How to get there from here

  1. I wanted to get the general consensus on "the best way to get into nursing".

    I'm 37, stuck in I/T. I have a Bachelors in Fine Arts, but in the late 90s took all the pre-reqs for Med School. Needless to say, I didn't get in.

    Now I'm thinking of nursing. So I've got a bachelors and some science courses. There are essentially two ways to do this, that I can see. One is to get an Associate's in Nursing, the second is to go into one of the graduate programs (MSN for non-nursing majors). Both have their drawbacks and pluses.

    I definitely would be a med/surg nurse for only as long as I need to go into another program (nurse practitioner, RNFA, etc). An associates would be cheap, but would leave me with only an associates and probably a lot more schooling. At 37, I don't think I have the desire to spend 10 years getting to my final goal, which is an advanced degree.

    The second way is to do the Masters for non-nurses. Of course this would cost a fortune, but I would be eligible to enter in the Fall of 2007. There have been some people that think this is a bad idea, since I would basically be a Masters level nurse without any working experience. But I would be done in 2 years (at least with the general part). But I'd have a huge financial burden, and I'd basically being making the same amount as I would with just an Associates. (And I'd still have more schooling to specialize)

    So I'm not really sure how to go about this. The other programs, such as accelerated BSN just require so many pre-reqs that it would take me MORE than 2 years to finish, and I really don't see the point.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edit by mvanz9999 on Sep 21, '06
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    About mvanz9999

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 535; Likes: 50
    RN ICU
    Specialty: Accepted...Master's Entry Program, 2008!

    7 Comments

  3. by   JerseyGirl2006
    At 37 I also decided I wanted to become a nurse. I'd already had an undergrad degree and two masters, but no science classes. I reviewed all of the different ways to get into nursing and decided on a part-time accelarted BSN program. I have found that pre-requisites vary amongst the schools that have accelerated programs. My school (I'm in NJ) required Stats (my business stats was not acceptable so I had to take another stats class), A&P I and II, Chemistry, and Microbiology. I took the stats class on line and the rest at a community college. I also took a Bioethics class on line. This class was req'd before entering the full-time accelerated program, but part-time students could take it within the program. I was already on a roll, so I took it online through North Seattle Community College. Awesome course!! Very, very time consuming, but awesome. The prof was suberp (Dr. Tom Kerns...he's written some great books).

    Anyway, there is no easy way. Believe me. I just started my program this August (I'm now 40). It took me a year and a half to get the pre-reqs, but it was totally worth it. If this is what you think your really want, I think going the accelerated route is the best way. If you can find a part-time or go at your own pace accelerated program, that's even better. By this time 2 years from now, I should be licensed.

    I will tell you though, it's definitely a HUGE HUGE HUGE commitment. I have two little boys and I work 9 to 3 then go to school 4 nights a week from 5 until 11 (most nights). It's not an easy road, so just commit and do it.

    All the best!
  4. by   JerseyGirl2006
    Also, you didn't mention if you had a partner, kids, etc....but here's something to consider since you mentioned the cost of doing an MSN program: The US Army.

    The Army pays incentives for BSNs. In addition, they offer lots of additional training (if interested) at no financial cost.

    This is my plan (I am former military) and maybe it's something you can consider.

    Again, good luck.
  5. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from JerseyGirl2006
    Also, you didn't mention if you had a partner, kids, etc....but here's something to consider since you mentioned the cost of doing an MSN program: The US Army.

    The Army pays incentives for BSNs. In addition, they offer lots of additional training (if interested) at no financial cost.

    This is my plan (I am former military) and maybe it's something you can consider.

    Again, good luck.
    I'm divorced. No partner, no kids.
  6. by   llg
    I don't think there IS a lot more to say. It sounds as if you have researched the options well and know the advantages and disadvantages of each. In the end, it comes down to your personal feelings, strengths, and preferences. Which option "fits" you the best? Which set of problems are you willing to live with?

    There is no "one, right answer" to your question. The best answer will depend upon those personal qualities I mentioned above. Each option comes with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Each person has to look inside herself/himself to decide which set they prefer to live with.

    The answer is not "out there" ... it is "inside" yourself. Do some self assessment and reflection and make a decision that you can live with, knowing that there will be benefits and problems with whatever decision you make.

    If it were me, I'd go the MSN route from the beginning -- and then be willing to work as a staff nurse for a few years to get the experience you will lack. I have known a few people who have done that and it works well.

    Good luck to you,
    llg
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    While I can't speak to what direction you should go in at this time, take it from a 50 y/o with a BS in MIS who just left the IT world to start the first semester of nursing school -- I would LOVE to be 37 and doing this instead of my age. At your age, you truly do have many years ahead of you to go in any direction you wish once you obtain your RN (by whatever route). Don't make time your enemy in this decision!!

    My friend's advice (an RN for 25 years) to me was to do it the quickest and cheapest way due to personal situations in my life. I am in an ASN program and look forward to graduation in 3 semesters and 9 weeks!!
  8. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from wdwpixie
    While I can't speak to what direction you should go in at this time, take it from a 50 y/o with a BS in MIS who just left the IT world to start the first semester of nursing school -- I would LOVE to be 37 and doing this instead of my age. At your age, you truly do have many years ahead of you to go in any direction you wish once you obtain your RN (by whatever route). Don't make time your enemy in this decision!!

    My friend's advice (an RN for 25 years) to me was to do it the quickest and cheapest way due to personal situations in my life. I am in an ASN program and look forward to graduation in 3 semesters and 9 weeks!!
    LOL! I agree with your friend. Quickest and cheapest. I did find another Masters Program for Non-nurses that's at a state school and considerable cheaper than the other program. So what I'll do is apply to this and some ASN programs, and depending on where I'm accepted and what the wait list is, go from there. (Although ASN programs are cheap, most have a 1-2 year waiting list. So not so quick).

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    By the way wdwpixie, why did you leave IT?
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    Why did I leave IT? To quote your original post "stuck in I/T"....I also came very late to that field as a systems analyst <yawn>-- only 6 years ago -- and after sitting in stupid meetings, doing documentation that didn't matter much, working off of someone else's silly and/or poor project plans, tiptoeing around management and business users, working mandatory overtime for no extra compensation because it was "expected (even when we didn't NEED to, but mgt. wanted the time on our time accounting system) and being terrified of a THIRD layoff at my large corporate setting, I realized I hated what I was doing.

    My eldest, whom I'm often at odds with, said she felt the reason I was so miserable was that I "wasn't making a difference". Wow!! Such insight!!

    After looking around at alternative options, healthcare seemed the way to go for a lot of reasons besides the above, including not being restricted to M - F from 8 to 5, having career options, and being in a more physical job....my buns spread 22+ lbs. my first year in that job!! Sitting is not something I do well and I can't tell you how many times I nodded off in front of my PC!!

    I wish you a lot of luck....it sounds like you're doing your homework and you will make the right decisions!! I do envy the 13 years you've got on me to accomplish your goals....take care and best wishes!

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