I'd like insights from RNs who started as ADNs and later obtained a BSN.

  1. First off, let me say, this is not an ADN vs. BSN thread. I know there are many threads on that topic, and this is not what I am interested in.

    I have been a nurse for 12 years. Eight years as an LPN, four years as an RN.

    I have been looking into getting a BSN online. I already have 127 college credits hours, GPA 3.69. The problem is, every college I have looked into will require me to take 60 more credit hours, minimum, in order to obtain a BSN. I plan on taking no more than 6 credits a semester. So, this would take 10 semesters, or FIVE whole years,without summer semesters, and thousands of dollars. My employer does not offer tuition assistance.

    For those RNs out there who started as ADNs and later obtained a BSN- In your personal experience- was it worth it to you personally? Professionally?

    As for my career goals, I really do not know right now. I have never been interested mgmt.


    I am interested in your personal thoughts, opinions and experiences. Please, no arguments or debates wanted.


    *Please* pm your reply, if you'd like.
    Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation!
    Last edit by Hellllllo Nurse on Mar 11, '04
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I've been an RN for 10 years and was an LPN for 2 years before that. I finish a BSN program in May 04. For me, yes, it was worth it. However, I'm going right into an MSN program. I want more choices as I get older. That's my entire reason for doing it. It is expensive and yes, I'm in debt to the school, but if it allows me to continue working until I'm 65 - that's what I want. Good luck...
  4. by   ocicat
    For those RNs out there who started as ADNs and later obtained a BSN- In your personal experience- was it worth it to you personally? Professionally?

    It is a very personal decision. I was an LVN, then an RN (1981). I had many hours of credits from 3 different colleges and then started my BSN at a 4th college. So there were classes they didn't want to accept so I had to fight that by going to the Deans of various departments.
    In 1981 I was tired of school and going to work even though I liked the idea of a BSN. For years I thought about going back and figured "why bother, it is not like you make any more money". I went back because my eldest was going off to college and I thought why pay for her to get a degree and not myself. Plus, I was so tired of overworked and understaffed. It has taken me 3 years to finish, this, my third nursing program. I started out half time. Then got tired of how long it would take and quit work and took classes during winter break and summer.
    I started out taking some of my classes on line at the junior college (stats and eng 1B). I found a Bridge program at a local state university that gave me credit for more previous work than they would have a few years back because of the nursing shortage. My advice would be to look for Bridge Programs. School will keep getting more expensive. And a lot of people will get their BSN. Some day you may see the job you want go to someone with less experience and more letters. There are a lot of scholarships out there right now because of the nursing shortage. Some colleges offer a combination of on-line and web casted classses. I also heard there is a RN to MSN out there. I would look into that. Personally it was worth it, professionally with all my years of experience it isn't really except it allows me to get away from clinical nursing. I am currently applying for a manager position.
  5. by   adria37
    It seems a little much to require 60 hours if you already have an associates degree. 60 hours was the total amount that I needed to get my BSN, including my ADN, I would check on that again. I went back and got my BSN and now I am almost finished my MSN. Was it worth it? To me personally it was. I am still doing the same job as I was doing as a Associate degree nurse, I am still making the same salary and unless I change jobs I will still be making the same salary as a MSN nurse. The only benefit to me was personal, there is no recognition where I work and I believe it is that way most places. Granted I can apply and be considered for more jobs now. Adria
  6. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from adria37
    It seems a little much to require 60 hours if you already have an associates degree.
    I agree, and this is why, although I very much want a BSN, I'm afraid that it won't be worth it. By the time I complete a BSN degree, I will have 187 college credits. Isn't that enough for an MS?
    The programs I have checked into are bridge (RN to BSN) programs.
  7. by   Ted
    For those RNs out there who started as ADNs and later obtained a BSN- In your personal experience- was it worth it to you personally? Professionally?
    Personally - Yes. I appreciated being away from the work environment and being amongst other nurses from differing specialties. It gave me opportunities to hear how other nurses, other institutions and other nursing specialties handle/problem-solve the challanges faced in the healthcare profession. I also appreciated the opportunity to explore community nursing and some of its sub-specialties. It's not necessarily my cup of tea. But I probably would not have ever been exposed to this type of nursing if it were not for the continued college education. Thanks to the particular BS in Nursing program I attended, I now hold a certain important "awareness" and a deep respect to community nursing. Finally, I really dug the advanced assessment course! It really helped fine-tune my assessment skills!

