Sue recommends the following next steps:
Check out the nursing programs at different schools in your area, and feel free to reach out to a program director or a career coach and ask questions about the programs. Good luck!
Nurses are needed and getting a nursing degree, regardless of type, is required to be a nurse. Use that degree to get a job and experience. If you find you want to continue your nursing degree, the credits you received getting your degree in community college will apply...so you won't be starting from scratch!
If nursing interests you and that's what you want to do, get the education you can to get the job and experience!
Personal note, two of my friends went to community college for nursing and both got jobs. After a few years, one continued her education and got a Bachelor’s degree and then a Masters; the other one got additional training and certifications that were applicable to nursing jobs she wanted.
Figure out the path that works best for you!
Let me share my story.... when I first graduated from High School, I had planned to go to Kansas City Art Institute to work on a degree in Fine Art but I was really nervous about the move (my family lives on the east coast) at the last possible minute, I pivoted and opted to go to a local community college. While there, I met many, many young people working on nursing and/or natural science degrees- every single one of them graduated and went on to illustrious careers- one in particular (my now-husband) got 2 Associates degrees from community (1 Liberal Arts, 1 Natural Science) 1 BA in Biology from Cabrini then his PhD in Immunology from Thomas Jefferson University. He is now an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania.
Moral of this story is that Community College is a wonderful step in the right direction, just keep moving forward!
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Deciding on the best place to pursue your nursing degree is a significant choice, and it's crucial to consider various factors. Both community colleges and four-year institutions have their unique strengths and potential downsides. Your decision should align with your personal circumstances and aspirations.
Let's start by acknowledging that both community colleges and four-year institutions can provide excellent nursing education. Community colleges often come with more affordable tuition, smaller classes, and flexible schedules - a great fit for students juggling work or family commitments. Plus, many community colleges have solid ties with local healthcare facilities, offering students hands-on experience and potential job opportunities.
On the flip side, four-year institutions might provide a more extensive and deeper curriculum, with a broader variety of specialized courses and clinical opportunities. Some employers might favor nurses who have completed a four-year bachelor's program, particularly for advanced roles or specialties within nursing.
When comparing the "quality" of education between a community college and a four-year institution, accreditation is a key factor. Accreditation is crucial in establishing the credibility and rigor of a nursing program. Both types of institutions should be accredited by the relevant accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This ensures the program adheres to the established standards of quality and rigor in nursing education.
Career advancement is another important consideration. Both an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from a community college and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a four-year institution can lead to becoming a registered nurse (RN). However, there's a growing trend in the healthcare industry favoring BSN-prepared nurses. This is due to evolving complexities in healthcare delivery and many healthcare organizations aiming to have 80% of their nurses hold a BSN by 2020.
Moreover, a BSN can unlock more career opportunities, including leadership roles, research positions, and specialized clinical roles. Some employers might offer higher salaries or professional development opportunities to nurses with a BSN compared to those with an ADN.
Your individual career goals also matter. If you're aiming for advanced practice nursing roles like nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, or if you're interested in research or teaching, a BSN from a four-year institution might better suit your long-term career goals.
Given the multitude of factors in choosing between a community college and a four-year institution for nursing education, it's hard to assign a specific probability to any single answer without knowing your specific context and individual circumstances.
That's why it's vital to seek advice from trusted sources like academic advisors, nursing faculty, practicing nurses, and professional nursing organizations. They can offer personalized insights based on your academic background, career goals, financial situation, and other relevant factors.
In summary, whether a nursing degree from a community college or a four-year institution is "better" depends on factors like accreditation, cost, career goals, and individual circumstances. Both can offer quality nursing education, but it's crucial for prospective students to evaluate their priorities and long-term goals carefully.
Here are the top 3 authoritative references:
1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) - Represents over 840 schools of nursing nationwide.
2. National League for Nursing (NLN) - Dedicated to excellence in nursing education.
3. U.S. Department of Education - Provides information on accreditation and recognized accrediting bodies for educational programs.
Take care and stay blessed!