Everyone knows that there are hundreds of places and ways to work as a nurse. But many don’t realize how many ways there are to advance their degree after becoming a nurse. My situation is always a bit confusing to explain. The conversation sounds a little something like this:
Me: “I've been a nurse since 2006. I have a bachelor’s degree….”
Them (interrupting): “So you have a BSN?”
Me: “No, I have a bachelor’s degree-a BA in Family and Human Developmental Studies”
Them: “So how did you become a nurse?”
Me: “I got an Associate’s degree in Nursing”
Them: “Oh, before your bachelor’s degree.”
Me: “No, after my bachelor’s degree. I went back to school for an Associate’s in nursing.”
Them: “Then how do you teach nursing students?”
Me: “I have a MSN in Nursing Education and Faculty”
Them: “How did you get a MSN if you don’t have a BSN?”
Me: (Deep breath) “Because I had a BA, I was able to take the RN-MSN Bridge program. I completed courses that are typically offered in a BSN program, at the same time I was taking courses for my MSN.”
At this point, they generally walk away, smiling graciously, yet very confused.
Just as the careers in nursing are varied, so is the path we chose. When I began work on my BA in 1993, you couldn’t have paid me to even come close to
the College of Nursing. It was nowhere near my career dreams and I could not have fathomed ever having the confidence to return.
When I decided to become a nurse, the Community College and an Associates degree was the quickest, and most financially reasonable path to take to the NCLEX. While completing my associates, I remember a presentation given by an overly enthusiastic lady, trying to convince all of us to register for an online RN to BSN program.
We all laughed at her. Here’s why:
Let's imagine for a moment that you approach a woman who is at the peak of labor with her first child, and ask her how she feels about having a second child. Her response would most likely include something being thrown at your head.
Now let's imagine that you waited a few months or years, and asked that same woman-after she has had a chance to see the joy of her first child-if she’d consider having a second one. Suddenly the idea doesn't seem like such a bad (or painful) one!
Whatever path you took to become a nurse, you can probably agree that the peak of nursing school is not the best time to impartially consider going back. But with the increasing demand for nurses who are BSN prepared, as well as faculty to teach them, it should not be ruled out!
With in-class, online, and hybrid options, there are many ways to get your BSN, MSN, DNP or NP! Do you need someone to talk to about getting started? Want to find someone who has gone through a particular program and find out how they liked it? Or maybe you need to know if there are nurses who are willing to mentor or provide clinical guidance? Use NurseSake to find an alum to talk to, a nurse who lives near you for face to face mentoring, or just someone to give you the motivation to keep going. Whatever the reason, NurseSake can help you connect with others to get answers to your questions!