RN or BSN?

  1. 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 get the BSN
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   Cynthiann
    Are you a Radiology Tech or a Respiratory Therapist?

    It depends on your goals, if you want to do administrations work, teach or go to graduate school go for the BSN. If you only want to do beside nursing get the ADN if it's easier.

    Do you mind me asking, why are you in RT school and going straight into nursing school?
  4. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Cynthiann
    Are you a Radiology Tech or a Respiratory Therapist?

    It depends on your goals, if you want to do administrations work, teach or go to graduate school go for the BSN. If you only want to do beside nursing get the ADN if it's easier.

    Do you mind me asking, why are you in RT school and going straight into nursing school?
    Oooooooooo...that's not fair to call ADN's "only bedside nursing", Cynthiann. What a slap in the face to many of your coworkers and ADNs across the country who have definitely been much more than what your message about ADNs portrays. It's not only a mean thing to say, it's an unprofessional and nonsupportive statement to make, especially when nurses are crying for support regardless of one's choice as to how they reach passing their boards to become a LICENSED Registered Nurse.

    Care to redeem yourself?
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 29, '03
  5. by   Cynthiann
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Oooooooooo...that's not fair to call ADN's "only bedside nursing", Cynthiann. What a slap in the face to many of your coworkers and ADNs across the country who have definitely been much more than what your message about ADNs portrays. It's not only a mean thing to say, it's an unprofessional and nonsupportive statement to make, especially when nurses are crying for support regardless of one's choice as to how they reach passing their boards to become a LICENSED Registered Nurse.

    Care to redeem yourself?
    Renee, you took my comment out of context. What I meant was that if she didn't intend to go teach or supervise or go to graduate school that the ADN would suffice. My point is that if he/she didn't want to do all the other things, he/she might as well go the shorter route with the ADN.
  6. by   live4today
    I am an ADN graduate of 16 years now, and the opportunities that I have experienced as an ADN have been tremendous! Personally, I still do not see the need to get a BSN. It will NOT make me a better nurse than I already am as an ADN.

    I have been far more than simply a "bedside nurse". As a matter of fact, I have never thought of myself in those words.

    I have been a Clinical Instructor for CNAs. I have been a Preceptor of nurses irregardless of their degree choice.

    Education cannot make one a nurse in and of itself. One must pass the NCLEX to become a licensed nurse. Simply by graduating from a college...two, three, or four year....does not a nurse make. You may have the degree, but without the license, you are simply a college graduate with hopes of working as a nurse one day once boards are passed.

    I'm all for people pursuing education. I'm also all for people pursuing the educational path of their choice whether it be two, three, or four years.

    With every job comes opportunities to advance. When and if one cares to do so, that is when they should research what it will take to have that particular advancement on their job. If more schooling is the case, then go for more schooling. If certification is the case, go for the certification, and so forth.

    In the summer of 1987 when I stood in a line of about a thousand nurses waiting to take my two full days of handwritten exams to become the nurse I wanted to be, a few graduates of a four year program approached myself and a few others standing in line and had the gall to ask "Which line is for the BSNs?" I told them to go to the line that was forming at the top of the hill and that would be the line for the BSNs.

    After they walked ahead of us, we all started laughing our azzes off because they were stupid enough to bite that bullet and believe it!

    Many BSNs think that just because they went to school for four years....the first two years are mostly college required non nursing classes anyway.........that entitles them to special privileges.

    When I precepted BSN students as an ADN graduate, they were the hardest to precept because they did not know how to do the "bedside stuff" you referred to. I still see many of the BSN graduates coming into the hospital with the mentality that they are "above" bedside nursing" and must simply "NOT stop there!"

    How sad, but true! We cannot ALL be Chiefs! There aren't enough "in charge" positions to have for all the four year nursing graduates to own.

    A student must ask themselves this question when considering nursing:

    Do I have what it takes to care for sick and dying people in a healthcare setting? Am I afraid of the hands-on care that I will have to give? Are bedpans, baths, vital signs, making beds, and helping to feed complete patients "beneath me?"

    If management is what a nurse wants, then pursue that. The ony reason I am considering advancing the educational level I have is because I hope to own and operate my own hospital one day.........a hospital for nurses by nurses. I would not hire any nurse who thinks she or he is above elbow deep shick when it comes to caring for the patients. I will also alleviate the painful multiple paperwork that many of the BSN graduates create for nurses in the first place because all they have on their minds is having something that "stands them out among the rest" as nurses.

    I have worked, and work with now, some really great nurses. But not because of the degree they chose to obtain, but because they are just great nurses who passed the boards because they learned how to apply what they learned while training to become an excellent clinical nurse!

