Career change

  1. Hello everyone,

    I looking to do a full 360 in my career.. I'm looking to go back to school to become an RN, RT or Cvt. More so thinking of heading in the RN direction. I currently have an Associates in Applied Science from 2001. I have been in the construction business for years but needed to shut my company down a few years back do to the economy, then went into a cooperate fabrication business making trophies but recently got laid off..

    I have been looking at a bunch of schools in nj for a BSN but most schools require you to have a RN license to apply and be accepted into their program. I also looked into my community college where I graduated from and they do offer and associates degree in nursing but I already have an associates and would like to get a BSN. Can anyone give me some insight or direction on what would be the best career choice to go with or schools?


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    About mcim29

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 8


  3. by   Bob_N_VA
    I'd go for whatever got me my license and working the fastest. Not sure what your financial situation is, but a bsn program will probably be the longest, most expensive and have the highest application standards of all. Talk to all the schools in your area so you know what your options are. Usually the programs fall into one of three categories:

    Diploma: not too many of these left, they used to be mostly the hospital based programs, most are converting over to bsn. Usually have the most clinical time of any program since their own students get first dibs on the clinical hours.

    Associates: Community colleges. Usually the cheapest, though may have a longer wait list to get in. Not as selective as the Bachelors programs.

    Bachelors: What most people should shoot for, though maybe not initially. Many schools offer programs for RN's with diplomas and AS degrees to finish up a Bachelor part time or online. Takes longer but lets you earn a paycheck and get experience.

    I've heard some talk about hospitals wanting only BSN grads, but by me that is certainly not the case. I would call some of the hospital HR departments locally and find out what they are looking for. Bottom line, you are an RN as long as you pass the NCLEX and your program is certified. The BSN will be necessary for anybody that wants to get into management or for advanced certifications.
  4. by   chuckster
    I mostly agree with Bob's assessment and recommendations except for this:
    Associates: Community colleges. Usually the cheapest, though may have a longer wait list to get in. Not as selective as the Bachelors programs.
    While CC is the undoubtedly the least expensive option, depending on where you live, their programs can be more selective than colleges offering the BSN with a minimal or even non-existent the wait list. Admission to the CC program in my area, the Phila suburbs, was exclusively offered on the basis your scores on a standardized test (the NET in my case though some CC's use the TEAS). Those with highest scores, and who had completed the prereq classes, were accepted for the following semester. You were allowed to retake the test up to 3 times but in spite of that, the college routinely turned away more than 50% of applicants, many of whom were actually good students (though obviously poor test-takes) and who successfully transferred to local BSN programs.

    I'd also add that the BSN has become the de facto minimum educational credential for RN employment in many, if not most, parts of the country. I know that is the case in the Phila, NYC and WDC metro areas as well as in CA, AZ and FL. It is probably not the case in many of the underserved and rural areas. YMMV.
    Last edit by chuckster on Jul 11, '11