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BSN vs Associates degree - does it really matter?

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I am currently enrolled at the NYU accelerated BSN program and I had to take a leave of absence because I can't afford the tuition. I got all the aid I could, but it was still $10k out of pocket. Can't get private loans because of bad credit. I was looking at other accelerated BSN programs and it seems that majority are at private $$ schools. Hunter has one, but they won't answer my questions regarding prereqs (I already have some that may or may not qualify) and SUNY Downstate has so many prereqs it will take a while for me to complete them all and then who knows if I will get in. I already have a BS degree in another field. I am consider Associates degrees as an alternative, since community colleges are cheap.

As an ASN, would I be at a big disadvantage getting hired? I would love to work in the NICU ultimately and would probably do RN-BSN program down the road, but I just want to get a degree and start working. Are there any ASN programs that are better than others?

Yes, there are ASN programs that are better than others. The advantage to getting a BSN at the beginning of your career is that you will pay less for it and you won't be wasting any time. Chances are that you are devoting full time to school now. Later on you would have to take time from your workday to attend school or even to study if you take an online RN to BSN program. Some employers do have a preference in hiring BSN prepared nurses over ASN prepared nurses, but in most instances, there is not a significiant disadvantage.

Thanks. Would you know which programs are better? I wanted to do the BSN and get it over with, but probably won't be able to swing it financially.

I'm not from that area. You have to go with word of mouth. Try getting in touch with some local nurses, including managers, at the local hospitals. You might want to call the HR departments and ask what schools they like to see their new hires graduate from. I'm out of funds for school myself so I can empathize with your inability to afford finishing your ABSN program. Do everything you can to see if you can finish there.

Hi JLan,

sorry to hear about your situation. Since you already have a BS, it probably makes more sense for you to go into an accelerated BSN program. you would end up spending more money and time in the long run. have you looked into stony brook? if you don't mind traveling, they have an accelerated bsn program as well.

While hunter does not evaluate your courses before you are admitted, they are usually pretty good with accepting classes. i transferred to hunter from bmcc and all of the classes i took at BMCC were transferred in. did you receive your BS from a cuny school? if so, you can go to tipps.cuny.edu and use their course equivalency search engine.

hope this helps!

bklynbaby

Specializes in GI/GU surg,Pacu, ct surg, home care, NH. Has 18 years experience.

I would say definitely try to get into an accelerated program. SUNY Stony Brook is pretty inexpensive compared to other schools. PACE University & Molloy college both have accelerated programs and they are both cheaper than NYU. Hunter College is a pretty good school too. So go ahead and apply especially if they have an accelerated program.

It is definitely better to get a BSN now as opposed to later. There are some NYC hospitals that highly prefer nurses to have their BSN. They may not even hire an ASN nurse unless she plans on going back to get her BSN.

I can't travel to Stony Brook, so it's not an option for me. In terms of Hunter not evaluating courses, I'll give you an example. I took Micro at NYU with no lab, Hunter needs it with lab. No idea if they will take it. I also took A&P at NYU that was 1 course only, but they pretty much took the material of 2 semesters and jammed it into one. No idea what it will transfer as at Hunter. In order for me to apply to Hunter, I would need to take the rest of the courses that won't transfer over before, so how do I know what to take. It makes no sense.

I looked at Pace and the price difference is not that great between it and NYU. I just don't know what to do. I am thinking of looking into that program where they give you a scholarship and you commit to working in certain clinics, but I have no idea what I really would be signing up for.

bklynbaby

Specializes in GI/GU surg,Pacu, ct surg, home care, NH. Has 18 years experience.

.

Apply for the The Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarship. Its $5000/YR and you only have to agree to work a yr in NYS for each yr they pay for your school. It took me to 2 yrs to finish my work agreement with them.

Also try to get a Perkins loan it is not based on credit. Its about $4,000 and You can have the loan forgiven once you start working as a nurse. I took about 5 yrs for my perkins loan to be forgiven to zero. During that time the loan was in deferment so I made no payments at all.

Edited by bklynbaby
missed out words

AccelCNL, MSN, RN

Specializes in PCU, LTAC, Corrections. Has 4 years experience.

