Is an ADN (instead of BSN) a mistake if I then want to go to grad school for CNM?


I want to become a CNM and I plan to continue my education with as few breaks as possible until I have achieved that goal.

I currently have a non-nursing bachelors in the humanities so I'm starting from scratch. I'm 26 years old.

In the interest of saving time and money, I have considered getting an ADN and then either doing an ADN-MSN midwifery bridge (like Frontier, for example) or doing an RN-BSN and then applying to grad school for midwifery.

I know it's harder to get an RN job with an ADN instead of a BSN and I get why. And I know I'll need at least a bit of work experience before grad school, most likely, so getting the ADN vs. BSN would create an extra challenge getting that job. But would I still be making a career mistake getting the ADN instead of BSN if my ultimate goal is not to stop at nurse but to continue on with my education until I'm a certified nurse-midwife? I'm not wanting to take "shortcuts," but I'm an adult with a child and half my family's income, so I'm understandably eager to streamline my education process as much as it makes sense to. But I don't want to waste anymore time or money making poor educational decisions so I need input here. Been there done that several years ago, which is why I'm here now.


Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

Do the ADN and then progress. It's not a barrier.

klone, MSN, RN

14,488 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

My recommendation is to NOT do the ADN-MSN bridge at Frontier. Do an ADN-BSN program, and then apply to Frontier into the direct MSN program.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

3,142 Posts

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 14 years experience.

Can you find a program that will turn your BA into a BSN? Many like this in Texas, all require butt-in-seat classwork but it's all hard-core nursing and not any of the humanities (which you already have, anyway). Good luck.


7 Posts

I would suggest going for the ADN first, but I suppose it depends on the job market in your city or state. Like you, I had a Bachelor's in another field, and I considered a "2nd degree" BSN program, but the waitlist was so long I decided to apply to a local community college ADN program. It was a faster route to RN, I got a hospital job fairly easily, and I was able to start my BSN online shortly after I started working. However, I've heard in some states it's almost impossible to get into a hospital without a BSN; if that's the case where you live, then yeah, look into the BSN.


4 Posts

Thanks, everyone! My top choice now is actually a diploma program--far superior to the local ADN, apparently.

rac1, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 225 Posts

Specializes in L&D, Trauma, Ortho, Med/Surg.

Honestly, it's unfortunate that you have to get your BSN. Sounds like you have made your decision but I would have to agree with the first responder that said just do the ADN program - it's not a barrier.


First, because you already have a bachelor's degree. Colleges know you are smart, and willing to work.

Second, because I am a capstone away from finishing my BSN and I think the BSN classes are BS (ha). I am happy I will have my BSN, don't get me wrong, but I also only currently have an associates. But the BSN is honestly not that big of a deal. My core nursing classes are way harder. The BSN coursework is busy work. The BA you already have taught you how to read and write. Maybe you need a statistics course, or an advanced physical examination course, but those are everywhere.

You are going to have to do a lot of work that, imo, isn't going to really make you a better nurse. Your bachelor's you have, imo, already shows that you are manager material.


4 Posts

Do I actually have to get my BSN though? I'm gathering from the other posters that I don't, really.

The program I'm hoping to go to now (I have a meeting with admissions next week to go over all my transcripts and find out what might transfer, and to get a tour) is a diploma program, so not an ADN or a BSN. But yes, I do already have a Bachelor's. And the cool thing about this program is that it's a hospital nursing program, so great clinicals, but it's affiliated with a local university and has the option to continue for an extra year after the diploma to get a BSN. So if I decide to go that route, the option is there.

I also realized that because I already have a BA, I don't actually need to do the bridge program at Frontier. They'll consider me with just a diploma in nursing if I include a portfolio of relevant education and work experience with my application. How competitive that would make me is another issue entirely (which is why I'd be glad to have the BSB option) but I like knowing I could skip the bridge year if they accepted me with whatever experience I can get myself between now and then. I already have doula and lactation experience.