I am a 22 year old student that will be finishing my first bachelors in communication management in a year. After that I would like to enter a program to obtain my associates in nursing. This route works for me because I am really trying to get into the workforce as quickly as possible. Also I already have debt from my first degree. However, I am hearing that Chicago hospitals are requiring a BSN for most applicants. Should I move and get my ADN and take the NCLEX somewhere more likely to hire an associates? I am willing to get my BSN after being hired on I just would like to work as an RN with an associates first. Thank you for any advice in advance.
Dec 10, '17
No need to pick up & move somewhere else to complete your ADN & NCLEX unless you really want to, but it does seem to be a tight market in the Chicago area from what I've read. NCLEX is the same no matter where you take it & you don't have to take it in the state you plan to work (I had a classmate take it while vacationing in FL). You absolutely can get your ADN & should have no problem getting a job if you're willing to look a little farther south or away from the city in general for your first job.
You should also qualify for an accelerated BSN program after completing your current program. You would be ready to work quickly like the ADN, but with a BSN qualification (& a higher tuition price tag) & may be able to avoid having to relocate.
Dec 17, '17
Having a prior BA/BS I would encourage you to pursue an ABSN. It comes with a higher price tag but it's usually less time than an ASN/ADN. My ABSN program is 12 months and one of my former classmates from my prior undergrad is pursuing an ASN...and it's 24 months.
Get the BSN and be done with it so you can remain competitive in the job market (better pay too) and other opportunities to climb the ladder.
Dec 27, '17
While many Chicago hospitals don't outright require a BSN (although some do), look at the job market for the city. There are two master's entry programs and a whole slew of BSN programs located in/next to the Chicago. After that, look at all the BSN schools in the state, as well as states with land or maritime borders with Illinois - I bet you that every BSN school in those states also has new grads that come to Chicago looking to work, because it's Chicago.
The long and short of it is that getting an associates in the Chicago area is aiming to start off in an LTC. If that's where you want to work, then fine, otherwise go for an accelerated BSN or check out DePaul or Rush's Master's-entry programs.
Dec 27, '17
Your chances of landing an acute care job in the Chicago area as an ADN new grad are slim for quite a number of reasons, already explained above. Something to consider is that since you're almost (but not yet) complete in your 1st Bachelors, you might consider completing RN prerequisites and transitioning into a BSN program and then complete both Bachelors Degrees at the same time (effectively as a double major). Otherwise I would suggest completing your current program, get your prerequisites done at basically the same time, and apply to both ABSN and ELM nursing programs. These programs will generally take about a year to complete as both are "accelerated" compared to a traditional program. The local ABSN program (to me) still is 4 semesters but they run straight through Summer so you start in the Fall and complete the program at the end of Fall Semester the next year. It works out to something like 14 or 15 months instead of 22. The downside of doing things this way is that there's a very real chance your student loan/grant/etc funding sources will dry up if you're pursuing a 2nd degree (or a lesser if you go ADN) as you'll already have a Bachelors. There may be different funding options for Masters-level programs but I have little info on those as I haven't looked into that.
As to taking the NCLEX, it's the same exam anywhere you take it. What matters is passing the exam and having the results sent to the state where you've applied for an RN license. I applied for a license in California and took the NCLEX at a site that happened to be less than 20 miles from home. I could have gone to Hawaii, Florida, or wherever else on vacation and taken the NCLEX locally there (if there's a Pearson Vue site that's appropriate for it) and the result would have been the same.
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