I am currently enrolled at the NYU accelerated BSN program and I had to take a leave of absence because I can't afford the tuition. I got all the aid I could, but it was still $10k out of pocket. Can't get private loans because of bad credit. I was looking at other accelerated BSN programs and it seems that majority are at private $$ schools. Hunter has one, but they won't answer my questions regarding prereqs (I already have some that may or may not qualify) and SUNY Downstate has so many prereqs it will take a while for me to complete them all and then who knows if I will get in. I already have a BS degree in another field. I am consider Associates degrees as an alternative, since community colleges are cheap.

As an ASN, would I be at a big disadvantage getting hired? I would love to work in the NICU ultimately and would probably do RN-BSN program down the road, but I just want to get a degree and start working. Are there any ASN programs that are better than others?

I understand your issue. Presently I am a senior who will be graduating next spring. I am plan on attending an ABSN. In your case I would look about applying to to other ABSN programs. NYU is on the higher end of the scale when it comes to price. Perhaps it would be better that you do a regular 2 yr program...that is definitely cheaper.

Nothing is wring with an ASN the only problem is that many hospitals ( particularly magnet ) do not hire ASN prepared- new grad nurses. NYU Hospitals only hire BSN prepared new grads.

I t might be better for you to look at other programs and talk to the deans and see if you can work something out. If not just buck up and retake a lab Micro and then apply to other ABSN. Better to couple hundred than be stopped on the road to your dream.

Personally I am only applying to ABSN and regualr 2-yr programs. Due to the areas I wish to enter after I get my BSN ( NICU or PICU) I realize that many of the better hospitals require/ or at the very least prefer the BSN. Besides it makes it easier to apply to jobs out of state.

I am currently enrolled at the NYU accelerated BSN program and I had to take a leave of absence because I can't afford the tuition. I got all the aid I could, but it was still $10k out of pocket. Can't get private loans because of bad credit. I was looking at other accelerated BSN programs and it seems that majority are at private $$ schools. Hunter has one, but they won't answer my questions regarding prereqs (I already have some that may or may not qualify) and SUNY Downstate has so many prereqs it will take a while for me to complete them all and then who knows if I will get in. I already have a BS degree in another field. I am consider Associates degrees as an alternative, since community colleges are cheap.

As an ASN, would I be at a big disadvantage getting hired? I would love to work in the NICU ultimately and would probably do RN-BSN program down the road, but I just want to get a degree and start working. Are there any ASN programs that are better than others?

Hunter-Bellevue's website clearly states requirements for all undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, including the accelerated BSN.

As the nursing program is part of Hunter college, hence part of CUNY it must follow certain rules and proceedures.

First you must apply and become admitted to Hunter college as a transfer student. Once this is done there is an orientation for such students which is mandatory. At that time you will sit down with someone and they will go over your previous course work from all schools and see what is to be transferred over.

Once the above is done and you apply to the school of nursing proper for the accelerated BSN program, provided you meet the requirements for admission. See: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/nursing/admissions/undergraduate/accelerated-pathway

If one understands Hunter/Bellevue's website correctly, the school cannot or will not consider required pre or nursing courses for transfer unless they have been accepted by the college and are on your transcript.

When you meet with someone from the Registar's office at the mandatory transfer orientation, they will most likely be the ones to say "yes" or "no" when it comes to the courses you are worried about. This is how it is done at most colleges, and it is rare to probably nil chances of someone over the telephone to tell anyone what the college will or will not accept in terms of transfer credits. It would help greatly if you bring NYU's course catalog and any other material that can be used to compare classes, along to any meeting with a registar to discuss transfer credits. You need to be able to show course content to prove (hopefully) the class you took was equal or perhaps better than the one required in order for it to transfer. However as one who transferred colleges back in the day, do not be surprised if you end up with lots of credits transferred that do not match anything you need.

If you do decide to apply to Hunter, you have about less than a month before the February 10 deadline for submitting an application for the next class. Fair warning, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing has been the top dog in the CUNY system for nursing programs for ages, and competition to get into any of their programs is tough. Indeed the program ranks as one of the best in NYC, NYS and the nation. Being part of the City University system means tuition is "affordable", which also makes the school an attractive option.

As for what degree with get you hired two or more years from now (assuming you graduate and pass the boards), it really is very hard to say. Right now many NYC hosptials are not hiring, and some that are, such as the major teaching hospitals seem to want only BSN nurses. However there are more ADN/AAS degree nursing programs in NYC and NYS than BSN, so cannot believe no one is not going to hire two year grads.

