Advice about nursing school

  1. Hi there fellow pre-nursing students :wink2: . I wanted to get some opinions please. I am 36, fairly recently divorced and have two younger school age children. I am wanting to get back into nursing school (I was a nursing major several years back). I am trying to decide which path to take and wanted to get some advice and opinions here to see what others thought or would do. Okay, basically, I have completed all my prereq's required for one community college ADN RN program I am applying at from when I was a nursing major a long while back, and they accepted all those prereq's. I just need to take a CNA class and take a pre entrance test as the next steps to get in. That program is a 2 year program, but one nice thing is I have all my electives done and it would be straight nursing classes.
    I am also looking at another university program that is an Accelerated BSN program that is very strong on nursing research (which I am interested in). I have two more prereq's to take for that program, AND they might not accept my science prereq's I have already taken because of the length of time since I took the classes. I am not sure, they will have to look at everything and different factors before they accepted those prereq's, which they might not. That program is 15 months.
    Other factors are cost of tuition. Because I am already a college graduate I can only get so much in loans. I am not planning on working full time while in nursing school. The community college tuition rates are more affordable for me. I am thinking the Accelerated BSN program at the university might have hospitals that will contract to help with tuition as long as the graduate works for the hospital for a period of time, but I'm not too sure I want to be tied to that particular city for two years or more after graduation. I guess two years goes by fast though.
    Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.
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    About cajjj

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 52; Likes: 2


  3. by   pacifica
    I went through a similar dilemma recently, trying to decide whether to go into an ADN program or do an accelerated BSN ( I have a BA in biology). I eventually decided on a top-rated ADN program that is close to my house.

    You might want to consider that in addition to the higher costs, an accelerated BSN will be extremely intense and it could be hard on you to spend so much time away from your kids. An ADN program will be a bit slower paced (albeit still very challenging) and may afford you more time for a personal life.

    After you complete your ADN, you can work on your BSN while you're working as a nurse. I think most employers will reimburse your tuition costs for an RN to BSN bridge program. There are lots of RN to BSN programs that you can complete while you are working. In fact, the program I'm looking at allows me to start taking some of the BSN theory classes while in my second year of the ADN program (if I can find the time! ) And since you already have a bachelor's, you will probably only need to take the core nursing classes to get your BSN.

    Another thing: if you decide to do the ADN then do an RN to BSN program, you might want to look ahead to see if you have all the non-nursing classes required for the BSN. For example, the program I intend to enter after my ADN requires Cultural Anthropology and Sociology so I took those classes along with my other prereqs so I don't have to take them later.

    Hope my suggestions help! I know you'll have to weigh all the factors to decide what is right for you and your family. Good luck!

  4. by   cajjj
    Thanks for your helpful reply. That is something to consider with my having children, the intensiveness of the different programs. I had thought about the BSN program being more time consuming with papers, research, etc. When you are single with children those things are definitely a factor. I need to be realistic about what I am able to do without being pulled too thin with going to nursing school, being a single mother, etc. Thanks for bringing that up and your input. I really wanted to hear outside opinions to give me things to look at and think about.

    One thing I am noticing on here is so many seem to already have degrees and now going back to complete a nursing program, it's good to know I'm not the only one! It's nice to have had accomplished getting a Bachelor's degree, but I definitely should have gotten something with an actual job market. I have always had a regret for not finishing my nursing school, and now here I find myself in an uphill climb to get back in to a nursing school. I have always had an intrigue and respect for the nursing profession, and I hope to, Lord willing, complete that goal of being a nurse like I first wanted to do. I am currently a medical transcriptionist and I am just really eager to go on back to nursing school and be more hands on involved in medical care. I am also trying to think aside from the frustration of giving up an opportunity, that perhaps now I will be a better nursing student and better nurse just from life experiences and maturity. Boy, if I do get in somewhere I will definitely have more appreciation. I was just accepted in right out of high school, no problem, back then. Also, I guess it's not all totally lost, at least that one school is going to accept those prereq's I worked so hard on back then.
    Last edit by cajjj on Sep 12, '06
  5. by   hamlj
    I've looked into both scenarios too. I have my degree in ECE, but have wanted to go back for nursing for quite some time. I figured all along I'd get my BSN, but after much thought...I'm going to go w/ the ADN instead. Like you I have three young kids, and I still want to be there for them. Not only that, I have leard/learned that most RNs w/ their BSN are doing more management jobs. I want to work and stay w/ patients. I'm not looking to climb the ladder, I just want to enjoy what I do and leave work each day with the satisfaction that I helped someone.
    So...between that, the kids, and will be the ADN for me! (God willing, if I can pass teh NLN exam, if not, then I'll go the LPN route for now).

    Good luck!
  6. by   JaxiaKiley
    I had to go the ADN route because it is harder to get loans if you already have a degree, and community colleges are cheaper. Best of luck!
  7. by   LMRN10
    My Community College offers the ADN, so that is what I am going for. It is easier for me at this point and maybe one day I'll go back for my BSN.

