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Is it detrimental to my career if I get my nursing degree through a community college?

I am interested in getting a bachelors in Nursing (specialized with oncology) then head in to either be an oncologist or research Breast cancer cells with stem cell transplants.

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Michel’s Answer

No its not detrimental. My wife ended up going to a community college and then moving to a four year university to get her BSN at an extremely competitive program. I ended up going to community college then moving to a university and now at an Ivy league medical school. There are no limitations the most important thing is getting to your end goal happily and doing things you like while maintaining things like grades how we get there is not all that important. Community colleges have classes a lot of the time that ended up being more difficult than the classes I was taking at the University level. It will not hurt you as long as you are doing well.
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Cecile’s Answer

If you wish to do research, I would suggest majoring in a science degree: biology, microbiology, or other specialities in the life sciences. Find a university that specializes in cancer research.

Whether you start at a CC or a university, to aim for Nursing will only sideline you. Study nursing only if you want to become a nurse. It will not prepare you for, say, a master’s degree or doctorate with which to do research. If you choose to go through training to become a nurse, you will have to go back to school to major in a life science where you learn lab work along with how to conduct different types of research.

Even someone who gets a Master’s in Nursing isn’t preparing to do the work of a researcher. These are completely different skill sets. And Nursing is a very intense field—you have to truly want to be involved with patients and doctors. Scientific research is also intense.

Do your homework and research both fields thoroughly. Training to do research, and training to work with patients are two very different careers. They will demand different levels of endurance in the training and one’s personality. Perhaps your school has a career center. There will be such centers at the CC level.

Do your research and be careful of making assumptions. While in high school, be sure to take all the math you can, up to calculus, if you wish to become a scientific researcher. Also, immerse yourself in biology, physics and chemistry. These subjects will become your life if you choose a life science major, all through the degree. A different level of chemistry, anatomy, physiology and microbiology will be required in the foundations of nursing before learning how to work with patients.

As for starting at a CC, many successful researchers and many successful nurses start at one, doing their lower division work before transferring out to whatever schools they applied to. It’s about what kind of student you are either way. That’s what universities look at: grades in the correct courses, extra-curricular activities, essays, clarity of vision, etc.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Mckenzie
Thank you comment icon You are most welcome! Cecile A
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Beth’s Answer

The community college system in Minnesota is excellent for nursing. I started out at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and eventually got my BSN at Saint Catherines University (partially paid for by my employer!) Community college teaches nursing at a very direct level and will teach you how to be a nurse and pass your boards. There is such a need for Oncology nurses that you can be taught the specialty on the job once you are a nurse. Go for it!
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Mary Beth’s Answer

Absolutely NOT! You can begin at a local community college and the, transfer to complete a bachelor degree any place. Your final degree has the university name on it. There are many nurse researchers out there, but you would be best to get a doctoral degree as well; either a PhD or DNP with a focus on the area you are interested in.
In the meantime take as many science and math courses as you can in high school. Many of that info may be repeated at university level but you will have a better understanding than others with the basic in high school.

While I understand the previous respondents concerns I disagree that having a nursing education would be detrimental that has not been my experience. I have gone to school with those who had that kind of science degree who later turned to nursing for a better all round education and to be able to understand the human experience more fully in the research field. That is often overlooked or downplayed in much of research, and it is detrimental to having safe and effective outcomes in my opinion...and others I have worked with. focusing on some kind of medical research program. Nurses are invaluable in all health fields and need to be better represented as we ARE THE ONES providing the explanations and hands on care…NOT the basic researches and physicians. In the end follow your own heart…it will rarely lead you astray.

Best of luck!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello McKenzie,

Getting your nursing degree through a community college can be a beneficial and practical choice for your career in nursing. While there may be some perceptions about the prestige of the institution where you earn your degree, what truly matters in the field of nursing is your knowledge, skills, and experience. Here are some points to consider:

1. Accreditation:
It is essential to ensure that the community college you choose for your nursing education is accredited by the appropriate accrediting bodies. Accreditation ensures that the program meets certain standards of quality and will enable you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which is necessary to become a registered nurse.

2. Cost-Effectiveness:
Community colleges often offer more affordable tuition rates compared to traditional four-year universities. This can be advantageous in reducing student loan debt and making your education more financially feasible.

3. Clinical Experience:
Many community colleges have partnerships with local healthcare facilities, providing students with valuable hands-on clinical experience. This practical training is crucial for developing the skills needed to excel in the field of nursing.

4. Transfer Opportunities:
If your ultimate goal is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing specialized in oncology or a related field, many community colleges have articulation agreements with four-year institutions that allow for a seamless transfer of credits. This pathway can save you time and money while still achieving your academic goals.

5. Career Advancement:
While some employers may prioritize candidates with degrees from prestigious universities, what matters most in nursing is your competence, dedication, and continuous learning. With relevant experience, certifications, and possibly a higher degree in the future, you can still pursue advanced roles such as becoming an oncologist or conducting research in breast cancer cells with stem cell transplants.

In conclusion, while there may be some initial biases against degrees from community colleges, what truly matters in the healthcare field is your knowledge, skills, and dedication to patient care. By choosing a reputable accredited program, gaining valuable clinical experience, and planning for further education or specialization, you can certainly achieve your career goals in nursing.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

1. National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN):
The NCSBN sets standards for nursing education and practice in the United States. Their guidelines on accreditation and licensure are crucial for understanding the requirements for becoming a registered nurse.

2. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN):
The AACN provides valuable insights into nursing education trends, including information on different educational pathways and specializations within the field of nursing.

3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
The BLS offers data on job outlook, salary information, and educational requirements for various healthcare professions, including registered nurses and medical scientists conducting research.

These sources were instrumental in providing accurate and up-to-date information on the topic of nursing education and career advancement.

GOD BLESS!
James.
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