Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Associates in Nursing Degree?

I wouldn't be me if I didn't double guess myself at least once every few weeks. My plans, thus far, is to take online prerequisites (as many as I can) and once accepted and enrolled in an accelerated Bachelor's of Nursing program, quit my job and pursue a nursing career. While this is the fastest way to a BSN (Bachelors of Nursing) degree for me, its not without it flaws. Here are the negatives:

I would have to quit my job. I have never quit a job in my life and although I have a very supportive husband, the job market is shaky and I have a nice "stable" job with good benefits.
If I don't like nursing, I would be stuck because I would have left my job. There would be nothing to fall back on.
The intense nature of an accelerated program would limit me to per-diem or part-time jobs with a great deal of flexibility.
I may not be eligible for most summer nursing internships since the majority of them require full-time commitment.
Last but not least, I would have to quit my job (I know I stated this already but quitting a job is unheard of in my family).

All that being stated, I have also considered ASN (Associate of Nursing) programs and more specifically, evening and/or weekend programs. Initially I was against this route because of the length of time it would take to get a BSN (3-4 years taking this route because I would have to transfer into an RN-BSN program) and I was uncertain of the marketability of having an ASN in nursing with respect to jobs (most jobs in New York City prefer BSN for new grads). Also since I work full-time going to nursing school 3-4 nights per week at  roughly 5 hours at a time would be torture and I probably would never see my family during the semester. Conflict with scheduling would also be inevitable since my husband works the occasional night shift. Despite the negatives, there are some positives to going the slower route:

I could probably remain working at my job through the duration of nursing school for both the ASN and the RN-BSN degrees.
I would take out less school loans (or possibly no loans) because I would be employed and could just pay for some of my school tuition out of pocket.
If I do not like nursing or no longer want to continue with nursing school I could just stop attending and remain at my current job or do something else.
Although job market is very tough for non-BSN grads, I could still become a license registered nurse with an ASN degree and I could look for work while I am working (its always easy to find a job when you already have one in my opinion). There are a limited number of weekend/evenings programs though so I would have to consider commuting (work to school), childcare (specifically if my husband is working on any given night) and my stamina (I am fairly energetic but that type of scheduling for such a long length of time would be a lot for me). I don't know but I think nursing school would be better if I worked less and schooled more.

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