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Don't Understand the Types of Nursing Schools - Help

Pre-Nursing   (1,724 Views 13 Comments)
by RunawayN RunawayN (New Member) New Member

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Hello, I'm getting ready to take the career jump to nursing but I am so confused with the types programs in nursing schools. LPN, BSN, ASD, second degree BSN, RN, MENP...probably more but I have no idea where I fit into.

Currently, I have a BA in Psychology so I'm thinking I should go for a second degree BSN, right? Or should I go for a MENP which is Masters Entry in Program?

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dudette10 has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN.

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LPN is usually a one-year program, often offered at community colleges. After completing the program, you can sit for the LPN exam. Your previous degree will only allow you to place out of some of the gen ed requirements of the program.

ADN is usually a two-year program, offered at community colleges. Some allow you to exit from the program after one year to sit for the LPN exam. At the end of the ADN program, you can sit for the RN exam. Your previous degree will only allow you to place out of some of the gen ed requirements of the program.

BSN is a four-year program where nursing is concentrated at the upper division with gen eds in lower division. Many schools require separate acceptance into the nursing program. This is usually NOT the route taken by those with previous degrees; this is often the route for those who have no previous bachelor's or those straight out of high school.

Many (some?) four-year universities provide an expected course outline for those who have bachelor's in an unrelated field. It usually requires taking pre-reqs, especially in the sciences, before applying to the school. Then, you enter into the school at the equivalent of a "junior" level, and it will take 2 years for a traditional-speed program or less than 2 years for an accelerated program. This is one of the most popular routes for those with for those with bachelor's degrees in an unrelated field.

Direct entry MSN programs: I'm not as familiar with those, although I did consider one. You will NOT earn a BSN, you will go straight to earning an MSN, and it will sometimes take longer than a BSN with a previous bachelor's because you have to fulfill the requirements for sitting for the RN exam AND fulfill the requirements for an MSN. I'm not completely sure if the schools are allowed to "double dip" in these cases, i.e. have one class that serves both the RN exam requirements and the MSN requirements.

THEN, you have the bridge programs. An LPN can bridge to an RN then bridge to a BSN. Some schools even offer an RN to MSN bridge, even if you earned the RN with an associate's degree.

Confusing, huh? ;)

ETA: I have a previous bachelor's in English, and I chose an accelerated BSN program. I took pre-reqs for the sciences at a community college, and I placed out of the liberal arts pre-reqs due to my previous degree. With my program it's nursing all the way. No other types of classes except for pharm and patho, which are not strictly "nursing." I did not go the MSN direct entry route because I wanted to concentrate on being a good nurse, rather than research required for the MSN, and I felt the BSN program would better prepare me for nursing. Others might feel differently, but that's what I chose for myself.

Edited by dudette10

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LPN is usually a one-year program, often offered at community colleges. After completing the program, you can sit for the LPN exam. Your previous degree will only allow you to place out of some of the gen ed requirements of the program.

ADN is usually a two-year program, offered at community colleges. Some allow you to exit from the program after one year to sit for the LPN exam. At the end of the ADN program, you can sit for the RN exam. Your previous degree will only allow you to place out of some of the gen ed requirements of the program.

BSN is a four-year program where nursing is concentrated at the upper division with gen eds in lower division. Many schools require separate acceptance into the nursing program. This is usually NOT the route taken by those with previous degrees; this is often the route for those who have no previous bachelor's or those straight out of high school.

Many (some?) four-year universities provide an expected course outline for those who have bachelor's in an unrelated field. It usually requires taking pre-reqs, especially in the sciences, before applying to the school. Then, you enter into the school at the equivalent of a "junior" level, and it will take 2 years for a traditional-speed program or less than 2 years for an accelerated program. This is one of the most popular routes for those with for those with bachelor's degrees in an unrelated field.

Direct entry MSN programs: I'm not as familiar with those, although I did consider one. You will NOT earn a BSN, you will go straight to earning an MSN, and it will sometimes take longer than a BSN with a previous bachelor's because you have to fulfill the requirements for sitting for the RN exam AND fulfill the requirements for an MSN. I'm not completely sure if the schools are allowed to "double dip" in these cases, i.e. have one class that serves both the RN exam requirements and the MSN requirements.

THEN, you have the bridge programs. An LPN can bridge to an RN then bridge to a BSN. Some schools even offer an RN to MSN bridge, even if you earned the RN with an associate's degree.

Confusing, huh? ;)

Just to throw an extra wrinkle :rolleyes: my BS program starts (with clinicals and didactics) in Sophomore year and I'd say a third of our class are second degree students.

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dudette10 has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN.

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Just to throw an extra wrinkle :rolleyes: my BS program starts (with clinicals and didactics) in Sophomore year and I'd say a third of our class are second degree students.

I knew there was something I wasn't thinking of! Do those second degree students have to go all four years? Or is there a separate course timeline set up for them so that they can "skip" those classes which they have already taken?

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I knew there was something I wasn't thinking of! Do those second degree students have to go all four years? Or is there a separate course timeline set up for them so that they can "skip" those classes which they have already taken?

