Wanting to be a Nurse after having a B.S. in other discipline, INFO Needed!!

Nurses General Nursing



Hello everyone,

Recently, I have been reading through the Forum and I've noticed that many people have considered leaving their present careers to pursue a career in nursing. Most people know that as long as you have a High School Diploma and descent grades that you can apply to a school which has a nursing program and achieve a BSN through that avenue, but for the rest of us that already have careers and seek to do the same, what options do we have?

For Instance:

I have a B.S. in Finance/Accounting and after attaining that degree, I have worked as a financial analyst for about4 years, but have now decided that nursing would be a much more rewarding career. It would be something that at the end of the day would make me feel good about what I truly do on a day to day basis and because of this, I am considering pursuing a degree in nursing. Now, since this idea is predominantly new to me and probably to others, hopefully someone who has traveled this road or who is insightful can help answering the following questions:

~If you have a B.S. from 4 year college, can you apply to a BSN nursing program and have most of the Liberal Arts Credits that you have attained previously transfered to the nursing school you wish to attend, shortening the 4 year process to more like 2 years?? (I have looked into this and most colleges will accept this, but still would like to hear the opinion of others)

~For those of us who might not be experts in science, what do you guys who have taken the Nursing requirements have to say about such courses like General and Organic Chemistry, as well as Physiology 1 & 2 and Microbiology?? (For a person as myself coming from a business background these will be totally new to me, only chemistry and Bio courses I took where in High school ages ago)

~Within Big areas like NYC, Chicago, LA and any other big cities how much more of a difference does it make becoming a RN with just an Associates Degree as compared to an RN with a BSN??

Pay wise?? Advancement within Management wise?? etc..

(This question is particularly important because such big cities have high costs of living and many people I ask say that BSN's make mush more money than do RN with just a Assoc. Deg.)

All replies will be highly appreciated!


378 Posts

I would say to contact a few schools of nursing you are interested in and have them evaluate your transcripts to see what courses will be accepted and which courses you will have to take. They can tell you what your course of study would look like.

As far as the science courses, what I have to say is be prepared to study, study, study, and use a tutor if necessary. For me, the hardest part of all of it was the math that is necessary to work many of the problems (that is general chemistry, physics, etc)_ so if you are good at math then you shouldn't have a big problem. Just good ole fashioned hard work is what it will take!!

As far as ADN vs BSN. I have found the pay to be similar but advancement opportunities generally require a BSN. I would suggest going for the BSN and get it over with. Many many nurses end up going back and getting a BSN because it is more economically feasible to get the ADN and get to work then go back. If you can afford it get the BSN and be done with it.

I think someone with your mix of education and experience will be helpful for nursing. One big problem with this profession is the general lack of understanding regarding financial issues and how to link nursing practice to positive financial performance for the hospital. It is very important that nursing can do this. Good luck with it. It is a very good field in spite of the current issues.


22 Posts

I am currently attending a school outside Philadelphia for my ASN. I already have a BA in Psych. Its a 2 year weekend program. I did have to fulfill some prerequisites: microbiology, A&P I & II, and Nutrition. Any other classes that were needed were already counted for from my undergraduate curriculum. Also, just to let you know. There is a guy in our class who also has a Finance degree who joined the program for the same reason. He was a financial analyst for several years. He is doing really well in the program.

I took Microbiology in the spring-alot of info but not bad, quite interesting. I took A&P I & II over the summer to get it over with quickly. Tons of info but did well. Did not have to take Nutrition until this summer. Easy. Already had Chemistry--can be difficult but depends on the teacher.

I suggest taking summer classes to fulfill the prerequiites! I am the first one to admit that summer is a time for vacations and fun but it is so worth the sacrifice to get the prerequisites done so that you can move on into the Nursing program quicker. The classes are more accelerated, however, the teacher gets 'to the point' with the info that you really need to focus on. When you take a class during normal semesters you are usually in the classes with undergrads that need a more thorough explanation of things. Many adults attend the summer sessions so you can all move along at a quicker pace. These are also people who have full time jobs too!

Sorry I am just rambling but I am just trying to give you my 2 cents :p

As for the question about the difference between having an associates or a bachelors degree... What I am learning is that since the demand is great for nurses, they will take you anyway you come. Pay will definitely be greater with a bachelors degree (not sure how much greater). My sister is an RN with her Associates. She makes approx. low to mid 40's. I think it depends on the specialty you move into because there can be more advancement with certifications and experience regardless of your degree. Also, I hear there is good money in pool nursing but you must be flexible!! Check salary.com to see what the comparisons are city to city. I hope this helped... Good luck!


6,011 Posts



Here are a few schools that may be in your vicinity. You'd have to check with them to see what transfers. Then see what prerequisites you still need and take them at the most convenient (and least expensive) place that will be accepted for transfer. Good luck.


