1. Hi...I am currently in a different career field, but plan to make a change. I am very interested in nursing and have been talking with different schools and professionals in the field to get a better understanding of the best way to go....RN or BSN? I have a BA and 7 years work experience in an unrelated field. I do not have kids currently, but I do have a mortage and all the other bills. I plan to take A&P this fall while continuing my current job. Is it worth while to jump right into a BSN program (as far as job opportunities after) or go the RN route? My ultimate goal would be to go back to school for my masters. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Heather
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    About hphillips

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 3


  3. by   ERNurse752
    You can get either an ASN or a BSN to be an RN...2 year vs 4 year programs, respectively. But they are both RNs, and you take the same test at the end.

    Where I live, there is no pay difference between the two.

    Some individuals who already have a BA/BS in something else, opt for the 2 year program.

    If you think you might ever want to get into management, or go on to advanced practice nursing (master's degree level), it would be wise to get the BSN. Also, more employers are now requiring, or would prefer, the BSN. One of the schools near me is actually donig away with their ASN program next year.

    In my post-work haze of fatigue, I see that you want to go back for your I would strongly recommend the BSN!

    Good luck!
  4. by   MollyJ
    Since your ultimate goal is the Master's you should definitely start in a BSN program (and this is my bias). As someone who holds a degree already you should should look for programs who cater to those with previous degrees--some of them will let you get a BSN in as little as 2 years or even less, I think. Of course all of this depends on your ability and willingness to relocate.

    At any rate, try This is a NLN site and it lists all acredited nursing programs.

    If you have a specific goal in mind with your Master's you may want to keep that in mind when you transition. For example, if you want to teach or do research or be a NP. In nursing there are many paths to the same end.
  5. by   rachel h
    Depending on how much of your time your current career consumes, it may be easier for you to complete an Associate Degree (two-year) RN program and then further your education from there. BSN or AD, you are still an RN at the end. There are many programs specifically for Associate Degree Nurses to complete their Bachelor's Degree. Also, if you have to work full time (or close to it), it may take you longer than two years to complete and Associate Degree program. (So I'm assuming that it may also take you longer to complete a BSN?) A lot of nurses I went to school with took three years to complete the AD program because they were not able to attend school full time.

    As you can probably tell, I did the AD thing. But I felt it was better for me because I could start working sooner as an RN and go back to school later and not be in as much of a financial crunch because I already had a job as an RN vs. a nursing assistant. And I did go into nursing with the goal of getting my Master's and becoming a Nurse Practioner down the line. So it can be done either way. There is even a program I'm considering that is and AD to MSN program. It's one night a week for 4 years and you get your BSN and MSN when you're done.

    Good Luck to you!
  6. by   hphillips
    Thanks so much for your suggestions / advice. It is a delicate transission to make and all and any information is invaluable to me at this point. Thanks again, Heather
  7. by   spineCNOR
    There are some nursing schools that have special BSN tracks for people who already have a bachelors degree in another field. It would be well worth your time to investigate whether there are any of these programs in your area.

    I understand the time/money factors in going back to school, but...
    not all courses in ADN programs may be accepted by BS programs. If your ultimate goal is not move into an area of advanced practice nursing you may well save time by getting a BSN first.
    On the other hand, there are quite a few nursing schools which have an RN mobility program (ADN to Masters without getting the BSN in the middle).
    If you decide to go for the ADN first be sure and check to see what courses will be accepted and are required by your target BSN school, so that you won't lose time taking courses that will not transfer.

    Best of luck to you!