    It is obviously up to you in the end...whatever works best for you. Weigh the options...that's all you can do!
  8. by   wannabe07
    I also have a degree already (BA in Human Development) and after doing some soul searching I decided nursing would be a great profession for me. I looked into the Accelerated-BSN programs and in California there are only two programs, both at private schools and both are NOT accredited (that's a huge deal!) So I decided instead of taking out more loans for a non-accredited school, it would be better to spend $3000 for an ADN program. I also am going to do a RN to BSN step-up program (maybe online?) when I finish and hopefully have my employer pay for it!
    I think you should definitely choose the ADN route but if you are still thinking about the BSN programs, check on their accredidation! =)
    Best of luck and congrats!
  9. by   SummerGarden
    I have two degrees and I am going the ADN then RN-BSN route for the same reasons other posters are choosing this route. In fact I am finished with my pre-reqs and co-reqs for the ADN program and have already applied. As I wait, I am attending school part-time to knock out the few RN-BSN pre-reqs I need in order to apply after I become a RN.

    I am applying for a scholarship based on my GPA and nurse major. However, if I do not get it I can afford to continue to pay cash for my education the entire way.

    The length of time it will take me to complete my degrees is going to be longer, but I have not stopped living and working in the process. I will be able to attend school part-time as a Student Nurse and as a RN. :wink2:

    Furthermore, when I have completed my BSN I will not have the debt to income issues that others will face choosing the faster more expensive routes. I already have student loans I am paying off, I do not need any more loans. Besides, New Grads do not get paid enough IMO for me to rack up more debt.

    My research has shown that reimbursement programs ($10,000+) do not pay off much of the debt incurred by accelerated ($20,000+) or regular ($20-$40,000+) BSN programs. I am sure there are exceptions, but for me those exceptions do not exist. Here is a thread where others discuss similar views:

    Good luck.
  10. by   Megsd
    For me, an accelerated BSN was the best choice for me. I decided on nursing while I was still in college, but since I was so close to finishing school, I decided to graduate and go back. In the area I live in now (I moved shortly after graduation), there is only 1 good ADN program, which has a 2-3 year waiting list. I simply did not want to wait that long to get into the program, and then go another 2 years to finish.

    I decided to go for the 4-year school and apply for both the accelerated and traditional programs. I eventually settled on the accelerated program because although I am not working while in school, the lost income will be made up by me starting my new career sooner. I was fortunate to not have incurred loans in my first degree, so the small amount of loans I took out now are manageable for me (my payment will be around $125/mo).

    I did do financial assistance through a local hospital which will cover my living expenses, but it was through a hospital I have heard wonderful things about from current and former employees, and a place I wanted to work anyway.

    So for me, it was more important to me to be able to get out into the workforce sooner, and accept a little bit of debt.
  11. by   wileoutgirl
    I racked up about $30000 on my first degree (B.S. in Biology) so loans were not an option. I moved to the city where I wanted to live and applied to an ADN program there. I got a contract through the hospital so it's no cost to me and I don't have to worry about being tied to a city since I moved where I wanted to be first.
  12. by   maryshome8
    I live in an extremely small town in Virginia where resources and hospital facilities are limited. I am a single mother with a 2 year old daughter.

    I started this semester at a 4-year school that had a new BSN program where I would have to take a full year of pre-req's that no other college would accept anyway (full of stupid stuff). I went ahead and withdrew this semester because I would rather be working than taking Spanish, Economics, and Philosophy.

    My Plan B is going to be much better. I originally went to a local CC and got my BS in Tennessee. I am going to the same CC to get my ASN. All I have to do is take one Chemistry course, the TEAS entrance, and see if I make the cut for entry.

    Once I completely my ASN, I'm going to move back to the college where I got my BS degree to get my BSN there. The local hospital does have a tuition reimbursement program if you work there. It will take me 1 1/2 years on a part-time level to get my BSN. While I'm in school, I'll also be gaining work experience. The college where I'm getting my BSN also has an extremely low-cost of living.
  13. by   mermaid36
    another excellent thread i have come across-i am in a similar situation-single mom of 13 year-old and i'm 36 (well, next week ). there is a 2 year degree available at the comm. college, which is where i'm taking prereq's, but the wait is ridiculous. the 4 year bs program at the university would get me into pgm faster. i already have about 65 credits anyway-just about all core classes are done (psy, soc, eng. lit., etc) which is great. i need a job and i know a bs is better career-wise. and i'd be done in as much time as the 2 year pgm (because of the wait). i'm also hoping to get a part-time at a hospital that may help cover costs of tuition. all confused right now. even considering withdrawing from microbiology. i'm taking a&p i as well and the micro is so tough for me-my wheels are spinning and i want to do well in both classses. i can't seem to excel in both at once, since i really have to work hard with these "hard" sciences (as opposed to the social).
    anyway-oops! went on and on. just so thankful for this site and everyone's helpful input. thanks for posting your questions.