I graduated from a BSN program - but I do have some insight into the ADN program. I chose the BSN program because that I knew that down the road, it would be hard for me personally to get back to school once I was working and raising my family. I also knew that in my home state, that there were changes coming that would make the ADN obsolete. The ANA has been lobbying for years to make the BSN degree the standard for professional nursing. Diploma schools are/or have disappeared. I know for a fact that governmental agencies in my home state mandate a BSN - older nurses were grandfathered if they earned their RN prior to a certain year [I don't remember what year it was]. I do know this because my mother is a nurse, and she fell into this catagory - she also worked for the state and then the federal government. That is why I am familiar with the regulations.
There are differences in the level of responsibilities that are given to nurses at various educational levels.
BSN's are educated in science, theory and management. Despite popular belief, we can become excellent floor nurses! [smile] And my belief is that one should know and experience what they preach, because they may find themselves wearing both hats at once. [This is more common than before]
ADN's spend the greater amount of their education on the floor working. This is a great opportunity to "hone" your skills". From what I have gleened for the literature, ADN programs have a higher drop-out rate than that of the BSN program. Probebly, because 3-4 yrs are being crammed into two. Often, it takes a year or so of preparation in anatomy, math, and chemistry, just to get into the programs. We ALL take the same NCLEX-RN test.
Managers aren't born, and experience helps. If you have ever worked with someone who rose to the rank of "manager" without management skills, you know what havoc that can cause!
In a climate of cost-cutting, nurses are expendable! A poor manager can cost money to the institution. What a manager does is CONSERVE RESOURCES.
Unfortunately, when nurses climb the "corporate ladder", they tend to move away from clinical nursing. Your opportunities are limited by your education. I am seeing more and more employers advertising for master's prepared nurses. This is because of JCAHO regulation and accredidation - which is tied into federal reinbursement. This is how most institutions survive - there is no way around it [now].
Look at your options, and your personal circumstances. What are your short and long term goals? A nursing education is expensive. Generally, most programs that I am familiar with mandate that the applicant be in the upper 1/3 of their class - or the equivilent. How much preparation do you need? How much do you want it? It is not easy, nurses are being forced to do more and more with less and less [excuse the cliche].
The burn-out rate for nurses is high, the disatisfaction rate for nurses is also high - but the rewards can also be great!
Good luck with your decision
Keeping the Faith