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63K ABSN - Yes or No?

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Cmor Cmor (New) New

I'm trying to figure out if I'm in a good position to take on an ABSN at a private college - Or what other alternatives might be better for me to pursue.

About myself:

Going back to school as a 30 year old, This would be my 2nd degree, First one was in Hotel Management however seems with the way things are hospitality will be down for awhile. Nursing has been a desire of mine for years, after recently being furloughed now is the time if any for me to pursue it!

I found a program that would allow me to finish relatively quickly in 12 months with the total amount equaling 63K (books included). I don't have any existing debt and have about 45k in savings. However the thought of spending 63k on a BSN is still a little scary. I've been living on my own since my first degree 10 years ago, though would bite the bullet and move back in with family to save while completing the ABSN.

I've done research into other programs in the area, however this one requires the least amount of pre-reqs (only 4) and can allow me to really get right in from the get-go and finish in the most timely manner.

What are your thoughts? Go for it or continue to explore other nursing options? Any feedback would be most appreciated.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

If it were me I’d save that $63K as a Downpayment for an apt or house. I would enroll in a community college nearby do an associates in nursing graduate take state boards, start working and then finish the BSN online or in person at an in state college. Sure the prerequisites might take longer but you’d save a ton of money. My $6000 associates in nursing degree will earn the same amount as that $63k BSN.

Good luck

That's a really high price for a nursing program. I wouldn't pay that unless I were rich or had no other alternatives. Now is a great time to research different programs. Many states have community colleges with stellar reputations and low price tags. Yes, the good programs tend to be competitive, but please at least look into them.

Alternately, have you looked to see what your state universities might offer? My state has two ABSN programs at public universities.

It might also be possible for you to gain admission to a state school as an undergraduate transfer student in the traditional nursing program. It would probably be about 2 years (plus prerequisites) to go that route, but you'd come out of it with a much cheaper BSN. Lots of people overlook this option because they're looking for a self-contained program, like an ABSN, but a little more digging on your part might find a reputable affordable option.

Before you plunk down that kind of cash on an ABSN, look to see what other options are out there.

How much will you lose by taking an extra year to graduate? That’s the trade off between the absn vs the ADN, assuming you have the ability to complete the absn.

63k for a 12-month program is about average - for an accredited program at a reputable school. Mine is more expensive than that, and some even go over 100k. It is 100% a question of how valuable your time is to you and how quickly you need this done. For me, the steep price was worth it, as I cannot afford to be in school for x amount of years. Similar to you, I did not have debt from my first degree. There are so many options out there, and all the PPs are right in saying there are cheaper, slower programs, that will ultimately lead to the same outcome. I’m just saying it’s OK to take the quick/expensive route too; quite a few do, because that is what works best for our specific situations. Hope this helps

blueskiesandsunshine.prn

Specializes in BSN student.

Save the 63k. My traditional BSN program is only going to end up costing me 20k for four years (includes room & board). General rule of thumb, never go into debt more than you will be making your very first year out of nsg school. 63k is right on that line and for someone older, I think it would be wise to use it on a house, car, wedding, trip, or extra savings!

14 minutes ago, blueskiesandsunshine.PRN said:

Save the 63k. My traditional BSN program is only going to end up costing me 20k for four years (includes room & board). General rule of thumb, never go into debt more than you will be making your very first year out of nsg school. 63k is right on that line and for someone older, I think it would be wise to use it on a house, car, wedding, trip, or extra savings!

Terrible advice. A 4 year BSN at $20,000 vs a 1 year ABSN at $63,000 is $132,000 in lost wages assuming $65,000 in RN salary. The ABSN wins hands down.

Edited by anewmanx

blueskiesandsunshine.prn

Specializes in BSN student.

5 minutes ago, anewmanx said:

Terrible advice. A 4 year BSN at $20,000 vs a 1 year ABSN at $63,000 is $132,000 in lost wages assuming $65,000 in RN salary. The ABSN wins hands down.

