Preparing for Career Change, Please Advice


Hello everyone! I would appreciate any and all advice on how best to approach a career in nursing. I am married with 2 children and work in an industry that is to dependant on the health of the economy. After 10 years of hard work there layoffs are still a regular issue at certain times of the year.

I want to give my family a better life and will be starting school this fall to begin the process of becoming a RN. My question is should I pursue the ASN or BSN? Is the starting pay different?

My current job won't be too demanding while I go to school and I eventually would like to get a Masters. So I'm not sure if I should get the ASN, go to work and then pursue the BSN or just go ahead and get the BSN first? What would be the pros and cons of each?

Also wondering if there are some jobs in the meantime that would be beneficial to my education. Maybe an Aide of some sort. I have no idea how the medical industry works so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time! :loveya:

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.


2 Articles; 2,512 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

My advice is to go for your ADN/ASN first. (see below) Most places pay the same for associates prepared nurses as BSN prepared RNs. This will guarantee you a steady job after you graduate while you plug away at your BSN then Masters degree. On the other hand, if prerequisites are going to take you a few years anyway, just go straight for your BSN. It all depends on how long the prerequisites take, and what kind of waiting list your particular school has.

If your current job gives you the flexibility and financial ability to attend school relatively easily, stick with it as long as you can. Then when you have a few nursing courses under your belt, look into taking a patient care tech position in a hospital, which will give you some valuable clinical practice.....Good luck!!

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Well here's my :twocents:

My advice would be to go right for the BSN. I like you, am going for my Master's degree eventually and thought that if I got my ADN first then I would be able to go back and do my BSN and then eventually my MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). I found the local community college ADN programs had longer wait lists then the local four year college BSN programs. Never the less I went for the ADN and despite having all A's and B's in my classes I still was told I would have a long wait until I could get into the program. So instead, I transfered to a four year college and am on my way to getting a BSN and in one year I am farther along then I was after doing two years at a community college. I know this isn't the case for everyone and may not be the case for you but in my personal opinion I would just go for the BSN and once you get some experience you can go back for your MSN if you wish. Although BSN and ADN degrees usually receive the same pay, having your BSN will allow you more opportunities (especially in management). It's really up to you but if you know you want your Masters why go through the extra step of going from ADN -> BSN -> MSN instead of just going from BSN -> MSN ?

But that's just me...

!Chris :specs:


38,333 Posts

In many cases it is reported to be easier to get accepted into a BSN program than to be accepted into an ASN program. If at all possible you should just go for the BSN since you intend to get an MSN eventually. Make a list of all of the nearby available programs and research their prerequisites and waiting times. Take the common prerequisites and apply to all of them. Go to the program that accepts you first. That is a good strategy. Another strategy would be to forgo the ASN programs and apply only to the BSN programs. Go with the program that accepts you first. You can become a Certified Nursing Assistant and work in healthcare if you would like. Some programs require getting the CNA certificate. The experience will help you to get used to the working atmosphere. If you can't get into an RN program you might consider becoming an LPN first, then entering an LPN to RN program. Many people do this who do not care to continue waiting for places in RN programs. Good luck to you.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Oh another thing I forgot was that if you go to a four year college/university and get accepted into their BSN program then you wish to go back to that same school its a lot easier to get into their MSN program if you already had your BSN from there first.

!Chris :specs:

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