Please help! I'm overwhelmed

  1. Hello!

    I hope you are doing well! I've lurked on this website forever and I finally just made an account! I would love some advice.

    I graduated college this past June with a degree in Communication. I recently moved to Chicago and really want to pursue nursing. My end goal would be to become an NP.

    I just finished taking CNA training (taking the state exam tomorrow) and hope to start working ASAP while taking pre-requisites for nursing school all next year.

    I have basically 0 prerequisites done, and to to take Anat & Phys and Gen Chem at City Colleges of Chicago, I need to first take a basic intro bio/chem prereq for the prereq (putting me one semester even more behind).

    I'm wondering, if my end goal is to be an NP, what the fastest option would be for me.

    I'm thinking about direct entry MSN programs at Rush, DePaul, UIC, or Elmhurst. Also, I could move back home to Los Angeles and complete a direct entry MSN program there, but they seem to have a lot more prereqs.

    I know if I get my MSN from Rush or the other schools, I still could not become an APRN without a DNP or further education. Now I'm wondering if it will be faster to apply to accelerated BSN programs right now - or will that take me just as long because I have no pre-reqs done?

    Sorry for the novel but I hope somebody can help! Even if you're not from Chicago or LA, any suggestions would be very much appreciated! I just don't want to waste time or money and I am so excited to become a nurse. I'm trying to take all the right steps!
  2. Visit aj0972 profile page

    About aj0972

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 2

    7 Comments

  3. by   203bravo
    You failed to mention in your post which area of Advance Practice you would like to pursue.

    Family Practice? Pediatrics primary care? Pediatrics acute care? Adult/Geri primary care? Adult/Geri acute care? Neonatal? Women's health? Midwife? CRNA? Psych?

    If you have not considered this yet, this would be your starting point.. There are direct entry MSN programs that would allow you to sit some APRN certification exams while others require a number of years in a specific specialty.

    The ABSN could be an excellent starting point if you have absolutely no idea which area you would most like to practice as you will receive exposure to all areas and could also work in different areas before starting your advanced education.

    I would beware of earning a direct entry MSN simply to earn and work as a RN, there are many stories that newly MSN educated RNs having difficulty finding their first job as employers may think either will will expect more in salary or suspect that you are at best a short time employee until you start education for an Advanced Practice.

    Give it very careful consideration and best of luck to you.
  4. by   futurexrn
    Hi 203bravo, I'm just wondering... would a direct-entry MSN program not provide similar exposure to all areas as an ABSN would? I'm new to here also, so I'm trying to figure out everything as well. TIA!
  5. by   203bravo
    Quote from futurexrn
    Hi 203bravo, I'm just wondering... would a direct-entry MSN program not provide similar exposure to all areas as an ABSN would? I'm new to here also, so I'm trying to figure out everything as well. TIA!
    Yes they would.... part of a direct entry MSN program is to provide the nursing education necessary to pass the NCLEX...

    I actually made my point to emphasize that it would not be prudent to enter a direct entry FNP program only to realize that you would rather have an acute care certification or a peds certification. If you are considering entering some generic direct entry MSN program, that will probably not save you much time earning a post masters APRN certificate or DNP, then yes you are correct that you would receive brief exposure to all areas during the start of your education.

    Just think it would be more efficient if you don't know what area you wish to practice to get the 1 year ABSN... then do either a 2 year MSN or 3 year DNP that will result in the ability to test in the area you find yourself interested in rather than take a 2-3 year direct entry MSN and then have to complete another 2-3 years for a post maters certificate or DNP for an Advanced Practice. During a direct entry MSN in education or nursing management you may or may take the 3 P's and you most assuredly will not complete any of the clinical courses that are the bulk of the APRN training, but there will be some MSN courses that are generally required for all tracks that you may not have to repeat.
  6. by   futurexrn
    Thank you!
  7. by   Mergirlc
    Here's something to consider: financial aid. The reason some schools offer a direct-entry MSN for people who already hold a bachelor's is because it's a way for you to get financial aid under the guise of a MS degree. Direct-entry MSN degree prepares you for entry-level RN work with a little extra expertise, basically. If you do an ABSN it is getting a second bachelor's degree and it may be difficult to get loans. If you are pursuing a Master's, loans are usually available if you qualify, of course.

    Just something to check into.
  8. by   tonyl1234
    The ABSN is going to be your best starting point. You're probably going to have to work a few months before being able to apply to or start an MSN program, it depends on where you're applying. That's a good thing. Get some experience. There's a lot that you're only going to learn by seeing it in the real world. Schools can't teach you everything (apply this to any graduate degrees). Then get into an MSN/DNP program.

    It'll take a few years no matter what you do, but I'd start with the ABSN to get a stronger nursing foundation.
  9. by   203bravo
    Quote from Mergirlc
    Here's something to consider: financial aid. The reason some schools offer a direct-entry MSN for people who already hold a bachelor's is because it's a way for you to get financial aid under the guise of a MS degree. Direct-entry MSN degree prepares you for entry-level RN work with a little extra expertise, basically. If you do an ABSN it is getting a second bachelor's degree and it may be difficult to get loans. If you are pursuing a Master's, loans are usually available if you qualify, of course.

    Just something to check into.
    If you have not maxed out on the amount you are allowed to borrow for an undergraduate degree, you can sill easily qualify for additional unsubsidized student loans and the interest rate on undergrad loans is lower than that of graduate loans.

    If you have maxed out on your undergrad student loans, currently greater than 57k, then I wouldn't recommend taking out any additional loans until you get some paid off.. nothing like working as an RN and having a 1,500$ month student loan payment because you borrowed 150,000$

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