I'm the non degreed nurse stuck in Tennessee and licensed in California. If I had it to do all over again I would still take the NCLEX (you only have to take it once and it is a national standard) and work for a while. I have never noticed any treatment from employers regarding any degree I may have had when I am working.
Take the NCLEX while everything is still fresh in your mind and then continue to get your degree part time, work part time. Plus, your education is a write off. My issue is that I never thought I would leave California, otherwise I would have been happily working and maybe taking a few classes to become, as I was at the time, a Forensic nurse.
Here in TN they do not provide sexual assault nursing support, it's all performed in the ER by a MD or PA, sort of like the good ole' days. As for me, I still have to complete a "music appreciation" class to get my license here. I hope the BRN in TN doesn't incorporate singing into their rules and regs. Someone could lose their hearing.
I will be in California throughout much of December and part of January and have several shifts lined up with my agency. I get paid more than I will here in TN and it will be nice to work with familiar faces. I was a little frustrated when I first moved here and started going S L O W L Y thru the licensing process. I expected to be up and working right away.
Well, I am up and working, just not for the people of Tennessee! And after all this, I will have my ADN. And if I can just add one more thing, if you take your borads and start working, you will be getting the benefit of lot's of technology which is literally changing overnight and you will have experience far beyond those that stay behind to get that BSN......example....bluetooth technology for telemetry, very cool stuff there! There is a company that has a disposable telemetry monitor that can be worn throughout the hospital stay, patient can shower, have procedures, xray etc. It's more accurate and more comfortable.
If your still in the classroom these things will be completely foreign to you. GO! Pass the boards. Get paid for what you are doing for free! Then take a few classes at your leisure. You have time. Go for it!!!!!!