Also right now NYC healthcare is in a bind because of the tight finances of both the city and state, not to mention proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, this has lead to pretty much little if any hiring going on at the moment. Finally there has been a rash of hospital closings within the past few years. This has thrown a large number of experienced nurses out into the workforce, competiting with new grads for scare openings.

Standard wisdom is that for persons with a BS degree, then they should go for an accelerated BSN over an ADN, since either way you are going to spend about two years in nursing school. However if you cannot get into or afford such a program, and or need to work (hopefully) soon, delayed entry into an accelerated BSN program means you will not become a nurse that one more year longer. Hunter's program only takes students once a year, so if you miss this class....

The College of Mount Saint Vincent has a good ABSN program, and they offer classes in Manhattan, but not sure about cost.

For what it is worth, persons with BS degees attended Beth Israel's nursing program (AAS), and are happy nurses today. These include a many older persons seeking a "second career" or some such.

Thanks everyone. My frustration with Hunter comes from experience. I applied last year before they developed accelerated program (I was considering doing 1 year of prereqs at Hunter and then apply for regular nursing program as a transfer. They would not answer any questions AT ALL about transfer credits. In contrast, every other school I applied to was very forthcoming, NYU even gave me the course equivalents at another school of what I would need to take that would transfer over. Right now, I won't be able to apply to Hunter accelerated because it looks like it starts in the summer and I won't be able to take any leftover prereqs, especially if I don't even know what I need. I will try to apply for every scholarship under the sun so I can resume NYU in the fall. I got some funding for 2009-10, but even with federal loans and scholarships it was $10k out of pocket each semester.

I guess I was just trying to see what my options were and I appreciate all the responses. Ultimately, I want to be a NICU nurse. My kids spent their first month of life there and it really had a profound effect on me.

Thanks everyone. My frustration with Hunter comes from experience. I applied last year before they developed accelerated program (I was considering doing 1 year of prereqs at Hunter and then apply for regular nursing program as a transfer. They would not answer any questions AT ALL about transfer credits. In contrast, every other school I applied to was very forthcoming, NYU even gave me the course equivalents at another school of what I would need to take that would transfer over. Right now, I won't be able to apply to Hunter accelerated because it looks like it starts in the summer and I won't be able to take any leftover prereqs, especially if I don't even know what I need. I will try to apply for every scholarship under the sun so I can resume NYU in the fall. I got some funding for 2009-10, but even with federal loans and scholarships it was $10k out of pocket each semester.

I guess I was just trying to see what my options were and I appreciate all the responses. Ultimately, I want to be a NICU nurse. My kids spent their first month of life there and it really had a profound effect on me.

IMHO, sometimes Hunter/Bellevue takes themselves a bit to seriously, that is being *the* top CUNY BSN if not nursing program. OTHO they are now and for much of the past twenty years or so swamped with applicants, so guess they have to impose some sort of order.

Know your aim is to get into mother baby or NICU, and should know those spots are coveted and often difficult to get into. If and when you do get into a nursing program, work very hard and keep your grades up. It also will help to make "friends" with any of the nurses in those departments if possible when you do clinicals. Any sort of "in" can help.

In the meantime have you thought about volunteering to work in NICU or even becoming a CNA. Many NICUs have carefully trained and vetted volunteers who feed and help care for the infants. This gives the little guys lots of "mothering" and comfort, freeing up nurses.

Best of luck

Mother baby is actually a unit that is not that difficult to get into. A few of my friends got their jobs as new grads in the maternity unit. However the NICU part and the L&D part in maternity are definetely the difficult spots. Also as far as employment in NYC I'm noticing a lot of it is overnight.

As everyone has said before, it may not be like this everywhere but NYC is slowly starting to phase out the new grad ADN nurses, wanting either a BSN or "ADN's enrolled in a BSN program with graduation within a year of hire."

I understand your frustration with CUNY. I went to a CUNY college and tried to transfer to Hunter but to be allowed into Hunter's nursing program you have to be in that school at least a semester. Not to mention the administration is horrible, people at Hunter are particularly unfriendly when it comes to transferring (that's how it got it's rep as not being transfer friendly). Another thing I didn't like is that from what I've heard some of the nursing lectures are giant groups of students. Meaning all the nursing students take the same lecture class and I can't imagine learning in a lecture with 100 other people but that's just my personal thing. And the intro nursing class is online.