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Starting with an associate's degree?

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by Dgardella Dgardella (New) New

Hello! I am still a senior in high school and have a huge desire of being a nurse! I was thinking of starting at a community college since I don't really have the money to afford a 4-year. I was thinking of getting an associate degree in nursing, taking the exam to be a RN and transfering to a 4-year to continue my next 2 years. After that i would like to complete my masters degree and all the training necessary to be a nurse anesthetist. I am pretty good at math but im not too into science since the courses i've taken in highschool are taught my teachers who don't really teach. Is this a solid plan? Do i have a chance here or am i just dreaming?

ED Nurse, RN

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

If your ultimate goal is to be a CRNA then I would go into a BSN program, don't waste time. Any magnet affiliated hospital, which is a good majority, are required to have 80% of their staff as BSN prepared by 1/1/2020. Getting hired may be an issue going forward with associate degree nurses.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

If your ultimate goal is to be a CRNA then I would go into a BSN program, don't waste time. Any magnet affiliated hospital, which is a good majority, are required to have 80% of their staff as BSN prepared by 1/1/2020. Getting hired may be an issue going forward with associate degree nurses.

OP, your plan is a fine one, given your financial restrictions. And the beauty of it is that your ASN employer may provide tuition reimbursement for your BSN. All the while through your BSN, you be gaining precious RN experience.

As to the above post, don't be unduly alarmed about your prospects. It really does depend on your circumstances and where you live. I'm in a major metropolitan city in the Midwest and my employer held a job fair last month, welcoming all RN's.

As to the above post, don't be unduly alarmed about your prospects. It really does depend on your circumstances and where you live. I'm in a major metropolitan city in the Midwest and my employer held a job fair last month, welcoming all RN's.

The area I live in hires ASN without a thought. We have one hospital that wants you working toward your BSN within a year.

Don't be scared by the people who say you won't get an job with an ASN. It all just depends on where you live.

VANurse2010

Has 6 years experience.

If your ultimate goal is to be a CRNA then I would go into a BSN program, don't waste time. Any magnet affiliated hospital, which is a good majority, are required to have 80% of their staff as BSN prepared by 1/1/2020. Getting hired may be an issue going forward with associate degree nurses.

There is nothing in magnet rules that require an 80% BSN workforce. Their only rules have to do with management credentialing. You're thinking about IOM recommendations for an 80% BSN workforce. These recommendations are generally being heeded, but none of this BSN-only baloney is actually required by anybody, legally or otherwise.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

After that i would like to complete my masters degree and all the training necessary to be a nurse anesthetist.
You will need a couple of years of solid experience as an ICU nurse before applying to nurse anesthetist programs. Without ICU/critical care experience, these programs will not admit you.

In order to attain this ICU experience, you must obtain a job at a hospital as a staff ICU nurse. In order to attain hospital employment, many hospitals are not hiring new grad RNs who are without the BSN degree.

Hence, the hiring climate for new grad RNs will dictate whether your plan will work out. If you do start with an associate degree in nursing, you might need to relocate to a city that still hires an abundance of new grad RNs directly into the ICU.

Julius Seizure

Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

The biggest advice that I can give you is this: Id the job market isn't good where you live, be willing to move to another part of the country to get that first job as a hospital RN.

ED Nurse, RN

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

There is nothing in magnet rules that require an 80% BSN workforce. Their only rules have to do with management credentialing. You're thinking about IOM recommendations for an 80% BSN workforce. These recommendations are generally being heeded, but none of this BSN-only baloney is actually required by anybody, legally or otherwise.

My hospital is currently up for its fourth magnet designation- the 80% is for nurses if the hospital wants to continue being magnet designated past 1/1/2020. This is be taken very seriously in the nursing community and I work for a large hospital system- their main namesake only hires BSN prepared nurses and the rest of us will follow suit shortly to meet the deadline. It's not baloney- for our profession to evolve, we must strive for education and advancement. People who think it's "baloney" are people who are intimidated by these changes. Quite frankly I think this conversation should be about our nurses being masters prepared, the BSN discussion should just be put to rest and required. Well done for the magnet accreditation for finally drawing a line in the sand.

