two year RN degree programs

  1. I am starting a two-year degree for associates. A LPN who will be getting her RN this may says that RN's with a two year degree lack a lot of skill and training. What do others think about this?

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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   TracyRN
    OOOOh, them's fightin' words!! So what if they're true?!? I went thru an Associate degree program: no experience to RN in only 3 short (yet agonizingly long) years. Don't let that LPN discourage you from going thru with your original plan, though. When she started as an LPN, she was clueless, too. We all were (if we'll admit it). Those diploma nurses of olde were probably the best prepared since they actually learned pretty much on the job. School gives you the bare basics in skills and a bunch of book learning. You spend the rest of your career learning. Just don't make the mistake of thinking you'll come out of school with "SUPER NURSE" emblazoned across your chest and you should be okay. Whatever route you decide to take to start your career in nursing, good luck.
  4. by   Sue Wernet
    Hi,
    I am a Associate Degree (2 yr) RN and I'll have to admit back in 1975 when I graduated I felt like we did not get nearly enough clinical experience and thus I probably didn't feel as confident as I would have if we had had more experience. It is worth it to get your RN even if it is just a 2yr because then you can work and get RN pay and continue in school if you want for your BSN as I am looking into now. If I had to do it over or was advising someone, I'd have them go to a 4 year program right from the start because you'd have much more confidence and many more opportunities for jobs and better pay. When I went to school, I didn't think I'd last for 4 years, as I was married. But it would have been well worth it not to have to do it now in order to get more pay and the type of job I want which is school nursing. (ahhh, to have the same days off and summers off with my kids and daytime hours!!!) Anyway good luck!
    Sue


    Originally posted by almostrn:
    I am starting a two-year degree for associates. A LPN who will be getting her RN this may says that RN's with a two year degree lack a lot of skill and training. What do others think about this?

  5. by   carolk
    Originally posted by almostrn:
    I am starting a two-year degree for associates. A LPN who will be getting her RN this may says that RN's with a two year degree lack a lot of skill and training. What do others think about this?

    I graduated from a 2 year RN program after being an LPN for 15 years and don't regret one second of it. In my experience 4 year RN programs produce useless RN's in terms of "working" experience. They are put in charge and don't have a clue because they never have worked. I am finally going after my bachelor degree but have been in an administrative role for the past 15 years. Don't be discouraged, you will make a great RN!

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  6. by   txcrna2be
    Actually, both situations are true. The LVN(TX) program I attended was a very intense time. Even though the program was only one year long, I received between 25 and 33 hours of classroom instruction in addition to 8 to 16 hours of clinical experience each week. All of this was coupled with careplans that had to be honed until the wee hours of the morning. 'Cuz if your eyes weren't bloodshot and you weren't yawning when you handed it to the instructor, you didn't work hard enough on it.

    In the same community, the ADN student only attended 12 to 14 hours of didactics and 16 hours of clinical. Granted, it was for 27 months instead of 12. I would have to say that the quality of LVN's that have been turned out of that school was far above average. The RN's were average for the most part.

    Historically, the strongest clinicians I have worked with have been LVN's. Even though they are not always sure exactly why they are doing what they are doing...they're pretty dog-goned good at it...again...this is generally speaking.
  7. by   Tim-GNP
    And when I graduated from my BSN program, I lacked skills and experience as well... the only way you get skills/experience is to be a nurse and practice every day... REGARDLESS of degree, time and a willingness to learn will even the playing field.
  8. by   lkushen
    I too am an ADN Graduate, and went right into critical care as a new grad! Our local community college provides a wonderful 2 year degree. I felt well prepared. What new nurse doesn't lack skills when first getting started! That's what preceptors and eventually mentors are for. Face it, we all have learned most of what we know on the job. It is our duty to pass on what we know to others for the benefit of the patients. I have also since attained my BSN, and have plans to begin my MSN later this year. Don't be discouraged by the LPN's words. Keep with your original plan, and find a wonderful mentor when you are done. Remember, just because you've graduated doesn't mean you are done learning. That applies to any level of degree! Good Luck!
  9. by   Hypoxic Pixel Eyes
    Regardless of what program you attend you will be in the "real world" of patient care when you get your first assingment.
    Your situation is similar to what mine was.In respiratory therapy at the time it was either a one year or two year program that everyone was trying to decide on.I opted for the short program but failed to consider the transferrability to a higher degree and got stuck there.
    After finishing a one year "crash course" in respiratory therapy I filled in the gaps in my training to get prepared for national certification and passed on my first try. I continued to study what I thought the curriculum had been lacking after I had been
    in the field because I felt my patients would get better care and I would be as "respected" as those with the same skill level.I passed ACLS certification and eventually became a therapist that nurses and docs would talk to about patient care,that is,until they would find out that I came from a one year program.Eventually no matter what your skill level you are human and you will make a mistake and it will be because you went to "that other program".
    Many ADN programs are transferrable into BSN degree programs.I consider myself a BSN student just that after 2 years a will take my ADN and the RN exam making darn sure I pass it.I will then finish my degree with two more years after I have begun to work "in the real world".I will be a better prepared nurse to serve my patients and after my BSN is compleated I will have two years actual experience over my counterparts from 4 year programs.How could you be more prepared than that?
    When I was an R.T. I always considered nurses to be the focal point of patient care
    and coveted thier relationships with patients
    and from that standpoint saw no difference in patient satisfaction between the two and four year degree nurses but then I've never worked as a nurse before so we shall see.
    good luck to you whatever you decide.
  10. by   beckymcrn
    I am a 2 yr degree graduate. I completely disagree with your LPN friend. I have been working pretty much since graduation in 1996 in a hospital setting as an RN. We all RN associate degree, and RN BSN work side by side there is no distinction between the level of pratice I give and the level of pratice the BSN nurse gives. Just an FYI as an added boost for you my supervisor also has a associates degree.
    I do agree that furthering your education is good thing but I work with nurses who have never gone any further than associates degree and they are terrific and well respected nurses!

