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International, non-nursing bachelor's

nnnt nnnt (New) New

Hello everybody!

I've been living in the US for the past year with my husband. We came here for his MBA and we'll probably stay here since he got a full-time offer from a company in California!

I have a bachelor's degree from one of the best universities in my home country, with a major in International Relations. I also worked for three years as a full time purchaser while getting an executive MBA. Since we got here, however, I've been looking into healthcare careers options. I was never in love with business careers and, since I don't have work permission right now, I decided to study for what I really wanted.

Many American healthcare careers don't exist in my country, and the whole educational system is completely different from what I have back home, so it's a bit challenging for me to understand a few things. I chose Nursing among all careers and have been doing some prerequisites for the eventual career change.

That said, I'm still having doubts about what kind of degree to get. Is an Associate enough, since I already have a Bachelor's? Will it be an obstacle in case I decide to pursue a Master's in Nursing one day? Or is it better to go for an ABSN? Also, I saw the option of Entry-Level Masters' - are they going to have a better job placement? What are their advantages?

A little bit more information: I've had several leadership and volunteering positions through my life, my GPAs from both my MBA and BA are above 3.0 (the conversion is not very precise) and I've been keeping a 3.2 GPA from a good university in the US for my prerequisites (which is not amazing, unfortunately =X)

Sorry about the long post and I hope I didn't write anything that doesn't make sense lol!

Thank you so much :)

Edited by nnnt

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

If you wanted to eventually get your Masters then you would need your BSN. Be aware that the unemployment rate for new grad nurses in California is said to be 46%.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Has 27 years experience. Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

OP, it does get confusing when you look at various entry options for a nursing career here in California. Basically, there are three degree options for pre-licensure nursing programs. Just to clarify, pre-licensure programs prepare you to graduate and be eligible to take the national RN board examinations or NCLEX-RN which is used by all the 50 states. Most other states have the Associate's vs Bachelors degree as options.

Associate's degrees tend to be more economical as far as cost. However, someone like you who already possess a bachelor's and master's degree in another field would be eligible for accelerated BSN programs which can take as little as 18 months and in the long run, may be more economical for you. There is wide debate about the pros and cons of each degree option.

The argument towards a BSN is largely fueled by the fact that employers are not exactly clamoring to hire nurses right now especially in California. In an environment where employers can pick and choose candidates for a job, its is assumed that preference would be given to the ones who have the higher degree, hence, "better" qualifications.

The other argument in favor of BSN centers around hospitals that are trying to achieve or maintain "Magnet Status", a designation awarded by a nursing organization in the US that requires hospitals to have a higher ratio of nurses with BSN's to ADN's on their staff roster.

The BSN does afford you to have more ease in career advancement. There are nursing positions that require a BSN and higher and a BSN, as previously mentioned, would be the requirement (in most cases) to enter a graduate degree program in nursing (i.e., BSN to MSN, BSN to PhD, or BSN to DNP).

I live in one of the largest cities in California and in this area, majority of new graduates hired have BSN degrees and higher and employers do write BSN-preferred in some job postings. However, that may not be the case in other parts of California.

The third option, the entry level master's is unique to California and a few other states. It comes in various forms. Traditionally, MS or MSN are degrees nurses pursue to specialize in any one of the advanced practice roles (NP, CNS, CRNA, or CNM) or pursue leadership roles in administration and education.

Nowadays, there are master's degree programs in some of the schools here that are aimed at pre-licensure training for nurses at the Master's level. At the end of the program, you basically graduate with an MS or MSN to become an entry-level RN. Schools like UCLA and University of San Francisco offer these and there are many others.

I work with quite a bit of nurses with Master's degrees yet their role is no different than any other nurse with an Associate's or BSN in that they work at the bedside as staff RN's. Again, this is probably just unique to the big city and metro area I live in and the kind of hospital I work for.

I would have to say this degree concept is not as widely accepted everywhere and you may hear comments from some fellow nurses about how a Master's degree seems like an overinflated academic degree for such a "lower level" nursing role that BSN and ASN grads can perform. To me, it's all based on perspective because like I said, it's not viewed as unusual where I work.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do and do heed the caution that its is quite hard to find a nursing job as a new graduate here in California at the current time. I have known of many California natives who went to nursing school and started working outside of the state because they could not find jobs here.

Edited by juan de la cruz

Am in Atlanta GA and I have the same issue,.. I graduated with A degree in Natural sciences and am looking at ABSN but my GPA is 2.8 form my degree!

Should I start all over from full pre-nursing 65 credit hours or should I transfer the few credits and do some pre-req in a community college

Pls I need advice before the application deadline

Hi everybody!

Thank you so much about your replies and tips. I had no idea that the market was so saturated. I was doing some research through more "official" sources that promise several jobs to choose from. After your comments, I did some research in other websites and forums and it's now obvious that the market is not that promising.

I'm not gonna lie and say that this don't discourage me from applying to nursing schools. I'm not that young and want to have job opportunities for my career. I want to start a family soon, so paying a school and not having a return to my investment would be pretty bad.

What do you guys recommend during times like these? Apply to other careers? Are there promising healthcare careers after all?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Has 35 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Although there are always people who claim to have accurate nation-wide predictions for employment, the truth is that employment is always a local issue. Within larger states, the outlook for similar jobs - such as RN - can vary widely from one area to another. I would recommend that you contact your state or local employment offices to obtain a more accurate picture than we can provide here on AN.

Even in my area with a very robust economy, it's an upside-down world for nursing jobs. There are plenty of jobs for experienced nurses, especially those with specialty qualifications/certifications. However, new grads are still having a hard time finding employment. It's a similar situation for many other professions - as organizations are increasingly unwilling to devote their resources to training new graduates.

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