    No place is wrong to start. As a matter of fact, I think I'll only hire diploma and adn grads who worked as diploma and adn grads awhile before furthering their education. Why? I liken it to being in the military. The best Officers are the ones who first served as Enlisted Noncommissioned Officers. Sometimes nurses who graduated from a four year degree think that entitles them to "a special place" over and above the other nurses they work with.

    Encourage and support one's choice of education. Let them decide how much they want or need. Just be supportive. That's all!

    Okay........vented.......now flame me if you desire....I take more heat where I work than I could ever receive from being in cyberspace. :chuckle :roll :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 29, '03
  7. by   Cynthiann
    I never said anything about the ADN being any less than a BSN. My point was that if one wanted to do all the other things I listed he/she might as well go straight for the BSN since it will be quicker in the end. If he/she didn't desire to do those things, might as well go the ADN route since it's cheaper and faster.

    I'll admit, with my lack of nursing experience, my comment was made with lack of better words. I did forget to mention that ADN don't only do beside nursing but most other things do require a BSN, like management jobs and teaching jobs. But it was not intended towards the meaning you are jumping on. I agree with you, ADN nurses can be just as good as BSN nurses. It all really depends on the person themself. But don't you agree that if one wanted to go to graduate school they should go straight for the BSN? Also, if one didn't want to do all the things that doesn't require a BSN, they might as well go for the ADN? That was all there was to my comment. I think you read into it way more than the actual meaning.
  8. by   live4today
    Cynthiann...I respect where you are at in your nursing career. With time in the field, you will see more into where I am coming from having been in the field sixteen plus years now. No disrespect to you at all for your choice of doing the BSN route first.

    In answer to your questions:

    I do NOT think the best nurses are BSN nurses. Actually, the BEST nurses that I have worked with are Diploma Grads. When I first started out as a nurse in 1987, doctors often preferred the diploma grads over any other grad because they knew their stuff and knew it well.

    If I were in charge of setting up the very best nursing program today, I would make all students go through the ADN program of study first, then work at least one year before pursuing the BSN course of study.

    I would also eliminate much of the "useless courses" BSNs take in becoming a nurse.

    It should only take MAX one year to complete a BSN from an ADN standpoint. That one year (sometimes done in 9 months in some states) would include the one course ADNs do not get in their course of study which is Community Health Nursing.

    The Masters level of nursing should include the stats and management aspect of nursing........not at any other level.

    I would only hire Master trained nurses to be in management at my hospital that I hope to own one day.

    Sometimes going straight for the gold causes one to miss the precious training from working with silver before one is refined enough like bronze to go on in one's career. Steps in life have lessons that need to be learned and not bypassed.
  9. by   Cynthiann
    Again you are taking all of my comment out of context.

    I never said I was doing the BSN program but I may decide to since it's way easier to get into than the ADN program. I was rejected from the local ADN program with a 4.0 GPA but we do no interviews for the program.

    So, from what I gather from your comments you are saying that BSN nurses are not as good as other nurses? Do you think straight BSN programs are worthless unless it's a RN-BSN program?

    The only reason I responded to this thread in the first place was because I was reconsidering becoming a nurse mainly because of all the horror stories I've read here and heard from family that work in hospitals about nursing. I wanted to ask the original poster about the program they are in and why they decided to choose nursing. I was thinking that I'd rather specialize in one area and go to a shorter program due to financial problems. Then if I still want to do nursing I have experience that will help me.

    I've heard it repeated here over and over, people recommending someone who intends to do other things that requires a BSN, that they might as well go the BSN route. Pretty much the same thing I said. I never once seen them get flamed for it.
  10. by   rt_to_nurse
    Whew! Thanks for the replies so far.

    To answer a few questions:
    I'm a she.
    I'm currently studying to be an RT because at 32 I have never before worked in the medical field. When I decided I wanted to start a career in healthcare I did a lot of research to decide which career would suit me best. I actually did some of the research here as a lurker!

    I didn't choose nursing originally because I thought I should get my feet wet in an associated medical role. Nursing seemed too daunting to me. Now that I've been in school a year (and in clinicals), I am beginning to see that maybe I should have chosen nursing in the first place.

    I really enjoy working with patients and am enjoying Respiratory Therapy but I think in the long run nursing has more to offer (better salary, more opportunity for career advancement) than respiratory does. That is why I'm going to continue on to nursing after RT.

    The reason I wanted to know if it was better to do ADN (and then maybe RN to BSN) or just a straight BSN is that I wanted to make sure I didn't make the wrong schooling decision again.

    I'm really leaning towards ADN so that I can get out and work in the field. Then, while I'm working as a nurse, I'll probably go ahead and finish the RN to BSN just so that I can move up (Head Nurse) or continue schooling (Nurse Practitioner, CNA) if I choose to.

