Associate vs. Baccalaureate degrees in Nursing

  1. We are interested in discussing the differences between Registered Nurses with Associate degrees in nursing (ADN) and those with baccalaureate degrees in Nursing (BSN).
    Some individuals believe that ADN prepared nurses have had more clinical experience throughout their schooling, leading to increased skills proficiency. On the other hand, many BSN programs tend to stress community health, research, leadership and management, as well as theory based practice.
    What do you believe the differences are (education and workplace) between an ADN degree and a BSN degree? If you have your ADN, whould you consider returning to school to obtain your BSN? If so, why? What were the motivating factors in your choice of selecting an ADN or BSN program? We are looking forward to your input!
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   SSUBSNSENIORS
    For those of you in countries other than the United States, let us know how nursing education is structured in your country of residence. Are there different educational routes to becoming a nurse? How many years are your nursing programs? Etc...
  4. by   leslie RN
    Hi guys,
    What a surprise to see the same topic we are going to discuss in the same area we are going to use! We are a little late because we have a survey for others to answer. Anyhow, good luck, and we can discuss our answers if you want to.
    Leslie SSU RN to BSN senior.
  5. by   gandalf
    I started as a Lpn, returned for my ADN, worked in a hosptial, moved up to an SICU and over time performed in MICU and later NICU. Currently working in home health care. I have been in both Managed and non-managed situations.

    I have wworked with LPN's, ADN's, Rn's,of all levels up to Phd's.

    What I have learned is this , that it is not the degrees, but the Attitude of the Nurse.

    I have seen Lpn's that I would trust my life with and then Phd's nurse that I would not turn my back on and fear for the patients under their cares.

    I have no plans to get a BSN in nursing. I love the hands on experience that I get in my current position. My current employer values my experiences and love for my job.
    I have been force to leave a nursing position because I would not work toward a BSN. I started as an Lpn because it allowed me to enter the nursing field within a limited time factor and cost factor.

    Whatever your position, then is always something to learn and someone to help. Find that level of nursing that makes you happy and if it is not making you happy CHANGE.

    Nursing offers copios choices. That is what is so great about nursing.





  6. by   Kim Studnet Nurse BSN
    I am a new user of this and i hope someone can help me. I am in a debate and was assigned the pro position that two year nursing school programs should be abolished and that the minimum requirement for a RN should be a BSN. I am having a hard time finding info to support this stand. Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Kim
  7. by   Jill
    Hi Kim!
    check out the article, who is a nurse? by luther christman on page 211 of:
    Image: journal of nursing scholarship
    (third quarter 1998, vol. 30., number 3)

    You might find this helpful.

    I believe that the profession of nursing should move toward the requirement that all nurses should be required to have a BSN. What other profession do you know of that has so many different educational degrees one could acquire to become a nurse.
    No wonder we don't get the recognition we deserve.
    A LPN is not the same as a RN with a BSN.
    We know this, patients do not.
    A BSN nurse not only has the clinical skills that a ADN nurse has but she also has leadership skills, knowledge in public health issues, advanced practice knowledge, etc..

