I might have no idea what I'm doing! I need guidance.

by Han1dayCRNA Han1dayCRNA (New) New


So I'm kind of in a tricky situation. I'm currently 19 years old living in NY. I graduated highschool in 2015. While in highschool I took a college level 2 year EMS course which got me a handful or so of credits. It has always been my dream to be a nurse anesthetist. My goal after highschool was to work as an EMT to help support my mom while in nursing school. However I discovered I had (much worse than I thought) scoliosis and spondylisthesis and the pain my senior year got worse and I couldn't (and it didn't make sense to) sit for my practicals. Even after I graduated I was in too much pain and too depressed bc of it to attend school. It's now approaching two years I've been out of highschool and am finally about to complete my surgery and wish to begin school this fall 2017 or spring 2018 depending on application deadlines. So I guess my question to all you awesome nurses (or nurses to be) is where do I even start?

I was looking into LPN programs so that I could work while completing my RN. Then I read a lot that committing to a new nursing job while still trying to fully commit to nursing school doesn't do well for either. And if I truly intend on being a CRNA it doesn't sit well with me to waste a year of school I can use towards my bachelors. So I'm thinking about going straight for my RN and just doing office work while in school. Where I get confused is always admission requirments. A lot of nursing bachelors programs requirments are tailored to highschool seniors (needing SATS/transcripts/academic recommendations, all of which I either don't have or is too late bc I've been out of school two years). Or requirments are just too program specific or confusing to me. Where do I start in getting my BSN/RN? Do I have to complete my associates first? Or just some pre-reqs at a community college and transfer next year to a more prestigious bachelors program? Does it even make sense to get your RN after your associates or wait for your bachelors? Is completing pre/Reqs and entering a bachelors program the same as getting associates level nursing training to even sit for an RN exam?

Can you tell I'm super confused?

i just feel so in the dark bc online research gets a little back and forth (misleading as well) and I miss the good old days in highschool where if I needed any info on college acceptance I just had to go into my couselors office, now I don't know where to begin to look. Even calling some of these places isn't helpful. Please help guys!

Wiggly Litchi

476 Posts

Go and chat in person with advising - I was also in the same boat as you kinda - I'm from the UK but living in the USA so I had no school record stateside; I also had no SATA scores etc because I've never taken those tests (that's a USA thing!), no transcripts, and no recommendations . . .

Advising will be able to talk with you about alternatives; maybe you'll have to take the ACT, your high school transcript can be obtained still I believe, you just have to ask your school for it. As for academic recommendations, I have all of mine from taking prerequisite classes - I built rapport with my professors, worked really hard, and came out with glowing recommendations from each and every one of them. I took the ACT instead of the SATA and got great scores which allowed me to skip remedial math and English classes.

I know it sounds super daunting right now, but go and chat with advising - that's what they are there for. If it helps, speak with them about the prospect of getting some prerequisite classes out of the way at a local community college (if you're applying to a 4yr school) - not only is it cheaper, but the admissions process isn't generally as strict; plus, you'll be able to get some recommendations from there if you work hard and show your professors that you won't let them down.

Good luck!



19 Posts

Our school (Community College) has an advising office just for the Health Professions. They will tell you everything you need to do to get into the program, what classes, what records, etc.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

Where do I start in getting my BSN/RN?

Multiple routes. Some do a traditional BSN 4-year program that includes pre-requisite coursework within those years. Some who have a Bachelor degree in another area of study can apply to an accelerated BSN program because they will already have completed the General Education requirements and need the core nursing courses in order to meet the BSN degree's requirements.

Do I have to complete my associates first?

No, see above. However, there are those who complete an ADN (Associate's Degree in Nursing) program first, take the licensing exam, and then work as an RN while competing a "bridge" program for already-licensed nurses, an "RN-BSN" program. Many use this route to get a foot in the door and make some money while continuing their education. Some stop right there. Depends on ultimate goals, but it's a valid first step for many. Keep in mind that a typical ADN is NOT a "2-year degree"; the pre-requisite coursework can be anywhere from 1-2 years depending on program requirements for the nursing school you want to attend.

Or just some pre-reqs at a community college and transfer next year to a more prestigious bachelors program?

See above. Keep in mind that each BSN program will have its' own requirements for admission, and taking "just some pre-reqs" probably isn't a good plan. Once you have decided on the BSN program you want ultimately to enroll in, you'll want to take THOSE courses that make you eligible to apply. For now, forget about "prestige". There are amazing (yes, prestigious) ADN programs and awful BSN programs, and vice versa. But right now, at the beginning, "prestigious" isn't your focus.

Does it even make sense to get your RN after your associates or wait for your bachelors?

See above. The answer is yes, frequently, but it's not a matter of getting an RN license after just any Associate's program, it's an Associate's in NURSING that makes you eligible to attempt licensure. And once you have that license, you are then eligible for those RN-BSN programs I mentioned earlier. Without having the RN license, you aren't eligible for the "completer" BSN programs.

Is completing pre/Reqs and entering a bachelors program the same as getting associates level nursing training to even sit for an RN exam? [/quote

No. You are only eligible to take the NCLEX-RN after you have graduated from an approved (by the state board of nursing) program. That happens after you complete an ADN program in its entirety, OR after completing a BSN program in its entirety. Once you have completed the 2 years' worth of pre-requisite courses for a traditional BSN program, you aren't "ADN level", you haven't yet had any nursing courses. And ADN graduate is eligible to take the NCLEX. A student who has completed pre-requisites for a BSN program is not.

Can you tell I'm super confused?

YES lol but that's ok, everyone starts somewhere! HOWEVER it is now up to you to contact schools that interest you and find out what THEIR requirements are. Like you mentioned from your recollection of high school guidance counselor days, that is where you need to be right now, contacting school admissions counselors and program advisors. THEY can best direct you to what you need to do to get into their programs and complete them successfully. Bear in mind that in many areas of the country there are FAR more student nurse wannabes than there are openings in schools, so entry can be anywhere from mildly competitive to Are You Kidding Me competitive. Be prepared!

And good luck :)