AA to BSN?

  1. Why is this so hard?

    Im 45. Retired Army, who then went on to a career in law enforcement. Over the course of my military career I took classes all over but never got a formal degree out of it.
    I am pursuing a second career with a DNP in Emergency Medicine specialty.

    A local state college will give me an AA after I knock out the pre-reqs I need for nursing school. The problem is despite my age (45) and having an AA, none of the local universities will let me into their accelerated BSN programs. They all seem to want me to do the normal BSN program, which takes a full 28 months versus the 16 months needed for the accelerated program.
    Im not a normal student. Im 45. I dont need summer semesters off to take a summer job.

    Is there not a single full time, even over the summer, program in the entire US for those with an AA to complete their BSN in as short a time as possible?
    Why are ALL the accelerated programs only open to those with prior bachelor degrees?
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  2. Visit broughden profile page

    About broughden

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 367; Likes: 882

    16 Comments

  3. by   AJJKRN
    While I didn't go the ABSN route, to be frank, it's my understanding that ABSN programs (Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing) are for those who already hold a bachelors and have most (if not all) of their general education credits out of the way.

    These are the requirements set in place.

    Not to be snarky, but why do you presume it should be different for you?
  4. by   broughden
    Because if you have an AA then you have also finished all the general education requirements. That's what an AA is.
    Reading through some old threads there appears to be one university in TN that allows AA grads into their ABSN program, Union University.
    I'm just curious why this isn't more common.
    Does everyone really need the summer off?
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    OP: You seem kind of condescending in that repeated 'does everyone need summers off' remark. Apologies if I misinterpret. Schools get to set their own policies.

    Accelerated BSNs are indeed for persons with a previous bachelors. You don't have one. Having an AA does not necessarily mean you have all gen eds completed for every nursing program. Do you have your A&P 1 and 2, Micro, Chemistry, Stats, Biochem? Those are common prerequisites that most generic AA degrees lack.
  6. by   broughden
    Yes I have all those courses because here in Florida at least all nursing programs require them a prerequisites in addition to any general education courses.
    So I have an AA (60 credit hours) plus an additional 27 credit hours for all the prerequisites.
    And you're right, schools do get to make their own rules. But given the need for nurses across the country, setting arbitrary rules with no basis in logic seems a silly thing to do.
    If Union University can accept AA students into their ABSN program, why don't more schools do it?
  7. by   203bravo
    Seems like a very easy decision... Go to Union University, knock out the BSN and continue on with your education...
  8. by   caliotter3
    Quote from broughden
    Because if you have an AA then you have also finished all the general education requirements. That's what an AA is.
    Reading through some old threads there appears to be one university in TN that allows AA grads into their ABSN program, Union University.
    I'm just curious why this isn't more common.
    Does everyone really need the summer off?
    Summers off are not the criterion for setting up ABSN programs, having a prior bachelor's degree is the criterion.
  9. by   broughden
    Except I'm 45, with a wife and child and all the responsibilities there of.
    Just bought a new house a few weeks ago.
    Can't just uproot the family.
  10. by   broughden
    The criterion is having the general education requirements yes? An AA accomplishes this.

    Again my question is if Union University can allow in older AA grads for their ABSN program, are there other universities offering it? If not why not since the AA meets the general education requirements.
  11. by   Nature_walker
    The ABSN is intended for a person with another bachelor's degree to enter into. While I had this requirement filled, I found that getting my ASN at my local community college has been just as good. It means that I am an RN and I didn't pay an exorbitant amount of money for my degree. All the ABSN programs in my area are very costly, so going the community college route was the best bang for my buck. I walked out of school debt free while my coworkers who went the ABSN route are in debt up to their eyes. I work full time while I'm going back for my BSN. This could be an option for you to get your RN then, go back to school while working in the role.

    You stated that you want to go for a DNP. How do you know if you will enjoy nursing or the nursing field if you have not worked in it? Some places will pay for tuition reimbursement if you are working full time and want to go back to school. That way you would be able to support your family and work on getting your higher level education.
  12. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from broughden
    The criterion is having the general education requirements yes? An AA accomplishes this.
    No it doesn't. The amount of credits in general education is more in a BS than an AA degree, therefore your AA general education credits do not meet the criteria. ABSN programs require a BS in another field because they are giving you a block credit for the general education requirement of the BSN because you have met the general education requirement from your previous BS. The AA does not contain enough general education credits to meet the requirement. Both traditional and ABSN graduates are issued a BSN degree. Is it fair that the traditional BSN graduate had to obtain 60 general ed credits to get their degree and you only needed 30 credits?

    Most schools put a 5 yr limit on the age of your transfer credits. If ABSN programs chose to eliminate the prior BS degree requirement, they would need to enforce the 5 year limit on the age of credits. ABSN programs are designed for people that have gotten a BS in another field, worked in that field and decided to change careers to nursing. My general education credits from my first degree were 25-29 yrs old. I would have had to retake all of my general ed credits if there was a 5 yr limit on credits. That defeats the purpose of the ABSN program. Even if you graduated with a BS, worked for one year and decided to go back for your nursing degree, your first year of general education credits would expire because it would have been 5 yrs since they were obtained.
    Last edit by Guy in Babyland on Dec 13, '17
  13. by   chare
    I was unaware of any programs that would accept non-degree students into an ABSN program, so thank you for providing this information. And yes, with your 87 credits you would likely qualify for the Union University ABSN program.

    As to other programs with this option, an internet search, using the terms nursing programs that grant absn without prior bachelors returned the following program in Florida that appears to do this: Utica College's ABSN Program in Tampa, Florida. As you mentioned having "...all those courses because here in Florida..." this might work well for you. If not, and as your family situation does not allow the option to relocate, rather than asking general questions as to programs of this type, you might be better served to search programs closer located to your immediate locale.

    Best wishes as you begin your nursing career, and thank you for your service.
  14. by   203bravo
    Quote from broughden

    Is there not a single full time, even over the summer, program in the entire US for those with an AA to complete their BSN in as short a time as possible?
    Sorry -- I must have misread this statement... it sounds as if you are willing to travel if necessary to complete this degree...

    But now I see that you are simply ranting about your frustration... since you know that you will not get into an ABSN program where you live and you are unable to travel to complete a shorter degree.. then no one on here can really help you nor offer any valid advice.

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