Should I just go for an ASN?

U.S.A. Tennessee


Hello all,

I have a bachelor's degree in public health. I intended to work in adminsitration but decided in my last year of school to pursue nursing (something I had always contemplated but for whatever reason put it off). So I managed to get my last few pre-reqs in for nursing school and applied and got into a couple accelerated BSN and ASN programs. Ideally, I'd love to just get the BSN out of the way but money and timing makes me feel I should do ASN first. The BSN starts in October and the ASN starts in January which means I could save more money to afford living and school expenses and not have to work (other than work study). With the BSN I am looking at more direct school debt plus debt that comes from living expenses (I know some have worked full time while in nursing school but knowing me, I wouldn't be able to swing more than 15 hours). So I thought I would do the ASN program and then immediately start an RN-BSN bridge after graduating and finding a job. I desire to work in a nursing home, hospice, or LTC setting rather than a hospital setting. Would I have much issue finding work as an RN with an associates out of school in these settings? Where I live and work isn't a big concern, I hope to stay within the East Tennessee region. Any advice?

Hi NicoleNurseStudent, I tried to do a double degree of Child Development and Nursing at Berea College, but ended up getting a BA in Child Development, teaching for a year, and then completing 2 more years of an Associate Degree for Nursing while working full time. (I only had to complete the Nursing courses, as I had gotten the electives out of the way earlier). Most hospitals and facilities seemed to take my ADN just fine, though on your license paperwork and job applications it helps to have that "Bachelors in Another Field". I personally would go for the ADN and get that secured and then look into bridging to a BSN. But honestly, I haven't pursued it further; because for me the cost /benefit ratio just doesn't justify it. I might make about $10,000 to $20,000 more. But I would also take a big financial hit going back to school for another Bachelors. The kicker is when I looked into the Masters programs, I would have to spend about $30,000 to bridge with what I had. So, it seemed that unless I wanted to go into management, I didn't really need the BSN. But if I wanted to go into teaching the BSN or better yet the MSN would be necessary. Right at the point you are, with what you've said...if it were me, I would get the ADN out of the way and go from there. That's just my experience. And I have been back in East Tennessee since '92. Hope that helps.

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