VANurse2010

Has 6 years experience.

My hospital is currently up for its fourth magnet designation- the 80% is for nurses if the hospital wants to continue being magnet designated past 1/1/2020. This is be taken very seriously in the nursing community and I work for a large hospital system- their main namesake only hires BSN prepared nurses and the rest of us will follow suit shortly to meet the deadline. It's not baloney- for our profession to evolve, we must strive for education and advancement. People who think it's "baloney" are people who are intimidated by these changes. Quite frankly I think this conversation should be about our nurses being masters prepared, the BSN discussion should just be put to rest and required. Well done for the magnet accreditation for finally drawing a line in the sand.

That may be the case in 2020, but it's not the case now. And P.S. I'm allowed to think it's baloney, or B.S., or whatever I'd like. This ain't my first rodeo.

ED Nurse, RN

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

That may be the case in 2020, but it's not the case now. And P.S. I'm allowed to think it's baloney, or B.S., or whatever I'd like. This ain't my first rodeo.

It certainty is the case for 2020- a deadline rapidly approaching. This ain't your first rodeo? I don't even know what that means nor is it applicable to the current discussion at hand. Good for you, I guess?

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

There is nothing in magnet rules that require an 80% BSN workforce. Their only rules have to do with management credentialing. You're thinking about IOM recommendations for an 80% BSN workforce. These recommendations are generally being heeded, but none of this BSN-only baloney is actually required by anybody, legally or otherwise.

I'm trying to understand where that rumor started. I've recently been hired at a magnet hospital and when I graduate in May with my ASN and pass boards early this summer, will have a RN position with them. At no point in my hiring process has it been said to me I have to obtain my BSN. One of my local hospitals is working on magnet status and all it required was to ensure that no LPNs were working the floors. They just up and fired all their LPNs one day which was difficult considering there is a severe shortage here. My other local hospital still has LPNs working their floors though.

Magnet status has to do with the retention of RNs and the education of management as a BSN program has a couple of more classes in nurse leadership and research than an ASN program does. That's it. Their thinking is better trained management equals a better workforce. Also better employee retention. The while you have to have your BSN by 2020 needs to go away. In areas where they are desperate for nurses it's not feasible.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

My hospital is currently up for its fourth magnet designation- the 80% is for nurses if the hospital wants to continue being magnet designated past 1/1/2020. This is be taken very seriously in the nursing community and I work for a large hospital system- their main namesake only hires BSN prepared nurses and the rest of us will follow suit shortly to meet the deadline. It's not baloney- for our profession to evolve, we must strive for education and advancement. People who think it's "baloney" are people who are intimidated by these changes. Quite frankly I think this conversation should be about our nurses being masters prepared, the BSN discussion should just be put to rest and required. Well done for the magnet accreditation for finally drawing a line in the sand.

You think bedside nurses should have their masters? Why? Why would you think that? You think bedside nurses should have prescribing privileges? By requiring bedside nurses to have their masters, you are stepping into dangerous territory with the nps and their pay for having their masters. A masters will mean pretty much nothing if every bedside nurse has it. Plus it's very cost prohibitive. I do not think you have actually thought out the implications of that.

Also, show me the actual documented source that magnet hospital nurses must have their BSN for bedside nurses by 2020. Not what you heard in the rumor mill at your hospital. Because I have looked for it over and over and I can't find it. I also know what I have been personally told by two different hospitals. One that I work for that is magnet and another one in my clinical orientation going for magnet status, and it's that magnet status has to do with RN retention, not the degree you hold. I have several thoughts on how I think this rumor got started but it's not what most people on AN think, that it has to do with one study. I won't give my thoughts and start more rumors.

