Getting my BSN
When I graduated with my Associate’s in Nursing Science in 2007, I knew I was eventually going to go back to further my degree. Initially, I had big dreams of immediately going back to school to start working towards my BSN. But, reality came knocking on my door. My husband and I were freshly both freshly out of school with an infant to care for. I started my new job as an RN and my husband worked 60+ hour work weeks. We had gobs of student loans from my husband’s degree. My son was just eight months old. I was just tired.
Over four years later, I’m finally in a place to go back to school. I’ve done a fair share of research, and I still have more to do. A month ago, I had my plan more or less figured out. I had an affordable school lined up that only met once a week (quite conducive to my work schedule and my home life), so I’d only have to find child care for my children for one day. They’re just a few miles from my house, a plus with ever rising gas prices. I was in the middle of requesting my transcripts when distance learning was thoroughly brought to my attention. I’ve taken online classes before and am the kind of person who does well with them. I just hadn’t considered them much for my RN to BSN because of the price. My husband and I are saving up so hopefully I won’t have to take out any student loans when I go back to school, both for my BSN and my eventual MSN. Then I did a bit of research into online programs and started finding some reasonable ones. And I keep finding more. Then, lo and behold, I get an email from one of our nurse educators about an online RN to BSN program through work that I potentially could have completely paid for. Synchronicity at it’s best.
So, tonight I am attending an information session about the online program through work. Thursday I have a meeting with another distance learning program. I’ve also received a packet of info from one school with an online program, am waiting for information from another school, and just requested info from a third school. In short, I now have no idea where I’ll get my BSN from.
Why I want to go back
While I enjoy what I do and find bedside nursing rewarding, it’s not at all what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve known this before I even took the NCLEX. I haven’t always known exactly where I wanted to take my nursing degree, but I’ve always intended to go for my masters in nursing. I’ve had my eye on becoming an NP (nurse practitioner) for a while now, but as far as what kind of NP, I’m up in the air. I love women’s health, and would love to stay in women’s health, but that’s an area over saturated with NPs at the moment. At least in my neck of the woods. On of my coworkers is currently working on her family NP, that way she’s not limited to a specific area of nursing. Seems like a sound idea.
But first things first, obtaining my BSN. Why BSN? Holding a bachelors puts a nurse in position for graduate school, management positions, and higher pay (in some hospitals). It’s definitely becoming the preferred degree. It’s unfortunately not going to result in any kind of pay increase for me, but it does open more options. Teaching clinicals, for example. With my current Associate’s degree, I don’t have the option to do much more than bedside nursing. And, as I mentioned early, ultimately I want to get my masters (or doctorate) in nursing, and in order to do that, I need my BSN.