ADN or BSN. Advice.

  1. 0
    Hi everybody I am a student at Tarrant County College. I am 20yrs old. I will be applying to the Nursing program at my school next spring. I do not receive any financial aid so I am paying for all my classes. Since I have no money, my original plan was to graduate from TCC with a ADN and a year or two later go back and get my MSN and eventually a DNP.

    Recently I've been thinking of another path. I will work a full time job for the yr. of 2013 and the spring semester of 2014 I will have enough money to transfer to Texas Women's or Tarleton University. Where I will get my BSN.

    I just want some opinions or advice. Which path should I choose. Also, Are nurses with an ADN treated differently by other nurses or physicians?
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  4. 16 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    From what I gathered from working in a hospital (Im only a senior BSN student but worked as a CNA also), there is no difference. Others (coworkers, physicians, etc) would not even know if you are a BSN or ADN unless you actually told them. However, my school emphasizes the importance of a BSN and that the ADN degree is being slowly phased out. I always kinda wondered if they just say that because they are a BSN school, but I don't know for sure. All I can say is that there is not much of a job difference and nobody (besides management) would know which degree you have unless you told them.
  6. 1
    Do you plan to stay and work in Texas? Look at the hospital websites on their job search pages. Do they say "BSN preferred" or "BSN required"? That's important to look at. While there may not be a pay difference ADN vs BSN, it may be a sign of the times. Some hospitals don't care, but others only hire new grads with a BSN, but hire ADN nurses with experience. Sometimes ADN's are only hired if they are enrolled in a BSN program.

    I was lucky enough to qualify for scholarships. Look into healthcare scholarships. They are more bountiful at public universities, not so much private colleges.

    Good luck!
    GrnTea likes this.
  7. 0
    Look at your timeline. If you're considering a BSN or an ADN, you might want to consider applying to both programs simultaneously. If you're accepted into both, choose the one that you're able to financially swing. Just don't apply to the BSN program if you can't afford it yet, because it wouldn't be all that good to start and not finish because you can't afford to. In my case,I had to go to an ADN program because my local 4 year schools weren't allowing 2nd Bachelor's students in to the school. Instead, I can at least get my ADN, go to the 4 year as a post-bacc student, finish prerequisite coursework for entry to an MSN program and while I'm there, find a way to complete my BSN. That's about the only advantage of having an existing Bachelor's degree: Once I have the ADN, I'm only about 30 units away from the BSN, instead of 60-ish upper division units to take.

    Most definitely check out scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
  8. 1
    Like the above poster said make sure you are positive you'd have enough money to go straight for the BSN...I know a girl who had to drop out of her BSN program 2 semesters away from graduating because of money reasons.

    Look at the job postings near you and find out if the hospitals hire ADNs. In some areas of the country it's extremely hard to get a job in a hospital as a new grad without a BSN because of stiff competition. In other areas of the country it doesn't matter. Where I live hospitals hire ADN nurses just as regularly as they hire BSN nurses and there is no pay difference.

    I have never ever seen an ADN nurse treated differently than a BSN nurse. At the hospital I work at I would venture to say the majority of the bedside nurses have their ADN. ADN/BSN take the same NCLEX and are both RNs and have the same scope of practice, and here no one would know what degree you had unless you told them. An RN is an RN.
    atasia1983 likes this.
  9. 1
    People who say they've never seen an ADN nurse treated differently from a BSN nurse haven't worked in HR in a hospital or in industry (yes, there are many, many other options open to nurses than hospital/SNF/LTAC). When you see those "BSN preferred/required" posts often enough, the light will come on. Don't wait for it.

    Get the BSN as soon as you possibly can, even if it's a stretch, because 1) you never know if you'll have another chance, because life gets in the way sometimes, and 2) it is the door to more opportunities later, whether you see them now or not.
    Luckyyou likes this.
  10. 1
    I chose to do an ADN program because it is the most convenient and best option for me. In my area, you can do an RN-BSN program in 1.5 years, so after 3.5 years I'll have a bachelors degree, while it may take 4 or 5 years to get a straight BSN.

    ADN will allow me to start working as a nurse in 2 years, and then I can go back to get my bachelors while still working.

    I think that the path I chose is a good option for me, but it all depends on what you want. Some people find that they never actually end up going back to continue education like they planned (life happens) so getting a straight bachelors could be a good idea.

    I plan to work in a hospital until I get a BSN and MSN so the differences in treatment won't be much of an issue (an RN is an RN is an RN on the floor)
    PMFB-RN likes this.
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    I chose to do a BSN program. I just want to get it done all at once, but if I had gotten into an Associate's program and not a BSN, I would've totally done that. I've also talked to older nurses who have been in the field (mostly in the California Bay Area) and they have been telling me that's there is talk of some hospitals eventually switching to only hiring BSN grads. I also am interested in eventually getting my NP so I would rather get my BSN all at once and then look at NP programs rather than having to look at a RN to BSN program in between. But that's just me! It is the same test you're taking to be a certified nurse.
  12. 0
    There is nothing less honorable in getting your ADN. Many students have limited choices due to financial concerns. It is a lot cheaper. However, BSN is quicker in the long term and it will offer more opportunities for employment. Getting your bachelors is great goal because it fulfills you as a knowledgeable person. If you can get you BSN, go for it. But if getting your ADN is more realistic, people aren't going to look down on you...unless they are already judgmental. In my opinion, your co-workers are going to judge you based on your competence. A lazy, narrow-minded, over-delegating nurse won't get a pass because she/he has a BSN. At the bedside, doctors are usually oblivious to your schooling unless they are being curious and specifically ask how long you went to school. What most of them want to know is whether or not you are a nurse (unless it is specific to your employment requirements). As for nurses, it can be a toss up b/c some of them are already catty and there's nothing you can do about it. I just want to know if you are good at your job...you if can handle your stuff. I went back and got my BSN and it didn't do anything for me at the bedside. I went back because I wanted the option of future opportunities, personal achievement, competitive employment, and my basic need to always learn. No one ever said anything to me about having just an RN because I did my job well. If someone gave me crap about my ADN, I could find a dozen things they do wrong everyday. There are people who constantly tell you how many initials they have behind their name and there are people who you don't even know that they have a masters degree. That's life. Besides, almost everything I have learned for the bedside came from on the job training or other nurses taking me under their wing.

    But if I had to pick between the two, I would have gotten the BSN just to get it done. You do what you have do based on your best options.

    Keep in mind that it's different for grads now because there is a huge supply of BSN's looking for jobs. You have to stay competitive in the market today. I wouldn't build up mountains of extra debt to lessen my chances of judgement. If you get your BSN, do it for you.
  13. 0
    Had I been given a choice from the outset of ADN vs BSN, I'd have gone BSN because it would have been equally speedy for me, or even faster (ABSN) as I already have a Bachelor's Degree. I wouldn't have any more clinical skills, clinical knowledge, or wider scope of practice... but I would have more public health knowledge and more managerial training and therefore be more able to move into management or other leadership position much more readily. I'd also, in theory, be more attuned to research, and also prepared to extend my education into a Nursing Master's program... and further specialize.

    I didn't have that option, so I took the route still open to me, and I still have a fast, open route to BSN as well as a route to an MSN. Might it take a little longer? Sure. When I compare it to having to go BSN from scratch, 3 years (ADN to BSN) is a bit faster than "Street" to BSN (4 or more years).

    Go with what you can afford. If you can afford to do BSN, do it. If you can not, do ADN and then look at bridging to BSN afterward.


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