Associate degree or BSN

  1. Hi, I am 43 years old and am considering going back to school
    to become a RN......There are two schools nearby......One offers
    a BSN degree and the other a Associate in Nursing degree
    which I am told will still allow me to become a RN......I would
    be going to school part-time and would rather take the quickest
    route which I assume would be the associate degree.......My
    question is, does it matter what your degree is as long as
    you are a RN........As far as getting hired, pay rates, etc......?

    I also have a BS degree in another unrelated field back in 1984.
    The BSN college does not seem to be transferring many of the
    credits.......I sure would hate to repeat alot of those general
    courses again.......

    Also, I live in N.C......Thanks for any info.......
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   aimeee
    I was in kind of a similar situation when I went back. Already had a Bachelor's in Business Administration and 15 credits toward an MBA done.

    The big difference that I have seen in that you kind of need the BSN if you are going to get beyond the hands on floor nursing into any type of more supervisory or administrative work or specialized work. Much depends on your long term goal, which is hard to know when you haven't even entered the field yet. No difference in pay here between ADN and BSN.

    There are many programs out there to help you get that BSN once you already have your ADN so you can work on finishing it after you have your ADN, if you still desire to do that. So far, I haven't found a need to.

    I think you may want to talk to people in your area about the graduates of each program. The quality varies greatly. There are three nursing programs (2 ADN and one BSN) in my area and the amount of respect for them is very different. So, in essence, see if you can determine which will give you the highest QUALITY education.
    Last edit by aimeee on Sep 18, '01
  4. by   CATHYW
    By all means, go for the AS, if time or finances matter. I have had an AS for 14 years. Before that I got an AA in General Education with my electives courses that I knew would be required for ADN: A & P, Developmental Psych, etc. Then I got an Applied Science degree as an LPN, and 4 years later bridged to the ADN program.
    In my area, depending upon the field you choose, there is a pay differential of from nothing-$1.50 more an hour.
    I would say get your AS, begin working, and then bridge into a BSN program, since you have 2 schools nearby. I have known several people who have done this, and am currently looking at doing the same thing. Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Remember-some of the core courses, English, Psych, etc., that you had to have for your BA should transfer to make your ADN program course load much lighter.
  5. by   Ted
    Originally posted by WAGofGAGF
    Hi, I am 43 years old and am considering going back to school
    to become a RN......There are two schools nearby......One offers
    a BSN degree and the other a Associate in Nursing degree
    which I am told will still allow me to become a RN......I would
    be going to school part-time and would rather take the quickest
    route which I assume would be the associate degree.......My
    question is, does it matter what your degree is as long as
    you are a RN........As far as getting hired, pay rates, etc......?

    I also have a BS degree in another unrelated field back in 1984.
    The BSN college does not seem to be transferring many of the
    credits.......I sure would hate to repeat alot of those general
    courses again.......

    Also, I live in N.C......Thanks for any info.......
    I also had another Bachelors degree (a BM degree, actually . . . "Bachelors of Music", but BM degree just sounds cooler!! ) The nursing college transferred tons of credits from my BM degree towards the BS in Nursing which was way cool!! Sorry to read that the BSN college that you're considering to attend won't be helping you out with this matter.

    My nursing educational path was deliberate. I went the ASN to BSN route. After working two years with "hands on nursing" I then went on to receive the BS in nursing. For me, it was nice to get my "hands dirty" before moving on to the next eductional level in nursing. Basically, I wanted to digest and master all of the skills learned in the ASN program before going on to BSN.

    To be honest, with differential between a nurse holding an ASN and a nurse holding a BSN is not very significant in the hospital where I work ($.25/hour). However, I strongly believe that with all the changes, challenges and discoveries found within the healthcare field, it's important for the nurse to continue his/her education (either through college, advanced credentialing in a specific area of nursing, inservices, conferences, etc.) just to keep up with all the new stuff.

    Do what you need to do to meet your financial needs. Just don't stop the learning.

    Good luck!!

    Cheers!

    Ted Fiebke
  6. by   Enright
    I too had a bachelor's degree in another field when I approached the mess that is nursing education. I had taken an additional 4 years of night classes to fill in the sciences. I went through an accelerated BSN program. It was expensive but quick...I only had to go without working for 1 year.

    I often think about what I would do if I was in the same position today...I think I might go for the ADN. The lack of $ for the BSN is troubling. Think through your ambition...if you know you want to teach nursing or go into administration, hold out fore the BSN. Otherwise, save your bank account and get the ADN.
  7. by   PammieRN
    I have to echo what aimee says....what are your long term goals? I was older, too, when I went back to school. I had worked as a CNA, CMA, and phlebotomist for many years while my kids were little. Bedside work certainly takes a toal (sp?) on your body. I knew that I would need to eventually leave the bedside and work in management or something similiar. A BSN will certainly facilitate that. Right after I graduated I went right into L&D....I loved it. My body just wouldn't let me do what my heart wanted. So, I work as a Quality Assurance Nurse now and feel very gratified that I can have a say in all those problems I saw but could not fix when I was working as a CMA.

    A BSN can open doors that an ADN may not. Of course there are exceptions to every rule so please, everyone, do not inundate me with e-mails telling me about those exceptions. I am not purporting that one is better than the other...that is a different debate altogether. I only know what was better for my situation and long term goals. A BSN has facilitated reaching those goals.

    Good Luck
    Pammie Sterling RN BSN RNCM
    Quality Assurance Nurse
  8. by   capgirl
    I graduated with an ADN, and with the shortage, I don't see any differences where I work. My hospital doesn't pay any difference between ADN & BSN.
    I am currently taking prerequisites to get in to a RN/BSN/MSN program. I am going slow because of the financial aspect, it will cost $15 - 20 thousand dollars to complete just the BSN portion..... (no state schools near where I live) and I am not totally sure where I want to end up at the end of all this schooling. AND will I make back the investment? $20K is a lot of hours to earn it back in 25 cent intervals !!!
  9. by   Ekaye
    Pammie, I totally agree with you. The choice of ADN or BSN needs to be made by knowing where you want to go in nursing.
    My nursing school tought the Mildred Montag nursing theory. ADN"s were meant to be bedside nurses. Also because it was a two year degree it was aimed at older students with some life experience, before they started nursing school. There isn't time in a 2 year program to grow up. I've seen many 2 yr. nurses in their 20's that made it fine. I've also seen many who were not mature enough to make it.
    In some states due to a shortage of 4 year schools many DON'S were ADN'S. With time they went back for the higher degrees.
    I think all young adults going in to nursing should go to a 4 year program. Times are changeing and a 4 year degree is ideal. If a
    nurse wants more in adminstration a 4 year is a must.
    I know that paywise there isn't much if any difference. I also believe that there should be a difference in pay scales.

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Associate degree or BSN