Having trouble figuring out a path to RN

  1. I am in my mid-30s and am thinking about going back to school (gulp) to become a family NP. I have an UG degree in photography/art and a masters in graphic design so now matter which route I choose I'm gonna need at least 25 units of science prerequisites. I've been researching programs over the last week or so and I'm just so confused. I'd love to enter a MEPN program but I can't find any that offer the NP track - most are community health specialities. I also wonder if entering a MSN program with no background in nursing would be a mistake. So then I found myself researching A-BSN programs. By doing that it seems I'd have to go for 2 years to get the BSN and then an additional 1-2 for the FNP MSN. Is the BSN necessary? Should I research ASN also? There don't seem to be that many MEPN programs especially any that I can attend in person. Is it a bad idea to get a BSN online?

    I live in Southern California and there is an A-BSN program at Cal State Fullerton that I'm looking into. The one at Long Beach has been cancelled. There's a MEPN program at UC Irvine but like I mentioned above, it's not in the area I want to specialize in. Ideally I'd like to attend a state school in person so I can qualify for in-state tuition and save a bunch in the process.

    There are almost TOO many options and too many programs and I'm confused. Can someone please help! Any and all thoughts/options you can recommend are appreciated.

    Thank you!
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    About futura4

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 10; Likes: 3


  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Your learning curve will be steep. I suggest you rule out NP for now. Search for "direct entry NP" on this site for all the reasons why.
    Southern California is a brutal market for new graduate nurses. BSN might be the way to go if you hope to stay in the area and plan to continue your education in the future anyway.
    I live in Southern California and have an ASN. I've had no difficulty finding work, but I had a few years of experience when I moved here and I'm not too picky about the type of work I do.
    Good luck sorting it all out.
  4. by   futura4
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Southern California is a brutal market for new graduate nurses. BSN might be the way to go if you hope to stay in the area and plan to continue your education in the future anyway.
    We are here for the foreseeable future by which I mean I don't see us moving for at least 15-20 years. Why is SoCal a "brutal market?" When I do a search it turns up hundreds of RN and NP jobs. Is it just like everything else; there's much competition for one job?
  5. by   Devon Rex
    Hello futura4,

    I think you should break down your plan into shorter goals. I would concentrate in getting all the prerequisites for nursing, then your ADN, get licensed, and start working as a nurse. The BSN portion is a very doable online undertaking while you ensure nursing is the right field for you. The BSN portion provides for a broader scope of nursing. If you find nursing is really for you and want to take it to the next level, then move forward with the graduate portion. The NP's scope of practice is very different and more complex than an RN with an ADN or BSN. It will steer you more into the medical field, not an easy task and a lot more responsibilities.

    Being an NP is very noble and an awesome accomplishment; however, you need to be the right person for it. You will only know that once you get through nursing school and start working with patients.

    Good luck with everything! Cheers!
  6. by   lrobinson5
    I live in Southern California and hopefully can help with some of your questions. Right off the bat when you said what your end goal was I thought of CSULA and their ABSN program. They guarantee an interview for the NP program and heavily favor their own students (that are in good standing). I know this because my husband is about to graduate from there. If you need any tips on prerequisites just shoot me a message, my husband was able to complete his prerequisites quickly.
  7. by   marykated
    The Cal State ABSN programs around here are at Fullerton, LA, and San Marcos's Temecula campus. The program in Temecula is the least competitive to get into by far. Over the last year, I completed 29 units of prereqs, got certified as a nursing assistant, completed 200+ volunteer hours, and got a part-time job at an assisted living facility; this helped me secure my spot in the fall 2018 cohort at Fullerton. I am in my mid-30s also, and my BA and MA are in English, so--like you--it is a big career change. I did not look into ADN programs because going to a community college and then doing an RN to BSN program would have taken an additional couple of years. I did not look into MSN programs because it seemed like jumping in a little too deep when I have no previous nursing experience. If you ultimately decide on the ABSN route, I am happy to answer any questions that I can since I am going through it all right now
  8. by   futura4
    Thanks for the detailed reply, @marykated. Fullerton is probably my best shot although it looks pretty competitive. I need to start knocking out the prerequisites this fall if I decide to go through with it. CSULA is very expensive compared to Fullerton and I'm not looking to spend that kind of money on another UG degree knowing eventually I'm going to go for the MSN-FNP degree.And Temecula is just too far.

    I feel crazy though; I have to admit. It seems like SUCH a monumental task. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this crazy idea of starting over especially with a liberal arts background.
  9. by   marykated
    It IS a monumental task I have put in so much time and effort over the last 16 months, and I haven't even started nursing school yet. But, the months and years are going to pass either way, so I figure that I might as well spend them working towards hopefully have a valuable and rewarding career!