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  11. by   burger914
    I used to ask myself the same question. I am going to graduate from a Two year program in May. I work at a hospital that employs both 2 and 4 year student nurses. All the four year students and the hospital staff agree that we get more actual clinical experience than they do. Most four year colleges in my area spend the first 2 years doing class work, no clinicals. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely feel that I need to go on with schooling, nursing is constantly changing!! I think a lot of learning is on the job though. You can't possibly learn everything in two years or four for that matter!!! So whatever works for you is what you should do!!! Good luck
  12. by   MARTRN
    Hey there,
    Well, first of all, i would like to say that for an ADN program, it takes longer than 2 years. Try 3 years. YOu have to take several prerequisites before even being considered for the program. The bottom line is this, in my opinion, we all take the same state board exam. I totally believe in furthering one's education,however, i do believe that as a nurse, one will learn most on the job. I am an ADN graduate, and i have met some of the finest LVN's out in the field. They are successful,because of their experiences in the field. I haven't heard of an easy Nursing curriculum yet, Nursing school is hard No matter what program you are in. OUr class started with 65 and we graduated 25. All programs deserve respect, and you need to do what your heart desires. Most adn's probably wish that they could have attained their BSN, and most want to someday achieve that, but a lot of us do what is more convenient at the time. If you can attain your BSN without any problems, i would go for it. good luck.
  13. by   angelnurse
    I am presently considering going for my bsn. I already have a ad. I will be attending a transitional program that would allow me to do this in 1 year. I don't think that 1 year would make no difference in my clinical skills. It would prepare more as far as theory is concern. It would teach me managerial skills. But a change in my degree will not make me no different. I don't care if you just got out of school with a bsn, adn, lpn, or cna, cashier ( whatever). Learning is learning for us all when we have someone ( nursing instructor) there correcting our mistakes. but once they let us go into the real world world we are all on the same level "TRYING" to apply what we have learned. So go and take 4 years of your time and study for bsn and when you finish come be my supervisor. But if anything were to happen to me and I had to leave, would you have enough skills to properly care for my patients. NO. just the basic knowledge that I acquired in my 2 year program. So you see it really doesnt make a difference. We are all paid the same.
  14. by   TXERRN
    I have my ADN and am proud of ADN RN's. I interviewed for my first job out of school and the employers told me they would rather hire ADN's because, and I quote, "you have more clinical experience and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty". I got into an ER internship program over BSN graduates. BSN's are gradutated thinking they should go into management. I can say that because I am currently completing my BSN, so BSN's, please don't yell at me, because I am soon to be one. Why they think this I do not know, because you get absolutely NO managment training with a BSN. The only difference is some community health classes. I am getting my BSN only for personal fulfillment. I will get NO more money or recognition. Most managers and charge nurses all have ADN's. I work with some of the best LVN's there are. In Texas, LVN's do the same things that RN's do, they push meds, participate in codes, do conscious sedation with RN's, everything. They simply get paid less. I don't feel that their education is equal to an RN, in assessment, planning and evaluation, but their skills and care-giving are equal. I say go for what you feel is right for you at this time. Later you can always go further. I am living proof.


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    TX ER RN

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