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BSN vs RN-BSN programs, pros and cons?

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by xueb1 xueb1 (New Member) New Member

62 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hi, everyone! 

I graduated with a B.A. in Psych 2 months ago. I'm looking to go back to nursing school. I don't think I can handle the intensity of an ABSN program, so I believe I have 2 choices:

- Go to community college to get an ADN, 1-2 years. Don't work, apply for an RN-BSN program right after and get degree in 1-2 years? I believe I can do this in 3 years, 4 if I'm unlucky. I feel like this is the easiest and most secure route.

- Do my prerequisites at community college and then apply into a junior level of BSN programs. People told me this is the most efficient but I feel like it would take the same amount of time as an RN-BSN program 

What are the pros and cons of each? Thanks guys

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700 Visitors; 31 Posts

I was in a similar position. I had a B.S. in biology, was working full-time, and was faced with the same dilemma. I took my missing prerequisites at a community college and then decided to go the ADN route. It cost significantly less money and the school offered an evening/weekend option which allowed me to continue to work my full time, 9-5 job.

Once I finished my ADN and passed the NCLEX, I found a nursing position with a new grad residency pretty quickly. Where I live there are lots of new grad jobs and most employers will hire ADN nurses as long as you will commit to get a BSN within a certain timeframe. My employer also offers tuition reimbursement. You really need to research the job market in your area as this varies around the country.

In my state the community colleges have dual enrollment partnerships with universities for RN-BSN. I took one class for my BSN each semester while working on my ADN. This meant I had one semester left of BSN classes when I graduated from my ADN program. I think several states have similar programs. 

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66 Likes; 1,605 Visitors; 360 Posts

Something important to remember is that no matter what route you take, you're working towards the same exact exam.  Whether you get an ADN or a BSN, the test at the end is exactly the same test.

You really have to compare the schools themselves, by really digging in and looking up teacher reviews, graduation rates, NCLEX pass rates... Use these forums to get input from students on every school you're thinking about.  That's the only way to know the best route.

In theory, a traditional BSN program is the easiest option because it's able to move at a slower pace, leaving ABSN and ADN pretty comparable.  But a bad school can make that traditional BSN way harder and a good school can make that ABSN very easy.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and works as a RN Supervisor.

267 Likes; 28,443 Visitors; 2,760 Posts

You really need to research your market to determine which option is better.  If financing is an issue the ADN to BSN route would probably be more affordable as community college is usually less expensive than a traditional university degree.  Plus you'd have the ability to take the NCLEX and work while finishing your BSN.

You also need to consider the number of nursing programs available in your area and if there is either a waiting list to get in or an overly competitive application process.  For instance where I live there are four ADN programs and only one BSN program at an expensive but very well reputed private school so the opportunities for the ADN degree are much greater.

Either way you go the BA will maybe help with needing fewer classes if the degree is fairly recent but since both the ADN and BSN are heavy on sciences it might not help as much as you'd like.

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