Extremely Lost...Graduated with B.S. in Biology but Decided to Pursue Nursing - page 3

Hi, I'm new to this forum, so I apologize if I am posting in the wrong place/way. As summarized by the title, this is my situation: I graduated March 2018 with a B.S. in Biology I recently... Read More

  1. by   grand_theft_avocado
    Quote from FullGlass

    3. The fastest route is an Accelerated BSN. These range from 12 to 16 months and you will not be able to work during such a program - it's too intense. Maybe you can for a 16 month program, but no more than 15 hours per week.
    After discussing my situation with family friends, they are advising me to
    get the ABSN hopefully using scholarships > start working > after a couple years after everything settles down, do a MSN using employer sponsorship
  2. by   broughden
    Quote from grand_theft_avocado
    I am starting to see what you mean about how everything varies. I was getting scared looking at all the sites, and there was no set standard. That is really making it hard to picture a clear timeline/plan of how to do things.
    Every single university nursing program has an undergraduate nursing school program admissions director/administrator. They are generally ALL nice people who don't bite and are interested in you being a successful nursing school applicant ESPECIALLY if you are smart and have a high GPA.

    Don't be scared. Pick up the phone or go into their offices, explain your situation, and ask about their accelerated BSN programs.

    Then pick the one you feel most comfortable with and is the most affordable (typically a standard public in-state university).

    You are to late to apply for fall acceptance, but many programs admit a spring cohort. And that would give you this summer and fall to knock out the A&P 1 and 2 prerequisites, and work.
  3. by   Dhominick
    I have a similar situation to you, except it took me 5 years of working in a research lab with my biology degree to realize I wanted to become a nurse. It was a series of events that lead me to this point, including finances, unfulfillment of my current job, etc. I found an evening weekend BSN program that allows me to continue working in the lab while pursuing my degree in nursing so my husband and I didn't have to worry about our bills. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I'll finish in August and I've already got tons of interviews.

    Don't rush your decisions. Get a job working in science and find a program like mine if possible. That way you don't have to worry about money. I'm finding these hospitals I'm applying to don't value my GPA or my first degree choice, but rather my solid 8 years of science research. Most hospitals around me do prefer BSN over ADN, though some hire both and then want you to get your BSN within 2 years.

    When it comes down to it, breathe and take one step at a time. You didn't say your age, but I'm guessing young since you just graduated? I'm 31 and doing all this after all these years of becoming proficient in my current job. It's absolutely scary, but so amazing. Get a research job, do some nurse shadowing, and then decide what's right for you.

    Good luck!
  4. by   rayman356307
    I have a similar backstory to you too and mine started about 4 years. Finished colleged with a BS (and yes total BS) in Bio with minor in chem and chinese. I looked into accelerated programs in my area and they were significantly more expensive and like with you both time and cost were factors in my decision.

    I eventually looked into a CC and decided on an ADN program, which had an agreement with another college, which basically automatically accept you into a RN to BSN program. My previous degree covered my prereqs and then it took me 2 yrs to finish the ADN program. After finishing I allotted myself about a month before taking the NCLEX and then was applying for jobs as I finished. I got into one of my clinical sites and then start the RN to BSN program that summer. You had 2 options, 2 semesters or 3 semester to finish, I chose 2 semesters and started in the summer and finished before the year was over.

    All in all the road to BSN took me 2.5 yrs. However the costs for me were minimal. For the ADN I applied for scholarships and tuition was significantly cheaper (1.5k-ish vs 20~40k-ish) and for the RN to BSN about 7k so total about 9k. However, for the ADN the scholarships covered all of the tuition AND book. For the RN to BSN I paid out of pocket since I was working full time, which wasn't to bad for me I paid it off in about 3~4 paychecks.

    BTW if you go this route watch for the RN to BSN programs some don't take into account that you are working full time, mine did. As was previous stated, some jobs do pay for your tuition, so you can look into that, usually they require a 2 year agreement, look into Grow You Own programs (or similar programs) if you're interested in those. For the 2 year agreement do consider it as some facilities do bind you to the that particular unit, not to the hospital, so do read the fine print and best of luck in your endeavors. I'm sure we'll see you posting soon in a "Help I'm taking the NCLEX how do I finish in 75 questions?!!?!?" or similar post :P
    Last edit by rayman356307 on May 20 : Reason: typo
  5. by   YoYosama
    Hi there, most of the nursing students in my class have 1-2 bachelor degrees. General science degrees are hard to do anything with. I myself have a bachelor in microbiology. As far as nursing, having a BS in natural sciences will have no impact on your nursing career. The degree is not counted for anything even if you go to nursing grad school, they will primarily look at your nursing GPA.

    As far as money wise, I think it is a very well paid profession comparing to laboratory careers. Some of my friends paid off nursing debts with travel nursing assignments.

    At my school, we are starting a program that let you get your MSN and skip the associate and bachelor degrees in nursing. In order to do this, you have to have a bachelor degree in something else which you do. The program is very intense because you are taking a lot of classes including the BSN classes. You will take the NCLEX once you graduate from the MSN program. The program is created purely for financial aid purposes according to my school. Since you already have a bachelor it is very difficult to get more loans for a second bachelor. The lifetime federal loan cap is $57,000. You cannot borrow more from the government if you cap this with your previous degree. However this limitation is only for the bachelor level meaning if your program is a graduate level such as the MSN program, the limitation cap is different.
  6. by   grand_theft_avocado
    Quote from rayman356307
    All in all the road to BSN took me 2.5 yrs. However the costs for me were minimal. For the ADN I applied for scholarships and tuition was significantly cheaper (1.5k-ish vs 20~40k-ish) and for the RN to BSN about 7k so total about 9k. However, for the ADN the scholarships covered all of the tuition AND book. For the RN to BSN I paid out of pocket since I was working full time, which wasn't to bad for me I paid it off in about 3~4 paychecks.

