RN or BSN? - page 2

I'm currently an RT student who plans on becoming a nursing student after I finish RT. I was wondering if it would be better to get an associate's degree in nursing first and then a BSN or just... Read More

  1. by   Dixen81
    Is ADN preferable to Diploma?
    Last edit by peggysue on Aug 20, '03
  2. by   fergus51
    Oh God, another ADN BSN thread A BSN is a better idea right off the bat if you know you will need it in the future because you want to teach, be in management, work in community health or get a masters in any advanced practice role (like it or not, these types of positions are limited if you don't have a bachelor's degree). You can still get an ADN and work while getting your BSN, but it seems to take longer that way and be more expensive.

    With an ADN/Diploma or BSN you are equally qualified to write the NCLEX and work as a bedside nurse. There is no such thing as "just" a bedside nurse, and I really don't understand the negative reaction to that. An ADN is an associate's degree, a diploma is a diploma. Not the same as far as "level of degree" or whatever you want to call it, but equal in terms of preparation to be a nurse.
  3. by   Cynthiann
    Originally posted by fergus51
    Oh God, another ADN BSN thread A BSN is a better idea right off the bat if you know you will need it in the future because you want to teach, be in management, work in community health or get a masters in any advanced practice role (like it or not, these types of positions are limited if you don't have a bachelor's degree). You can still get an ADN and work while getting your BSN, but it seems to take longer that way and be more expensive.

    With an ADN/Diploma or BSN you are equally qualified to write the NCLEX and work as a bedside nurse. There is no such thing as "just" a bedside nurse, and I really don't understand the negative reaction to that. An ADN is an associate's degree, a diploma is a diploma. Not the same as far as "level of degree" or whatever you want to call it, but equal in terms of preparation to be a nurse.
    My exact point, but apparently I got flamed for it.
  4. by   seewhiterabbit
    I am going the long route. I am going for my BSN because I know for certain that I want to go on to graduate school at some point.

    I have heard from other nurses and nursing students that ADN nurses have more hands on experience or something like that, whereas BSN nurses have a little more theory...I don't know if this is true..but that is what I heard. If it is true then it just seems it will take the BSN nurse longer to get into the groove....I guess....
  5. by   Hardknox
    Originally posted by fergus51
    Oh God, another ADN BSN thread A BSN is a better idea right off the bat if you know you will need it in the future because you want to teach, be in management, work in community health or get a masters in any advanced practice role (like it or not, these types of positions are limited if you don't have a bachelor's degree). You can still get an ADN and work while getting your BSN, but it seems to take longer that way and be more expensive.

    With an ADN/Diploma or BSN you are equally qualified to write the NCLEX and work as a bedside nurse. There is no such thing as "just" a bedside nurse, and I really don't understand the negative reaction to that. An ADN is an associate's degree, a diploma is a diploma. Not the same as far as "level of degree" or whatever you want to call it, but equal in terms of preparation to be a nurse.

    Thank you for this, Fergus. I couldn't find the "beating a dead horse" smilie and was waiting for some one to comment on this done-to-death topic. I suggest anyone interested in this topic do a search---we have had this subject closed and started up again over and over.......nothing changes.
  6. by   goingCOASTAL
    Hi; new guy here.

    I've seen such a debate on other nursing forums before, and it's amazing how a simple phrase can unleash all sorts of hot buttons. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the situation.

    Little bio on me first: Male, early 30's, ADN, exp. includes: "bedside", supervisory, management.

    Even with my "leetle" degree, I've done it all . . . but don't let my bio fool you. At my facility, BSN + old fashioned "BS" gets promoted over experience and competence anyday. In essence, advanced degrees and kissing lots of admin boo-boo gets one the promotion at my hospital.

    It has not been impossible for me to "excel" with my ADN, but most ADN's that I know (including myself) that have moved up the nursing "ladder" did so on the "who-ya-know" express elevator. Ergo, my experience has shown me that if you don't have friends at the top, you better go for the degree if you desire a career in nursing management. It's not impossible as a Diploma or ADN (have had puh-lenty older managers with 'em), but it's certainly MUCH easier with your BSN and/or MSN.

