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Pursuing RN with a Non-Nursing Bachelor's Degree

Pre-Nursing   (4,306 Views | 19 Replies)
by MiiSzAshley MiiSzAshley (New) New

309 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Hi everybody, I have a little situation that I need help with in terms of opinions and suggestions.

Currently, I have my bachelor's degree (Bachelors of Science in Communication Disorders and Sciences) and I decided that I want to change and pursue nursing to become an RN but, I am having a hard time figuring out which plan would be the best for me to do to ultimately become an RN!

The first plan I thought of was to go straight to the local community college and do the RN program there to get my ADN. I choose this instead of doing the accelerated B.S. in Nursing because financially, it would cost more and based on the programs in my area, I haven't fulfilled the prerequisites for the BSN so that would also require me to do more schooling and spend a little more money; I also don't like the fact that I would have two Bachelor degrees... After getting my ADN I then would most likely purse an RN to MSN program online later or a related nursing MS program such as Public Health, Palliative Care, Patient Safety or Healthcare Coordination.

The second plan I thought of is to do a Master's degree first in a health related program for Nursing such as the ones I mentioned above and then pursue the ADN at my local community college. I know that I definitely want my Master's degree to be health related and help me in terms of gaining more experience in the healthcare field but knowing that these degrees do not necessarily lead to any general and stable careers like Nursing so it would be only used to really gain better employment, experience and have higher knowledge in terms of working as a nurse.

It also doesn't help that my mother is pressuring me in getting a Masters degree right away... since I already have a bachelor's many people believe I would be wasting my time going back for an Associate's but other than the accelerated BSN program, it is the only way to get an RN license and be eligible to do an MSN or put a health related master's degree to good use...

Please anyone let me know what your opinions are and which plan would sound best for a person in my situation.

Thank you!

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 4,976 Posts; 42,884 Profile Views

What I would NOT do is pursue a master's degree in "a health-related program for nursing." Complete waste of your time and money. If you want to be an RN, get your degree in nursing.

Are there any entry-level MSN programs in your area? The school I attended for my RN-BSN bridge has an ELMSN; it's a four-year program designed for those with a non-nursing BS/BA. I believe their students take the NCLEX once they finish the undergrad content.

FYI, anecdotally I have heard it can be difficult for these RNs to find bedside jobs (experience is an absolute must if you intend to pursue leadership roles! One can't join the Navy and function as an admiral; likewise he can't enter the nursing profession and function as a nursing manager/informaticist/policy maker etc.

You'll also want to find out what your local market for ADNs looks like.

You could always go for a traditional BSN

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

1 Follower; 4,976 Posts; 42,884 Profile Views

sorry, I was half asleep when I posted that ^^^ I meant anecdotally I have heard it can be difficult for entry level MSNs to get bedside jobs. They can be considered "overqualified" at least in the financial aspect -- one would expect a master's degreed employee to be paid more than a bachelor's or associate's degreed employee. BUT, unless s/he worked as an RN during the graduate school portion, s/he will be will be as green as any new grad.

Nursing students graduate and begin their careers with a knowledge deficit. It takes a good year or two to become proficient. So not all employers would be eager to pay extra for a nurse who does not bring extra knowledge to the table.

Plus, there may be the assumption that a nurse doesn't get an MSN with the goal of being a long-term bedside nurse. If they leave after a year, the hospital/facility is not getting much ROI.

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

3 Followers; 7,578 Posts; 65,694 Profile Views

I think the ADN at your community college is the way to go. Don't bother with further degrees that are not nursing if you truly want to be a nurse.

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338 Posts; 2,790 Profile Views

I am in a similar situation... couple things I am keeping in mind while working through the decision making: most ADN programs or CEPs still have the same or similar prerequisites as any other RN program (in fact the ADN/CEP at our community college would require more prereq work because I would have to re-do math!), and paying for education costs. I am already enrolled in prerequisites at the community college (currently nutrition, next semester chem and A&P) and paying out of pocket for them. I have met a couple of the prerequisites through my bachelor's so that's a plus. Because I won't qualify for financial aid/student loans for another undergrad degree, my first choice is to apply for the direct entry master's program at our university (MEPN at U of Arizona). I have heard mixed things about obtaining such a degree but I believe it will work out in the long run for me as the hire rate out of the program is so high I don't think I will have too much trouble being employed and if I ever do want to move I will have that experience in my corner. I've also been looking into other programs that I may apply to if I don't make it into the MEPN program. I'd love to chat about the decision making with you! It's so hard to know what the best choice is!