    I am a ADN nurse who is getting her BSN and I am confident this is a wise and valuable decision.
    Jill
  8. by   SSUBSNSENIORS
    Gandalf,
    Thank you for your response. If the hospital where you worked paid a substantial differential salary for nurses with their BSN, would you then be motivated to return to school? If the hospital paid for your education to return for your BSN, would you be more interested in returning to school? You mentioned that you are happy with the amount of direct patient care that you get right now. Do you think if you had a BSN you would be required to stop engaging in the same amount of patient care you are currently engaged in and be asked to take on a leadership/management role? We value your response! Thanks!
  9. by   SSUBSNSENIORS
    Jill - congratulations on working toward your BSN. We really appreciate your input. What made you decide to go back to school for your BSN? Do you think ADN programs should be abolished? Or do you think it was a good stepping stone for you? What are your thoughts regarding the requirement of all nurses to have a minimum of a BSN? Would this lead to increased "professionalization" of nursing? Does the facility in which you are employed pay a differential for nurses with their BSN degree? We look forward to your response!
  10. by   Joellen
    I have been an ADN RN for 18 years and have no plans on returning for a BSN. I consider myself just as professional as a BSN graduate. In my experience, I feel that we as nurses should push for a core amount of continuing education rather than the BSN. The controvery over whether or not to require a BSN has caused a great division in the nursing field. What I have gained through experience and continuing education could never be taught in a four year program. In this day of everyday changes in healthcare you have to keep up with the latest research and technology. I will back 100% mandatory continuing education but I don't believe a BSN is a necessity to be considered a professional.
  11. by   buck227
    they both suck. Diploma in hospital program is the only way to be an RN. The BSN should come after that. Diploma nurses are the only true nurses. The rest just don't stack up
    Originally posted by SSUBSNSENIORS:
    We are interested in discussing the differences between Registered Nurses with Associate degrees in nursing (ADN) and those with baccalaureate degrees in Nursing (BSN).
    Some individuals believe that ADN prepared nurses have had more clinical experience throughout their schooling, leading to increased skills proficiency. On the other hand, many BSN programs tend to stress community health, research, leadership and management, as well as theory based practice.
    What do you believe the differences are (education and workplace) between an ADN degree and a BSN degree? If you have your ADN, whould you consider returning to school to obtain your BSN? If so, why? What were the motivating factors in your choice of selecting an ADN or BSN program? We are looking forward to your input!
  12. by   JMP
    I am a Canadian. I am just about to graduate with a diploma in nursing. It is three years-with courses such as Understanding Nursing Reserach, Critical Thinking, etc. and we have 1700 clinical hours over three years.

    The Ontario College of Nurses ( our governing body) has recently announced that all new grads, as of Jan. 1, 2005 MUST have their BScN to write the RN's. The rest of us will be "gradfathered in" so to speak.
    I agree with this position... I think most professionals in hospitals these days, at least in Canada, have their degrees- RT's, OT's, Reg. Dietians, Doctors, etc. So why not nurses?
    I will begin work on my BScN this fall. Iam not a kid- I am 44. But I want to be the best nurse I can be- and getting my degree is part of it. Experience is needed as well- but ANYONE can get experience- education is the solid foundation for that experience.

    I am sort of sad that the three year diploma is going- but a four year degree is replacing it...however I do worry about the nursing shortage- because it is here in Canada as well...just not as acute as the US.

    Just some thoughts from a Canadian nurse...almost.

    JMP
  13. by   ShannonB25
    buck227,
    You're kidding right? You can't honestly mean that.
  14. by   JWRN
    buck227-
    Agree with shannonB25, I hope you are joking, if not you are truly what is wrong with this profession, to think that because you went to hospital based diploma program, that these RNs are the only true nurses. Where to you get off saying this? What does that make the rest of us? I can say that when I graduated from my BSN program, I was more than prepared to work on the floor, and I did, a very busy 45bed ortho/neuro/eye surgery floor. I have seen very bad Diploma, ADN and BSN nurses that I wouldn't trust to care for dead rats, and I have seen very good Diploma, ADN and BSN nurses that I would trust my life to.

    To answer to the original post-
    I chose BSN program, because I already had BS in Psy, and it was not much more time to get BSN, and I knew that it would make me more marketable in the future. I also pondered graduate school, and finished this last DEC (MSN degree), so the BSN was helpful with this also. And I plan to continue my academics with Doctoral program somewhere. I can't say much about ADN program, I know my BSN program had plenty of clinical hours, and I had many opportunities to perform all those tasks(NG's foleys, IVs, ABG's, Team leading, Charge, trach care, etc) that ADN and diploma nurses get to do in their clinicals, I was very satisfied with my clinical hours, and the way I was prepared to function as nurse after graduation.

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