BA to RN--how to? - page 2

Hi all... this is the first time I've posted here and I hope someone out there can answer my question. I graduated w/ a BA in Psych 3 years ago...and am now thinking about going into Nursing. I was... Read More

  1. by   debbyed
    Someone already posted my idea. Check out the ADN programs. You should have most of the pre-req already so you'll have more time to concentrate on the nursing courses. With you backround you shouldn't find it hart than to do the RN to BSN route or even look into the MSN programs others have talked about.
  2. by   Christie76
    Thanks KathrynLynn and Debbyed! Everyone here has been very helpful, so thanks everyone!
  3. by   tcolleen
    I can't pass up this opportunity to toot the horn of my alma mater - Creighton University in Omaha, NE. They have an accelerated nursing program that takes 1 year. Everyone enters with a bachelor's degree and all prerequisites finished (anatomy, microbiology, etc.) Then they go from August-August or Jan-Jan. Finished in ONE YEAR! We had plenty of time to develop clinical skills (believe it or not) and were very highly regarded in all of the hospitals in the area. When I graduated in 1994, nurses couldn't beg, borrow, or steal a job unless they had at least one year of experience. I was able to find a job just on the basis of the reputation of the program. The recruiter said "we'll find you a position", and she did. I doubt anyone getting out now would have the same problem, but I am glad I already have the BSN and don't have to jump through a lot more hoops to go from ADN to BSN.

    It was kind of expensive, and I did have to take out loans to do it. The way I justified it was this - if I made just $2.00 an hour more for 5 years, it would pay for it. I made the extra two bucks right off the bat, and now I am making a lot more than if I had stayed in my previous job. And if you consider the total loss of income being in school for an extra year, instead of working, I made it back even faster.

    It was not an easy program, but I had fun, and met a lot of great people.

    Good luck
  4. by   83studentnurse
    I've done a ton of research about second-degree-type programs (I'm switching careers into nursing myself!). Here's what I've heard from students, teachers and nurses about the pros and cons of accelerated BSN programs and hospital-based programs (I was never looking into ADN programs myself).

    The pros of the ABSN programs are:
    -You're finished quickly
    -You have a BSN

    The cons are:
    -In GENERAL (I know this won't apply to all programs, but I have heard this from many people currently working in nursing and nursing supervisors), ABSN nurses receive less clinical experience and often start out as with a lot of book smarts but not a lot of clinical skills. This can make it more difficult to get desired positions/specialty positions right after graduation.
    -The programs are extremely intense and do not permit students to do much besides studying for their duration.

    The pros of hospital-based programs:
    -The greatest amount of clinical time, and often the highest-quality clinicals, because such an emphasis is placed on clinical instruction.
    -The opportunity to do to an externship, helping you to get your "foot in the door" at a hospital and gain experience in a specialty area.
    -In my area at least, diploma programs have the highest NCLEX pass rates.

    The cons of diploma programs:
    -No BSN, meaning you may need or want to get your BSN or MSN later (and the hassle of doing so).

    I have a good friend who got her B.S. in biology and then went on for her RN through a diploma program. She told me, "I'd go with the hospital program because it will give you the best clinical experience. You can always go back to take more classes (many of them are online, so it's very convenient), but you can't go back to make up for lack of clinical time."

    A nursing instructor I know said, "Look at two things, the amount of clinical time and the NCLEX pass rates. Since you don't have clinical experience from your first career, I think you should go with the option that gives you most hands-on experience. The worst thing that could happen is to work really hard for your BSN and then to lose your license because you weren't clinically prepared and make a mistake." I thought that was particularly insightful advice -- I'd been thinking about getting my RN as fast as I possibly could, but she reminded me that there's a real risk when practicing with the bare minimum of clinical experience --if you haven't had enough practice as a student, you could mess up and even lose the license you worked so hard for.

    I've decided to do the diploma program instead of the ABSN program. Yes, I'll end up going back to school, but I think I'll be a better nurse for the education.
  5. by   jjjoy
    Everyone's different, of course, but I could've used the advice 83student nurse got. I'm good with academics, so had little problem with coursework in my BSN program - 2nd degree for me, two years, non-accelerated. It WAS very time consuming, though, with a TON of content to cover and overall too NCLEX-prep focused.

    I personally would've benefited from better clinicals. I don't know if more time would've made a difference but we only had two patients for most of clinicals and very limited responsibilities due to liability concerns and sharing one instructor between 8-10 students. We had to scrounge for opportunities to get even just one opportunity to practice certain skills and get them checked off so we could meet minimum course requirements.

    Most of my classmates did just fine after graduation, so I can't say the program wasn't good enough. But FOR ME, for my learning strengths and weaknesses and for my own sense of confidence, I could've used a program with a stronger clinical component.
  6. by   riekee
    I got my BA in Education, and only had to to a few prerequisites before I was able to take nursing classes - silly stuff like English Composition, and basic math (both which I CLEPPED) and then did all my nursing classes externally through what used to be Regents College - just had to sit for tests (15 yrs ago). I just got my Masters in Healthcare Adminstration (completely online) without a Bachelors in Nursing
    Good Luck!
  7. by   Greenbee
    I'm in the same boat, only your situation is a bit better than mine. I have a BA in I/O Psychology, graduated 13 years ago! From my research, I found that you can get on an accelerated program for less than two years, btwn 15 months and 18 months and come out with a BSN. There are 13 listed schools around the country. Off the bat, I know that in PA there is Drexel University and U Penn. There's one in Utah, and one in Iowa (Allen College) where I am. Check with the Association of Nursing web site for the list of schools. Unfortunately for me, Allen doesn't accept science classes that are older than 10 years. So now I have to take Chemistry I and II with lab again, and A & P classes again also. Don't delay in your applications process, because what I found out is that these programs are very competitive. There is a long waiting list. I'm warned that the program is pretty crazy. So if you have kids, it would be really hard to manage, unless you have a great support system. Right now, I'm working to get the pre-reqs out of the way. The cheapest way to do that is to go to the community college. Check that yours transfers to the college that you'll want to get your degree from. Good luck!