26 Posts

I am currently in the same position as you, except that I have completed nearly all of the prereqs. I would say that the prereq classes should be no problem for you. I have a BA in English. I am going to get a second bachelors although I entertained the idea of going the master's entry route, which may be something for you to look into. Anyway, one BSN program requires that I take a few additional GE classes, yet another program that is specifically a SECOND BSN program doesnot. So, basically, you just need to research as many programs as you can to find what will work the best for you. And you will find that you have a lot of company with other career changers. Good luck!

nurse2be in ny

332 Posts

I also have a degree in accounting, and am applying to one of the master's entry to practice programs (accelerated BSN, then two more years to master's). I have only four prerequisite courses to take, the rest "transferred". If you know what you want to do, this can be a really good option. As for the science courses, I can only speak to Microbiology, but I liked it and didn't have trouble getting a good grade ( and it had been many years since I took a science course).


401 Posts

Specializes in LTC & Private Duty Pediatrics.


- I found that most of your credits will transfer. However, you will need to pick up a bunch of pre-reqs (medically oriented) if you took them more than 5 yrs ago.

- Example: Anatomy & Physiology I/II, & Microbiology.

- Your math & English & Psych courses will more than likely transfer.

- I'd say about 65% of the nursing curriculum is nurse-based courses. Menaing clinicals, nutrition courses, pharmacology -- classes like that.


- In my situation: I work full time and teach part time. Knocked off A&P 101 with an A this summer, and start A&P 102 next week (15 week course).

- Will take (more than likely) Microbiology starting in Jan.

- I am scheduled to start my clinicals on the weekend.


- Other things....

- Look into grabbing your pre-reqs at local community college. They are dirt cheap -- I pay $275 for one A&P class. The book runs $220 + $50 for study guides. But the book is good for both semesters. Just make sure credits will transfer.

- Seriously. At this stage of the game. My quality of life is more important than making the big $$.

- I am into fly-fishing big time, and am planning on combining travel nursing with fly-fishing.

- Example: I see Rock Springs, WY along I-80 is looking for travel nurses. Place is in the utter middle of nowhere.

But for me, it's 1 hour north of Flamming Gorge Dam (Green River - #4/#5 trout stream in USA). I am ontop of Yellowstone/Jackson Hole for fly fishing. Hell, could even hit the Big Horn in Montana from Rock Springs.


I like to sit back and do day-dream about being on the road doing the travel nurse thing. This is what keeps me motivated. Besides the fact that I have being in a cubicle 10-12 hours a day.


Hope this helps.

John Coxey


73 Posts


Thank you all for your informative replies :eek:

All the information provided will definitely help me out in getting my nursing career in motion. Below I added a little response to each one of you, suggesting the way I took your opinions, once again thanks..

John Coxey - I will definitely look into the community colleges for those extra courses to save some money. I can't afford another couple of years at an IVY league college, did that already for Business School and the debt accumulated is horrible. So, trust me, I will pursue that. I am all for quality of life and your idea makes much sense, thanks.

nurse2be in ny - I am definitely banking on my prior credits obtained during my 4 years to partially get transferred, because in that way I can definitely shorten the duration in attaining the BSN. Thanks

lgreen - I will definitely look into the right program, whatever seems more appealing and more useful. Thanks

P_RN - Thanks for the link, some seem pretty good and not that bad in price.

lilybug - I checked out salary.com and amazingly here in NYC a staff nurse with just an associates degree makes about 48,000 starting off, which is pretty good. In most other states a nurse with just an Associates makes low 30's. So, I was amazed and a bit tempted in just getting a 2year nursing degree, but getting a BSN sounds very appealing in terms of growth, Im definitely looking at this as a long term career. Thanks

ainz - Well, the only courses that I wonder about are the 3 or so chemistry requirements that are needed. All the physiology courses seem pretty simple as well as the microbiology. Chemistry by many is consider a bit more complexed, but I am ready to work hard and put in all the time needed to do well.Thanks


144 Posts

Nurse212 I was in the same boat as you a year ago. I had a BA in History major in college, but wanted to be a nurse. I found 2 accelerated BSN programs in Philly (Thomas Jefferson University & Drexel). I only applied to Drexel (they made it easier to apply). Because I had a 3.2 GPA undergrad, they accepted me. GPA was the only thing they looked at.

So applying & getting in to school was not hard.

But it is expensive. I paid out of pocket to take 6 classes. My 11 month program will cost $20,000 not including books, uniforms, & living expenses. I plan to take out a hefty loan; credit cards will foot the rest.

While expensive, it is fast. I decided to became a nurse in the summer of 2002. I will be earning living as a nurse around the fall of 2004. I might go back and get an MSN or even doctorate degree, but for now I can't wait to become a practicing nurse.

Good luck. I like your avatar...I think Ned Flanders is sexy.



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