The other thing is, most people don't give a crap if a hospital has achieved magnet status. When you are sick and picking a hospital to you check to see if they are magnet? Ask your family if they know what that means. It's simply some type of bragging rights in the medical community. It has nothing to do with attracting more people to choose their surgery or have their baby there. And that is how hospitals make their money and how we get paid.

In order to attain this ICU experience, you must obtain a job at a hospital as a staff ICU nurse. In order to attain hospital employment, many hospitals are not hiring new grad RNs who are without the BSN degree.

hi! About how many years of ICU experience is enought to be considered for the nurse anesthetist program? Also i did say i would go for my BSN right after getting my associates degree so not getting employment because of the lack of BSN wouldnt really be an issue since i would have mine. Btw after getting my associates degree and i jump into my BSN that is just two more years right? Thank you :)

I have my ADN and found a job right out of school. The hospital was also in an agreement with a well known university that offered a discount for those ADNs wanting to progress. Once you registered for a class, they even offered to work around your schedule if necessary. What a great deal!! You are working, earning money and get a chance to progress.

You need 2 years worth of working experience in the ICU (some schools will also take experience in ED, but check with the program first.)

hi! About how many years of ICU experience is enought to be considered for the nurse anesthetist program? Also i did say i would go for my BSN right after getting my associates degree so not getting employment because of the lack of BSN wouldnt really be an issue since i would have mine. Btw after getting my associates degree and i jump into my BSN that is just two more years right? Thank you :)

You need 2 years worth of working experience in the ICU (some schools will also take experience in ED, but check with the program first.) An RN-BSN program is usually 1.5-2 years, depends on the program.

ED Nurse, RN

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

You think bedside nurses should have their masters? Why? Why would you think that? You think bedside nurses should have prescribing privileges? By requiring bedside nurses to have their masters, you are stepping into dangerous territory with the nps and their pay for having their masters. A masters will mean pretty much nothing if every bedside nurse has it. Plus it's very cost prohibitive. I do not think you have actually thought out the implications of that.

Also, show me the actual documented source that magnet hospital nurses must have their BSN for bedside nurses by 2020. Not what you heard in the rumor mill at your hospital. Because I have looked for it over and over and I can't find it. I also know what I have been personally told by two different hospitals. One that I work for that is magnet and another one in my clinical orientation going for magnet status, and it's that magnet status has to do with RN retention, not the degree you hold. I have several thoughts on how I think this rumor got started but it's not what most people on AN think, that it has to do with one study. I won't give my thoughts and start more rumors.

The other thing is, most people don't give a crap if a hospital has achieved magnet status. When you are sick and picking a hospital to you check to see if they are magnet? Ask your family if they know what that means. It's simply some type of bragging rights in the medical community. It has nothing to do with attracting more people to choose their surgery or have their baby there. And that is how hospitals make their money and how we get paid.

You do know getting a masters degree does not equate to being an NP, right? There are numerous other nursing masters degrees you can obtain that are not an NP. Why not have masters prepared bedside nurses? Why not push our nurses to strive for excellence and advancement in the profession? We already contribute a lot to the healthcare spectrum but could contribute so much more by advancing our education. To evolve, we must seek to continue our education. Nurses have the potential to produce some very powerful and practice changing research- and we need nurses with degrees to do that to be taken seriously in the medical community.

Many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement anywhere from 80-100%, why would you not want to take advantage of that and obtain a degree? You are benefitting yourself exponentially by further your education in nursing.

I have the paperwork for the magnet requirement at work- next time I'm there, I can post it. This isn't going away. There is absolutely nothing wrong with requiring nurses to be BSN prepared, it needs to be the standard. Hospitals, like mine, that are magnet designated, can afford to only hire BSN prepared. These tend to be top hospitals. No one is requiring every hospital to be magnet designated, it's the hospitals choice. But I think in the coming years it will be understood better by the community. People know a hospitals reputation in the community and from receiving excellent care, and will return to the hospitals they feel confident in. Additionally, research proves patients receive better care in hospitals where the majority of nurses hold higher degrees.

Edited by ED Nurse, RN
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