr, I would like to stay home until she is a bit older) Since I have 2 kids who are not yet of school age, I am wondering if the CNA salary would cover childcare expenses. How much do new CNAs at a nursing home (only places that seem to be hiring new CNAs around here)?

In four years, when my youngest enters kindergarden so I don't need to worry about finding money for childcare, I would like to have all my prereqs done and start the actual program. There are several accelerated BSN programs for people who already have a bachelors in my area and also a traditional 2 year track for people with a bachelors who want to go into nursing. Basically, I would just need to take the science classes to qualify into the programs as I already have everything else. However, they are very competitive from what I gather. If I was starting as a freshamn, I would be guaranteed a spot in the clinicals as long as I had minimum requirements, but to transfer in with a B.A and the pre-reqs there is a lot more competition. So I will apply to these programs but am worried about getting in. I have a 3.6 from my B.A. , how is that for a competitive program? Will they even look at my college GPA, or only the prereq gpa?

I could also apply to a community college program. If you finish a CC program do you get a ADN or an RN at the end? What is the difference between these two designations? Also, if I take my prereqs for the BSN program and don't get accepted anywhere, will these prereqs still be useful for the CC programs? Thanks, sorry this is so long, as I said I'm a bit:sstrs: from information overload as I get ready for the journey into nursing.

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90 Posts; 4,049 Profile Views

lets see. ADN = RN BSN= RN

Both sit for the same exact exam!. Both have the same exact state license!

You might be able to get $1 or $2 more an hour with a BSN to start; if your lucky.

CC is about 30% cheaper then a University

The thing is, since there is a major glut of graduates vs actual jobs. Hospitals have the luxury of being picky. So now having a BSN is what Hospitals are pushing for.

You could teach Spanish make 30K+

CNA's start at about $8+ hr depending where you live.

takes little as 2 weeks to become a CNA (accelerated program)

Thing is you will still be doing CNA type work after 4 years of Higher Education (BSN)Since Hospitals are cutting back of CNA's/PCT's.

But Hey 75% of Nurses start as CNA's, so that is one way to get "Health care Experience" I guess

Also remember it will be a full time job in the nursing program. It will be very hard to keep a job. Most schools will advice you to quit your job and dedicate your self 100% to the program.

BSN is pretty much an AA degree with Nursing classes/clinicals

You have some of the AA courses already with your B.A. Unless you took Liberal Arts Math instead of Stats. You will need a Nutrition and all the science classes

that you did not take for a non science related degree.

Edited by kabooski

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980 Posts; 9,108 Profile Views

You might want to look to see what part time programs are in your area. Some universities offer part time BSNs but you are more likely to find a part time ASN program at a CC.

The advantages of a BSN degree as I see it are:

- Easier to get from BSN to MSN if that is your goal

- In some areas, BSNs are hired more readily than ASNs

- Since CC programs are cheaper, there might be less competition with a BSN program

- If you have a bachelor's the time commitment of a BSN is about the same as an ASN

Advantages of ASN

- More ASN programs have flexible schedules (nights/weekends)

- Cost

Another thing to consider is that many schools will put a time limit on your pre-reqs at 5 years. So if you are trying to take your pre-reqs over a 4 year period, there may be a pretty short window between applying to schools and when your pre-reqs run out.

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oklahomagal specializes in Lactation.

245 Posts; 5,933 Profile Views

CNA- Certified Nurses Assistant (typically a few weeks program)

LPN- Licensed Practical nurse in some states AKA LVN Liscensed Vocational Nurse (usually a one yr or 18 month program)

These last three are all RN pathways

ADN - Associates degree nursing (usually a two yr program)

Diploma nurse ( Not sure but ususally a 2 yr program at a hospital) someone correct me if I am wrong on that.

BSN - Bacholers degree nursing( 4 yr program unless you go accelerated)

Your GPA is a a good one and some colleges look at overall and some colleges look at science GPA. The best bet is to take a look at the info package at the college you want to apply to.. Also like someone mentioned your sciences have a time limit, usually 5 yrs some places up to 7.

Now what I have opted for is a ADN. I am starting in fall 2011. During the mean time I am getting the classes I need for my BSN that have nothing to do with the nursing portion like the statistics and some other extra junk I didnt get with my AS degree. Later on after getting through with my ADN program I am going to opt for an online BSN program.

Good Luck with whatever you decide and the best thing you can do is search through this forum, read, read, read. You will learn alot :-)

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980 Posts; 9,108 Profile Views

BSN - Bacholers degree nursing( 4 yr program unless you go accelerated)

One comment I'd say is it is 2 years (21 months) for those that already have a Bachelors, accelerated programs vary, I've seen 11 months to 16 months. I'm heavily considering a 2 year non-accelerated BSN program.

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oklahomagal specializes in Lactation.

245 Posts; 5,933 Profile Views

Thanks Leenak :-)

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jelly221,RN has 3 years experience and specializes in Neurosciences, cardiac, critical care.

306 Posts; 9,449 Profile Views

Your plan looks good! Those people in my program who worked as CNAs had a head start on people with no experience. It'll also open doors after you graduate for finding an RN job.

As far as RN programs- I'd go for a BSN. It's worth the extra time and commitment in my opinion. I am graduating from an ADN program in 3 weeks, and I wish I'd done an accelerated BSN (I already have another Bachelor's as well). Many new grad programs will only accept BSNs, and almost all hospitals prefer a BSN.

You should be fine to get into any nursing program you'd like- anything above a 3.5 is considered good, plus your Spanish will DEFINITELY help. A lot of schools also give you extra "points" if you have healthcare experience (which you would if you are a CNA first). I believe they look at overall GPA and science GPA, with the science being weighted a bit more. Just make sure you get A's in Micro & A&P, it's very doable.

Good luck, and keep us posted!! =D

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33 Posts; 2,102 Profile Views

Thanks everyone:)

I think i will try to go for the BSN since it will take me about as much time as an ADN. My next step is to contact the advisor at the school where I want to go as well as a nursing home that does CNA training for free in my area. I am not sure if I can get started on things right away but I want to at least get a plan together.

kabooski,

I had a part time ESL teaching job that was paying $15 an hour, but it was eliminated due to cutbacks. Taking a job for $8 will certainly be frustrating, but hey, at least it will give me experience and I can hopefully do it part-time. I have also read on this board that new nurses in my area with patient tech experience get slightly higher pay too.

It's interesting that you say hospitals are cutting back on CNA positions. I have actually read the opposite, that they are cutting back on hiring RN's since they're more expensive and instead delegating some of the tasks that usually go to RN's to CNA's.

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iPink has 5+ years experience and specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

1,412 Posts; 12,637 Profile Views

It's interesting that you say hospitals are cutting back on CNA positions. I have actually read the opposite, that they are cutting back on hiring RN's since they're more expensive and instead delegating some of the tasks that usually go to RN's to CNA's.

I think you may be confusing hospitals vs. doctor's offices. CNAs aren't nurses, therefore they are not allowed to administer medications. So, for hospitals to replace RNs for CNAs is defeating its purpose of proving quality care to their patients.

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60 Posts; 1,719 Profile Views

I think having a degree in Spanish will help you so much, not only with getting into school, but getting a job in the future. Keep up your Spanish skills. Good luck to you! :)

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