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Giving up PA school acceptance to pursue ASN?

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by ang314 ang314 (Member)

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On 3/13/2019 at 2:03 PM, 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. 

This paragraph sums it all up. You have all the options before you with the benefits and consequences. No one can see the future, so pick a path that you feel will give you the most happiness in life and don't give up. Thinking about the "what if's" will only give you more distress. Schooling for any program is temporary, but your career can last a potential lifetime. Stop thinking about the short term and start planning for the end game. I cannot speak for PA's, but another thing to note is that there is no "perfect" job in nursing. There will always be a con, whether big or small. These may come in the form of a boss, coworker, facility, etc. Your experience in med-surge is not a predictor for any future med-surge experience you may have in the future (unless you work in the same unit that you did as a CNA). I had a fellow med-surge nurse transfer to the mother-baby unit in our hospital and told me that she wanted out because her coworkers made it hell for her. My two cents, stick with PA school because this seems to be your original choice. If you're only picking nursing for the schedule, just know that some places still do 8-hour shifts, so it's not necessarily a guarantee that you will get 3 days a week in your preferred specialty. And not to mention that going into some specialties in nursing will require some years of experience in the acute (med-surge) setting.   

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Your path is visible to you.  Do the ADN.  You really only want to work 2-3 days a week.  Get the ADN, do a stint in Med-Surg (your quote about the nurses made me cringe—not all are like that).  After even a mere one year in Med-Surg move to whatever area you like, considering demand/opportunity for your field of nursing interest (very important if you want to only work on your terms).  Utilize the education benefits at the place you work and do a distance ADN > BSN (or as BeachsideRN said—do an accelereated (3 year) BSN, but that is a tough choice and course do NOT frighten me—be prepared to “be immersed," totally immersed if you do a 3 year program.


While doing the ADN look forward to your ADN>BSN program to determine "needs," and take “extra” courses that will be useful or necessary (ugh---stats!).  Even use online el cheapo places like Sophia or Capella, $99 for 3 credits IS possible, making sure that your ADN>BSN will take them (I was surprised to find that my current BSN program did, that being Granite State (GSC) in NH).

 So now let’s assume that you have your weenie (as I do) ADN and you are ready to move from ADN>BSN and you’re “set up.”  That means you need a mere 30 credit hours to graduate.  (YMMV depending on the school).


This is what I have done, all online, and my total cost for the ADN to BSN will be about $12,000, exactly what I paid for my used Ford Ranger Pickup.  Now, GSC has a “deal” for those who attained their ADN via an in-state community college, so rather amazingly I found the cheapest (and quite good quality, for instance my current professor (Leadership class) is Dean of Nursing for Elsevier University) BSN school right here in-state.  I have one course + Capstone course to go.


Now you have the BSN. Do what wakes you up in the morning for a year or three, Pedes, ED, Geriatric, who knows (you don't--yet).  Now utilize where you work to help pay for you  to go from BSN to APRN, be it FNP, ANP or whatever.  


100k in debt?  Forced to move? Not gonna happen.  Currently at 5?% annual that’s $417 each and every month for interest alone, and next year it may be 6% (last year was 4.5%).  See what I mean, your path is right there in your writing.


Good luck, excel and if you feel like a slave—move elsewhere! (BTW, I’m aged 68 in case that matters, meaning it’s not like you really have to rush.)
 

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

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Whichever you choose, it is going to be full-time for a while — school, then career after — before it can become a part-time thing. Don't take this the wrong way, but why do it now? School will be there years from now when you have your family well established, kids in school all year, etc. Now I am not usually one to tell people to stay at home and not pursue whichever dream you end up choosing, but if you truly want to spend time with family and travel, anything you choose is going to be at odds with that. This is coming from an education junkie, too. Haha. Just more food for thought. 

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Adult and Geriatric Primary Care NP.

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No offense, but you do not come across as having the drive and passion to become a provider at this point in your life.  You are all over the place.  My advice is to defer PA school - they may let you enroll in 1 or 2 years and then think over what you really want to do.  There are plenty of opportunities for PAs to work PT and/or per diem.  2 years is not very long and if you can't make a 2 year sacrifice, then you should not be a provider of any type.  At any rate, you are not ready now.  Try finding some PAs and NPs to shadow.

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On 3/14/2019 at 8:19 AM, DowntheRiver said:

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 -. 

This is what I was thinking too. Neither of these careers is going to ruin your life; neither is going to be heaven either!  Both will have pluses and minuses. So basically, take a weekend to meditate on it, have your husband do the same, then make a choice and throw yourself into it. 

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Leader25 has 35 years experience.

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You are not even a nurse yet and you are thinking of part time,or PA  with a move away or NP later on?What happened to that other bio degree?

You are all over the place,you will have more debt,your family is depending on your husbands business to improve their job choices, and so on.

There is no perfect choice but the least disruptive to your family would be no PA,they do not make much more than RN in our area,and thy have to do all the srcub work the doc dont feel like doing, NPs make more.

Working part time is great for family life but will cost you more than you know in the long run,in pension,medical benefits,savings and future retirement.Having to go to fulltime  and leave your kids because your husbnds business tanked is a nightmare.