    Currently, I am a "bedside" nurse and prefer it that way. I have had little management that I had confidence in (it's hard when you know more than they do clinically) and want nothing more of their political culture. I am mulling over the idea of going back to school to eventually get my MSN (maybe PhD???) and go back and teach . . . (am currently frustrated with the emphasis in healthcare of "smiley" customer service over clinical performance). There are things such as happiness and normal blood pressure readings that are more important than wage per hour.

    Besides that, I really enjoy "bedside" nursing, and really laugh at the perception that in order to improve professionally, we have to "trancend" that lowly order. It's like cab drivers no longer driving. We are nurses first, regardless of our training, and are united in the fact that we must first provide safe, competent, and healing care for the sick . . . period.

    If I do go into teaching, it will be because I love my career enough to pass it on . . . and not because I have lofty perceptions of myself being too good to wash out a bedpan. Regardless of what I do with the rest of my nursing career, the most important role I will play is as a licensed professional healthcare provider playing a role in the recovery of my patient -- everything else can only compliment that role.

    Advice to the RT student? If you want to perform a role as a RN in patient care, an ADN is sufficient. It prepares you for the same licensing exam, and study after study has shown no significant difference between the pass rate (ergo: competence) between ADN prepared candidates versus BSN. Most places are so desperate for RN's that there is often no pay difference and no hiring preference for traditional nursing, though sometimes this is different for certain specialties.

    If you seek roles outside of traditional nursing, then I would advise seeking higher degrees since they tend to impress those more who hire. And for some roles as teaching and research, I do agree that the higher degree is better overall.
  7. by   lindarn
    I am about to ruffle a few feathers. I was originally a diploma nurse from a school in NYC. I moved to California in 1979, and two years later I started the BSN program at Cal State Long Beach. Why did I pursue a BSN? Because I realized a few short years into my career as a nurse how woefully under prepared I was as a diploma nurse.

    I am not talking about my clinical skills- I am talking about surviving in the world of business that nursing and hospitals have become. Nurses are the least educated medical professionals in the hospital and have the most need to BE more educated. We should be ashamed of the 19 th century educational preparation that nurses continue fight for.

    When I was taking my BSN classes, I did a paper in my senior year about the BSN/ADN/Diploma debate. We can say all we want to that the public thinks the world of nurses, but turn around and ask them if we should be making a professinal salary commensurate with the education that we do have, the inconvenience to our and our families lives, and the constant threat of work ending injuries. Nurses have a rate of on-the-job injuries second only to construction workers. Ask the public that question. Unfortunately, and I hate to bust your bubble, but the public equates worth with education, something that nurses are severely lacking!

    We educate ourselves like blue collar trailer trash and then wonder why we are payed, compensated, and treated as such. We get what we ask for.

    At a time when physical therapists already have a masters as entry into practice, I have just recently heard that they are going to a doctorate as entry into practice. Occupational Theraspists also have a masters as entry into practice, as do social workers. Pharmacists have a doctorate as entry into practice. They all enjoy far higher salaries than RN's do, along with the professional treatment, and much more respect.

    Nurses seem to think that their statutory title of RN should bring them the professional salaries that other medical professionals enjoy, but the fact of the matter is we haven't earned it. As we say in Brooklyn, that and 50 cents will get you on the subway. As we are finding out, it is worthless.

    We are neophytes and quite unprepared when it comes to dealing with the hospital administrators. When we ask for more and higher wages and benefits, I wish I had nickel for every time I heard from administrators, patients, the public, "what do you expect? You only went to school for 2 years! And you what, they are right.

    I can hear the whining now! "But I only could go the school for 2 years! I didn't have the money to go into a BSN program". Lets face it folks- people got into nursing because it is one of the easiest ways to make a buck, compared to PT's, OT's, Speech therapists, pharmacists, etc. I include other career fields as well. In these fields there is no choice- Bachelors degree, or higher. When someone really wants to be a PT, OT, pharmacist, dietician, etc, they figure out a way the be able to complete the educational requirements and complete the program. Nursing, on the other hand, always wants the easy way out- it has become the welfare of women's professions. It is the first choice of welfare- to work moms who would be otherwise ill- prepared to enter other fields. This may sound nice, but the nursing profession has suffered from a lack of support and appreciation. Nurses are incapable of seeing big picture. Nursing will never come into its own as a profession because of it lack of, and appreciation of higher education.

