Please help!! Where to work while doing pre-reqs?

Students Pre-Nursing


Hi all,

I have a Bachelor's in English, I work full time as a Project Manager at a Fortune 500 company and I want to get out! My dream is to become a nurse, working in a hospital in a NICU, cardiac care ward, or other acute care wards. I am at the VERY beginning of this dream. :) I somehow need to decide:

FIRST: Which degree to go for. Accelerated BSN sounds good but I don't think I can get accepted to a program as I have NO healthcare experience. I'm thinking I should do my pre-requisites over the next year and then go for an ADN and try and do ADN to BSN later on? Is this dumb?

SECOND: My husband and I have decided that I can/probably should get a job at a medical facility while I'm taking pre-reqs so that when I do apply to an ADN program, I'll have some experience. So here's the real question... Where would you recommed I apply? A doctor's office? A hospital? Seems that every job posted in the medical field, even just working at a PCP office as a desk clerk, requires experience, of which I have none.

Does anyone have any advice about either issue? I am pretty confused with all the degree options, don't know how to get a foot in the door in ANY sort of medical job, and would really appreciate any feedback.




18 Posts

I would think the Accelerated BSN would be your best bet. This is what my school states for the accelerated program:

"...offers a 14-month, 64-credit Accelerated Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. This program is designed to help students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree enter the nursing profession.

Before beginning this program students must have completed the following prerequisite courses in Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II, Bio/Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Statistics, Developmental Psychology and Ethics."

You should probably check with the school you want to attend to know the pre-reqs, but those are the ones for mine.

As for working, I am currently a nursing student and am working in an office - just a regular secretary job. I would say if you can, try to get a job in something medical. So far for myself I have been unsuccessful, but I know that when you graduate, working somewhere (i.e., medical office as receptionist) medically related would help.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


400 Posts

Specializes in Maternity.

while taking my pre-req's i worked as an anatomy and physio tutor. it's not that much money but, it's something!

i would also have to agree with the above post. i do not believe experience would make or break your chances in an acclereated program. it's at least worth a try right?

good luck with whatever you decided!


266 Posts

I, too have a prior Bachelor's degree (but a Bachelor of Science). I decided to go the ADN route. I made this decision for a few reasons...

1: I'll be out in the workplace much sooner

2: Most hospitals will help you pay/pay completely for the ADN to BSN bridge (at least in my area)

3: Financial reasons---MUCH less expensive to do the ADN route

4: The school which I have chosen has the best NCLEX pass rates and retention rates out of any school in my area---BSN programs included--and the programs are usually a bit smaller than BSN programs so more one-on-one

5: Pay in most areas does not differ between BSN grads and ADN grads

As far as working, there are several routes you can go. You could be a Patient Care Tech in a hospital, but most of those positions are for those who have completed CNA training (which, by the way, can usuallybe done in about a month and for not a whole lot of $). If you wait until you complete your first semester of clinicals, many hospitals will accept that in lieu of CNA training. Or, you could try to find a unit secretary type position in the hospital. Of course there are always other types of positions in which you wouldn't necessarily need prior medical training (think front office of a surgery center or Dr. office). HTH.

Ultimately, I want to go to CRNA school. I will have to see if they will accept my Bachelor's as is (some schools don't require a BSN per se, but an applicable Bachelor's may suffice). I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


Specializes in Trauma ICU, Peds ICU.

Bottom line: Your existing BS is the greatest asset you have at this point, because it gives you other options besides just the ADN and traditional BSN. Use it! Graduating with a BSN or MSN is going to make you more competitive when you try to find a job, and open more doors once you have that job.

I'dgo the ABSN route, or better yet see if you can find an ELMSN (Entry-level Master of Science in Nursing) program in your area. The pace of an ELMSN program isn't as grueling as an ABSN, you end up with your Master's Degree (opens doors to management and advanced practice positions), and many of those programs offer a nurse practitioner track if you are so inclined.

That's not to say that an ADN won't get you a job. You just might have to wait longer, and/or take a position in an area you don't want. It's simple: all other things being equal between two applicants, the one with more education will usually rise to the top.


67 Posts

Specializes in Nothing yet - Interested in the O.R..

