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Giving up PA school acceptance to pursue ASN?

Nurses   (1,323 Views 29 Comments)
by ang314 ang314 (Member)

1 Like; 729 Visitors; 18 Posts

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Hi everyone! 

I’ll try to make this short. I am heavily considering giving up an acceptance to Physician Assistant school to attain my ASN. I am in my mid 20s and graduated college in 2017 with a bachelors in Biology. I have been everywhere in terms of careers and can’t ever pick. I decided on PA because I wanted leadership, a nice salary and to make a difference. However, I am realizing that I want to be a young mom, and I’d ultimately only want to work 2-3 days a week as a PA. With 100k in debt and a steep learning curve as a new PA, this makes little sense for me. But for a while, I allowed the idea to remain in my head. Now, I am thinking that pursuing an ASN for $4k sounds amazing. I have worked as a CNA, however, and in a med surg unit, and honestly hated my job and the nurses’. It all seemed like we were slaves. So that part worries me. To add to my list, I would need to move for PA school. My husband and I recently bought our home and I am happy living here. At times I’m afraid of regretting my choice to give up PA because maybe one day I’ll entertain the idea of being a provider and I have the opportrunity now. However, family is most important to me. I want time to travel and spend with my husband and kids. Any advice ? Thoughts? Is nursing as bad as I saw it working in a hospital? I’d like to work .5 fte or something along there as a nurse. Thank you all. 

Edited by ang314

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River&MountainRN has 3 years experience.

140 Likes; 1,611 Visitors; 156 Posts

Nursing does seem to have a lot of options that you are looking for, but at least you're also aware of its drawbacks. If you ever wanted to become a provider, you could always go back and pursue NP education and licensure once you've gotten some nursing experience. 

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114 Likes; 16,502 Visitors; 1,489 Posts

I like my job.

I am not a slave.

I am paid fairly, and generally treated professionally by peers, co-workers, patients and my bosses.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

 

It is absolutely possible to work a few years as a nurse and go PRN. Many do.  And, ASN was an excellent ROI for me, and thousands of others.  Do a little research about your geographic area.

Talk to PAs and see if your goals of working half time are reasonable.

 

But-

"However, family is most important to me. I want time to travel and spend with my husband and kids."

Kind of sums it up.

 

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umbdude has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

61 Likes; 1 Follower; 13,728 Visitors; 819 Posts

It doesn't sound like a wise decision especially considering you are only in your mid-20s and don't have kids yet. 2 years of PA education will fly by. After that, you can work part-time as a PA and probably make more than what RNs make full time.

Advanced practitioners are treated with far more respect and have more autonomy. I won't go into the negatives of bedside nursing as a RN because there already are a gazillion threads about it.

Focus on the long term, not the next 2-3 years. Good luck whatever you choose. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a school nurse.

482 Likes; 10,880 Visitors; 1,049 Posts

The jobs are like apples and oranges, so I wouldn't look at it like a choice between similars. Are you more interested in hands on care or a diagnostic/treatment role?

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and works as a Adult Critical Care Nurse Practitioner.

522 Likes; 3 Followers; 8 Articles; 57,356 Visitors; 3,744 Posts

That’s a decision that you as a family should decide. It’s a 2-year sacrifice and a student loan that will not go away for a while. Nursing does offer many options but they are not always appealing compared to a provider role in my opinion. But I’ve been an NP for many years and I will admit that there are jobs and hospitals in my area I would not hate working in as an RN. That said, we have a saturated RN pool here and an ASN is not enough to get you a nice RN job.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience.

199 Likes; 1 Follower; 28,987 Visitors; 4,112 Posts

There will always be trade-offs. If you go PA, you will have a large debt to pay that is incompatible with a part-time schedule.

If family is most important to you and you are willing to trade off the money of full-time work, then nursing might be a good option. Money for travel might be another matter.

I think you need to do some more exploring of nursing as a career before deciding. Talk with your husband. Does he share your dreams of family over job, a part-time schedule and travel? See if you can shadow some nurses who work outside the med-surg world you know. Just be aware that to get to the positions a lot of nurses want, it might involve getting experience in an area like med-surg first and furthering your nursing education beyond an ASN.

In a hospital like mine, ASNs are way less likely to get hired, and if they do, their continued employment depends on getting a BSN in 5 years.

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42 Likes; 2,408 Visitors; 97 Posts

I think a lot of people can understand your position. You want to be home with your kids, but you need income and  want a career. 

It might be easier in nursing to have the part time schedule, but if you already know you dont want to be a nurse, whats the point?

