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When I first got accepted into a local ADN program, I was excited... However


It's a local community college. I live in a big college city where one university completely dominates. The local university (VCU) has a waiting list, and while the community college was competitive to get into, obviously the big university is even more competitive. Every time I tell someone I made it in and am starting soon, they always ask "Oh nice! Are you going to VCU?" to which I reluctantly say it's a 2 year program at a local college, and once I graduate and get my RN license I'll be doing a bridge BSN program at either VCU or ODU.

Everyone is happy for me, but I downplay the community college aspect and to be honest I feel it won't be the same. I haven't started yet, so I could be wrong, and I've been told otherwise, so I'm starting to think I may just be taking it for granted. I had to choose between going on the waiting list and just hope it happens soon, or buckling down and attending the community college for 2 years. I chose the latter. Anyone have any experience with the two?

I know nursing school isn't easy, and if I'm investing a ton of time and effort into this, I want the best schooling and experience I can get. I quit my corporate America job at 26 years old to pursue something that would provide much more satisfaction for my hard work.

Screw the naysayers. You'd really be willing to wait around and see if you get into the Big College at some point in the next couple of years....instead of actually BEING a nursing student? Fail to see that as a good plan.

You said a couple of times you're entering a 2-year program....have you completed all the pre-requs and are now starting the core 2-year nursing program? Or are you starting the pre-reqs FOR the 2 year nursing program (which, typically, takes 3-3.5 years)?

I too am 26 and I dont have experience but I too am choosing the AS program at my local community college vs a private school. However I have a young family and because of this and finances I am choosing the local community. However for me I think the chances are backwards, the community college is ALOT more competitive (because its the only AS program around). Find out what the NCLEX passing scores are for the schools. Call local hospitals (future potential employers) and find out if they have a preference for either program. Where I live the graduates of the community college and highly sought after. Just because it has a waiting list doesnt immediately mean that they are more competitive, maybe the just have smaller classes and can let less students into the program compared to the community college. If you still really prefer the BS program is continuing working on transferable non-nursing classes a possibility, that way you are not "wasting" your time just waiting.

Maybe go to the state group here on AN and as current students about the program at both schools


Specializes in Critical Care; Recovery. Has 2 years experience.

For your situation I would probably go through the nursing school and bridge over later. You'll still be a registered nurse right? You can start working hopefully soon after nursing school and bridge over later. That's what I did anyway and it worked out for me here in South Mississippi.


Specializes in LTC, Rural, OB. Has 3 years experience.

Just go with the ADN. You're already in, don't wait. I just graduated from an ADN program, and our program was a lot more welcome in the hospitals than the local well known BSN program. Our NCLEX pass rates are also better. Just because it is a higher degreed program does not make it a better school. Bridging after you get your RN is not a bad way to go. Good luck!

Be grateful for what you got. You can always upgrade later whereas the people who weren't accepted to either program have a brick wall between them and their future.

rob4546, ADN, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 6 years experience.

I couldn't imagine being on a wait list for any amount of time. If your GPA isn't outstanding then it could be some time before you get entry. In that case I believe that you would be able to finish the ADN program and start your BSN bridge before they would call your name.

Now I wouldn't give up on the BSN idea though. Once you are done get your BSN when time allows. I chose to start right away because I am still in the studying frame of mind.

Good luck and knock this out.

So rn to bsn programs allow to you start them before you have your rn :)

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

In my town, it's much more competitive to get in the cc over the 4 year university. My 2 year program is one of the best in the state and has a better NCLEX pass rate than most BSN programs. It boasts a 100% pass rate. So be happy you got in and don't worry about what other people say. Live your life for you.

So rn to bsn programs allow to you start them before you have your rn :)

No. A traditional BSN program is a 4 year college degree; after graduation one is eligible to sit for NCLEX-RN.