Going for your BSN would be the best option if you are trying to get into nursing school. Already having that bachelor's should make it a bit (just a bit) easier for you. As far as work in the medical field, it's not really as important. I think the schools would be looking at your bachelors more than your experience. But why not try volunteering at a hospital? They could always use the extra hands, it would show that you have a serious interest in the medical field, and would allow you to be in the atmosphere, where you can get a better idea of what exactly goes on. PLUS the connections that you will make, the advice you can get from the RNs, and the good you will feel for helping is priceless. Good luck. :twocents:


42 Posts

Thanks for all this good advice!

The "problem" with my Bachelor's Degree is that it's in English Literature and I only graduated with a 2.8. I went to a pretty good school, University of Michigan, but I was not a particularly dedicated student. Because my Bachelor's is in English Lit, I think I need to take some prerequisites before I even apply to any sort of program, whether it be an ASN or ABSN. I should do very well in the pre-reqs and am hoping that when I do apply to a program, they will consider the grades I receive on my pre-reqs as WELL as my undergrad GPA. But am I dreaming here? Does a 2.8 undergrad GPA exclude me? I have no clue. I went to an informational session about getting into an ABSN program and they presented it as nigh impossible to get accepted, which discouraged me a great deal. (Oh how I WISH I could go back and take my undergrad more seriously! :) ) I have been out in the workforce for awhile (I'm 34) and have racked up a pretty extensive arsenal of "real world" experiences, which I'm hoping will help my case as well. Who knows. Now I'm just rambling!

Ok, thanks guys. I really appreciate your responses.


67 Posts

Specializes in Nothing yet - Interested in the O.R..

Why not bring your transcripts and necessary documents to the nursing school you're interested in attending? Ask the counselor what they think you will need to get in. Pre-reqs, co-reqs, everything. It won't be easy, I am taking my pre-reqs now, and won't be ready to apply to nursing school until Fall 2010. Your GPA might not be so hot, but you can take advantage of the time you have now, take your pre-reqs and study your @$$ off! Get that GPA up!!! All the nursing schools in my area won't accept anything less than a 3.0 on pre and co-reqs.


266 Posts

Bottom line: Your existing BS is the greatest asset you have at this point, because it gives you other options besides just the ADN and traditional BSN. Use it! Graduating with a BSN or MSN is going to make you more competitive when you try to find a job, and open more doors once you have that job.

I think it really depends on where you are. New graduates of both ADN and BSN programs here seem to have absolutely no problems getting jobs. Every ADN grad I have spoken to said that they secured their position right out of school without issues. In fact, I was hospitalized myself 1.5 weeks ago after a major surgery and two of my nurses had been hired within the same month on the same unit in a highly specialized hospital (heart and vascular hospital)---one was an ADN and one was a BSN. But, I know that all areas of the country aren't as fortunate as us in that respect.

Whatever you choose...good luck!


190 Posts

I know our ADN program has a selective process for acceptance into the nursing program. It is based on having specific pre-req's done, and a minimum credit hours of additional pre-req general and support courses completed. Some of your prior courses taken will likely transfer in. It is also based on the GPA of those classes you've taken that are in the ADN program pre-reqs. The higher the GPA, the closer you move to the top of the list. Also, the more pre-reqs you have completed will move you up on the list. I don't think your overall GPA from your first college will come into play that much...just the GPA of specific courses that you are transferring in (ie English, Ethics, Humanities, Computers, etc.). But definitely check with the school(s) you are interested in attending - that way you'll have it straight from them, which is what counts.

As for working (I'm currently unemployed now), I plan on doing what someone else mentioned, taking a CNA course (in Florida it's kind of scary how quickly you can become one!) and getting licensed. Not the most fun kind of work, but I look at is as "paying my dues" and getting my foot in the door. And I've heard, that like in business (my background) it's all about networking, making contacts and meeting people. Good luck!


1,530 Posts

I graduated from MC in 1984 with an EE degree and a pathetic GPA.

What I did was stay in my job and take ALL the remaining pre-reqs online (which was possible with FCCJ). I applied and the wait semester was spent taking pre-reqs for the MSN. I am mid-1st-term NS now! :D When I complete my ADN, I will go RN to MSN.

Good luck to you! If I can do it, so can you!:yeah:


21 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

I work at a nursing home as a CNA.

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