How about doing what you really want, which seems to be PA school? You will probably have to work for a year or two to get confident enough to work somewhere part time. You will, as you say, have student debt, but you have to sacrifice something.

PAs at my job do work part time and contract, so it is possible. Also, there are programs that help you pay back student loans that may help you for the few years you work full time . 

Im still searching for a balance between working and being with my children. If i didnt need the money, i would probably only work part time too.

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36 Likes; 10,223 Visitors; 1,369 Posts

You're not in PA school yet, so you're not giving up anything. That aside, I think you answered your own question. You seem to value a more balanced family life right now, which is a legit life choice. If you end up regretting your decision, you can go back to school for a PA or NP while working as a nurse. You can't really go back and erase student debt or go back in years to be a young mom.

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1 Like; 729 Visitors; 18 Posts

Thank you all so much for the thorough responses. Financially, my husband and I do well since he owns a business, so in that respect I don’t feel any obligation to bring in income. However, I do want to do something with my life besides being a mother. I like being challenged and want to pursue something besides home life a few times a week. I have heard of PAs working part time and I see some listings around me. The main issue I suppose is whether or not it’ll be worth it...I’ve thought about it a thousand times at this point and I just don’t know. In one aspect, it might be nice to work as nurse between part time and PRN as the years pass but yes I know I’d have to get the BSN which I’d probably start to get as soon as I graduate the ASN program so that isn’t an issue. However, I’m scared I won’t find the perfect job as a new nurse, and how I saw nursing in the hospital it really scared me away. I did see some units where I would enjoy it - like mother baby and the PACU. I do like diagnostics more, though but I don’t know if that’ll be important to me after I have kids. I might just want to work and come home and enjoy life outside the hospital and not care about being a practitioner. On the other hand, pursuing PA right now is tough because I’d have to move and this move will affect my entire family believe it or not. My husband will need to sacrifice and travel back and forth probably 2 times a week if not more. Which he is willing to do but I feel some guilt. My mother and rest of my family will also be affected because they planned to move to where we are now for better job opportunities which my husband is supposed to help with. 

I did think about doing nursing now for a bit and using it as a bridge to NP but tbh it is a lot more years of education instead of doing PA now and all the NP programs seem to want you to set up your own clinical schedule and find preceptors on your own etc. The PA program has this all set up for me. Another point to add is that the PA school is pretty crummy, I hated being there during the interview and if I go it’ll only be because it would get me the degree. 

I know I’m all over the place and if you even read this, thank you so much lol. 

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BeachsideRN has 2 years experience as a ASN and works as a RN.

14 Likes; 16,599 Visitors; 1,719 Posts

Have you considered an accelerated BSN program? 

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

124 Likes; 13,413 Visitors; 812 Posts

15 hours ago, ang314 said:

Thank you all so much for the thorough responses. Financially, my husband and I do well since he owns a business, so in that respect I don’t feel any obligation to bring in income. However, I do want to do something with my life besides being a mother. I like being challenged and want to pursue something besides home life a few times a week. I have heard of PAs working part time and I see some listings around me. The main issue I suppose is whether or not it’ll be worth it...I’ve thought about it a thousand times at this point and I just don’t know. In one aspect, it might be nice to work as nurse between part time and PRN as the years pass but yes I know I’d have to get the BSN which I’d probably start to get as soon as I graduate the ASN program so that isn’t an issue. However, I’m scared I won’t find the perfect job as a new nurse, and how I saw nursing in the hospital it really scared me away. I did see some units where I would enjoy it - like mother baby and the PACU. I do like diagnostics more, though but I don’t know if that’ll be important to me after I have kids. I might just want to work and come home and enjoy life outside the hospital and not care about being a practitioner. On the other hand, pursuing PA right now is tough because I’d have to move and this move will affect my entire family believe it or not. My husband will need to sacrifice and travel back and forth probably 2 times a week if not more. Which he is willing to do but I feel some guilt. My mother and rest of my family will also be affected because they planned to move to where we are now for better job opportunities which my husband is supposed to help with. 

I did think about doing nursing now for a bit and using it as a bridge to NP but tbh it is a lot more years of education instead of doing PA now and all the NP programs seem to want you to set up your own clinical schedule and find preceptors on your own etc. The PA program has this all set up for me. Another point to add is that the PA school is pretty crummy, I hated being there during the interview and if I go it’ll only be because it would get me the degree. 

I know I’m all over the place and if you even read this, thank you so much lol. 

Yeah, it sounds like you are really all over the place. You just need to pick a path and stick with it - no going back. There is no perfect path and none of us can guarantee that things will go smoothly for you, which is what you seem to anticipate. Neither path is really better than the other - both have + and -. 

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