    I makes no differance to me if BSN's have less clinical skills than diploma and ADN graduates. I don't recall doctors being skilled enough to perform brain surgery and heart transplants right after they graduate from medical school. That is what residency and internships are for. Even PT's and OT's have an internship after they graduate from school. And they have master's degrees. There is more to professional practice than technical skills .

    As to pay scales, there is no reason the BSN's should not be paid more. I don't care if they are doing the same job. Teachers with master's degrees teaching in the same school, with the same years of experiece, teaching the same grade, make more money than teachers who only have a bachelors degree. Period. There is nothing to debate. Education is appreciated and rewarded.

    We don't get paid more because hospital administrators don't want to pay nurses more and they practice the "divide and conquer" routine. They stroke the egos of the diploma and ADN's and say, "See, the BSN's want more money and they do the same job the you do!!." Nurses fall for it hook line and sinker and it gets voted down in unon contracts every time. Instead of insisting that nurses who have higher degrees be rewarded, our own peers need to validate their self worth and self inportance by dumping on those of us who improve ourselves through education and earning and maintaining professional certifications. We are looked down on and made fun of for attempting to improve the image of nursing. And it will not improve until we do. We will forever be the disposable interchangeable widgets who can be replaced by cheaper, and less educated personnel. Our lack of higher education leads the public and the adminstrators to think that, if a nurse with only 2 or 1 years of education can do this job, surely a nurse's aid with a GED can do the same. Make no mistake about it- that is what the train of thought is with the pubic and the people who arre paying for our services think. Unfortunately, we do to. We are forever apologizing and making excuses for our lack of education. We are not paid and treated like professionals because most of us are not.

    We need to make the BSN as entry into practice, phase out diploma and ADN programs, eliminate the career track of LPN's, and improve the education of nursing assistants. PT assistants and OT assistants do a fraction of what nursing assistants do, and have a 2 year associates degree to become PT and OT assistants. That is ridiculous. As it stands now, nurses with less than a BSN are indentured servants in the hospital. They have minimal career mobility to better paying jobs. Work in a doctors' office is notoriously low paying, as is home health, and clinics.

    Nurses have educated themselves they have moved away from the bedside, not because they don't want to do patient care, but because they are not rewarded or appreciated for their education. The individuals with the motivation and the desire for better paying jobs attain the higher education that is needed and required for the better paying jobs and career fields. Nursing is losing these individuals with motivation and who have the most to offer, to other career fields that don't look down on higher education- a "brain drain".

    That is my 0.02 cents on the subject. I hope that I have given people who deride BSN's some food for thought. We will never be cohesive and a power to be reckoned with until we unite under a a common educational background that is commensurate with other health care prodesionals- give the diplomas and ADN's a grandfather clause to allow them to continue practicing, as pharmacists did. Make it easier for them to earn a BSN- give them credit for their diploma and ADN classes. As it stands now, the colleges make you jump through hoops to get your classes approved for a BSN- it should not be. We have to do this soon before we lose our entire practice to technicians. We are giving away our professional practice and make it easier for the hospitals to replace us, and we have never learned to how fight at the bargaining table, or beat them at their own game. We have a long way to go.

    Linda, RN, BSN, CCRN
    (yes, I use my college degree in my title as well as my specialty certification- I earned the right to use them)
  8. by   LeesieBug
    The most interesting thing I have noticed about this type of thread is that usually the origonal question is from someone who simply wants advice from "professionals".

    Then there seems to be a few who want to prove just how UNPROFESSIONAL they are by bashing one degree or another, or taking one tiny remark that is NOT meant to be insulting, and blow it way out of proportion. Sheesh......
  9. by   goingCOASTAL
    Originally posted by lindarn


    We educate ourselves like blue collar trailer trash and then wonder why we are payed, compensated, and treated as such. We get what we ask for.

    Linda;

    Finally, someone who can point out all the benefits of obtaining a higher education in nursing without incinuating that everyone below a BSN is an ignoramus. I am contemplating going back for -- at least -- a BSN, and for all the reasons you mentioned -- not because I want "ascend" into management.

