Should I go for an associate degree in nursing or a bachelors degree?

Students Pre-Nursing


I am about to graduate from a community college here in California with an associate degree in Psychology. My question is, should I apply to nursing school to get my ADN or pass all that and try to get in the more competitive school for BSN? I would need to take a few more science classes to qualify for the pre reqs for both those degrees but I have every thing else...

What do you all think? I am 22 years old. I understand it all boils down to me and what I want, I just want some experienced opinions out there.. Thanks!


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

What's the job market where you are? If you're in the central valley, you'll likely be fine with an ADN, but if you're in LA, San Diego, Sac, of the Bay Area, you'll want a BSN. Look at job postings at the hospitals in your area (the hospital websites, Craigslist, and are good places to start). See what the requirements are. You can also call the HR department and ask about hiring trends.

There aren't a ton more prereqs for CSUs than there are for community college programs. Also, many BSN programs through the CSU program are moving to 2 years (Sonoma State and CSULB being among them), so the time would be the same.

If your grades aren't pretty competitive, do the ADN route for now, then do an RN-BSN program down the road if needed.

What do you want to do as a nurse? If you know you'll want to pursue a master's, go for the BSN. If you're still unsure, either one would be fine.

Do a search through this site. There are a zillion threads debating the merits of each type of degree.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,563 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

Good day:

If you have the time and funds, go for it as more and more locations require a BSN to ** start **.

Thank you.


2,452 Posts

Specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,.

I'd say go for the BSN but after you finish your AA in nursing because that way you will at least be able to work somewhere. That somewhere might not be your ideal job, but at least you'll be employed. You can then work while you decide what your next step is.

Nursing was my second career. Editing for a major publisher was my first. When I decided to switch back to the career I had allowed myself to be talked out of, I discovered I already had many of my prereqs except for some of the science and math ones. I had substituted a sequence of philosophy courses for a math sequence, so I was back with the eighteen year olds again! After a horrible summer consumed by math and science courses, I began nursing school that September, while still working at my job.

When you've worked as a nurse for a while, you'll have a better idea of whether you want to remain a bedside nurse long term or go into a leadership position. I think you have to work for a year or so before you really know. I got my BSN, worked, then added a MSN.

I worked longer at a job I loved and had decided to become an NP, when I became unexpectedly disabled.

You can do whatever you want to do. You can do it in steps if it's easier for you.

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