    Thanks again for all of the replies and keep them coming. Also let me know if you have any more questions for me.
  11. by   Cynthiann
    Hi rt_to_nurse,

    I, personally, think either route will be good regardless. Obviously some thing ADN first is better and vice versa. I think it more depends on the individual between your situation, your goals, and the type of programs available to you.

    I'm currently considering becoming an RT first because the program is shorter and it's easier to get into. But, like you, I may still want to be a nurse. For my situation, becoming an RT is much more easier right now. I'd like to know what exactly made you look back at nursing again? Just because there are more opportunities as a nurse? Another reason I'm considering it is because one of the biggest hospital in my area pays the same for RNs and RTs. You don't have to answer me on this board since the conversation is directed towards the RT profession, you can email me through the link in my profile.
  12. by   rt_to_nurse
    The main reason I decided that nursing would ultimately be better for me is that it really does have so much more opportunity than Respiratory Therapy. As an RT your options are pretty much : Hospital, homecare, sleep studies, cardiopulmonary rehab and PFTs. (As I'm new to this, I may be wrong but this is my perception of things right now.) As a nurse, you can do so much more: Hospital, LTC, homecare, school nurse, corporate nurse, flight nurse, research nurse, ob-gyn, trauma nurse, ICU nurse, etc., etc., etc.

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say the programs in your area are hard to get in to. If it is because there is a wait, I recommend you go ahead and apply to nursing school and then spend the wait getting as many prerequisites / non nursing classes out of the way as you can.

    Once I finish my RT associates, I'll only have to take 1-2 classes a year for the next couple of years to get my ADN because I'll already have many of the classes completed. This will allow me to focus on the nursing classes.

    If I had to do it over again, I'd probably go straight into nursing. However, I am not going to regret my decision. I am enjoying RT right now and I am truly getting a lot out of it. I feel that I'll have a very strong understanding of cardiopulmonary care and a good backround in ventilator management. I know that I can use that knowledge to be the best nurse I can be.
  13. by   Cynthiann
    Well, at my school there is no waiting list. Each year all the applicants are reviewed through a point system. It's almost impossible to get in without every single one of the pre-reqs done. I only have two classes left and was still rejected with a 4.0 GPA. I'm considering the RT program because I can graduate a whole year sooner and I will have all of my ADN pre-reqs completed already. Actually I will only have a few BSN pre-reqs left and might just go straight for the BSN since it's less competitive because there are less applicants and more spots.

    I'm glad to hear that you didn't regret your decision. Once you start nursing school, I'd like to hear how your knowledge as a RT helped you.
  14. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Cynthiann
    ..............So, from what I gather from your comments you are saying that BSN nurses are not as good as other nurses? Do you think straight BSN programs are worthless unless it's a RN-BSN program?
    Cynthiann........Just starting out as nurses, ADNs have a much easier time of adapting to patient care than BSNs from what I have seen with my own eyes in working with new BSN grads and having precepted them before.

    That is NOT to say they do not eventually become just as good as any other nurse who chose a different path of becoming a licensed nurse.

    NO......I do NOT think straight BSN programs are worthless provided those nurses in the BSN programs are receiving excellent clinicals at least for the last two years of their program.
    Too much textbook and not enough clinical is NOT a good thing for any student hoping to become a nurse. A good mix of both is good, but more clinical should be stressed to prepare them more for the immediate introduction into being a licensed nurse.

    The time to learn clinical skills is NOT while being precepted especially since Preceptors are NOT paid as Instructors to train graduate nursing students in this capacity.

    I'm ALL FOR higher education and certification if that's what the job requires, or simply if that is what an individual wants for themselves. Heck, I'm going back to college myself, so why would I down that opportunity for anyone else. NOT!

    If you feel going straight to a four year school for the nursing program suits you best, then I wish you well in your endeavors. As I said before, the choice of routes in becoming a nurse is up to each person making that choice. I cannot speak for what is best for you or anyone else, but from my own professional perspective over the years as a RN, BSN grads do not have an edge over other grads when it comes to direct patient care, etc. In time they become stronger, but the transition from the BSN program into the hospital setting as an inpatient nurse is a more challenging for them than it is for ADN grads and Diploma grads.

    Where I currently work, I have heard quite a few BSN grads interning there say to me they wish they could have had the same training as the ADN grads they are orienting with because they notice how much more prepared they are, and less afraid to approach patient care than they are. Many of them have voiced how "lost" they feel in the clinical setting.

    This may not be true for all BSNs....I'm sure of that......but for the average BSN grad, I'd bet it is.

    Good luck to you in your nursing endeavors no matter what educational route you take!

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