BS w/RN vs BSN vs BA w/ BSN

Nurses Career Support


Hi All!!

I'm so glad to find this group. I'm 27, er, um, I mean, late-30's and want to go into nursing. I have a degree (BS) in psych, plus 40 hours (recent) in bio and chem. My goal is to become a NP -- after a number of yrs of experience once I have a nursing degree.

My questions are: would I be eligible for a NP program w/ a BA and an RN degree?

Is there a pay differential between an RN and BSN? If so, how much?

I've been accepted into a graduate PA program for next year but it would entail moving and being without my family for 2 years -- and I have several young children. Also, after spending tons of time shadowing PA's and nurses and docs, I have decided I would prefer a nursing career over PA. (Don't want my lisc tied to one doc, among other reasons.)

Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



7 Posts

I came on the forums to nearly ask the same question!

I have a BS in Biology (and a MS actually), and want to become a nurse. I am wondering if I could go any nursing school and get my RN--I don't want another Bachelor's degree if I don't need one.

My concern is once I become a RN, will I not be eligable for graduate programs (CRNA) since I have only a BS and not a BSN?

So I can't answer your question, but am interested in people's response...



627 Posts

I'd imagine for both of you, that it depends on the school. As for ADN vs. BSN as far as pay, I actually make more than the BSN counterparts at my job (I have an ADN) because I am really, really good at negotiating what I get paid.


122 Posts

Susan Jean,

If you have a BS or BA with an RN, you definitely CAN become an NP (I don't know about your local programs, but I know of several online master's that accept BS/BA +RN students).

You could also do a direct-entry master's program or an accelerated BSN program (these are usually 2 years and 12-18 months, respectively and both only allow you to sit for the NCLEX, not to become an NP. You'll have to go back to school for that). Actually, there are a FEW programs that take about 3 years full-time and allow you to get your RN in 1 year and then your NP in about 2 additional years.

The drawback of these programs is that they tend to be very expensive and very intense. It may not be what you're looking for since you have two little children.

My research has shown that a BSN, RN only makes a tiny bit more than an ADN/diploma RN (here, the average for a BSN is about $65,000 and the average for an ADN is about $64,000!). You get a much bigger differential for working nights or being certified in your specialty area than for having the BSN.

So yes, you can go ahead and get your non-BSN RN and then go to grad school for your NP (you can do that part-time, too). You just have to see what types of programs your area offers and what's the best fit for YOUR LIFE.


122 Posts

Makeup Nurse,

I don't know about CRNA, but I do know the requirements are often different than for the other MSN options. I'd make inquiries at all the local schools -- that's what I've done to find out about the MSN programs around here.

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