Just graduated... what can I do with my BSN that Assoc. RN's can't?

  1. I just graduated with my BSN this spring. I'm working as a PCA2/Graduate Nurse at a local hospital until I take my boards... I am taking my HESI tomorrow at the college I graduated from. This is an 'exit' type of exam that we have to pass before taking our boards. I'm feeling down about not being able to pass and have this huge fear that I am not going to pass my boards!

    Amidst my fear, I am questioning taking a role as an RN on floor nursing. It seems like most of the RN's on my floor have an associates degree, and I am questioning if I should be doing something different since I have my bachelor's? The pay is the same for an Assoc. or BSN, which doesn't make any sense to me. Just wondering what else is available that I might not be looking for, or what your opinions are!?

    Another BSN student who just graduated as well was speaking with me, and said she wonders if the Assoc. degree RN's laugh thinking that we have wasted our time getting our BSN when we get the same pay/same responsibilities. Is this a big issue?

    Thanks!
    Miranda
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   rainbows4me
    (Quote)Another BSN student who just graduated as well was speaking with me, and said she wonders if the Assoc. degree RN's laugh thinking that we have wasted our time getting our BSN when we get the same pay/same responsibilities. Is this a big issue?

    Thanks!
    Miranda[/QUOTE]

    Be careful about this issue - both on bulletin boards like this and certainly on the floor. I have seen this issue become bigger and uglier than I ever imagined. I come at this issue as an ADN graduate nurse who also has a bachelor's degree in another field. While I think that the BSN programs are great programs, I also think the ADN programs do a fantastic job preparing registered nurses. I had no problem getting a job in a highly selective specialty, and actually was hired over many BSN applicants. While the BSN may give you added background down the road for management positions, I have met only a few who feel that BSNs are better qualitified for clinical nursing than ADNs. In fact, I have seen more people assume the opposite (that BSN prepared nurses are too 'book oriented' and don't have enough clinical experience/skills).

    Down the road, you (as a BSN) may choose to take a management position that might not be open to someone with only an ADN - and at that time, you will probably receive more money and more responsibility. However, until that time, I don't think it's unfair that you and I are compensated similarly. And as far as an ADN laughing at you, I doubt it. I would guess that many ADNs are envious that you were able to devote four full-time years to your education, and come into this profession with a BSN in hand. Many of my fellow graduates are 'graduating' to start working as a RN while they continue their studies to obtain a BSN.

    Good luck to you!!
    Last edit by rainbows4me on Jun 14, '04
  4. by   llg
    Rainbows4me gave some good advice. Don't make an issue of it now. Assuming you went to a decent school ... both types of programs adequately prepare RN's for an entry-level nursing position and that is where you are in your career right now. That is why beginner-level RN's usually make the same pay regardless of the type of degree they have.

    However, in a few years time, you may want to move on to other types of nursing positions -- and some of those positions may require a BSN or higher nursing degree. A lot of positions either require a BSN (or higher) or at least the employer prefers to hire someone with a BSN. It's not only management positions, but it's also a lot of clinical positions in which the nurse must work independently, evaluate the current literature on her own, work as an equal member of a multi-disciplinary team, etc. Examples of clinical positions for which a BSN or higher are often required/prefered include things like infection control specialist, discharge planner, continuity of care coordinator, patient education, wound specialist, pain specialist, ostomy care, etc.

    As health care becomes increasinly complex and the need for nurses to work in multi-disciplinary teams as equals becomes greater, more and more of the "special" roles require a higher level of education than the minimum -- and the general "liberal arts" portion of most BSN programs becomes increasingly relevant.

    So ... as a new, beginner-level nurse don't worry about the similarities/differences between your nursing education and that of your colleagues. Just do the best job you can to become a good nurse at the entry level. As you become ready to advance in your career after a couple of years, know that you have the broader general education that a BSN provides that will help you move on to a variety of options less available to those that don't have that education.

    Good luck,
    llg

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