Associate to Bachelor’s: A Shorter Path to Nursing
When Alyssa Leachman decided she wanted to become a nurse, she of course considered the quality and cost of the Nursing program where she would receive her education. But there was another factor that was equally as important in her decision-making process: how quickly could she obtain her Bachelor’s degree in nursing after completing the Registered Nursing program at Carroll?
As a single mom to twin three-year-old girls and a new homeowner, Alyssa, now 27, needed a program that was flexible enough to allow her to achieve a healthy school-life balance as well as one that would enable her to enter the nursing profession in as little time as possible.
She ultimately chose to take advantage of the Associate-to-Bachelor’s (ATB) program after enrolling in the Registered Nursing (RN) program at Carroll Community College.
Nurturing Future Nurses
Carroll has partnered with several area universities to permit students to take classes towards their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree while enrolled in Carroll’s Nursing program. By taking courses for the Associate of Science in Nursing degree at the College while at the same time pursuing Bachelor’s level coursework at a 4-year school, a person can complete their BSN degree within just six months after graduating from Carroll’s program.
Having the flexibility to do most of the program online was also amazing for my school-life balance.
This fast-track approach of the ATB program very much appealed to Alyssa. “I found it easier to maintain my own focus on school because I was already pushing through the associate program,” she said. “Having the flexibility to do most of the program online was also amazing for my school-life balance.”
“I really appreciated the faculty support and the fact that I was able to stay on track to degree completion as quickly as possible,” Alyssa continued. She also commented on how camaraderie was a bonus benefit of the program. “I became really close to the nursing students who were in the same cohort as I was.”
Launching a Rewarding Career
After graduating from Carroll’s Associate of Science in Registered Nursing program in May 2021, Alyssa went on to complete her BSN from Towson University in December 2021. She now works at Carroll Hospital as an RN in their Clinical Decision Unit.
What advice would Alyssa give someone who’s considering applying to Carroll’s ATB Nursing program? “Do it! The feeling of being done with your BSN is the best!” she said. “After completing my Associate degree in Nursing [at Carroll], the desire to still be in school was less. But knowing I only had a semester until I was done made it worth it.”