The RN-BSN bridge program they're discussing is an option for someone who already HAS a RN license, but has "less" than a Bachelor's degree, typically an ADN although one can enter as a diploma school RN grad. For these 'completion' programs, one must already be a licensed RN. Some programs also require one to be a working RN before admission, but that varies quite a bit.

Oftentimes, someone will take pre-requisite courses at a 2-year school, and then transfer them to a 4 year school to enter a BSN program. It is not an RN-to-BSN program; it is simply a BSN program.

All I know is, I'm currently in an RN ADN program (have not yet taken the NCLEX or completed my program) and am also enrolled in an RN to BSN program, even though I don't have my RN. In fact, I start the nursing classes for RN to BSN before I started RN school. Nursing classes being classes such as NUR401-NUR495, actually any of the classes needed to complete the program, without my rn. I just can't get the diploma until I have my RN and send them that info.

And these classes are not even anatomy type classes, with the exception of my senior practicum class which is only one class, I can do all of my other classes, as that is the only class that requires a license to practice in a hospital. And yes, it is an accredited program. I probably have to put in more effort to learn the material than the already RNs, but it is possible and an option... At least at my school that I'm doing my bsn through

rob4546, ADN, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 6 years experience.

So rn to bsn programs allow to you start them before you have your rn :)

Actually, look around because I know of at least one that does. They allow dual enrollment while you are doing your ADN program. Don't know if it is available everywhere. I couldn't imagine doing that though, my ADN program kept me incredibly busy.

I had a similar experience. Where I live we have a university and a community college both with RN programs. I got into community college and every time I told someone I was in school to be a nurse it's "oh are you going to 'university name'" and it made me feel like shame on me for not getting into a BSN program. You know what, I finished school...I'm an RN... I took the NCLEX just the same as the BSN students. I should not be shamed that I got an ADN first and plan to bridge later. I am proud of my school. And apparently the community and local hospitals love us too because most of my class has found work.

OP do not downplay your school. Be proud that you are being trained in a respected profession where, even with "just" an ADN you can make a very stable living. You can get your BSN later. But don't let others make you feel bad for not jumping straight in or waiting for the BSN program.


Specializes in hospice.

You're 26. Let me tell you something you will KNOW in 15 years. The big name brands are usually overpriced and not worth paying the premium that comes with the name.

CC ADN programs have been turning out good nurses for decades, and their graduates have less debt to pay off.

Drop the shame, work your butt off, and become a nurse.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

You say "VCU," so I am assuming you live in the Richmond, Va area. Look around. There are lots of BSN programs in Virginia if you are able to relocate a short distance. ODU (in Norfolk) has a dual enrollment agreement with Thomas Nelson Community College (with a campus up around Williamsburg somewhere) if you have a BS in another field. You take your nursing clinical classes at the CC, but take the nursing theory, research, etc. courses online through ODU. For most people, it means 1 more full time semester to finish the BSN after they get the ADN from the Community College. They have similar agreements with some other Community Colleges, too.

But ... if you have to go to the Community College ... it may be OK. A lot of the Virginia CC's have pretty good nursing programs. It's the for-profits that are the problem in Virginia. Avoid those.

SopranoKris, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

Where I'm at, the community college actually has a better reputation for turning out good nurses than the 3 other universities in the local area. So, I'm saving money getting the ADN first. I'll work as an RN while I bridge to BSN (at a big name school) and have good prospects for getting hired. Can't wait to be done this May!!!

A lot of good advice in here. Glad to hear similar situations have worked out great! Thanks for the feedback. To clarify a few things - I was accepted into the RN program at a local community college. I was number 38 out of 70 accepted applicants. I have a 3.6 GPA with a year and a half of prereqs finished. Here are my current options:

Finish ADN with CC then pursue bridge program with VCU (or other schools offering it at that time)

Complete BSN classes along with my ADN in a concurrent program with ODU. This will give me a BSN in two years, which is great as I am in situation where I can focus solely on school, until I want to be a CNA/tech for the experience, which will be in 6 months to a year.