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26 Posts; 578 Profile Views

I am just not sure what do you mean by , " I haven't fulfilled the prerequisites for the BSN so that would also require me to do more schooling and spend a little more money," Usually the prerequisit for ADN and BSN are one and the same. (chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, statistic, nutrition and general education), even if an ADN program dosnt require you to take chemistry and Statistic but since you want to do MSN, you need to take them eventually. I suggest that you take the remaining prerequisits in community college, to cut the cost.

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26 Posts; 578 Profile Views

I am in a similar situation... couple things I am keeping in mind while working through the decision making: most ADN programs or CEPs still have the same or similar prerequisites as any other RN program (in fact the ADN/CEP at our community college would require more prereq work because I would have to re-do math!), and paying for education costs. I am already enrolled in prerequisites at the community college (currently nutrition, next semester chem and A&P) and paying out of pocket for them. I have met a couple of the prerequisites through my bachelor's so that's a plus. Because I won't qualify for financial aid/student loans for another undergrad degree, my first choice is to apply for the direct entry master's program at our university (MEPN at U of Arizona). I have heard mixed things about obtaining such a degree but I believe it will work out in the long run for me as the hire rate out of the program is so high I don't think I will have too much trouble being employed and if I ever do want to move I will have that experience in my corner. I've also been looking into other programs that I may apply to if I don't make it into the MEPN program. I'd love to chat about the decision making with you! It's so hard to know what the best choice is!

Yes, I beleive you are in right track

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justwanttohelp12 has 1 years experience.

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I have asked this question before and from what I've been told - your answer is dependent on the area you reside. Will you be able to find work with "just" an ADN? Keep in mind most RN to MSN programs require RN work experience. If you can't get any experience because you don't have a BSN or whatever then it sets you back in terms of achieving your goals.

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Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 103 Articles; 2,065 Posts; 234,820 Profile Views

Consider the accelerated BSN. It's designed for people just like you, who have a degree.

As far as not wanting two BSN degrees, cut your losses mentally and reframe this as an

expedient way to pursue your RN. Best wishes.

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liathA has 1 years experience.

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I would go for either an ADN or BSN - whichever local program that would get me to licensure the fastest (based on transfer credits I already have, pre-requisite requirements, etc.), and qualifies me to work as an RN in my local job market. The key is that the goal of the ADN or BSN is not really the degree, since you already have a bachelor's, it's licensure. Whatever gets me a job practicing as a nurse the fastest is the important bit.

I honestly think that pursuing a Masters at this point would be a mistake - even an entry level MSN. A graduate credential is just not as useful as actual healthcare experience, and may actually count against you since you'll simultaneously be overqualified educationally and underqualified experientially. Education for education's sake is great and all, if you can afford it, but most of us also need to worry about whether or not our expensive pieces of paper will also get us hired. It's simple enough to do an RN to MSN program once you've been licensed and actually started working.

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338 Posts; 2,790 Profile Views

I would go for either an ADN or BSN - whichever local program that would get me to licensure the fastest (based on transfer credits I already have, pre-requisite requirements, etc.), and qualifies me to work as an RN in my local job market. The key is that the goal of the ADN or BSN is not really the degree, since you already have a bachelor's, it's licensure. Whatever gets me a job practicing as a nurse the fastest is the important bit.

I honestly think that pursuing a Masters at this point would be a mistake - even an entry level MSN. A graduate credential is just not as useful as actual healthcare experience, and may actually count against you since you'll simultaneously be overqualified educationally and underqualified experientially. Education for education's sake is great and all, if you can afford it, but most of us also need to worry about whether or not our expensive pieces of paper will also get us hired. It's simple enough to do an RN to MSN program once you've been licensed and actually started working.

What if the entry level Masters is the quickest way? It is in my situation. Interested in what you think?

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6 Posts; 309 Profile Views

Hi! Wow, I just realize about the whole not getting financial aid if you get another undergrad degree. That really makes things harder for me now, because without the financial aid, I can't even consider doing an accelerated BSN program anymore... and I really would need that help to pay for school. I was thinking of doing a direct entry MSN program but I'm worried about paying for the prereqs I haven't done. I actually have to do microbiology, A&P I and II, retake stats (I got a C- and all colleges I looked asks for a minimum of a C), Organic Chemistry, and even some ask for pathophysiology, genetics, nutrition and algebra. It's really ridiculous.. at least that's how it is here in New York :/ I'm left probably doing the ADN anyways but I'm getting so much negative responses from my family about it...

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