My parents are fully supporting me while I am in school and I'm working as a PCT for experience and "fun" money. I guess I should've added that as a disclaimer because I don't care too much about my lost wages (& I myself thankfully won't have to take on any loans). I'm also 20 years old and don't have a previous bachelor's.

Edited by blueskiesandsunshine.prn
clarity

1 minute ago, blueskiesandsunshine.PRN said:

My parents are fully supporting me while I am in school and I'm working as a PCT for experience and "fun" money. I guess I should've added that as a disclaimer because I don't care too much about my lost wages (& I myself thankfully won't have to take on any loans).

That makes a huge difference. The added value of free rent and side money definitely changes the calculations, but I still proffer the faster route as economically superior.

Do the ADN. You have a degree in Hotel Management so I am assuming you probably took some type of budgeting or finance classes? Do a basic cost benefit analysis and time value of money, etc. Disclaimer, I am an MPA and an MHA, I have that background and I have done that analysis.

Many here at ALLRNs have asked your question or something similar to it over the years. The old, "save your money and go to a CC for 12K for the whole program, etc..." Good luck on getting into that CC with all their crazy point schemes based on: 1) must have high GPA, 2) high TEAS/HESI, 3) prior degree, 4) all classes taken at the school, 5) total point ranked admit list, etc. and one per year starts with a whopping 20-40 students per class. It's a roll of the dice if you even get in each year. What if it takes you 5 years to get in, how much money/promotion/salary increase lost is that? I don't know where you as an individual are as far as points but food for thought. Also, the mentality of the instructors at a high cost for-profit school vs. a state school is miles apart. The people at the for-profit school want you to succeed. If you succeed, they succeed. It is in their interest for you to graduate and pass NCLEX. At the state school, their salaries are paid by taxes. If you wash out they still get paid. Many times they could care less and expect to weed people out. They care about you in an abstract way, but it's different for people whose job and bonus depends on you being a success.

Also, the old argument about a college degree, "don't go into more debt than you will make one year out of school" is ancient history, like since the 1970s or 1980s. The business and business people that provide that service, "higher education," have figured it out and they have gamed the system. Hence the explosive rise of the for-profit-schools. They know very well how much $$$ they can squeeze out of you thanks to "guaranteed federal aid" courtesy of the US Government/Our elected law makers. They know what people will pay and can pay, or will be made to pay (by force of the US government if needed) if they sign on the dotted line and take out that financial aid/loans. This applies to for-profit schools and not-for profit, State schools. If you can get any degree that will earn you a salary thats worth a hoot or has any kind of prestige or upward mobility with the cost being = to first year salary, my hats off to you, go for it and good luck.

Thank you so much for the thorough advice! Yeah I was crunching the numbers and seems to make more sense to go the accelerated route.

One question here, I know you started off saying do the ADN.. Did you mean BSN by chance?

If you can do the BSN right away then go for it. The thing is ADNs tend to be a little shorter and you can start working sooner. But there in again is a trade off, because some environments want BSN (Accredited hospitals), some places it doesn't matter (rural, fly over states, LTC, etc.)

15 hours ago, DirtyVA said:

Good luck on getting into that CC with all their crazy point schemes based on: 1) must have high GPA, 2) high TEAS/HESI, 3) prior degree, 4) all classes taken at the school, 5) total point ranked admit list, etc. and one per year starts with a whopping 20-40 students per class. It's a roll of the dice if you even get in each year. What if it takes you 5 years to get in, how much money/promotion/salary increase lost is that?

This is very location dependent. True, CCs are very competitive, but different states have different rules. In some places you go on a waitlist that might last years before you get in. Other places start fresh each year. For admission in my state, you need a high nursing (not general) GPA, good TEAS scores, and good grade in A&P1. But you don't need a prior degree, and your courses can be taken wherever you want. If you do poorly in a class, you can retake it and the higher grade counts. 75% of the cohort is from rank, and 25% from lottery of all other qualified applicants. There are multiple CCs with nursing programs, and while a couple of them are smaller (30-50 person cohorts), others are much larger (~150 person cohorts). It's not a big state, either. Many people with strong academic backgrounds get in first try no problem.

