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Careers: Nursing/Nursing Program Questions

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Hi Ken,

So, I am almost done with the prerequisite classes in pre-nursing, and have an option to either enter a 2-year nursing program to get my RN license, OR transfer into a traditional BSN program. My end goal is to earn a BSN, but I am not sure which pathway to take.

I first thought of getting my RN license first, at a two year nursing program, then applying to an RN-BSN program right after that. Besides this option, I could apply to the traditional BSN program. Both ways I end up getting a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, but is one pathway better than the other? Does it really matter which I choose?

Also, waitlists are definite things when applying to either programs...do you have any suggestions on what I can do while waiting that can help me with either my future nursing career or help aid me with the nursing classes/programs? Advice or opinions would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
Nolan

Answer
Nolan:

My answer to this question has changed over the last few years. I used to recommend getting a 2 year RN and then getting a job and letting the hospital pay for the other 2 years to get your BSN. However, the recession and the consolidation of hospital systems into more efficient cost centers has pushed off the so called nursing shortage that was predicted.

I actually know some unemployed 2 year RN's who have had to go to work in nursing homes to get started. Hospitals are opting for the BSN nurse over the 2 year RN right out of school. Hospitals have also moved to experience nurses over new nurses. The start up costs for hospitals for new orientation nurses is very expensive as opposed to using the experienced nurse who needs little orientation to the hospital to get started. Not to mention many new nurses get trained and then move to other hospitals which is costly for the original hospital putting out the money to complete orientation and new nurse training.

In short, try to get to your BSN as the most direct route possible. It does not matter how as long as you get your RN license and your BSN. Going to Yale and Harvard vs the State College has no bearing on nursing at the staff level. Its the license and just having the BSN degree.

In the mean time I would be working as a nurses aide in the hospital you plan to work in when you become a RN. It gets you exposed to the profession from the inside with an easy step to nursing if you network correctly with other nurses and management. Getting your foot in the door in half the battle.  

Work hard a nurses aide and show your good work ethic. It will translate into a nursing career in the long run once you get your RN license.

Good Luck!

Careers: Nursing

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Ken , BSN, RN, CCRN, MICN

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding all aspects of Nursing as a career in general. If you need help deciding if nursing is a career for you, then let me help you with your decision. As an added bonus, I can answer your questions from the perspective of being a man in nursing who has a wife that is also a nurse. Men is nursing is more accepted today than it was when I began in 1993. Regardless of your gender, Nursing has so much to offer and is among the most respected professions of our time. I have been a registered nurse since 1993 and have been certified in Critical Care nursing since 1996. I am currently a full-time Critical Care Ground Transport Nurse/Mobile Intensive Care Nurse(MICN). I am working per diem as a night Shift Administrator/Nursing Supervisor.

Experience

My experience over the years since 1993 have been spent between the Emergency Room and the Critical Care Units. More recently since 2007 I have been working in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as a Critical Care Transport Nurse/Mobile Intensive Care Nurse(MICN)/Emergency Medical Technician(EMT). This unit is known as the Specialty Care Transport Unit(SCTU). I transport all age populations with critical medical problems from Hospital A to Hospital B in the back of an ambulance. My job is to make sure this patient remains in the same or better condition and to handle any emergency that may arise during the over the road transport. BLS/ACLS/PALS/NRP/ITLS Certified Provider.

Organizations
American Association of Critical Care Nurses Honor Society of Nursing, Upsilon Rho Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Education/Credentials
BSN,Nursing/Pursuing MSN in Nursing Administration Critical Care Registered Nurse(CCRN)/ Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN)/ Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/ AAS Business Management

Awards and Honors
American Ambulance Association-2009 Star of Life Recipient

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