Seeking guidance in pursuing a career in Nursing.


I have a B.A degree in Psychology (3.1 GPA) and also have some Master's credits under my belt, both in Psychology and Business (3.6 GPA). I have completed all my pre-requisites for Nursing except for Nutrition, with a 3.5 GPA. I currently work full-time and will have to continue to work full-time through any program I am accepted into unless I can obtain some type of scholarship that pays tuition and living expenses.

So how do I complete a BSN program and work full-time during the day and obtain a scholarship that pays for tuition and living expenses, that won't be based on my current salary. Because it seems unlikely that I will find a night job for which I am qualified for that will pay me enough to live off of (rent, food, and utilities). I actually need to probably increase my salary to be able to pay for tuition and living expenses.

I have though about the ADN, but it looks like I will still have to go back to get my BSN to reach my ultimate goal of completing a CRNA. Which if I still have to get my BSN, then pursuing the ADN is pointless. Can I have an ADN and BA, and be accepted into a CRNA program (of course after meeting the experience and other requirements needed)? If so, which schools should I look at? If not the CRNA, do any NP programs accepts ADN and BA's?

I was accepted into Stevenson Universities BSN program, but wasn't able to attend because I could not find money to pay for tuition and living expenses. Since I already have a Bachelor's I am not eligible for many of the programs out there and I already have student loans, so I don't want to have to take out much of or any more of that type of aid.

I just can't seem to figure out a route that would work for me. Any suggestions for people in similar situations would be greatly appreciated.


980 Posts

I'm currently saving money like crazy but I'm also married. I have enough money in the bank to pay for tuition but my husband's salary will be covering living expenses when I go to school.

Another option for you would be to look at a Masters Entry Level program. University of Maryland has one at their Baltimore campus. You would then qualify for loans that you wouldn't otherwise.


29 Posts

Hm.... well first off:

I don't see how an ADN is worthless at all. Even if your ultimate goal is a CRNA (which you would obviously need your BSN first), an ADN is a great-CHEAP way to get into it. What I see a lot of people are doing now is getting the ADN, finding a job that will pay for the further schooling (which in most cases, a lot of places will pay for you to pursue the BSN because a lot of places require you to either already have the BSN or to get it within a certain amount of time).

Unfortunately, I do not have much information about the CRNA programs or NP programs... my ultimate guess would be that you would need the BSN degree to get into a BSN-NP or BSN- CRNA bridge program. I do not think they have the ADN-CRNA or ADN-NP. That's why I think your best bet (if the BSN is too much money) is to do the ADN for cheap, get a job, get them to pay for your BSN, get the BSN and than do a BSN-NP or CRNA bridge program..

....hope i helped you in some kind of way.. Good luck!


7 Posts

Let me rephrase...the ADN is not worthless. But in my case I don't want to have to go for two years to obtain the ADN, then go back for another 2-3 to obtain the BSN, then go back for another 3-4 years to get my CRNA or NP.

It seems more reasonable to go ahead and get the BSN, which will save me two years in the long run. That is if I am able to figure out a way to do it without getting myself into too much debt.


29 Posts

Yeah I hear you on the amount of time but I'm not really sure how you would be able to do it without getting in debt regardless. That's why I thought maybe doing te ADN and taking the extra 2 years, and getting a job that will pay for the BSN may be more time consuming although you would be in a lot less debt ideally


7 Posts

Good point...thanks!


48 Posts

If your goal is to continue working while you get your RN, the ADN route may make the most sense. Most community college ADN programs are less intense than a universitly level BSN. It is feasible that you could continue working in an ADN program, but less likely in a BSN program. Some community colleges even offer their programs in a format (nights or weekends) that allows working adults to participate, although I think that's probably rare and might require geographic relocation if your local cc doesn't offer it. Our community college even has even experimented with an online ADN. (I don't know the results of that, or if they have any intention of continuing it.)

Another possibility is to work in the healthcare field while you're in nursing school. I know it's hard to imaging the benefit of taking a pay cut to work as a CNA, but it will give you a lot of experience and contacts. Currently in our area, the market for nurses is saturated and new grads are just not getting hired without prior healthcare experience.

Then once you have the RN, you can pursue an online RN-BSN, or even an RN-MSN (which I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about). Online RN-BSN programs are designed for working nurses and if you're going to have to work as an RN to gain experience before applying to CRNA programs anyway, there's no time lost pursuing your BSN concurrently. Plus your employer may pay tuition for your BSN, so the overall cost to you for this route may ultimately be less than paying the BSN on your own.

One other option depending on where you live is Western Governor's University's online BSN. I think it's only available in southern California, Texas, Florida and Indiana currently. WGU is a great option if you're a really dedicated student. Look up Western Governor's University pre-licensure program. Again, you may not be in the right location, but would a move be possible?

Look at some of the RN loan forgiveness programs

and take the chance that you'll qualify later.

I think the majority of schools advise against working while in a nursing program, and there's probably a good rationale for that. Nursing school has been described by some as two years of boot camp - intense - and the expectations for performance are very high.

Something to consider is whether it feels like step backward to get an associate degree after you've already graduated with a bachelor's degree in something else and especially so if your goal is an advanced degree. You wouldn't be the first to feel that way, but many graduates who decide to return to school for nursing ultimately decide the ADN is the the best choice to get into nursing with the least disruption to life as they know it.

Sorry for the typos; my three year old is sitting on my lap.


905 Posts

Since you have the non-nursing gen ed stuff from your current bachelors, it won't take you another 2-3 years to get from ADN to BSN. An example is a bridge program near me...

  • Graduate in one year (my emphasis :))
  • Accelerated format - five week modules
  • Classes one day per week
  • Classes available in [choice of two towns]
  • Start at the beginning of any five-week course
  • Full-time or part-time options available
  • No clinical courses
  • Financial aid is available
  • Professors are experienced, highly dedicated nursing professionals

It is designed to be done while people work as RNs.

Another bridge program near here requires 120 credits of which 28 come from one's ADN coursework, 56 are gen ed, (all of which you will already have) leaving the 36 of the bridge program. This one has several schedule options for full or part time students.

It has been a while since I looked up the CRNA and NP programs will want you to have a minimum amount of experience working as a nurse before you can apply to those programs, which (at least around here) you can get as an ADN while you do a bridge program to a BSN. Even if they don't require it, I think it is a good idea.