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Non Nursing 2nd Degree Online/Night/Weekend BSN Degree???

South Carolina   (40,951 Views | 7 Replies)

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i currently have a non-nursing engineering bachelor's degree and have decided to go back to school to pursue crna (nurse anesthetist). i have luckily had the opportunity to shadow a nurse anesthetist and feel this is something that i really want to do with my life. my wife and have been married one year and we are now expecting our first child. i need to work during the day to help support my family. based off this info, does anyone know of a second degree online or night/weekend bsn programs out there for people like me who have a non nursing bachelor's degree?

i'm trying hard to figure out what's the fastest and cheapest option for me to obtain my bsn while still attempting to bring home income. keep in mind i'll also need 1 year min icu experience prior to applying to crna school.

here is the fastest option i've come up with thus far that still allows me to work however, it isn't cheap... enroll in a 1 year night/weekend associate degree in nursing program. then, get a job working in icu as an rn while simultaneously doing an online rn to bsn bridge program. this will also give me my 1 year min icu experience while allowing me to go to school and bring home income. i figure it would take approx. 3 years to complete before i would be able to apply for crna school. the problem is the total cost could be over $60k for the adn & bsn degree's.

do you guys know of any 2nd degree online/night/weekend bsn programs?

also, what do you guys think about my 1 year adn degree then online bsn?

thanks for any and all advice!

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1 Post; 731 Profile Views


Please forgive me if this sounds mean, but I know at least 20 people who have the same plan as you. At one time that was also my plan!! Then, I got into nursing school where I quickly got a reality check. Plus, at least half of my class plan on getting their CRNA!!! The reality is that it isn't that easy. New grad jobs are hard to come by nowadays for anything and everybody wants in the ICU. It is very difficult to get into the ICU as a new grad. Heck, it is near impossible to even get an extern/intern in ICU. My husband is in CRNA school and none of his classmates had less than three years experince in ICU with most of those having a lot non ICU experience along with ICU.

I am in a nights and weekend program so there many schools out there that offer that. I am also getting my second degree. I, too, chose the ADN program thinking it was the quickest way to get where I needed to be. I would just immediately bridge to BSN. Well, a lot of programs require that you be working to complete the bridge. ADN's seem to be going to the bottom of the resume stack so most of my classmates can't find jobs. Now, I am just hoping that I can find any job! Personally, I regret the ADN decision and wish that I would have chose the BSN.

This is my realistic timeline now: 2 yrs ADN program, 6mos - 1 year to find job, will probably only be med-surg 1-2 years (RN-BSN), if I am lucky, transfer to ICU 1 - 2 years there then I can apply = 5-7 years at best

You can't get an initial RN degree online at all. Those are only offered as bridge programs or advanced degree.

I hope it works out for you!!

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1,530 Posts; 14,015 Profile Views

Like you I have a Bachelors in Engineering. I only have one child still at home (17 yo). I am currently in the ADN program at FSCJ and I attend the Eve/WE program. I graduate in August.

Like you, I already have a Bachelors Degree, so I plan on skipping the BSN. The Univ of So Alabama has an online RN - MSN program that is not expensive for out of state folks. They actually have 2 RN - MSN strands...one for those that don't have a Bach in other degrees and one for those that do.

Only time will tell!

Good Luck in your endeavors!

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momof4ndocswife has 7 years experience and specializes in general surgical, women's surgery.

50 Posts; 1,923 Profile Views

I had a non-nursing BS degree in Biology (pre-med) and began pursuing a nursing degree in an ADN program. 'Was in the 3rd semester of clinicals when my education was interrupted with family illness that took all of my attention... (had to move out-of-town to care for my mother after her cancer diagnosis, sugery, recovery, then commuted for her weekly chemo & radiation treatments). When I returned to the ADN program, I wasn't going to be allowed to pick up where I left off without repeating my most recent completed clinical semester and then had to be on a waiting list to get into classes. So.... I had a total of 4 semesters still to complete in the ADN program. I investigated and learned that by transferring into a nearby BSN program (which had an opening, was impressed with my transcript and gave me credit for my previous degree courses), I could earn my BSN in only 5 semseters. It was more expensive to go to the university program, but the atmosphere was much more student-friendly and encouraging. I chose to commute 100 miles a day for 5 semesters to earn my BSN.

I hadn't realized it at the time, but only BSN students are invited to participate in a nursing fellowship program at our hospital which also gives one an advantage in the job hiring process, (actually needed in the present job market due to so many hospitals having hiring freezes).

