AS vs BSN (?)

  1. Hi,

    Great board........Very glad I found it.

    I wanted to know what some of the differences are in getting an Associates vs. Bachelors? When it comes to the RN programs.

    I can only guess that there may be a difference in pay but other than that I need to turn to you folks to help me out.

    Any info you can give is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again

    Rob
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Rob, it all depends on what your future plans are.

    If you want to stay at the bedside, go for the ADN. It's only 2 years long and I'm told that one gets more clinical experience from the ADN program.

    If you want to move into management, teaching, or any advanced nursing positions, go for the BSN.

    I went to a 3 year diploma school and always dreamed of getting my BSN within 5 years of graduating. But you know what? #1. I LOVE the bedside (I work CV-ICU) and #2. Life has a habit of getting in the way of dreams. I have tried to go back to school many times over these past 33 years since I graduated from that diploma school, but family illnesses, bad timing, etc. have changed my plans even at the last minute a couple of times. So I'm slowly plugging away at it, class after class at this time. I SHALL get my BSN, but I will remain at the bedside as long as my body holds out. If my body gives out, I can do more with the BSN than I can with the diploma.

    I also think that "someday" the BSN will have to be the basic entry level for professional nursing (registered nurses) in order to be taken seriously by other professions. However, we still are debating the reality and neccessity of that and I don't think it will happen in MY professional lifetime, but I do hope it happens in my lifetime. (We have been debating the pros and cons of this for at LEAST 35 years!)

    Whichever route you choose, be sure you and your family are looking at the long range goal of you being an RN. You will need the support of your spouse and family to make it through all of the studying and stress of school.
    Last edit by Jenny P on Feb 17, '02
  4. by   KC CHICK
    Jenny P pretty much covered it...very diplomatically I might add.
    I obtained my ADN in two years and can bridge for a BSN at my own pace while I'm working as an RN. Both ADNs and BSNs are being hired on in every specialty area. There is no shortage of jobs for either graduate out there. Also, you mentioned a possible difference in pay.....where I work, they don't pay BSNs more than they pay ADNs.

    Good Luck in whatever path you choose,
    Anne
  5. by   MLL
    Hi Rob,
    Well, this is pretty much a personal decision on your part after you have all the facts. As far as money goes, I can tell you there is no difference at my hospital. New grad nurses basically start at the same rate regardless of their degree, but after 2-3 yrs. experience your salary becomes a matter of negotiation, whether you are going to a new institution ,or at your yearly evaluation. Don't make the mistake I did for the first few years and take whatever they offer you. If they need you, they will pay you. Maybe not what you would like, but believe me there IS bargaining power there.
    As far as the differing degrees go, you must decide how far you want to go with this. If you can get a 2 year AS degree and then go to work, most institutions will help financially with continuing education in your field. Plus you will be earning money as you go and my hospital is great about offering schedule options for associates taking classes.
    On the downside - most two year nursing programs require approximately one year of prerequisite classes before you can enter the nursing program or else they are a three year AS degree.
    So-o-o-o, do you want to go one more year and get your BS, or do you want to get the AS, be working and gaining clinical experience, then go back for the BSN (which almost always takes two more years, if you go full time). I did the later and it wound up "costing" me an extra year (1 yr prereq, 2 yrs RN school, 2 more yrs BSN).
    As someone previously mentioned, you don't need to finish your BSN in two years, however. You can take a class at a time, whichever way it fits into your schedule, and finish at your own pace.
    The good thing about it is, you don't have to decide everything up front. If you decide to go on to a higher degree later, you can do it at your own pace. Just don't use money as the deciding factor for attaining these higher degrees. It won't be there. The advanced degrees will, however, open the door for jobs that would not be open to you without a BSN or a Masters.
    Good luck to you. Whatever you decide, we definitely need you and welcome you with open arms.
    MLL
  6. by   Teshiee
    JennyP you have told it so realistically! Thanks! I need that BSn to get to that NP job my ultimate goal.
  7. by   mark_LD_RN
    hi, You need to do what you feel is right. Make sure being a nurse is what you really want to do. don't do it for just the money if you do you will most likely not be very happy. As far as clinical expousure goes, BSN programs have at least the same and usually more clinical contact hours dispite the myths put out by ADN programs. I feel BSN will be a requirement in the future it already is in canada and europe. As far as pay the starting pay is close to the same some will pay a small BSN diff. But BSN usually opens more doors for you and allows you different options, and is definitely needed if you plan on going further one day. either way I do not see a shortage of nursing jobs for you with either degree in the near future. good luck with everything,mark
  8. by   Huganurse
    I used to recommend the ASN or ADN program to all who asked it took half the time and paid the same and offered many of the same opportunities. But nowdays with so many changes in nursing and so many opportunities for BSN, I recommend going for the BSN from the start. It doesn't take any longer usually to go for the BSN since the ASN program in my area won't let you in unless all your pre and many co reqs are completed. Taking A&P 1 & 2, Micro, Comp 1 & 2, Algebra, etc can take 1 1/2 years to 2 years, then you can spend another 2 years in the program. Why bother when in 4 you can have the BSN?
  9. by   T.Bird
    Hi Rob, I completed a three year Diploma program a couple of years ago and am now doing a BSN completion program. The reason I did it this way is because I have two children to support and I wanted to get out into the workforce sooner. I also found that my clinical experience included much more "hands on" nursing than my University colleagues and I was much more comfortable in the clinical area than most of them were when I graduated. Forgive me for the generalization all you BSNers out there I am doing my BSN now because it does open more doors out there and I beleive brings more respect to the profession. If I were living at home and/or didn't have many bills to pay or responsibilities (i.e. in my early 20's with no children) I would definitely say go for the BSN and get it over with. You can get practical expeience while getting payed by working as a tech or health care aide in the hospital while you go do school. Just don't work too many hours or your grades will suffer. Hope this helps.
  10. by   Rob_FL
    I will be meeting with some people to determine which way I am gonna go. I currently work for a very large teaching hospital here in Central Florida. I wanna do this so I will sacrifice whatever I need to to get my degree.

