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Is it stupid to enroll in a BSN program rather than an ADN to enjoy college life..?

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by TJ_vladin TJ_vladin (Member)

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Hello, I am considering whether or not to enroll into UCLA's nursing program for this fall 2011 or to attend a community college's ADN program. Finances are not a concern at all as I received full financial aid, scholarships, and the Montgomery G.I. bill to cover housing, tuition, books, clothing, and other common necessities. However, is it ill-advised to attend a 4-year university's program because I want to enjoy the college life (fraternity/sports/organizations/on-campus events/diversity)?

Most of you would state I wouldn't have time to enjoy social activities along with academic work. But, I consider myself bright and hard working. I absorb and retain information at a fast pace and I think logically and analytically. For the past 2 years (undergrad) at UC Berkeley, I have taken 24 units while partying and socializing, maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

I would attend an ADN program if it had a social environment to it, but most of the participants of the program are older, have responsibilities to attend to, and have already established families. It's very challenging to make friends at a CC. Because trust me, every time I attempt to initiate conversation to someone, they look at me if I'm crazy. I had felt depressed just by attending the CC due to the inactive environment so to speak. So, in that respect, I chose to attend a BSN rather than an ADN program. Any fault to this at all?

Edited by Moogie
Edited out veiled profanity

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Moogie specializes in Gerontology, nursing education.

1 Article; 22,248 Visitors; 1,796 Posts

Goodness, no! You might not have quite as much time to socialize as you did before entering the nursing program, you still can have an enjoyable college experience in a BSN program. There's nothing wrong with wanting to continue having a college lifestyle and choose a BSN program over an ADN. It's what you want, it's not going to be a financial burden because of your financial aid, and it will open doors that an ADN will not. Do please read some of the other threads here. In many places, new ADN grads are having more trouble than new BSN grads in finding jobs. This is a smart career move. Get your BSN now, while you're young and have no other responsibilities.

My biggest regret about going to an ADN program at a community college was that I missed out on much of the "college experience". I was fortunate enough to live in a nursing student dorm so I had that experience, but I feel I missed out on something very special in life by not having gone to a residential college. I did my ADN program right out of high school and felt that I wasn't really mature enough to handle the responsibilities of being an RN at age 20. I think I would have benefitted from having two more years to develop self-esteem, socialize, and enjoy college. I got my BSN soon after I finished my ADN but I wish, for the sake of having a real college experience, that I had gone into an entry-level BSN program instead.

Who cares what other people think? And who cares if someone thinks that your main reason for wanting to attend a BSN program is somehow superficial? It's your life, your choice! This is the only time in life you'll be able to do this. Go for it!

Edited by Moogie

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8,992 Visitors; 980 Posts

I say go for it! I'm heavily considering a 2 year second degree BSN over an accelerated program partly to 'be a student' and also hopes of doing a summer externship. Plus with timing, it would only be a difference of 3 months. I don't want to party or be involved in the typical college experience but I think it'll be more college like. Also, I've made friends at my current community college so it is possible.

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AOX4RN has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Emergency Department.

8,096 Visitors; 631 Posts

Go to UCLA, get the BSN, and don't look back.

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Double-Helix has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

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Basically you are asking if there is a reason that ANY nursing student should get a BSN over an ADN. Yes, there are reasons. BSNs are becoming the preferred degree for nurses. Many hospitals are looking to hire nurses with a BSN rather than an ADN. BSNs also offer more opportunity for working in a leadership position (unit manager, charge nurse) and it's easier to advance to a masters in another field with a BSN. I was told that one of the reasons I was selected for the interview for my current job was because the hospital was looking to hire a BSN graduate.

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13,279 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

Don't take this as discouragement; just one person's perspective that may or may not help you prepare. I was really looking forward to experiencing student life at UCLA and found it sometimes hard to find there. Better than most CC's? Definitely! But it's a big school with a large commuter and off-campus student base. The place tends to clear out on weekends, so much so that fraternities throw their parties on Thursdays instead of Fridays.

The nursing school is in the health sciences complex which is as good as off-campus in relation to 'regular' students. There's little to no overlap with the rest of the university. You'll have to make a special effort to find ways to get involved on campus - and nursing school don't match up well with the schedules of 'regular' students.

Just so you know, nursing school curriculum is much more structured and more time-intensive than most other undergrad programs. And that doesn't include studying, preparing for clinical days, and travel time to and from off site clinical locations. See if you can get a copy of a schedule to get a feel for it.

If you are already accepted to the school of nursing and are considering dorm living, inquire about being accomodated at the grad student dorms. First off, it's *right* *next* *door* to the nursing school (as opposed to a 20+ minute walk up and down a hill to the undergrad dorms). At UCLA, undergrad dorms tend to be mostly first and second year students, with upperclassmen moving out to shared apartments.

As an upperclassman with serious amounts of coursework and graduation not all that far off, it was at times frustrating to be surrounded by 18-yr-olds just starting college, many clueless about what they wanted in school, some just wanting to party. Grad students, on the other hand, know how to party, too, but they have figured out some kind of balance already.

Another option to look into is Co-op Housing. If you're not looking for luxury, not only is it more affordable than the dorms, it's a wider mix of student types (again, not all first year 18yr olds) and right amongst the off-campus student-packed apartments and few surviving fraternity houses (Greek life isn't that big at UCLA). It's not any less convenient than the inconveniently located undergrad dorms.

Finally, the diminished Greek life at UCLA means many sorority houses have been converted to other purposes, including general student housing. This housing is the absolute closest to the heart of student life at UCLA (yes, MUCH more convenient than 'on-campus' housing). These boarding houses aren't owned or operated by UCLA, and I'm not sure where you'd find for listings for that these days. They aren't necessarily all female anymore, I don't think.

Enjoy whatever you end up doing!!!

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