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hugabearjo
04-15-2008, 08:59 AM
Please help! I am a single mom who will be returning to school this fall. I have a BS in Dental Hygiene but, my hand after having surgery and complications won't tolerate the repeative, strength movements. So I must continue my journey and return to school. I love direct patient care so nursing seemed like a great choice.

I have been excepted into 2 programs and have to decided quickly where to attend. One is an AS degree in nursing and the other is a BS in nursing.

My thought through all the application process was that the AS would get me to licensure and cheaper. But, I have been thinking more and more about long term goals.

Does anyone know if my BS in another health care field will work for the advancement opportunities that require a BS. Will a BS in nursing vs. hygiene help me in anyway. I am willing to work hard and gain my BS. I just want to add as little as possible to my student loan load. However, if in the end I would have more jobs, pay, advancement doors open then it would be worth it.

Please any thoughts on the subject would be great.

Thanks in advance-

Jo

bzzymom
04-15-2008, 01:37 PM
I have been a nurse for 16 years. I work in ICU and I have an associates degree in nursing. I am perfectly happy with my degree. In my small midwestern town, we have a jr college with ADN. I went that route to live at home, save money, plus I worked part-time at our hospital and had all my tuition reimbursed. It was good at the time.

At my place of employment, it doesn't matter which nursing degree you have, the pay is the same. I have been off work for exactly 11 months due to a work related injury and still don't know if I will be able to go back to bedside nursing. Since I onlly have that degree though, my options are more limited. I would love to teach nursing, but in my state, I would have to go back to school to get a minimum of a BSN to teach LPN level, and MSN to teach RN. Bedside nursing will be tough, and very physical. The patients loads keep getting bigger and bigger, and the patient's themselves are bigger and bigger. It is common for us in ICU to have patients at least 200 lbs. If you want to keep options open, BSN would give you more oppurtunities in management for example.

My brother has a BS in bioloby with a minor in chemistry and is cruuently in an "advanced track" nursing program which basically means he took some summer classes this past summer, and he entered a BSN program in the fall as a junior. His ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Anesthetist which requires a minimum of a masters degree.

I hope this helps you.

PS, I have also worked for an oral surgeon and loved it, which may be great for you!

RMulieri
04-15-2008, 01:46 PM
I have been an Assoc. degree RN for 11 yrs this summer.I earn the same pay as my BS prepared friends and get treated no different.I may eventually get my BS because I would like to have it for myself but I do fine at work without it.I also have my MEd Surg nurse certification and my Oncology Nurse certification So you can do things with an Asn that can increase your pay.

RMulieri
04-15-2008, 01:49 PM
I have been a nurse for 16 years. I work in ICU and I have an associates degree in nursing. I am perfectly happy with my degree. In my small midwestern town, we have a jr college with ADN. I went that route to live at home, save money, plus I worked part-time at our hospital and had all my tuition reimbursed. It was good at the time.

At my place of employment, it doesn't matter which nursing degree you have, the pay is the same. I have been off work for exactly 11 months due to a work related injury and still don't know if I will be able to go back to bedside nursing. Since I onlly have that degree though, my options are more limited. I would love to teach nursing, but in my state, I would have to go back to school to get a minimum of a BSN to teach LPN level, and MSN to teach RN. Bedside nursing will be tough, and very physical. The patients loads keep getting bigger and bigger, and the patient's themselves are bigger and bigger. It is common for us in ICU to have patients at least 200 lbs. If you want to keep options open, BSN would give you more oppurtunities in management for example.

My brother has a BS in bioloby with a minor in chemistry and is cruuently in an "advanced track" nursing program which basically means he took some summer classes this past summer, and he entered a BSN program in the fall as a junior. His ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Anesthetist which requires a minimum of a masters degree.

I hope this helps you.

PS, I have also worked for an oral surgeon and loved it, which may be great for you!

I agree with you about Pt loads and Pt size.At times on Oncology our nrs pt ratio is 5:1 ( should only be 3:1 espec. with Chemo and BMT pts).I sustained a nice back injury taking care of a 420lb pt.It is definitely getting tougher.

