I'm sorry, I have the DUMBEST question...

  1. I'm really kinda new to all the acronyms and to how nursing itself works degree and "rank" wise, so I'm sorry if I sound really silly here.
    My question is....what is the difference between an RN and all the other "N's" (ADN, BSN, MSN.....). I know what the ones in ( )'s stand for, but I thought all those were considered RN's, just with different degrees?? I saw on another post that you can get your RN, ADN, BSN....and I just got confused. I thought any Nurse's degree means your an RN. I saw that list of degrees but it didnt' answer my question as to the differences.

    Sorry for the silly question....Please enlighten me oh smart ones! LOL.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   brittanyrenee243
    There is no big mystery in your question....
    RN can be obtained by a diploma program which typically are few and far between, ADN- associate's degree, BSN- bachelor's degree, MSN- master's degree....you are an RN no matter what degree you have as long as you are licensed.
  4. by   EricJRN
    You're correct - they're all RN's. Sometimes people will earn one degree (like an ASN/ADN or BSN) initially, then go back and earn another (like a BSN or MSN) to qualify for graduate school, positions in management, or other opportunities.
  5. by   Soapy
    Quote from brittanyrenee243
    ...you are an RN no matter what degree you have as long as you are licensed.
    Ahh...ok, that's what I thought. Thanks.

    So...Brittanyrenee...why do you say that RN's obtained by a diploma program are few and far between? Is it because people try to get higher degrees later on like EricEnfermo said and therefore there aren't any, or is it because it's hard...easy....?

    Does ADN and ASN really make a difference? One's a regular associate's degree and the other's an associates in Science right? What's the difference between the two in nursing?
  6. by   powernurse
    Quote from Soapy
    Ahh...ok, that's what I thought. Thanks.

    So...Brittanyrenee...why do you say that RN's obtained by a diploma program are few and far between? Is it because people try to get higher degrees later on like EricEnfermo said and therefore there aren't any, or is it because it's hard...easy....?

    Does ADN and ASN really make a difference? One's a regular associate's degree and the other's an associates in Science right? What's the difference between the two in nursing?
    not many diploma schools left....most programs offered are degree programs.....
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Diploma RNs are few and far between because the sheer numbers of diploma nursing programs are dwindling. Prior to the 1970s, most RNs were diploma nurses, and numerous diploma programs were in existence. Now, many diploma nursing programs are being phased out.
  8. by   JBudd
    There aren't very many diploma programs left. They tended to be connected with a hospital rather than a college or university.

    To be a Registered Nurse, you must pass the NCLEX exam after graduating from a qualifying program, diploma, Assoc. or BSN. A Licensed Practical Nurse passes the LPN boards in the same manner, having completed an LPN course.

    The title "nurse" is a legally protected one, confined to those who have passed both their courses and their boards. You are then Registered with your state where you took the exam, becoming a Registered Nurse. To go to another state, you may register with that state's BON, and either hold both licenses or let one expire. LPNs do the same, being Licensed by their state.

    MSN is a graduate degree, not all universities demand a BSN to enter an MSN program, some accept a BS or BA in another subject, but being an RN is required.
  9. by   Soapy
    Wow, thanks for that info. They have a CC out here that still does the diploma, which is why I was wondering. I wonder why they haven't phased it out.

    What's the difference though between an Associates of Science and an Associates in Art when it comes to nursing? I've seen those 2 mentioned.
  10. by   FL NY RN
    Here's another one...I have an A.A.S (Associates in Applied Science)
  11. by   jimthorp
    Quote from Soapy
    Does ADN and ASN really make a difference?
    These are the same thing. ADN= Associates Degree in Nursing better known as an Associates in Applied Science in Nursing (A.A.S.). I'm not sure but I think the ASN acronym is incorrect.

    I've not heard of an Associates in Art for Nursing, although nursing is somewhat of an art.
    Last edit by jimthorp on Jan 7, '07
  12. by   lauralassie
    Quote from jbudd
    there aren't very many diploma programs left. they tended to be connected with a hospital rather than a college or university.

    to be a registered nurse, you must pass the nclex exam after graduating from a qualifying program, diploma, assoc. or bsn. a licensed practical nurse passes the lpn boards in the same manner, having completed an lpn course.

    the title "nurse" is a legally protected one, confined to those who have passed both their courses and their boards. you are then registered with your state where you took the exam, becoming a registered nurse. to go to another state, you may register with that state's bon, and either hold both licenses or let one expire. lpns do the same, being licensed by their state
    msn is a graduate degree, not all universities demand a bsn to enter an msn program, some accept a bs or ba in another subject, but being an rn is required.




    i would like to say a bit about the comment of the diploma program not being assosiated with a university. that is not true. all diploma programs that i know of and have known of are assosiated with major universities. infact, the diploma school i went to was associated with an ivy league university. the diploma programs are located at hospitals but, its doesn't mean they are tought by the hospital staff. the college assosiated with our program taught,chem, bio, soc, psyc etc.... the nursing courses were taught by nursing instructors with msn's etc. our percentage passage rate on state boards in ohio was 99.8 % for 20 odd years.
  13. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from jimthorp
    These are the same thing. ADN= Associates Degree in Nursing better known as an Associates in Applied Science in Nursing (A.A.S.). I'm not sure but I think the ASN acronym is incorrect.

    I've not heard of an Associates in Art for Nursing, although nursing is somewhat of an art.
    ASN is not incorrect. It stands for Associate of Science in Nursing.
  14. by   Noahm
    Quote from lauralassie
    i would like to say a bit about the comment of the diploma program not being assosiated with a university. that is not true. all diploma programs that i know of and have known of are assosiated with major universities. infact, the diploma school i went to was associated with an ivy league university. the diploma programs are located at hospitals but, its doesn't mean they are tought by the hospital staff. the college assosiated with our program taught,chem, bio, soc, psyc etc.... the nursing courses were taught by nursing instructors with msn's etc. our percentage passage rate on state boards in ohio was 99.8 % for 20 odd years.

    that is true of my diploma program as well. our classes for psyche, english, sociology, anatomy, chemistry, microbiology and statistics etc. etc. were all taught by the university that our hospital based program was affiliated with at that time.

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