Community College Nurse: Good to go or in the toilet bowl?

  1. Hey everybody. I'm really new to this site (like 30 minutes new) and I'm going to start courses toward a degree in nursing. Now the school I plan on attending is a community college. Based on the overall experience, are community college graduates just as qualified to be an RN as a university graduate? If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Tim-GNP
    Well, since no one has answered, I guess I will take a stab! Your question, barrybender and the elements it contain has been the subject of many heated arguments on this web-site!

    To begin, let me emphasize that the degree does NOT make the nurse. The nurse and his/her dedication to their own competency and professional development makes them a good or bad nurse, certainly NOT what degree or diploma they hold.

    Now that we have established that, the decision to obtain a B.S.N. versus A.D.N. is one that you must carefully consider based upon your future aspirations. IF you have your sites set at becomming a nursing administrator or obtaining certification as an advanced practice R.N. [that is as a Nurse Practitioner or Clnical Nurse Specialist], then the B.S.N. is the way to go. This is because many R.N.'s who present to B.S. institutions looking to acquire a B.S.N. are often given the 'business' that "this class won't transfer... that class won't transfer...you must take this bridge course... etc." It all usually has to do with money making. So, if that is the direction you want to take in the future, a B.S.N. may be for you.

    If, on the other hand, you are looking to begin a career sooner than 4 years, AND, if financial matters are a concern, then the A.D.N. is definitely the way to go. Many nurses with ADN's who want to become APRN's work on their BSN part time...

    I hope that this helps. Just remember, whatever degree option you select, you will be no better than anyone because of the degree you have. Only your dedication to your profession, committment to the enhancement of your psychomotor skills and your ability to advocate for your patient's well-being will make you a good nurse. Good luck in whatever you do.
  4. by   allevi
    I am a recent graduate from an ADN program at a community college. We were told that our education was focused on the learning and mastering of the technical skills of nursing. There was of course a great emphasis on the patient and care and safety of the patient. All of the skills that a nurse can do is learned in the ADN program. I do plan to go on to get my BSN, thru a RN-BSN transition program that is offered by one of the state universities, but I can still attend the community college, that makes it more convenient to me.

    I do live in a rural area where the emphasis between the two degrees is not that great. There are many director of nurses, and other nurses in management positions that are ADN's.

    One tip, if you go the community college route, check to make sure that the classes will transfer for credit to a college that you may get your BSN from.

    Good luck on you future plans for becoming a nurse, no matter how you choose to do it.
  5. by   mustangsheba
    Barry - I got my ADN in a rural area ~18 years ago. It has served me well. I liked the fact that we were on the floor taking care of patients right away. After the first year, I was able to pass the LPN boards and work as an LPN while going to school for my RN. I would recommend this route for anyone who learns as I do - hands on. Tim - GNP always has good insight and advice. If you are in a good ADN program, you will graduate with good basic skills. And we all have to pass the Boards. It is our responsibility to continue to grow from there. I have never been sorry that I have an ADN. I would recommend it to anyone simply because you can begin working right away, then move on to wherever you want to go from there. If you pass your boards and listen to your mentors, you are indeed qualified to give patient care. Keep an open mind and ask questions. You may decide to go for a BSN in the future. While you are pursuing that, you can work and grow as an RN. Best wishes!
  6. by   jkh
    I live in an area where you have the choice of a community college or a university. Some choose the community college due to cost. Others choose the university because the percentage of students that finish the course is actually higher. The community college has a reputation for "weeding out" students either from low test scores or in clinical areas. After graduation the percentage of students that pass boards is about the same.
    I agree with Tim, it's not just HOW the person is educated, but the dedication of the person to the profession that makes the difference.
  7. by   p.rabbit
    In 1980 I was an RT, and thought OK, I'll become an RN. Divorced with 2 kids and shared custody, working full time night shift in hospital. So, after discovering that I could get a BSN which cost money, and my ADN would cost absolutely nothing except for books....................wasn't too hard to figure out. Immediately post graduation in 1983, I enrolled in an ICU intensive course, so that I could go make the big bucks right away working via agency nursing assignments in Los Angeles.
    No regrets on the choice, 18 years later. My illustrious Critical Care career has served me well. Every time I pondered returning for my BSN, I knew I could never put up with the paper writing regime. No idea why that is seen as such an important indicator of expertise, unless it builds character of some sort. At this juncture in the game, I would recommend a 4 year degree to those who have the time. Although there has been much discussion about the "professional" status that Nurses are supposedly struggling for in the marketplace, as some sort of educational comparison with other careers, I don't buy it. The four year students just write more papers. We all get out with our degrees or diplomas, and then we begin working and finally learning what we need to know. I don't think you'll find many Nurses making more than $100,000 per year, no matter what their degree is, unless they are working 60 hours a week, or have chosen to be an entrepeneur of some sort. Sure, there are some DON's making more than 100 grand, but they represent a fraction of 1% of all Nurses. So, it's really just a matter of choice. Unless of course you're in it for the initials after your name.

    Have fun,

    p.rabbit
  8. by   rona
    Hi Barrybender. Well, I just completed my first semester of the nursing program at a University, and I have learned that the BSN track is more theory based and the ADN program is more technical and skills focused. I don't know if that means anything to you, but when planning your education, keep in mind that although the ADN program was made to be faster than the BSN program, it's actually about the same amount of time when you take into account the same prerequisites you must complete (with the exception of a few clases i.e. organic chem, stats). My mother is an RN who graduated from a community college, and she has friends who are back in school taking organic chem and other prerequisite classes (that are not required with the ADN) so that they can enter the RN-to-BSN track to receive their bachelor's degree. My suggestion is that you get your BSN the first time around. And if money is an issue, you can always complete the first 2 or 3 semesters at the community college and then transfer to the university during your 4th semester. I hope this helps! Good luck to you!
  9. by   slkneib
    I am a nursing student at a community college very close to you. I researched my choice throughly, and through this research and my current life situation (single mom of two) decided an ADN would head me in the right direction. I can pursue my BSN here locally after graduation and provde a decent living for my family at the same time. At 38, I can't wait four years, but it is more than that. The bottom line is, take advantage of your community resources and be sure to consider your personal situation. Anything you do to improve upon your education and experience is the BEST step to take!!!
  10. by   barrybender
    Thank you for your advice. Seeing as your pretty close to me really helps, too. You probably know a lot about the job market in this area. Single mom of two, eh? My wife is expecting twins, so I have to work nights AND go to school at the same time once classes start. I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing, but knowing that other people (a lot, actually) have been in a situation very similar to mine really helps. Thank you.

    Originally posted by slkneib:
    I am a nursing student at a community college very close to you. I researched my choice throughly, and through this research and my current life situation (single mom of two) decided an ADN would head me in the right direction. I can pursue my BSN here locally after graduation and provde a decent living for my family at the same time. At 38, I can't wait four years, but it is more than that. The bottom line is, take advantage of your community resources and be sure to consider your personal situation. Anything you do to improve upon your education and experience is the BEST step to take!!!
  11. by   barrybender
    Thank you everyone for your input on my behalf. I'm closing this topic now to make sure everyone else gets plenty of replies to theirs. Thank you again. Good luck everyone.

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