That said, after getting into that excellent CC program, I turned down my seat and went with a public university ABSN. The private programs were too expensive for me to justify, but my husband and I considered the value of getting to work earlier with an ABSN, and decided the public university tuition was worth it. Of course, predicted earnings are just that - predictions. I ended up getting pregnant my final semester, and started work right around the time I would have started anyway if I'd done the CC program. Oh well, it was a good plan.

How 2 Become a Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Coaching, Counseling.

On 5/18/2020 at 10:52 AM, Cmor said:

I'm trying to figure out if I'm in a good position to take on an ABSN at a private college - Or what other alternatives might be better for me to pursue.

About myself:

Going back to school as a 30 year old, This would be my 2nd degree, First one was in Hotel Management however seems with the way things are hospitality will be down for awhile. Nursing has been a desire of mine for years, after recently being furloughed now is the time if any for me to pursue it!

 I found a program that would allow me to finish relatively quickly in 12 months with the total amount equaling 63K (books included). I don't have any existing debt and have about 45k in savings. However the thought of spending 63k on a BSN is still a little scary. I've been living on my own since my first degree 10 years ago, though would bite the bullet and move back in with family to save while completing the ABSN.

 I've done research into other programs in the area, however this one requires the least amount of pre-reqs (only 4) and can allow me to really get right in from the get-go and finish in the most timely manner.

 What are your thoughts? Go for it or continue to explore other nursing options? Any feedback would be most appreciated.

@Cmor

I was in a similar situation. There are so many factors, it's definitely a hard decision to make.

  • Going back to school sucks especially because you have work and life experience. But school is easier with maturity in some ways too.
  • Make sure you want to do this. I would suggest volunteering in a hospital if possible.
  • An ABSN is a good option even if it's more expensive. If a 2 yr program is 30k you still lose on ~60k opportunity cost if you had been working as a nurse for a years.
  • Even if you have the saved money you may want to take federal loans that start after graduation. The reason is to keep cash on hand and you may be eligible for scholarships and grants. The Nurse Corps scholarship is a good one and some state gov's have bachelor loan repayments like California: https://oshpd.ca.gov/loans-scholarships-grants/loan-repayment/bsnlrp/

For me it was a matter of working in a job that makes a difference and something I could enjoy for the next 30+ years of my life. It cost a lot but it was worth it. Good luck!

Big_Mike

Has <1 years experience.

If you don’t mind asking why did you study hotel mgmt if there is no financial stability? I have a ba In hr mgmt and that was a terrible mistake. There fore we ba holders either have to start from scratch from the ADN/tbsn or take 15 units or more per semester and spend lots of money in the absn program.

Well there was stability, I’ve worked since graduation for 7 years. However with the recent economic crisis with the virus, hotel / hospitaltiy management in particular has been severely impacted.
Now I’m exploring healthcare which can withstand pretty much any kind of crisis.

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

I went the ABSN route and I'm older than you. I'll make the difference up in salary. Also - it seemed almost impossible to get through the community college pre-reqs. I seriously had a pre-req to Anatomy. I already have a BS degree, I've taken organic Chemistry and you want me to take a pre-req to anatomy? Nope. It would have cost me so much more to "save" money.

Do NOT use your savings to pay for your tuition though. Use it to live on for that year and whatever you have left once your student loans come due - put it on them then.

Basically plan to have at least 1 test each week if not 2 or 3. I was in a 16 month program and barely worked and they told us not to work if we wanted to do well. It was hell sometimes. I also had a 3 hour total commute per day so that didn't help either but it was rough regardless.

@bitter_betsy

WOW! CONGRATS on getting through the program! Thank you much for the advice on everything - Yeah the community college pre-reqs I looked at seemed kind of nuts and would put me in school for years.

As far as the loans go, could be a good ideal actually. The plan was to move back in with the parents to save on my savings and use it towards school, but with loans I could get my own apartment for a year (and have savings left over) which honeslty would be a much more ideal situation for myself.

Would you go that route as well?

Thanks so much again.