    The above quote is the only one that raised my collar, which is pretty good, since it is only one paragraph out of a well-thought out essay. I am an ADN prepared RN, and I don't really mind the "blue-collar" label attached to it. I knew that when I got in the job that I actually would be working, sweating, pulling, picking up -- and to incinuate that "working" is somehow less noble than -- I suppose -- pencil pushing, is elitist BS. If I decide to obtain my BSN or higher, it will be promote professionalism within our industry, to obtain more clinical knowledge, but never, NEVER to escape the "work" that defines nursing.

    And if that "work" makes me blue collar trash, then so be it.
  10. by   Pride of July28
    I have a twist for the board
    This may be available in an older thread but--
    If you already have a degree in management (BBus Admin- Mgmt 2001) and are looking to enter nursing school with the eventual goal of a NP or CNS-- do you need to get a BSN or ADN?

    I have been told by numerous sources that most of the addtl classes in in a BSN are management and comm health related. If have a mgmt degree w/ conctration in Health Care -- I was not looking to get another BS-- can I get my ADN and still do an Rn-MSN bridge?

    If those that know can pass on the info or direct me to a former post-- I would most appreciate it!

    Nila
  11. by   goingCOASTAL
    Originally posted by Pride of July28
    I have a twist for the board
    This may be available in an older thread but--
    If you already have a degree in management (BBus Admin- Mgmt 2001) and are looking to enter nursing school with the eventual goal of a NP or CNS-- do you need to get a BSN or ADN?

    I have been told by numerous sources that most of the addtl classes in in a BSN are management and comm health related. If have a mgmt degree w/ conctration in Health Care -- I was not looking to get another BS-- can I get my ADN and still do an Rn-MSN bridge?

    If those that know can pass on the info or direct me to a former post-- I would most appreciate it!

    Nila
    If you are looking to advance yourself up a clinical ladder (Nurse Practitioner or other Advanced Practice Nurse, or Nurse Anesthetist <sp?>), you will have to get ALL of your basic and advanced degrees in nursing -- that would not only include your BSN, but an MSN as well.

    Some universities are offering MSN bridge programs for people with non-nursing bachelor's, but these are very rare. I know that at one time Vanderbilt had such a program. You will just have to search these out through schools you might attend.

    What's more common is the RN-MSN program, where ADN nurses can get their BSN and MSN at the same time, though in most cases, entry into these programs are more competitive than doing it "the old fashioned way." A particular school close to me requires a higher grade standard from ADN work to do the bridge program than they require for those entering their BSN (and eventual MSN) programs.

    If you are wanting a "management" ladder, advanced nursing degrees are not necessary. In fact, in an increasingly corporatized industry, an MBA is preferred. In some states, an MSN is required for the final nursing executive in the facility, so many colleges offer a joint MSN/MBA track for those wanting to advance the corporate ladder. I have known nurses who've completely advanced out of nursing and into the corporate (business) structure with such degrees.

    If you wanted to teach nursing, BSN & MSN would be required, and in many places, so would a PhD (or it's equivalent) in Nursing.

    At one time, one could easily switch back and forth on these career ladders, but they are increasingly becoming more specialized -- each with their own educational requirements and preferences.
  12. by   Pride of July28
    cOASTAL-
    thanks for the reply. I am looking into Rn-MSN programs for after I finish my ADN. I was looking at direct entry msn programs like Vandy, Cloumbia, Yale and I really don't wanna do a 3 yr entry to practive program if I an go to my local school do an RN, get my experience and learn what I'm doing and if I want to go on to ADV practice or into education get my masters in the bridge and get my BSN only as a biproduct of the bridge.

    PLUS- @ $$73,000/yr Columbia is a bit expensive (to put it lightly) to get my BSN if there are bridges available down the line if I do well in my ADN that wil ave me a year's time and tuition.

