Which path should I take?


I will be starting my first year of college in January and I still don't know which path to take. My goal is to get a BSN. There are two programs I'm looking at (both at community colleges).

The first is a program that would take 3 years to complete (one year of pre-reqs then 2 years for the program) and prepares students to take the NCLEX. So, I would become an RN by the end of that program. It is a competitive program. If I do this, it'll take about 5 years total to earn my BSN.

The other is an associates degree in pre-nursing. Its purpose is to cover all general education and pre-requisites required for BSN programs. It does not prepare you to take the NCLEX (as far as I know), it just prepares you to transfer to a 4 year school. This would take 2 years to complete (so it'd be about 4 years total to earn my BSN). It's also not a competitive program.

I know 2 nurses and have bombarded both with questions, but I also thought I should ask on here. One seemed to lean towards the program that ends with becoming an RN, the other strongly suggests I do the pre-nursing one. The latter suggests the pre-nursing degree because she says it's very hard to get a job with just an associates and since I'm going for a BSN anyway, I should just work on getting my gen ed and nursing pre-reqs out of the way and then go on to a BSN program. I just don't know though.

What do you recommend and why?

If I do the pre-nursing one, will it be at all possible to get a job as a nurse's aide during school?

Thanks in advance. I've been stressing out for quite a while trying to figure this all out.

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 37 years experience.

The job market is difficult for new grads with and without the BSN, more so without. But it is possible to find employment with an ASN depending on your location. If you chose the ASN route, with a little bit of research on your part, you'll find that there are quite a few 3-semester RN-BSN bridge programs that you can do completely online from the convenience of your own home should you secure employment as an RN, and can no longer find the time to sit in a classroom.

Specializes in Critical Care.

If possible I would go straight for the BSN, that's where the profession's heading anyway so you may as well take the direct route.

That said, BSN program admissions can be very, very competitive. If for whatever reason you're unable to pull the excellent grades you need you might have a hard time getting a spot once you're ready to transfer. Does your school have any admissions agreements with four-year universities? If you're really not sure what to do I'd definitely see a counselor/advisor to find out exactly what your options are.


6 Posts

Does your school have any admissions agreements with four-year universities? If you're really not sure what to do I'd definitely see a counselor/advisor to find out exactly what your options are.

The school with a pre-nursing degree has a direct transfer agreement with several universities (meaning all credits will transfer and I'll be guaranteed/almost guaranteed admission to the school). I will do my best to get good grades and I also plan on volunteering at a hospital which will hopefully look good on applications. I plan on meeting with advisors, it's just difficult to do during the summer and I'm impatient, haha.

Thanks for both of your responses. I guess the main reason I've been considering the nursing program that leads to becoming an RN is because I thought it would be a good idea to become an RN and then work while obtaining a BSN. but if it's not necessary or worth it to do that, I will probably do the pre-nursing degree.


6 Posts

My mom and a few others think I should do the 3 year (AAS-T) program because I need to get my RN license as soon as possible (their words). Since I may not live in one state long enough to get my BSN, she says it's better to get my license so that when I move, I'll still be an RN even if I can't get the best job. Thoughts?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Moved to the Pre-Nursing Student forum.

Has 33 years experience.

You need to discuss this with your academic advisor. To me, an ADN that does not prepare you for the NCLEX is a total waste of time. I earning an ASN, that enabled me to take the boards. Surprised that there is even an associate degree available that does NOT prepare you for the boards.:confused: What does anyone do with that degree?

Good luck, let us know how it's going.