    BTW if you go this route watch for the RN to BSN programs some don't take into account that you are working full time, mine did. As was previous stated, some jobs do pay for your tuition, so you can look into that, usually they require a 2 year agreement, look into Grow You Own programs (or similar programs) if you're interested in those. For the 2 year agreement do consider it as some facilities do bind you to the that particular unit, not to the hospital, so do read the fine print and best of luck in your endeavors. I'm sure we'll see you posting soon in a "Help I'm taking the NCLEX how do I finish in 75 questions?!!?!?" or similar post :P
    Thank you for sharing your backstory! For your scholarships, were you awarded them based on merit, or was it through FAFSA/gov aid?

    Also, when is the right time to ask an employer whether they/the hospital is willing to cover the costs of your additional schooling, be it a masters, PhD, etc? Does that question come up in the initial interviews, or in the negotiations after they give you an offer?
  7. by   grand_theft_avocado
    Quote from Dhominick

    Don't rush your decisions. Get a job working in science and find a program like mine if possible. That way you don't have to worry about money. I'm finding these hospitals I'm applying to don't value my GPA or my first degree choice, but rather my solid 8 years of science research. Most hospitals around me do prefer BSN over ADN, though some hire both and then want you to get your BSN within 2 years.

    When it comes down to it, breathe and take one step at a time. You didn't say your age, but I'm guessing young since you just graduated? I'm 31 and doing all this after all these years of becoming proficient in my current job. It's absolutely scary, but so amazing. Get a research job, do some nurse shadowing, and then decide what's right for you.
    I am interviewing for a couple of admin jobs in a local hospital, so my ideal short-term plan is to build work experience there, while taking care of any remaining pre-reqs that my BS doesn't cover. I was probably a bad idea for me to move away from my campus after graduating, because now I don't live close to universities/private companies with research jobs.
  8. by   grand_theft_avocado
    Quote from YoYosama

    At my school, we are starting a program that let you get your MSN and skip the associate and bachelor degrees in nursing. In order to do this, you have to have a bachelor degree in something else which you do. The program is very intense because you are taking a lot of classes including the BSN classes. You will take the NCLEX once you graduate from the MSN program. The program is created purely for financial aid purposes according to my school. Since you already have a bachelor it is very difficult to get more loans for a second bachelor. The lifetime federal loan cap is $57,000. You cannot borrow more from the government if you cap this with your previous degree. However this limitation is only for the bachelor level meaning if your program is a graduate level such as the MSN program, the limitation cap is different.
    I've thought a lot about those 3-year "direct entry" masters programs that let people with non-nursing bachelors degrees to come out with both a BSN and MSN. I am weighing the pros and cons of spending 3 years on that, vs the ABSN others have said.

    I am thinking about 2 possible career timelines:
    A) Get an ABSN within 12-18 months; work for 2-3 years (or more) as a regular nurse; go get a masters (if I want to advance my career) while continuing working. This would lead to a long span of work experience that I start at a younger age.

    B) Go for the 3 year BSN+MSN program (larger time+money opportunity cost); maybe be qualified for higher-level work right off the bat, but start building work experience at an older age.

    After applying to jobs, it became obvious to me that work experience is the most valued part of an applicant. Does that mean timeline A has a career advantage?

    edit: I am turning 22 next week. All of my hospital internship experiences during college were unpaid, and I have felt that the people interviewing me have been discounting that as "real work experience."
    Last edit by grand_theft_avocado on May 21 : Reason: more detail
  9. by   Kleo
    With a BS in Biology you are great candidate to get into Medical school to become a doctor. Look into that!
  10. by   Kleo
    With a B.S. in Biology you are a great candidate for Medical school to become a doctor. Look into that!
  11. by   NewCna1210
    Have you considered PA school? The time investment will be very similar and you'd be graduating with a Master's as opposed to a second Bachelor's degree. Not to mention you'd be earning close to double the salary. You are definitely a great candidate.
  12. by   grand_theft_avocado
    Quote from NewCna1210
    Have you considered PA school? The time investment will be very similar and you'd be graduating with a Master's as opposed to a second Bachelor's degree. Not to mention you'd be earning close to double the salary. You are definitely a great candidate.
    I have, and when I researched the requirements, they said I would need 2-3 years of clinical experience. I thought that I would rather stick with nursing all the way instead of using nursing as a stepping stone to something else.
  13. by   rayman356307
    Thank you for sharing your backstory! For your scholarships, were you awarded them based on merit, or was it through FAFSA/gov aid?

    Also, when is the right time to ask an employer whether they/the hospital is willing to cover the costs of your additional schooling, be it a masters, PhD, etc? Does that question come up in the initial interviews, or in the negotiations after they give you an offer?
    I got some grants through FASFA, and for the others they were based on need. I use the term "need" loosely, since they had more scholarships than applicants. The scholarship I applied for were only the ones that my school gave out, I didn't even look into external scholarships. My CC gave out a total of like 30 scholarships, that was over half of my class that was going through nursing school with scholarship (directly related to nursing), paying partial or even full amount of tuition.

    As for the covering of cost of education from your employers, I would say it depends. It's one of those you have to read the situation. During my on boarding process for work at my facility, HR came and talked about tuition reimbursement for further education. Some places are really good about it, some not so great. For example my facility covers for you to get your RN to BSN and various certifications, but won't cover masters, unless you agree to some other stuff, I've only heard of them doing it once.

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