    The only thing I have found so far is that the AS degree programs (comm college) are flooded over here. It is very difficult to get into. I have not checked if the same is true for the BSN program offered at the university level. I am clueless for now.

    I appreciate the input.

    Rob
  11. by   Huganurse
    You hit the nail on the head Rob when you said the AS programs are full and competitive. That is why they have increased requirements or the only ones getting in are those that have finished all the pre reqs. I know when I graduated I had 97 college credit hours. I may be mistaken but the BSN is 120. Good luck nieghbor in what ever you choose! If overall time is a concern to you as well as your future goals I still say go BSN.
  12. by   Rob_FL
    Thanks!

    I am very interested in what the differences are in the studies. I the only pre-req I have done is the math.....I hated that with a passion since that is my weakest subject. I have A&P done from years back so I dont think that will work I will most likely have to take that again. I look forward to getting a plan set up and going for it, it stinks to be in the dark.

    Are the BSN programs from UCF or other universities easier to get into that you know of?

    Good day!

    Rob
  13. by   Mkue
    Rob, in my area, the ADN programs at the community colleges are very strict and throw a lot at you at once, that is in my area though from what I've heard.

    The BSN program that I'm in is not stressful, you have more time to learn, nice atmosphere ,catholic college, it's kind of expensive but they offer scholarships, so if you decide to go BSN check out the scholarships at the schools you are interested in.

    I have some classmates who tried the 2 yr, program and came back to my college after the 1st clinical, they were not satisfied. But then again things might be different in your area.

    Good Luck to you and the right decision will come to you!

    mkue
  14. by   old-master
    I original was going to first get my RN then my BSN, then my NP. Well, that charged about three days ago. My wife was at a leadership con, and a NP was hosting a lecture. When my wife talked to the NP, she was excited by my going into nursing. She stated that made little sense to go the original way, and just to become a BSN from the start.

    The more I looked into it, I like the idea of getting a four-year degree. This thread helped!
    I was worried that a RN program would go at warp-speed, and the BSN degree seemed to be more relexed. Well, for a nursing program!
    My wife is a grad of TCU, and I think it would that it be nice for us to be from the same school.
    So, is this the best way, if the the money and time are inline for either a RN or BSN?
    old-master has spoken.....

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