J&J'sMOM
04-15-2008, 02:38 PM
I have a diploma of nursing--at the hospital I work in, you make the same whether you have a bsn or not. If you want to have the opportunity for advancement/management positions, then a bsn is a must. You did state that you love pt. care, and most of the "hands on, bedside" nursing positions only require you to have a diploma or associates degree. Good luck in whatever you decide, you know you will always have a job as an RN!;)

tzolkin
04-15-2008, 05:05 PM
as others have said the pay and jobs are generally the same for nurses with either an associates or bachelors degree. depending on what your long-term goals are a BSN may be required (for example if you want to go on to become a nurse practitioner).

my husband has been an RN for almost 5 years and works in an OR. he just went back to school this year for his bachelors. it would have been easier to just do all four years at once, but it was not feasible for our family at the time. you can always go back to school and it might be nice to already be earning a nurse's pay while you're doing it. my DH is working full time and going to school full time because he wants to finish in 2 years, but most of the other nurses in the BSN program are taking classes part time.

good luck with your decision.

MinnieNurse
04-15-2008, 05:05 PM
I was an ADN for 9 years I now have my MSN. In most places I have worked there is really no pay difference and if you have a Bachelors in another field and want to move up they consider that as having your bachelors. I have been the Director of OB Services and really think the only thing the higher degrees help with is advancing in management and I did not have my first finance class until my MSN program. Hope that helps. Nursing is a growing field and it is easy to make very good money as an RN with any degree.

roliepolieoliefan
04-15-2008, 05:18 PM
Agree with all of the above. I have an Associates in Nursing and have since 1989. I have a job in a same day surgery center. All daylight, Mon-Fri

I actually get paid more than some that are there with a Bachelors degree because I work what they call a stand-by status.

Where I work I would need a bachelors degree if I wanted to have a management position, but you couldn't pay me enough money to take the responsibility of one of those jobs.

hugabearjo
04-15-2008, 07:03 PM
Thank you so much for the replies. I feel better, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't shooting myself in the foot just to save money on tuition. I will continue to pray about it. I don't want to go into management I know that but, maybe teaching someday if the patient care becames too hard physically. I really want to care for patients.

Thanks again for all the insight.
Jo

jama
04-15-2008, 07:11 PM
you may want to look into skipping the BSN degree and go straight into a masters program for nursing. University of TN has that option...you can get a masters in Nursing as long as you have a BS in something.

MissMommy928
04-15-2008, 08:29 PM
I'll be graduating with my BSN in a few short weeks and I can't tell you what it's like working as an RN, but this is coming from a fellow single mom who is completely burnt out and sick of nursing school perspective...

Go with the ADN. It's so much cheaper and so much faster! Our school does a RN to BSN completion program and it'll take you no time to go from an RN to a BSN. Some programs even have the ADN to MSN, completely skipping over the BSN process. To me, I'm just burnt out. I've known the same people for 5 years, I've waisted so many years and so much money at this school. I feel like I missed my daughters entire childhood, I feel like I've lost years off my life because of the constant stress and lack of sleep. Seriously, it's come to the point where i'm estatic if I get more than 5 hours of sleep because during the day i'm either in class or with my DD and night time is my only time to study/get anything done. To me, looking back- it's not worth it. I only went to the BSN program because our ADN program had a 6+ year waiting list and I'd still be waiting to get in.

Have you ever met anyone who is like "WOW, i loved nursing school!!!! It was so challenging and fun all the time!!"? HECK NO! You meet people who are like "oh god, i remember nursing school, it does get so much better" At first I didn't realize why they all said that. 4 semesters later... i do :rotfl:

I"m so far into debt that I have to stay with my parents for another year post graduation to pay them down to even have any type of secure financial independance. I'm so grateful I went into nursing. I love the patient care. I love the job security, but as of right now, I just want to take the NCLEX, get it over with, and move on with my life.

Staff nursing wise, there is absolutely no difference in pay, so don't even worry about that in the short term. Worry about long term after you feel confident in your role as a staff nurse. I will eventually endure hell again and get my masters to either be a NP or a CNM, but not for many many years after DD has grown up and i have some time to myself.