    Professionally - Yes and no. Because of the ever changing, ever growing field of healthcare/medicine, and because I highly value education, the learning provided by the BS in Nursing program was professionally beneficial to me. However, those couple of extra letters after my name never really helped widen my wallet. Sadly, I see no real financial benefit in holding a BS in Nursing. At least not as a "regular" ICU/CCU staff nurse. (But then there IS more to life than the "Almighty $$$"! )


    Ted
  8. by   canoehead
    I would not do it again, but would go for one of the RN-MSN programs. It was lots of stress and heartache for no more money, and no change in status at my hospital.

    If you are looking to learn and network I think that professional organizations will give you more bang for your buck, and more specificity as far as whatever specialty you want to go for. There is a certain security in having a BSN- no one can take it away from you- but the reputation you build with visibility and hard work will serve you better if you are looking to advance.

    Look at your career goals and see if formal education is a REQUIREMENT, or if they are looking more for practical experience. Good luck.
  9. by   VickyRN
    I enjoyed going back to school (but I am one of those who love school anyway--I would be a perpetual student if I could). The school I attended gave massive credit for ADN plus work experience. They were very student-friendly (only had to be in attendance/ clinical 1 or 2 days/ week, most classes online). I was able to work fulltime and still attend school without difficulty. Finished the program in 3 semesters (although 2 semesters is possible at this university; wouldn't recommend it.) Clinicals were a fun learning experience (visiting certain community centers, etc), unlike the terror of ADN clinicals. And, NC Nurse Scholars completely footed my bill.
    My BSN degree opened a whole new world of opportunity for me. After 6 years of floor nursing, I became a nurse educator (in NC community colleges, BSN is all that is required to teach ADN or LPN students).
    I will be starting another educational adventure in the fall, this time MSN-Nurse Educator. :chuckle
  10. by   steel magnolia
    Personally, no, it was not worth it. I felt so much stress, and anger at the ridiculous requirements, I would not recommend it.

    Professionally, yes. It opened many doors for me, and actually, did improve my nursing practice, which really surprised me.

    As for the 120 credits, that is pretty typical for the total number of credits req'd for any BS program. Since you already have 127, you would still need to take the nursing credits at a minimum, and every college has its own mandatories that go along with it. You should be able to challenge many of those, or you can take ACT/PEP's aka cleps. I was in and out of the pathophysiology clep in 20 min, it was ridiculously easy. I honestly don't see anyway you will be able to get around the mandatory nursing req's or some of the other courses. IT is expensive, but the best you can do is speak to the instrucutors to see what you can challenge or not.

    If I were you, I would decide what I wanted to do. If it is management, you can get a BA in health admin, probably less repitition expense and aggravation.

    Best of luck to you.
  11. by   orrnlori
    I looked very long and hard at obtaining my BSN from both local colleges and universities as well as distance learning. I had 83 hours at the end of my AAS (well into my junior level of college), 40 of those where nursing hours. What I found was that either programs would throw out some of my general ed classes or throw out some of my nursing hours or throw out large numbers of both. Nowhere could I get them to take it all, and the ones that would take a larger number of hours, also wanted me to go back and take several freshman classes in general chemistry, biology, social science, religion, or a different algebra-not a good use of my time or money-and this was before I could even get to the upper level nursing classes. I consider these roadblocks there just to make the educational entity more money, not me a better nurse, I wanted the upper level nursing classes and would have gladly taken more of them versus going back to freshman level general education classes if they would just let me.

    I then started scouting RN-MSN programs that take an RN and a BS in any liberal studies area directly into an MSN program. What a gold mine. Did you know there are fully accredited colleges where you can test out of a BS and never take a class? There are. I'm completing my BS in Psychology by testing and have applied to an MSN program, there are several. To complete the BS will cost about 2,000. The MSN program has 30 hours.

