HELP, AA, BSN or MSN

  1. I need some advice on which path to take. I have a BA degree and after 20 years have decided I would like to become an RN. I have a family and want to make sure I don't waste time but want to get the degree that makes sense. Do I go to a community college? MSN? Is the pay going to be different?
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  2. Poll: Which degree should I go for?

    • AA

      44.44% 4
    • BSN

      55.56% 5
    • MSN

      0% 0
    9 Votes
  3. Visit Canson profile page

    About Canson

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 3
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    12 Comments

  4. by   nurse_flo_marie
    Can you give some more info about your background? What is your previous degree in? Do you want to start working ASAP? What type of healthcare experience do you have?
  5. by   Sour Lemon
    Where you live and what you hope to do with your degree also make a big difference.
  6. by   Canson
    I have a BA and have been working as a graphic designer for the past 20 years in pharma advertising. I'm currently not working and taking some pre-req classes. I would like to get working sooner then later.
  7. by   Canson
    I live in CA and would like to work in Labor and delivery at some point.
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Canson
    I live in CA and would like to work in Labor and delivery at some point.
    In that case, start with the BSN ...especially if you're in a saturated area of the state and don't wish to move. The pay won't be significantly different, but you'll have more specialty options (as possibilities, not guarantees), more employer options, and be more competitive in general.
    If you lived in a South Texas border town and wanted L&D, I'd say ADN would suit your needs just fine.
  9. by   brownbook
    It can be very difficult to get into ANY nursing program at a public college, whether ADN or BSN. Go to your nearest schools, both ADN and BSN, talk to the counselors. Start taking prerequisites. Most nurses within the same hospital are paid the same salary irregardless of their ADN or even MSN degree if they are doing the same bedside nursing job.

    A close friend in California, a CNA, went back to school, took prerequisites, got all A's. Couldn't get accepted into any nursing program. Went for her LVN, kept taking classes, kept applying, took on-line nursing classes, etc., finally got her BSN.

    Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO A FOR PROFIT private nursing school!

    I don't mean to discourage you. As another poster says (I need to remember who it is so I can credit her) brick walls are put there to show how badly you want something. My friend has a wonderful job and no regrets, of course at the time it seemed awful, but now she thinks how quickly it all went!
  10. by   maggieellis
    I'm in exactly the same place as you, except that I'm single and have to keep working. If I had the support and/or money, I'd definitely do an accelerated BSN. Spending 18 months to get a BSN rather than two years to get an AA makes a lot more practical sense.
  11. by   RNNPICU
    Quote from Canson
    I live in CA and would like to work in Labor and delivery at some point.
    If you are in CA do the BSN
  12. by   ballerinka
    Hello, and congrats on your decision to pursue nursing! I live in California, so here are my two cents

    I think some of the pros of getting an associate's first include 1) more clinical time- we get a 120 hour one-on-one preceptorship during the last semester, which is something local BSN programs do not always have. This is school-specific though, so I would look into it a bit more. My knowledge is only anecdotal. 2) You get to test the waters first. It's a lot less expensive than a BSN. You can always work as a nurse while you get your BSN. Like you, I had a B.A. in another field. I am now nearly done with my BSN, just two years later. I got hired into an obstetrics unit with just my associate's in nursing. It really depends on the hospital. It CAN be done.

    Pros of an accelerated BSN program: well, you'll be done a lot faster, if that's your style. It's definitely a big pro. I like taking learning a bit slower., however.

    I would say the MSN would be a good choice too. Times are changing fast, and reaching for higher education is never going to hurt. The beauty of nursing is there are so many paths. I'd say apply to as many schools as feasible regardless of the educational level, and go from there. Best of luck!
  13. by   CenterCourtRN
    CA BSN or above for sure if you can. Some hospitals in CA won't even let you apply without one.
  14. by   RainbowSprinkles
    This is a question often asked on this forum and I too was very indecisive on which route to pursue. Each route has it's pros and cons and it really depends on your personally situation (money, quality of schools in area, stats, time willing to pursue goal, job market within your location). First, I would do research on your area, which schools are in reasonable proximity, tuition, nclex passing, job market for rn's, g.p.a requirements from previous degree/pre req's. If your can afford an absn program, don't mind spending the bucks (most are pretty pricey),grades are top notch from previous degree and you ace your pre reqs..I would highly suggest absn. I would not suggest going straight into a msn because it may be really rough finding a job with no nursing experience. An associate is a great route if you are want to save money and bridging over to a bsn is pretty simple when you have a bachelors already, it would take about a yr. However, this option is often extremely competitive. Depending on which state you live in having adn will make finding a job in prestigious hospitals rough or not possible at all. Good luck on your journey!
  15. by   Nhutran
    I have a question, where did your friend in CA get her LVN? I'm so tired of trying to get into public school for RN but also don't have that much money to afford Private school. I'm thinking about getting LVN then BSN but don't know what school is good.

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