*stepping off my soapbox* This sounded so much worse than I intended it to be. I've just got 2 more weeks left to go and i'm soooo ready to be done!

shortstuff7429
04-15-2008, 09:18 PM
You might want to check with your state. I have a BSN and our state offers a loan forgiveness program for BSN's. All you have to do to qualify is work as a bedside RN. For each year that you work, a portion of your loans are written off. And you don't have to make payments while your working either. I also worked part time while I was going to school (like 4-6hrs per week) for a hospital that offered an educational award. They paid me so much for each credit hour I was taking. All I had to do in return was agree to work for them after I graduated, so many months for each semester I recieved the award. Check around...there is alot of help out there for nursing students! Good Luck!

momof5boys
04-15-2008, 09:22 PM
I say go for the Assoc.degree, find a job you like and then find out about tuition reinbursment. Really cuts down on the student loans if the place you work for will help pay for your advanced degree! Right now I've had my ADN for 15 yrs, I'm on a weekend program so no tuition reimbursement right now, I will probably go back to regular 3 nights a week starting in the fall and would qualify for $3000 a year toward my BSN, I figure a class a semester with summer off I should be done in 3-4 yrs. :goodvibes

Carlyzmom
04-15-2008, 10:20 PM
I was an ADN for 10 years when I decided to go back for my BSN. My job paid for half of the tuition. I got a whopping .80 cent an hour raise!!
But I am still glad I have it. Maybe you could think about getting your ADN and go back later if you want to.

A side note - right after I graduated (a couple of years ago) my DH and I decided that I should be home with our small kids and I quit my job! Now, I work very seldom (relief) - but I do have a great career to go back to when the kiddos get a little older.

npmommie
04-16-2008, 09:42 AM
I will eventually endure hell again and get my masters to either be a NP or a CNM, but not for many many years after DD has grown up and i have some time to myself.



I just wanted to ease your fears about grad school for NP!! It is completely different than nursing school. It is hard and demanding but in a different way, you are treated like a collegue by the nursing professors and clinical preceptors.........it really is not the hell of regular nursing school!
how old is your dd?


A side note - right after I graduated (a couple of years ago) my DH and I decided that I should be home with our small kids and I quit my job! Now, I work very seldom (relief) - but I do have a great career to go back to when the kiddos get a little older.

I do the same, just work per diem here and there, I also quit working shortly after getting my MSN.......i worked very part time as an NP, like 10 hrs a week, the first year,then stopped when my second was born!
I have had family say, "why did you go to school, you are wasting your degree"..........ummm its not going anywhere, and I will use it more later!

MissMommy928
04-16-2008, 04:20 PM
I just wanted to ease your fears about grad school for NP!! It is completely different than nursing school. It is hard and demanding but in a different way, you are treated like a collegue by the nursing professors and clinical preceptors.........it really is not the hell of regular nursing school!
how old is your dd?

Oh that's so refreshing to hear! Really! I dreaded going back for any other type of degree just because of how demanding school has been so far. I really didn't want to go back just because of the time constraints.

My DD is five. Mommy in nursing school is all she's known. I started pre reqs when I was pregnant with her. I'm at the point where I know I need to work full time but I'll take any job with a 7a-7p opening. I go to school full time, work part time nights, and oh... you know... the full time mom thing. I just can't do it anymore. I want to get my 3 12 hour days done and get it over with. I'm sick of feeling like a zombie. It's not worth the shift differencial to me. I'll even take a job in *gasp* med surg ;) I"m a spoiled OB worker and OB is my passion, but right now- my DD comes first and I want maximum time to spend with her. I"ll work the crazy shifts when she's 15 and thinks Mom is super boring and not worth her time :rotfl:

busylilnurse
04-16-2008, 04:46 PM
Long and short of it

basically same pay. if you want to go into management/supervision/charge nurse you would need the BS for some jobs. Otherwise not much difference.

MinnieNurse
04-21-2008, 07:07 PM
Since you mentioned possible teaching at some point. If this is something you even possibly want to do I recommend a MSN. RN programs require at least an MSN to teach. Some LVN programs will let you teach with a BSN. I work for a Medical Management Company, I work from home and it is an awesome job. They do require at least a BSN. I got my MSN because I did not know if later in life my body would not stand up to bedside nursing I figured I could teach.