Hard Decision to Make - Any Thoughts?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi everyone - Here is yet another thread about going into nursing versus not :D

Here's my situation - I have taken pre-reqs towards nursing for almost 4 years now! Slowly but surely so that I get good grades & I had to work full-time and get on waiting lists, etc. I have been excited that long to do it and worked very hard. I have been at my present occupation for 22 years. My employer, a hospital, was paying enough tuition assistance to cover my degree (whether it be ASN or BSN) almost entirely including books! Jan. 2010 is the year that I have finally been accepted into both an ASN program and a BSN program. I just found out that my employer, due to the economy, has had to slash our tuition assistance alot -- so that it will now cost me about $12,000 - $14,000 to do the BSN route, and about $1,200 for the ASN degree. But actually due to how many pre-reqs I have taken, both degrees will take me the same amount of time left - only 2 more years. Some people are advising me due to the economy & due to me having a good, stable job right now - not to go on with nursing anymore. Because once clinicals hit next year, I will have to give up my current job & get a part-time job. It is just my husband and me. But I am the insurance holder for us too. I really didn't want to incur any more debt for us. Plus the fact that there seems to be a surplus of nurses right now trying to get jobs. Plus the fact that my husband and I are in our 40's so not young. But I would still be about 2 years away from graduating so the economy could very well turn around some by then too. There are pros and cons to both avenues, I know. If I look short-term, then I should stay where I am. If I look long-term, then I think the rewards would be better with nursing. I really want to do something else rather than staying with my current profession another 20+ years and have always wanted to be a nurse. Do I give it up? Do I go the ASN route? Do I go the BSN route? I know I have to make up my own mind because it's my life but I keep going back & forth with this decision. Thanks for any thoughts you all have!! I love this website. :redbeathe


76 Posts

Since you're asking opinions...

I think it is rarely a good idea to go into debt, but if you must, make it the debt that will be the least.

As for leaving your present job, what will happen to you and your husband if you lose your job? With nursing, there's always another job available.

Good luck to you!


310 Posts

I'd suggest the ASN route. It is more affordable and most hospitals do not have a pay difference between BSN and ASN graduates. You take the exact same NCLEX-RN. You can also go back in the future for an RN-BSN program that may be covered by a different facility's tuition assistance program.

Good luck to you and don't give up!


454 Posts

Specializes in cardiac, ortho, med surg, oncology.

This is a hard one. Personally I would go for the BSN. I say this because you state that you are in your 40's already and floor nursing is physically demanding. With the BSN you can do a few years of floor nursing and then move into a management position that is less physically demanding and also more lucrative. Additionally there is talk by the current administration about some loan forgiveness for students in nursing. It really comes down to how much debt you are ready to acquire and what your career goals are. The BSN will indeed cost more but will open more doors for you in the future.


108 Posts


Hi. Your achievments are fantastic. The choice needs to be one where you will not spend more time at school which I think would be the BSN which in the long term will benefit you. Re. costs and giving up a full time job for clinicals - there is an urgent need to discuss this with your present employer and your school. There are always options if you dig deep enough. Have you been able to perhaps extend your clinicals part time so that you keep you full time job in the present climate of uncertainty. In Canada, university tuition is tax refundable - is this the case for where you are? You could also sit down with your employer with whom you have demonstrated an ongoing committment to work out an agreement where you can maintain employment while following your studies. You know the enviroment where you work, which gives you a firm foothold and a steady committment to reliablility and excellent work ethic, something that no employer should ignore.

From reading various posts, I have the impression that many nurses have tenuous work situations. You are to be commended for your committment and I think you should leave no stone unturned to find a solution compatible to your needs. Good luck!!


4 Posts

I see you issue! I spent alot of money on my Bachelor's in a different field! Then decided to do nursing, I chose the associates route since it was cheaper. I just graduated last December and was lucky to get a job! So many nurses and new grads are having problems finding jobs right now. And I would not suggest going into debt. You can always do the RN-BSN transition later. Maybe by then the hospital you work at will offer more tuition reimbursement. I have looked at the tuition rates cause I am thinking about starting my BSN transition and they are high!! BSN gives you more opportunities down the road, but we do both take the same NCLEX and usuall get paid the same (some hospitals give maybe 50 cents more i think). Good luck!! Just keep in mind you will probably have to go part time at work. Oh, also look into grants or scholarships.

Thanks everyone who has responded so far.....SO, what I'm hearing I think so far is that no one has recommended quitting the nursing route - that I should keep going & the only question is the ASN or BSN route. Thanks again & anyone else wanting to weigh in - I love to hear whatever thoughts people have!


2,228 Posts

What kind of a job do you have now?

What kind of a job does your husband have? Will he be able to take over the insurance?

If not, how will you deal with the insurance?

The ASN would be a better choice economically, then later you could use tuition assistance

to get an RN to MSN degree, bypass the BSN entirely, the MSN degree is the one that would

open doors.

I am an admin. asst for the president of a hospital - So, very good stable job but I am at the top with no where to go & have done this for 20+ years, and I am the kind of person who gets bored fast - needs challenges, etc. so that is just one of many reasons nursing has appealed to me. Anyway, my husband is self-employed so cannot pick up the insurance. That's probably my biggest concern - is insurance because it's just out of hand right now with the costs of it.


270 Posts

Specializes in Mental and Behavioral Health.
Since you're asking opinions...

I think it is rarely a good idea to go into debt, but if you must, make it the debt that will be the least.

As for leaving your present job, what will happen to you and your husband if you lose your job? With nursing, there's always another job available.

Good luck to you!

That is not true. There are lots of nurses out of work right now. Lots of people who graduated last year still don't have jobs, and are now competing for jobs with people graduating now.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

i am not clear how you would even work part time? this would, i would think, be a daytime job that you have....my thought would be to pinch every penny between now and then....and go the bsn route....the insurance is going to be the deal breaker.....does you husbands occupation have an organization that may provide some possibility?is he doing well enough in his business that you could cobra? this is only 18 months i think but at least a start.....but very epensive.....would your present employer keep you on the ins for 8 hours a week? not usually, but perhaps worth asking....good luck


2,228 Posts

You have put a lot into it already.

On the other hand, you are going to have to work part-time while going to school, which may be difficult, and try to figure out how you will pay for your insurance. Then you will more than likely have to work nights, weekends, holidays once you become a nurse, with all the stress, physical and mental, and the responsibility and liability. The 12 hour shifts that run into 13 or 14 hours, plus the commute on top of that and then having to do it all over again the next day.

The job you have now, I'm thinking, is days Monday through Friday, with probably holidays off and no problem getting time off when you need it for a doctor's appointment, etc. Good clean work, no bodily excretions, no one hitting you, or trying to climb out of the furniture while you have to try to restrain them, no one spitting at you, or swearing at you.

I know which side of the fence looks better to me and it's not the side I'm on.

I'd go for a challenging sport or hobby myself, if I needed a change.

You do say, though, that you have always wanted to be a nurse.

Maybe a list of pros and cons and see what you come up with.

Good luck with your decision.

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