Analyze all your options better,good luck.

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Lots of great insight. I also wanted to add that you may be more limited in your opportunities to go part-time in a provider role than an RN role. It's fairly easy to find PRN nursing work, but from what I've seen, there are fewer advanced practice part-time opportunities (although I'm no expert, maybe some NPs want to chime in). I wouldn't assume that you could get a part-time PA (or NP) job as soon as you want one.

As a PA, you'd also have to consider the financial implications for going part-time while paying off $100,000 in debt (and raising kids). You don't want to find that you're a 'slave' to your debt and are forced to work full-time to make ends meet. I've known a handful of female physicians who wanted to go part-time after having kids but couldn't afford to due to med school debt.

Finally, whether you choose the PA or RN route, realize that you won't be eligible to go part-time until you have at least a year or two of full-time experience. While you're first learning the role, you really need that initial full-time experience in order to be safe and proficient.

As someone who seriously considered the PA route, I chose nursing because it appeared to be a much more flexible role. It has also been far more affordable, which has allowed me to quickly pay off my student debt and focus on my passions. I like that I could easily go back and complete my NP degree but it would be much more affordable than PA school and I'd feel better-prepared as a provider given my bedside experience.

Edited by adventure_rn

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FullGlass has 1 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Adult and Geriatric Primary Care NP.

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29 minutes ago, adventure_rn said:

Lots of great insight. I also wanted to add that you may be more limited in your opportunities to go part-time in a provider role than an RN role. It's fairly easy to find PRN nursing work, but from what I've seen, there are fewer advanced practice part-time opportunities (although I'm no expert, maybe some NPs want to chime in). I wouldn't assume that you could get a part-time PA (or NP) job as soon as you want one.

As a PA, you'd also have to consider the financial implications for going part-time while paying off $100,000 in debt (and raising kids). You don't want to find that you're a 'slave' to your debt and are forced to work full-time to make ends meet. I've known a handful of female physicians who wanted to go part-time after having kids but couldn't afford to due to med school debt.

Finally, whether you choose the PA or RN route, realize that you won't be eligible to go part-time until you have at least a year or two of full-time experience. While you're first learning the role, you really need that initial full-time experience in order to be safe and proficient.

As someone who seriously considered the PA route, I chose nursing because it appeared to be a much more flexible role. It has also been far more affordable, which has allowed me to quickly pay off my student debt and focus on my passions. I like that I could easily go back and complete my NP degree but it would be much more affordable than PA school and I'd feel better-prepared as a provider given my bedside experience.

As an NP, I can say there are plenty of opportunities for part time and per diem work.  

 

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69 Likes; 4,810 Visitors; 370 Posts

Just a couple of thoughts.

If you do end up going down the nursing route get your BSN from the beginning. It is hard to get the more desirable nursing jobs without it, and an ADN with a BS is not viewed the same way as BSN. I would strongly consider an accelerated program given your BS in bio.

Whether you decide to go PA or RN you will have to put in time before you get the job you actually want, be it a matter of shift preference, care area, or FTE status.

The proverb 'a bird in the hand is worth to in the bush' has existed for a long time for a good reason. I would be concerned that if you give up your PA spot that you may not get into nursing school, outside of overpriced private programs nursing school can be far more difficult to get into than you probably think.

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience.

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I agree that if you are definitely going to pick one of these 2 routes the nursing option sounds far less disruptive to your life and your family. If going to PA school was something you were absolutely passionate about maybe it would be worth the sacrifice of moving, money and your family members sacrifices but it doesn't sound like it is your passion. Plus you mentioned that you hate the school you were accepted to. In my (humble!) opinion it would be a mistake to uproot your life and the lives/plans of various family members for something you're not sure about. If you end up disliking the school or changing your mind about becoming a PA you might feel like you have to stick it out since people made adjustments in their lives for you. At least if you are in an ADN program close to home and decide it's not for you it would be simpler and cheaper to stop the program. Also there are so many options in nursing, especially if you do a couple years acute care you can even get a work from home job, part time clinic or insurance or case management... all things that are compatible with the life of a working mom. Good luck! Big life decisions are so hard!

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zoidberg has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Apply to PA schools and see what happens. That’s what I did. Nursing school was my backup. I am now a happily employed RN and and can support my family... BTW... didn’t even get an interview for any of the 20 PA schools I applied to. It was a tough year apparently. 

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I'm not a nurse,  BUT I would go to PA school given your options. It's only 2 years.  ADN programs are also two years. Mine  as well get the degree in the field you seem passionate about (if that's PA school) and makes great money.  Worry about your work schedule later. Mid 20s is super young!  You will still be a young mom in two years lol,  ...unless you want 10 kids,  I don't see the point in rushing. Kids will be there. Plus,  you can always get pregnant your second year of PA school OR nursing school. I've shadowed providers and nurses,  providers seem to have more flexibility in job choices and less hands on ( think virtual providers=work from home lol). Anyhow,  good luck with your decision, both are great fields and you can't go wrong. I just had to come in because I don't want you thinking mid to late 20s is "old mom" status 🙂. I was there a few years ago,  these quarter life crisis suck lol.  Also it's tough to get into PA school, so CONGRATS btw!!!

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