    All other perspectives welcome and appreciated
  13. by   nowplayingEDRN
    We educate ourselves like blue collar trailer trash and then wonder why we are payed, compensated, and treated as such. We get what we ask for. ........We need to make the BSN as entry into practice, phase out diploma and ADN programs, eliminate the career track of LPN's...............
    Nurses have educated themselves they have moved away from the bedside, not because they don't want to do patient care, but because they are not rewarded or appreciated for their education. ........... I hope that I have given people who deride BSN's some food for thought.
    First let me say that each and every one is entitled to their opinions, for every one has one.....just like evryone has a rectum (being PC here folks but you get the underlying drift). I am and have been ADN nurse since 1992. I do not feel like I was educated like blue collar trailer trash. I feel that I got an excellent education and I feel at this current point and time in my nursing career that I am respected for my professionalism and knowledge. No, it was not always the case. There was a point when it did not matter if you had a BSN, ADN or Diploma degree......you got no respect from Management. Management looked at you like you were nuts for asking for a raise and your educational background was not an issue. It was just the fact that we were nurses in a world of cut backs with no recognition for when a job was well done.
    I do not think it helps to pound 1 degree or another into the ground. All have equal benefits and there is something to be learned from one another. I think that past experiences of other n urses precepting BSN nurses have influenced opinions, like the old adage, The first impression is a lasting one.....ADN and Diploma nurses have seen where in precepting a BSN graduate that there was little emphasis placed on clinical skills and more placed on the management end of the world, which is fine but we again need to be reminded that we all started at the bottom of the dog pile and that is why we as the more experienced are paired with the new grad, to help impart the knowledge we have gained so that others can have the same level of knowledge and skill. however, there are times that even the best of teachers can not help a person and someone can be incredibly book smart but lack the ability to put that knowledge into practice...seen it...sad really but it is not my fault or anyone elses.....it is just a fact of life. It takes all kinds to make the nursing world go round and there are some people that management is their cup of tea and other who feel that they do their best at the bedside, caring for the patient and assisting the doctor as needed. This does not make for a bad nurse.....a person becomes a bad nurse when they loose the vision that they had upon entering the profession and that is a difficult task in this day and age. Just like a manager becomes bad when he or she forgets where they one started out and forgets the people working under them.
    As for phasing out the career tract of the LPN, that I do not think is a very good idea. I know that there have been times that I would have been lost with out the assistance of my LPN and my CNA. LPNs provide valuable care to patients just as the dedicated CNA does and any RN in the trenches knows that your subordinates can make or break you and can be the difference between a busy or "bad" shift being a complete and total disaster and nightmare. Phasing out the LPN career path is only hurting those that would go on in their educational pursuits that you so passionately advocate for. A bit of a double standard on your part, it seems to mee to deny a person the ability to move upward and onward in their educational pathway. I am all about bettering the education of those in the trenches as improved education and increase in knowledge provides high quality care for the patient. But having worked union for a while, I am not in favor of putting Unlicensed Assistive Personnel on the floors in place of the LPN. There is no replacement for personnel with a license...as it is indicative of a higher practice standard that must be adheared(sp) to.
    You say that nurses leave the bedside as they become educated because they feel unrewarded. I do not think that is necessarily the case. The higher the degree the bigger the push toward leaving the bedside and entering the world of management. I do not k now the stats on advanced degree nurses staying in a clinical setting so I can not say that yes, the advanced degree nurses are staying or leaving the clinical setting.

    I do not think that your statement infering that there are people on here that look on a BSN negatively. I think that what is happening is that there are a large group of nurses that are comfortable in the positions they are in or they are just simple not financially able to pursue an advanced degree. That coupled with people just like you beating them over the head because they do not have a BSN makes for a sour taste in their mouths. Instead of pounding on them, support them for who they are and what they have to offer the nursing profession. You say people entered nursing because it is a quick way to make money but i have to tell you that i ran into very few of those people, Linda. Most of the nurses that I have met or associated with or worked with entered nursing because they wanted to make difference in the lives of people, money was just an added bonus. And if you are in the profession to make a fast buck, then i would suggest that you might want to rethink your career path as I would be inclined to question your dedication to the profession and the quality of care that is meted out to the patients under your care.


    PS: Someday I'd like to pursue an advanced degree but at the moment I am too far in debt trying to help my spouse realize his dreams of obtaining a higher education so my education will have to wait.

    PSS: Never be ashamed to used something you are entitled to. I applaude the person that takes pride in their profession and any certifications that thay have worked hard to atain


    Christie, RN, TNCC
    Last edit by nowplayingEDRN on Aug 17, '03

close