    I chose this route because there is little if any difference in any aspect in having a BSN vs AAS in clinical nursing. If you don't want to manage, teach, or otherwise do anything other than bedside nursing, I don't know a reason to get a BSN, at least not in my experience in my city (please that is the qualifier here, it is my experience only, no flames) I too was looking at anywhere from 53 to 65 additional hours to get the BSN. This didn't make sense when I could get a higher nursing degree which would let me do many many other things beyond what a BSN would with tesing and 30 hours at graduate level. I read somewhere else where someone is looking at 50,000 to complete a BSN. There is no financial return on a 50,000 investment at a bachelor's level, a master's maybe, but even a lot of master's level programs don't cost anywhere near 50,000. Someone is getting soaked.

    With the number of hours you already hold you may well find many other options available to do something similar. I personally don't think many BSN programs have their heads in the right place when it comes to helping an ADN advance beyond that level. PM me if you want more information about what I'm talking about. I would be happy to help you if you have any desire to do the MSN route with a BS +RN.
  12. by   NewEngland-RN
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    First off, let me say, this is not an ADN vs. BSN thread. I know there are many threads on that topic, and this is not what I am interested in.

    I have been a nurse for 12 years. Eight years as an LPN, four years as an RN.

    I have been looking into getting a BSN online. I already have 127 college credits hours, GPA 3.69. The problem is, every college I have looked into will require me to take 60 more credit hours, minimum, in order to obtain a BSN. I plan on taking no more than 6 credits a semester. So, this would take 10 semesters, or FIVE whole years,without summer semesters, and thousands of dollars. My employer does not offer tuition assistance.

    For those RNs out there who started as ADNs and later obtained a BSN- In your personal experience- was it worth it to you personally? Professionally?

    As for my career goals, I really do not know right now. I have never been interested mgmt.


    I am interested in your personal thoughts, opinions and experiences. Please, no arguments or debates wanted.


    *Please* pm your reply, if you'd like.
    Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation!
    I started as an ADRN and eventually progressed through BScN to MScN/FNP
    I found it worked well for me.I was able to work,gain experience and there were a number of ADRN to BSN programs that were very supportive of working nurses/Adult learners. This slow, progressive route may be the way to go.My employers offered no assistance at that time and naturally the bills keep comming in. Good luck.

    Fast Eddie...
  13. by   Jill - Pa
    Hi. I graduated with my ADN and instead of heading straight to the trenches, decided to attend school for my BSN. The RN to BSN program I attended was 30 credits; I went full time and completed it in a year.

    Was it worth it? Yes and no.

    Financially and time-wise, no it was not worth it. I can honestly say that I did not learn one new thing going for the BSN. Every single thing I learned was just a repeat of what I had learned in the ADN program. I don't even think my writing skills improved with the hundred zillion papers I had to write. The degree for the BSN portion alone cost me $10,000. The shift differential I received with the added BSN degree was $.30/hr.

    However, I am now in graduate school, and I needed the BSN to get here.

    Jill (Pa)
  14. by   Quicksilver
    To answer your question, for me , Yes. I got my ASN thirteen years ago. For me it was the fastest way to get into the field, the community college was close, nearest BSN program was a 90 mile drive. I needed to get my RN so I could help get hubby through engineering school. After that was done and he was working, I decided to go back for my BSN, in fact I'm graduating in May. For me it allowed me to get different jobs in management, I wanted to branch out and try other areas of nursing besides just being at the bedside. Some nurses wouldn't do anything else, me I did it for a few years and decided my nerves and my back had had enough. Have toyed with the idea of going on for the master's but not going to do it right now. If anyone had a choice between the two, I'd say go for the BSN because a lot of jobs are requiring that more and more. I just say it gives me "flexibility". I had a coworker who got injured and was wondering if she could keep working or if they could find another job besides floor work
    for her. She'd always thought the ADN was all she would ever need. Don't want to start up the ADN vs BSN war again but sometimes it's good to have options.

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