There's not a separate schedule. Our University does not offer any non-nursing classes, so everyone has to do their pre-req year somewhere else. Second degree students had a lot less to do in their pre-req year as they likely had the English and math requirements....and maybe some of the science and Psych ones. Once the program starts, we have room for a non-nursing class most terms (we'll have 10+ credits of nursing courses, leaving room for a student to take another 4 credit class), that we take at a partner University....many of these (including 15-20 credits of upper level electives), 2nd degree student already have. So, no....they don't finish any faster, but they might have a slightly lighter load some terms.

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Music in My Heart works as a manifesting Philippeans 4:8.

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Direct entry MSN programs: I'm not as familiar with those, although I did consider one. You will NOT earn a BSN, you will go straight to earning an MSN, and it will sometimes take longer than a BSN with a previous bachelor's because you have to fulfill the requirements for sitting for the RN exam AND fulfill the requirements for an MSN. I'm not completely sure if the schools are allowed to "double dip" in these cases, i.e. have one class that serves both the RN exam requirements and the MSN requirements.
I did a DEMSN program and we were not allowed to "double dip." The RN portion was 32 (semester) units and the MSN portion was 34 units. It was, however, an accelerated program so we finished in less than two years.

We began patient care in the second week of our program, began passing oral meds in the fifth week, and were doing IV meds by the beginning of the second semester.

I highly recommend the DEMSN approach for folks who already hold undergraduate degrees in other fields.

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The poster with the untypable screen name has some advice worth thinking about. (Hi!)

There is no "wrong" program, and I am not a nurse yet, but I always think you should be bold, and not go for a program you will outgrow in a few years, just because it scares you a little. And, honestly, graduate school is NOT harder than college. I actually have a bachelors and a masters, but not in nursing. When you're in school mode, it's better to just blast your way through it than to promise you'll go back later.

Nursing school counselors are used to giving a certain set of advice, (and I'm sure it's usually good advice) so they often give that advice without actually knowing your full story, the full set of options, or just that your preference are valid.

I think you definitely need to go in and talk to some of the programs. Get the facts -- believe me, there is sooooo little of what you need to know about the program, and how you fit into it, on the website! You may find it's not a good fit for you. I learned that about a couple of programs that sounded perfect for me.

Get a transcript from your university before you go. Then the program can tell you pretty much exactly how many courses you would need to take, and exactly what you need to do next.

There is a huge, huge variation in nursing programs! Some "accelerated' programs are ridiculously long and have a lot more prerequisites than others. So why do that? Some are shorter, have far fewer and different starting times and work differently. As long as it's a good-quality, certified program, that's what matters.

Maybe you're willing to move, maybe not.

Think of different combinations: some you've named, but here's another: getting an ADN at a community college and going directly into a standard master's program -- yes, this is possible if you already have a bachelors in anything at all! (This takes a little more time but may be better financially or child-wise for some people.)

And do you really WANT a masters, and want to do any of the jobs that go along with it. Do you know what they are? (That's meant to be a helpful, not a mean question.) Or is an rn/bsn, and those jobs, what you really want?

I would sign up for a common prerequisite, like anatomy/physiology, while I looked into it.

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14,829 Visitors; 2,642 Posts

The poster with the untypable screen name has some advice worth thinking about. (Hi!)

LOL When I've needed to use ♪♫ in my ♥'s screen name in the past....I cheat and copy and paste it from his post :-)

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

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the sucky thing about ADN programs is it ends up being like 4 years of school ..yeah the program is 2 years..but you also have about 2 years of pre-req's you need to take before you even apply ..-_-..and another 2 if you do RN-BSN bridge

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It is true, as vccorscc says, that you need to take into account the TRUE length of any program -- including the duration of the prereqs before you can apply, how often they are offered, the sequence in which you must take them etc.

Also, adn-bsn bridge programs are sometimes sneaky and list a small number of courses, and people look at them and say "Wow! that's like 1 semester! I can do this and apply to that Level 1 by September!"

And that's true. Those are the core courses they make everyone take. What they sometimes gloss over is that they'll probably make you take everything they would make the other students in their regular BSN program take, but you can get out of them if you've already taken them, so they're not technically required. So although you might not have to take all the distribution requirements of a standard degree, like gym and a language and stuff like that, it will definitely take a lot longer than a semester.

Still may be your best option, but best to know up front so you can plan your life for the next few years.

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[quote=

And do you really WANT a masters, and want to do any of the jobs that go along with it. Do you know what they are? (That's meant to be a helpful, not a mean question.) Or is an rn/bsn, and those jobs, what you really want?

I would sign up for a common prerequisite, like anatomy/physiology, while I looked into it.

That's a very good question. One program that I'm looking into is a 3-year masters program and I'm not sure I'm ready for a masters especially since I have no experience in medicine; and to choose a specialty area without any onhands experience, just seems like there is a risk factor involved for both myself and people I'm going to be treating. I mean, I'm relatively young but I always felt as though a masters program is meant for those with education and work experience. Plus, I have a older sister who went through the masters program and she's falling under the category of "has a masters, but lacking in that thing you get through experience" category.

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