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Too old to worry about BSN?

ADN/BSN   (847 Views | 1 Replies)
by jlpsu jlpsu Member

4,921 Profile Views; 143 Posts

So here is my situation. I have not one...but TWO bachelors degrees in other fields. 1st B.S. degree (straight after highschool) from Penn State in communication disorders , and then I went back 10 years ago to Pitt and got another B.S. degree in computer science. You could say I've had a hard time deciding what I want to do in life...I am now 39 years old, married with 4 kids and I feel like I finally know what I want to do, and what I've always wanted to do in fact (I was held back from pursing nursing in years past for a myriad of reasons).

Anyway, I am going back to school for nursing. I cannot do the accelerated BSN programs because of the intensive nature of the classes in the summer. With 4 kids, it's just not possible. So, I am going to take classes at the community college and then apply to the nursing school at our metro hospital. I am fortunate to live in an area that has 6 or 7 diploma hospital based programs still thriving and spitting out excellent nurses with excellent reputations that are often hired from the hospitals that sponsor the programs. Their NCLEX pass rates are MUCH higher than that ADN programs locally.

I decided to do this too late to apply for this fall, so I will be in nursing school starting next fall - and I will be 42 years old by the time that I am done with all of this.

People keep telling me that I will want to get my BSN as soon as possible after that - but the idea of another BS degree does nothing for me. I could possibly see myself in an RN-MSN program...but even that...I'd be 50 when I'm done with that! Not appealing.

So, is it ridiculous at my age to think that I can have a long, successful career without a BSN behind my name? I also keep hearing that a B.S in another field + R.N license does not = BSN. I don't get that. Why not? I have all of the general ed, liberal arts, etc...that the BSN gets, and I will have the RN education that the BSN gets. Would I really be held back from holding a management position because I have a BS + RN and not a BSN? Seems more like semantics to me.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 105,658 Profile Views

Of course you can have a "long, successful career" as an RN without a BSN degree -- but it's a reality that you will have fewer professional opportunities than you would with a BSN. If bedside nursing is your thing, you'll be fine; but lots of other, interesting roles and positions in nursing require a minimum of a BSN.

As for the question of whether an RN license plus a BA/BS in another subject will or won't be considered the equivalent of a BSN (for employment and advancement opportunity purposes), the only solid answer to that is "it depends." (I know, not a v. satisfying answer ... :)) Some employers consider RN + BA/BS to be a satisfactory substitute, some don't. That's each, individual employer's prerogative (and it seems, in general, to be the better employers that take the more hard-line position. The places that have a harder time getting and keeping nursing staff tend to be more, ummm, "flexible"). However, it's not true that the two are truly equal, and it's not just a matter of semantics. A BSN degree does contain additional nursing content that isn't included in ADN and diploma curricula -- that's why RN licensure + another BA/BS isn't automatically, universally considered a substitute.

It's easy to empathize with how little interest one would have in completing a third baccalaureate degree. :) You can certainly start out a nursing career with a diploma and another BA/BS and wait to see whether you feel, as time goes on, that completing a BSN (which probably wouldn't take much time/effort, given that you would probably have all the requirements except the additional nursing courses) is something that you feel would be necessary or advantageous. (And you're never "too old" ...)

Best wishes for your journey! :balloons:

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