A lot of people are enamored with the RN-MSN programs, but I caution you to look at them carefully. There's no free lunch. THe RN-MSN has more course work than a BSN-MSN b/c it includes a lot of courses you'd have taken to earn your BSN, only you're goign to pay grad school prices for them.

I knew a couple of guys who continued to work full time while earning their BSNs, but their jobs were night or weekend jobs. They weren't great students, academically, but they made it through. The best way to guarantee a job after graduation from nursing school is to work in a nursing environment during nursing school as a tech so the manager realizes your good work ethics and character.

Good luck to you.

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wee_oneRN has 1 years experience and specializes in NICU/Subacute/MDS.

120 Posts; 2,823 Profile Views

Have you researched Direct Entry MSN programs? These are designed for those with non-nursing Bachelor's. I have a BA in Psychology and decided to earn my ADN, skip my BSN and go for a Masters. I wish I had researched the Direct Entry programs back then, as you can earn your RN and MSN at the same time in about 3years full-time. It took me that long just to earn my ADN, and now I am still looking at another 2-3 years for the Masters.

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1 Post; 737 Profile Views

Sorry, just curious about why ADN is hard to find a job than BSN?

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4 Posts; 1,198 Profile Views

I am a 2nd degree courser as well. My first course was Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE). It took me 3 yrs to finish BSN, 6 mos to pass the NLE, and now currently reviewing for NCLEX (well actually saving up first to finance the NCLEX Exam for Texas).

It must be a very hard decision for you to study again when you already have a family to feed and nurture. When I was about to review for nursing, I decided to go to work because I know that there will be no one that I could turn to for the fees. It was hard especially because I was one of the best from the class and I didn't have that financial support to fast-track on my dreams and aspirations.

Lately, we had a reunion from our batchmates in ECE after 8 long years. I've known from them that they're doing very well with their engineering jobs in Dubai. The salary was about P/50,000 a month as they say. I was happy that their dreams are starting to be fulfilled.

When I arrived home after the reunion, I was happy for them truthfully but I was full of regrets. There was a lot of what-ifs, should-haves and could-haves. I should have just stayed at work in a call center in April of 2006, when my eldest brother from Texas persuaded me to study again for nursing. What I should have done was to save up money to train for AutoCad and then money to apply and go abroad. So that by now, at age of 30, I didn't end up saving for my NCLEX Exam then after applying for NCLEX be waiting like 8 mos, then after taking the NCLEX exam waiting for the result and if passing will have to volunteer for another 2 years for hospital experience. And to add to that, to find money again to apply for job and expenses to go to Texas I hope....

Since you're already an engineer, try your options on applying abroad. I just think that it would be very hard to study and work (for your family's needs and school needs) when you're just starting a family. I just think its hard but its not impossible. May you the Lord guide you on your choice.

Edited by ryanzarate

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Music in My Heart has 10 years experience and specializes in being a Credible Source.

1 Follower; 2 Articles; 4,059 Posts; 328 Profile Views

I am - or was, anyway - an engineer. After many years, tiring of the instability and facing yet another move to stay employed, I decided to become a nurse. I went the Direct Entry MSN route.

Also having a chem degree/bio minor, I also had most of the pre-reqs finished. That said, it took me one semester to finish the pre-reqs (after a 3-month wait for classes to start). Then it was another two months before I found out if I was accepted into the program. It was then 6 months before the program actually started. Then 18 months in an accelerated program. Another 6 weeks to wait for the paperwork to process and become authorized to sit for the NCLEX. Then two months trying to find work. All tolled: three years and one month to my MSN and first job.

As an earlier poster mentioned, finding any job as a new grad is challenging. Getting into an ICU as a new grad is even more challenging - especially since they know darned well that there are a ton of folks just like you who are dazzled by the CRNA dollar signs and planning to bail at the earliest opportunity.

After that, it is very competitive to get into CRNA school and the bare minimum in an ICU is likely not enough, just as the minimum GPA is not nearly enough to get into most nursing programs.

Next, you'll be facing competition from the CRNAs who are coming out of the military and are very, very experienced - far more so than most of their peers with similar years of service.

All that to say that:

1) Your plan better have contingencies for a substantially longer duration than your're hoping for

2) You should be prepared to accept that you will be working as a nurse in some non-ICU capacity for a number of years before you ever have the shot at an ICU

3) That you may never get a chance to become a CRNA and may end up having to be *just* a nurse because your opportunity to work as an engineer will be gone.

Just grist for the mill as you consider your plans. Best of luck to you.

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