ADN>MSN or aBSN? HELP!

  1. I wasn't sure where to post this topic because I think I want some nurses with experience answer my question. Here it is:

    I am taking prereqs to go into nursing school, in San Diego. I already have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and 11 years experience in management in that field.

    My ultimate goals are:
    Complete nursing school in a timely as possible manner
    get a well-paying job once school is done
    not come out of school harboring more in debt than I need

    My choices:
    1. Go to City College San Diego and get my ADN in two years (almost free)
    TRY to get an entry level job
    Immediately go back to school to get my RN>MSN (not too expensive)

    2. Go to an accelerated BSN program (2 years) and have two Bachelor’s degrees (expensive)
    Graduate and get a real nursing job
    maybe not be able to afford to get the MSN

    Considerations:
    I don’t have anyone to support me while I’m in school, so I will have to borrow $ for living expenses because supposedly I won’t be able to work
    I may not get into the ADN program because it is VERY impacted
    The accelerated BSN program is 1.5 hours away from where I live

    I guess I want to know if anyone can weigh in on those choices, because they both seem to have very good and very bad points.
  2. Visit sandiegotrish profile page

    About sandiegotrish

    Joined: Feb '16; Posts: 22; Likes: 16
    Pre-Nursing Student

    14 Comments

  3. by   twozer0
    I went through the gamut of ASN to BSN and now MSN. At that time there wasnt as much emphasis on having BSN rated nurses in hospitals and while this is a trend that is changing, there are still several facilities that will take ASN grad and a lot of it is geographical (rural = less BSN reqs). I'm not sure what you mean by having a "real" nursing job that a BSN would provide you. A BSN's function is the same as an ASN's function. They are not titles that govern your practice, your RN license is that.

    Also, why would do you want a masters degree in nursing if you aren't a nurse yet? You might not even like being a nurse in the first place! Are you making this career move for more job security and pay (compared to the limited graphic design market)? I also suggest shadowing a nurse and maybe learning about what it is that you'll be getting into. Just because nurses have good job security and the pay is decent means the job is anything you'll want to do! There are several threads here to explain the nasties of the job. I applaud you for looking this way for a career move but I also encourage you to get in a little more before you decide on making big moves (like a masters in an novice field of practice).
    Last edit by twozer0 on Feb 5, '16 : Reason: grams
  4. by   sandiegotrish
    I wasn't going to go MSN until a college dean suggested it to me. Why get a second bachelor's degree? she said to me. It's not a guarantee but it's one path that I can do. An MSN opens a lot more doors than the other degrees, and in San Diego I need the most I can get, since it's so competitive here. I would want to get a regular RN hospital job either way at first (same as if I was at BSN level), but I was led to believe that the MSN would get me there with better certainty. I realize experience is necessary, and I would try to get a job with my ADN while I am working on MSN, but in San Diego, with an ADN you're lucky if you can get a job at a Skilled Nursing Facility, let alone a hospital. I appreciate your advice!
    Last edit by sandiegotrish on Feb 5, '16 : Reason: clarity
  5. by   beekee
    I have a bachelor's in another field. I went the ADN route because it was cheap. I worked full time throughout the entire program. I hear California is tough for nurses, but I had no difficulty finding a LTC position.

    I plan on getting my BSN online. My total cost will be less than $15k before any financial aid, scholarships, etc.
    Last edit by beekee on Feb 5, '16
  6. by   heb06004
    Why don't you take it one step at a time and get your RN first? You might go to nursing school and completely change your mind about what kind of nursing interests you. I went to school thinking I wanted to eventually get one type of MSN and by the time I graduated with my BSN I had completely different interests.
  7. by   sandiegotrish
    Well, because the outcome I decide on will change where I start. I am a planner. I don't want to go get an ADN and then find out I can't get a job with the ADN. But there is certainly room for me to choose to go ADN>BSN, so your advice is valid! You're absolutely right, I need to figure out whether nursing is right for me, and I suppose going ADN first is the most cost-effective way to do so. I guess what I'm the most worried about is making sure I have the BEST credentials I can to secure a job I love in the end.
  8. by   havehope
    Quote from sandiegotrish
    Well, because the outcome I decide on will change where I start. I am a planner. I don't want to go get an ADN and then find out I can't get a job with the ADN. But there is certainly room for me to choose to go ADN>BSN, so your advice is valid! You're absolutely right, I need to figure out whether nursing is right for me, and I suppose going ADN first is the most cost-effective way to do so. I guess what I'm the most worried about is making sure I have the BEST credentials I can to secure a job I love in the end.
    I went the ADN route. First, it only took two years to complete (which means being a broke college student for two years not four). My employer will pay for me to get my BSN. I graduated in December, we had a class of 20 I believe (all ADN) and everyone but two got jobs. One moved back home out of the state and one didn't know where she wanted to work at. The only thing I ran into without having a BSN, I had to agree to get my BSN within 4-6 years or something like that. I'll be honest, I kind of like this because it MAKES me go back to school to get the BSN. On the other hand, it sucks because where I work at you get no pay raise for obtaining your BSN.
  9. by   sandiegotrish
    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed to hear, to cement my decision to go the ADN-first route. It just seems so much smarter to me, but everyone I know who is a nurse or is trying to become one tells me I am crazy for the idea of going ADN first.
  10. by   Mavrick
    A nurse with an MSN and no experience is no more valuable than any new grad. You will struggle to get a job competing with equally inexperienced BSN and ADN grads. You will receive no management experience, no leadership experience but will most likely obtain graduate level debt.

    What is the point? If you're willing to fork over the money, schools will eat it up. And a college dean suggested it at that. Job security anyone? Hmmmmmm

    Similar thread: MSN Nurse without clinical experience please help!!
    Last edit by Mavrick on Feb 5, '16
  11. by   NurseGirl525
    Ask yourself this, how can I become a master of a subject if I have not practiced that subject? That is what having an entry level MSN is. That is what a college admission officer sells you. That is their job. To sell you their product without explaining the reality.

    Know that CA is heavily impacted and it will be very difficult to find a job as a new grad. Regardless of the degree, the new grad unemployment rate is 47%. Know that going in.

    Why are you leaving your current job?
  12. by   sandiegotrish
    I'm not just leaving my job I am leaving the profession altogether. I am doing it because I am burnt out, because I'm at the top of the game with no gain left, not learning anything. And most of all, because I want to be a nurse. I realize the job market is tough for new grads. Are you suggesting that I just give up??? I'm sorry, I didn't come to a nursing website to be discouraged out of going to school to become a nurse.
    Last edit by sandiegotrish on Feb 6, '16
  13. by   sandiegotrish
    The way I have set it up it will cost me 1/4 of the money to do the RN > MSN route than to get the BSN. Not sure where you are getting the idea of "graduate level debt." And with the toughness of finding jobs, isn't it better to have the higher degree??? It is so for other professions, maybe nursing it's not so. A new grad is a new grad, I can't see why a new grad with more learning under her belt would not have an advantage. Please do explain if this is not so.

    Moreover, the dean of the college that suggested MSN was at a college that doesn't offer such a degree and only has a BSN bridge program so I was able to rule out "job security."
  14. by   Gentleman_nurse
    I am also a second career nurse. Getting into any RN program was the toughest step. Once you get accepted everything will fall into place.

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