I received a BA in corporate communication and every job I have had since graduation did not even require a bachelor's. I was a flight attendant and an outside sales rep in telecom. I do not see my college degree as a waste as it helped to make me a more competitive candidate. This is also true when applying to nursing school. Some ADN programs, the one I am enrolled in for example, give extra points to those with a previous degree which helps to make you a more competitive candidate. There is nothing wrong with extra education. It is never a waste. Look at it as an investment in you and your skill set and base of knowledge. I have been amazed at the similarities. For example, my Media law class from college was helpful in Fundamentals when we studied the legal implications of nursing practice and my Interpersonal Communication class was represented when we touched on therapeutic communication. I could go on and on. Even being a flight attendant helped me to grasp Fundamentals as we were required to be certified in CPR every year and were instructed each year on the use of the AED. We were also required to participate in a cultural awareness seminars. We were taught in training how to treat passengers in shock, passengers having a heart attack (even have nitroglycerine tablets on board), passengers requiring oxygen, passengers suffering from hypoxia, passengers having a baby. etc. The first time I was introduced to ventricular fibrilation was in flight attendant training. My point is this, do not consider a degree or a career in another area wasteful, no matter how unrelated it may seem. Trust me there is some pearl of wisdom there from which to draw.
As far as ADN Vs. BSN, I am in an ADN program and know a CRNA who started out in an ADN program. She passed her boards this summer! Any path you chose can lead you where you need to be. It may take a little creative thinking, but it can be done. My rationale is this, I am in an ADN program because the community college awarded me a full academic scholarship due to past ACT score. So, all I pay for is books, insurance and matriculation fee each semester. Meanwhile, due to only having a 3.3 overall (corporate com) with a 4.0 in pre reqs (all science courses) I was chosen as an alternate for the Accelerated BSN program. So, one program wouldn't give me a shot and the other gave me a full academic scholarship. One man's trash is another man's treasure I suppose. Oh, and I have a 4.0 in nursing school so far. Hmmm...It worked out great for me. I saved at least $12,000. By the time I apply to the BSN program my GPA will be even higher and even more so when I apply to the MSN programs. (If I keep up the momentum...) I am glad I was forced not to bite off more than I could chew with accelerated. My goal is not to just get through a program. My goal is to make good grades and to become even more competitive. The best way to do this is slowly IMO. So, instead of being punished for the rest of my academic career for making B's in classes that have NOTHING to do with nursing like Accounting for non-majors, I will hopefully be able to prove I can excell in science classes. As I have done my entire academic careeer. (Never so much as ever made a B in any Science course!)
So...sorry so long winded. In closing, I think that each and every person has to chose his or her own path. You have to examine all your options, and determine what is the most important. If time is on your side do it slowly and cheaply, if not and you can obtain grants go for it! For some getting a BSN right away is in fact the best option. For some Accelerated BSN's are the way to go. For others the ADN is smarter. Once you look at all your options, it will become clear. Do not listen when someone says you can't go from an ADN to an MSN or a CRNA because yes, in fact you can people do it every day.