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Can't seem to get my foot in the door


Hello all! Here's my situation.

I graduated in 2012 with my BA in Religious Studies (don't ask) and quickly realized there's no career there for me and that I needed to reconsider my life choices. I come from a family of nurses so the decision to become a nurse came pretty quickly once I stopped fighting my mom on the matter. I fell in love with the idea of the ABSN programs and finished the necessary prerequisites with a 3.8 GPA. I thought I was in pretty good shape.

Then I interviewed for Jacksonville University's ABSN and was waitlisted. I was denied for their regular cohort in the fall. Then I was invited to interview, but denied for University of North Florida's regular cohort in the fall. I'm not too pleased with myself.

So now it's July and I don't know what to do. I have a job but I really would love to get some experience in the medical field while I wait before I can apply for more programs.

Then I have to figure out which programs I want to apply to. Like I said, I already have a BA, so it seems silly to get my ASN or ADN. Eventually I'd like to get my MSN, and I know that there are RN to MSN programs available. Thing is, the programs that start in the spring term would be with Florida State College of Jacksonville and St Johns River State College which are both ADNs. There is also a BSN program with University of Central Florida in Daytona which wouldn't be terribly far from me. Or I could hold out and wait for the summer term that I can apply to JU (BSN and ABSN), UNF (BSN and ABSN), FSCJ (ADN), SJSC (ADN), as well as UCF (BSN and ABSN), University of Florida (BSN and ABSN), and Florida State University (BSN and ABSN).

So my questions are mostly this:

To get me out of my miserable situation now, are there any suggestions of jobs I could be looking for at the moment to last me until I can hopefully get into a program somewhere? I'm looking at maybe getting my CNA certification quickly and doing that?

Also, what do people think about my options, mainly BSN vs ADN? Do you guys think I should hold out until summer when I potentially have more of an opportunity to earn my BSN though it may take more time? I don't want to start in January earning my ASN and potentially slow down my process to get my BSN... Nor do I want to pass up an opportunity to get started and then not get into any of the BSN programs.

Thanks guys!

Personally I think I would go for the ABSN since you've already completed one degree already. Doing an ADN would mean that you'd probably do a RN-BSN program at some point anyway, so that will save you time if you just go for the BSN right now. I've been kicking around the idea of trying to switch to a BSN program since my ADN program waitlisted me to start in Spring 2017 (potentially 2016). :arghh: They're all hard-pressed to find spots for all of the potential nursing students, but I think if it's something you really want to do it's worth the wait to stick it out. Working to save money is also a good idea. Hospitals are almost always looking for registration/patient access spots, which can actually be a really good way to get into a hospital and become acclimated to the environment. Usually the pay grade is lower than CNA positions but you can always slip into a HUC position (about the same, I think) when you get your CNA license. Around here they want some sort of hospital experience with HUC positions though. May as well start with an entry level position. That's my experience at least! :) Aside from that, pharmacy tech positions (if your state doesn't require licensing) are good to get a customer service background... You could look into assisted living communities for anything there, too! Usually dietary doesn't require a CNA license, but occasionally you'll see something about a state license for food preparation.

That depends. If you're not currently working, the ABSN program will work well for you. If you do work, an ABSN program may cause you some grief. I've read about some people doing full/full but it's usually not advisable.

I've considered the CNA cert as well, but I've read that that basically give you an advantage in the first semester or so, then everyone is at your level. If you want to learn to be around different sorts of people, I don't see where it would be a bad thing.

I don't think financing for ADN programs is there if you already have your Bachelors. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I'm in a similar position of deciding BSN vs ADN vs Early-entry MSN, as a career changer with a prior bachelor's degree. I'm not sure which one I'll end up doing at this point, but for now the BSN is most appealing to me.

I went the route of getting my CNA and starting to work in the medical field. The job pays nothing compared to my previous career but I am getting some good experience and it's been a good way for me to test the waters to see if I am likely to actually last in healthcare. (6 months in and it's only giving me more drive to get through my pre-reqs. :-) )

As some said, I'm not sure it gives that much of a boost in terms of getting through nursing school, but I think the networking it allows for is valuable. I constantly am communicating with other members of the care team for my residents. The more positive communication I can have with nurses, doctors, case managers etc in my city I figure the better for me in the years down the road when I may need some one to help open doors for me.

I also volunteer with a local hospital, this is something for you to look into to get your foot in the door as well. (Particularly if you have a job for now that you don't want to give up). I've made friends with many of the nurses and techs I see on a regular basis and they are great resources for advice on how to do things, different approach to schooling, etc. Plus I'm now a known quantity to many of the people in the particular department I volunteer with, which could be valuable if I ever want to apply to this hospital in the future. Many of the unit techs and nurses I have spoken with volunteered with this hospital while they were in school or even before.

I'm not sure which path will make the most sense for you in your particular situation, but I do wish you the best of luck.

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

You could apply to all the programs, ADNs and ABSNs in your area to maximize your chances. I graduated from an ABSN program up north and had a classmate move from FL to my state for 15 months (he had relatives in the area) just to attend the program because he just couldn't get into any in FL. He made the sacrifice, leaving his new wife behind. It paid off for him and his now growing family in the end. Sometimes you got to do what it takes.

If you do go through the ADN path, many employers will pay for the RN-to-BSN program. These programs usually are completed in one year.

Your idea to get a CNA license to start working isn't a bad idea. I've seen some programs also admit students based on prior experience as either a CNA or EMT. Fortunately, mine never did.

Good luck with your decision.

Sent from iPink's phone via allnurses app

BeachsideRN, ASN

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 7 years experience.

Personally I would steer away from ADN program simply because the employment market is leaning toward only hiring BSNs in many acute care settings. So it may be nearly impossible to get a job much less one that pays for RN-BSN bridge.

get it over with in one shot and get your BSN, meanwhile you can get work as a CNA or and its a beginning to learning the medical field. good luck!