Second Semester Wrap-Up: RN to BSN

I completed my ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) in March of 2017. In April 2017, I secured my first RN job on a Cardiovascular/Telemetry Unit of a local downtown hospital. Upon hire, I signed a contract saying I would be enrolled in a BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) program within three years of hire and complete obtain my BSN within 5 years of hire. In compensation for this, the hospital would provide me with a set amount of yearly tuition reimbursement (with the agreement I work for one year after receiving the money.)  This August, about 1.5 years after starting my job I decided I was ready to return to school to complete my BSN. Some people go straight back to school. I decided to wait a year and become comfortable in my new roll and save money (nursing school took all my pennies.)

The Program

I am enrolled in a completely online RN to BSN program through a traditional brick and mortar school. Some schools in my area have an option of attending class once a week and the rest of your work is completed online. I chose online for multiple reasons but flexibility was the main one. I loved the set schedule I had with work and I did not want to have to change my schedule. I also did not want to have to try to balance a work and school schedule again. That being said, my classes are not self-paced. I have set deadlines. However, I don’t have to schedule days off because I have to be somewhere at a certain time. Typically, my classwork is due on Sundays (with the occasional weekday due date.) I really like this set up and it allows me time on my days off to complete my work.

First Semester

In my first semester I took two 15 week classes and two five week classes. I took a research class, a geriatric nursing class, advanced pathophysiology, and an introduction to the program. Research and geriatrics were 15 weeks, patho and the introduction class were 5 weeks. To be honest the beginning of the program was a little overwhelming with the amount of papers and work and getting back into the swing of APA papers/academic life. However, once I found a routine it was not as bad as I anticipated.

Second Semester

Second semester was easier. I only took at the most 2 classes at a time. My classes were community health (15 weeks), nursing informatics (5 weeks), and health assessment (5 weeks). The most challenging aspect was a semester long group project. When you are in school, your group is kind of forced together. Online, not only are you not together, you may not even be in the same area! My school is 3 hours away from where I live, therefore meeting with other students in person was not a feasible options. We met through a group video chat room and communicated through email. Coordinating four nurses schedules to find time to meet was difficult but my group was great and we made it work. We did several projects that we combined at the end of the semester into a presentation.

Comparison to ADN

I have to say that my BSN program is SO much less stress than my ADN program was! I am able to work full time (with 1-2 call/overtime shifts a month), go to school full time, plan a wedding, and still have time for things I enjoy and my family and friends. It still requires discipline and time management but is a much better balance of life than an initial licensure program.

Although I cannot say that I completely agree with the push for everyone to go back and complete their BSN, I am enjoying my program and highly encourage you to consider continuing your education if you are an ADN nurse. Obviously, time, money, specialty, age, life plans, location, etc. are all factors that would affect this decision and you should do what is best for you. For me personally, I knew to stay in the hospital I had to go back. I also wanted to further my knowledge and eduction with my BSN, and ensure I am a good candidate for any future jobs or opportunities. I have potential plans for grad school in the future and a BSN is an important step for that goal.

Are you in school? What are your educational goal? 

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you have a fantastic weekend! My best friend is here so my long weekend is starting off great! 🙂 See you next week!