advice about educational path?

  1. Hi students! I'm new to the forum and am trolling for advice... I REALLY want to be an RN and am wondering which schooling option would be best. I already have a BA and can't decide if I should go for my ADN at a local community college or apply for accelerated/second degree BSN programs out-of-state.

    How important is the BSN in the working world? I eventually want to obtain a master's degree, whether in nursing or public health, and I've heard that many programs require that you have your BSN. It would be great to stay local and save money at a community college program, but how will the education and clinical rotations compare with those of the "fast-track" BSN programs?

    Frank opinions from new students and seasoned veterans much appreciated!!!!
  2. Visit tiquicia profile page

    About tiquicia

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 17


  3. by   TheBrainMusher
    I'm in the same boat. Although I have decided, when I switch, it will be with a BSN. I believe to get your masters, you need your Bachelor's ... so I am looking at program to get BSN (accelerated since those are the ones near me ...) You can also look at the second degree BSN besides the accelerated program. THose program are 1-3 years depending (I believe from what I've seen). I would suggest if you KNOW you are going on for your masters then go for the BSN. Just curious, Why exactly are you going for your master's? Maybe that will also help others point you in the right direction ...
  4. by   memphispanda
    Many Grad programs accept RN licensure with a BA or BS in anything. Check into it if you think that might affect your decision. It affected mine!
  5. by   Genista
    Hi Tiquicia-
    Have you thought about an entry into MSN/RN for non nurses (suggested by memphispanda in above post)?
    There are a handful of such programs in CA.

    One that I know of is at UCSF:

    There are a few others, as I recall. I bet you could find more info on a search engine. I'd go for the highest degree possible if it was me. If you are going to spend the time to get an AS/RN, and you already have the BS in another field, then why not spend that same time getting your RN and the MS degree (you wouldn't have to go back for the MSN).

    Whatever you decide, I wish you a long & happy career!

  6. by   tiquicia
    Thanks for the advice, folks! Kona, I have considered direct-entry MSN programs but have decided to become an RN first, gain some working experience, then go for a masters because I'm still undecided about which specialty to pursue. Plus, I've heard that the California market is saturated with FNPs (the track I'm leaning toward), and that new grads from direct entry MSN programs have to work as staff nurses for 1-2 years anyway before moving into more advanced roles... I'm itching to get started with school, but am trying to (calmly) make the decision that'll be best in the long run...!!
  7. by   TheBrainMusher

    Same thing here ... not sure what I want to do ... where in CA are you? I know I looking into a few programs out there (I was ready to up and leave here and just take the plunge into nursing) like in san fran or so. I would recommend the accelerated BSN program ... or a second degree program. Mount St. Mary's College - Department of Nursing in LA has an accelerated program. Loma Linda University - School of Nursing - Loma Linda has a second degree program. To start you off, check out this site, it totally helped me. Plus, it allowed you to explore different career paths ...

    And just so you know, there are other programs than on this site, just have to check colleges. Some aren't even listed that offer the second degree BSN ... is also good for general info!
  8. by   EmeraldNYL
    Second degree accelerated BSN programs are relatively new, so I would carefully check out any programs you are thinking of attending. Programs tend to be really disorganized the first year they are run so you may want to wait until after the first class goes through the program. I say do whatever will be the shortest route for you in the long run. My accelerated BSN program is only one year, and it is hard but I will be working sooner! I agree with you that perhaps going straight to the MSN might not be a good idea, I've also heard of people that have done this and couldn't get jobs as NP's because they had no prior nursing experience. Good luck!
  9. by   Jennerizer
    I have a BS degree in Business & I opted to go for the associate's degree mainly because you get more hands-on experience in the "real world" as compared to the BSN which deals a lot with theory---as all Bachelor's degrees are mostly theory. I will pursue my BSN & MSN after I start working as an RN & can decide which area I want to specialize in. Right now I want the hands on experience to gain the knowledge & the confidence.

    Not to mention the ADN program is less expensive & as compared to the BSN. Plus, when I am working as an RN, most of the hospitals in this area offer tuition reimbursement & promote furthering your education....I plan to take them up on that offer.
  10. by   Soon2BNP
    I am in a direct entry program now at UCSF. I am only in the first year and getting a RN in one year is tough!!! Everything goes super fast-I started the program last June and I just starting looking into new grad training programs in the area-time is flying by.

    I have a BS in Speech Therapy.

    Depending on your specialty the NP market can be rough. If you wanted to jump into the FNP role-I would try to interview with the National Health Scholarship people. They place you in an underserved area as a FNP the moment you graduate and in return they pay off your tuition. It's a quick way to get a FNP job for a direct entry graduate-you just have to get the scholarship and be willing to relocate if possible.

    Most entry level grads from my school landed NP jobs right out of school b/c our school has so many placement sites and people made connections with the staff at these sites. Others work PT as a nurse and PT as a NP. However I met a direct entry level FNP grad from USF last week and she couldn't find a FT FNP job in the Bay Area so she has to move to Tahoe b/c it was the only place she could find a job.