Which would you choose - RN in 2 years or BSN in 3?

Students Pre-Nursing

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I am 28 years old with a BS in Business Administration. Once out of college, I got a bit of work experience and then headed home to raise my 2 boys for a few years. Now that I am a bit older, I realize that the corporate world is not for me and that I have squelched a passion for medicine for many, many years.

Currently I am enrolled at the local jc, finishing up the pre-reqs so I can begin their 2 year RN program. However, my mom recently met and spoke with a woman who is the head of nursing at U Penn (?) and she said that many 4 year schools, her school included, are actively recruiting and paying for people who already have a bachelors degree.

If I did the local RN program, I would be out in about 2 years time, with a job and then would be looking at online, accelerated programs to get my BSN. If I do the accelerated program at the local university here, it would be 3 years and I would have my BSN. This is not to say that I know 100% I want to eventually get my BSN. But my thought is, it can't hurt, right?

Right now my dad is paying for my schooling and he will until I get my RN. The university is 6 X's more expensive and my goal is to do this without loans of any sort, so a huge piece of this is that they HAVE to have free money.

I feel as though I am looking at a very hazy crystal ball and am trying to avoid the "hindsight is 20/20" where I wish I had done X and not done Y.

Thanks for reading all this babble. Your insight is most greatly appreciated!

Christina

Freedom42

914 Posts

Nursing schools turn away tens of thousands of qualified candidates each year due to the instructor shortage. While I'm sure there are school recruiters out there somewhere looking for good candidates, the reality is that there are far more candidates than available seats for students in schools. I haven't heard of a lot of "free money" out there aside from the usual scholarships.

Most accelerated programs for people with prior bachelor's degrees only take about 15 months. There are a lot of factors to consider. Accelerated programs can take less time than earning an associate's degree, and you earn a BSN. On the other hand, they're often more expensive than associate degree programs. It depends on what options are available to you. Can a BSN hurt? No. You should enter the field with the highest level of education available to you.

8jimi8ICURN

231 Posts

Specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

Why not look into an alternative entry Master's program. If you are going to spend that much money, you might as well come out with a Master's. These programs are typically reserved for people going after their 2nd bachelor's.

Otherwise, i'd go for the Associate Degree and think about doing an RN bridge to Master's at a later point. There is just really no point in spending the extra time to get a BSN right now. The economy is crap, jobs are down. So the best bet is to get through as fast as you can and try to get in as a patient care tech, or nurses aide while you are in school, so that hopefully your work ethic has earned you a place ahead of others by the time you are graduating for your RN.

I'm one of the lucky ones who did not work during nursing school, that got a job this past May. I went certificate hunting in my third semester and that may have been the only thing that saved me from unemployment.

Good luck with your endeavors.

eholt19351

47 Posts

i am in you're same position right now, i am accepted to both types of programs. i just figured it would be much easier to go straight through the 3 years instead of doing the first two years and then a bridge program. You don't have to worry about applying again to another school, and you will be done quicker by doing the BSN program instead of the 2 year program AND a bridge. Just my opinion.

8jimi8ICURN

231 Posts

Specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.

But you realize that a bridge gains you a Master's degree. A BSN may give you $0.25 more an hour in some areas of the country and in others, none.

eholt19351

47 Posts

But you realize that a bridge gains you a Master's degree. A BSN may give you $0.25 more an hour in some areas of the country and in others, none.

i think she said she was looking for the BSN bridge program :nuke:

Chris99mu

216 Posts

I have never heard of a bridge program. So if I am reading correctly, I could get my RN. Then, since I already have a bachelors, I could skip over a second bach and get my Masters? I think I would rather do that. Getting my RN gets me into the field, gets me experience and then allows me to really decipher which field/area I want to specialize in for my Masters.

Thanks!!!

Freedom42

914 Posts

I have never heard of a bridge program. So if I am reading correctly, I could get my RN. Then, since I already have a bachelors, I could skip over a second bach and get my Masters? I think I would rather do that. Getting my RN gets me into the field, gets me experience and then allows me to really decipher which field/area I want to specialize in for my Masters.

Thanks!!!

Your "RN" is your license. You can qualify to sit for the licensing exam with a diploma, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. You can bridge from an associate's degree to a BSN or a master's. Because you already have a bachelor's degree, you could also do a direct-entry master's program. Such programs usually require you to sit for the licensing exam after you complete the first year.

What I'm not grasping is why earning a BSN would take you three years. Even if you didn't do an accelerated program, with your prior degree, it shouldn't take you anywhere near that long.

Chris99mu

216 Posts

Freedom - here is the accelerated 2nd bach program: http://health.usf.edu/nocms/nursing/Programs_of_Study/accelerated.html

But what I am gathering from here is that a 2nd bach would be redundant. So upon further investigation, I found this program: http://health.usf.edu/nocms/nursing/Programs_of_Study/babsrntoms_admission.html

Unfortunately, my GPA was a 2.99, not a 3.0! Just my luck!

8jimi8ICURN

231 Posts

Specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.
I have never heard of a bridge program. So if I am reading correctly, I could get my RN. Then, since I already have a bachelors, I could skip over a second bach and get my Masters? I think I would rather do that. Getting my RN gets me into the field, gets me experience and then allows me to really decipher which field/area I want to specialize in for my Masters.

Thanks!!!

Sorry if my earlier post was unclear.

The options you have available to you, to get your RN license are:

a diploma program (i don't know how long these take)

an Associate degree program usually 2 years

a Bachelor's program (there are some that are accelerated, some that are traditional)

an alternative entry program (for those with a previous bachelor's) with this you would test for your RN, then continue on to your Master's.

After you have your RN, you can:

bridge from RN to BSN (usually 2 semesters)

bridge from RN to MSN (unsure of time length)

i may have left out some other types of programs, i'm sure someone will chime in.

what you have to negotiate now, is the type of program, the wait list, and the cost

8jimi8ICURN

231 Posts

Specializes in Flight RN, Trauma1 CVICU STICU MICU CCU.
Freedom - here is the accelerated 2nd bach program: http://health.usf.edu/nocms/nursing/Programs_of_Study/accelerated.html

But what I am gathering from here is that a 2nd bach would be redundant. So upon further investigation, I found this program: http://health.usf.edu/nocms/nursing/Programs_of_Study/babsrntoms_admission.html

Unfortunately, my GPA was a 2.99, not a 3.0! Just my luck!

you can always retake a class or two to raise up that GPA.

Freedom42

914 Posts

Thanks for the link. That looks like a pretty standard accelerated BSN program. I suppose it could take you three years if you only completed 25 or so credits a year and were taking summers off. Most accelerated programs expect you to take about 18 credits a semester, and you go to school year-round.

Two thoughts: Ignore the GPA requirements. If you're that close and you're a good candidate, why not at least apply anyway? If you really think it will hold you back, you can repeat a pre-req to bring up your GPA.

Also, it might be premature to conclude that a second bachelor's degree is redundant. Some graduate programs, such as CRNA schools, do require a bachelor's degree in nursing. The direct-entry master's degree also has its drawbacks: You get the master's degree, but if you want to work in a hospital environment and you have no experience, odds are that you'll wind up starting as an entry-level RN anyway. Nursing has so many educational entry points that there's a lot to consider.

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