ADN/BSN Argument

  1. Just want to see what everyone's opinion is on this. I have heard so many times from ADN students/graduates that ADN is the best way to go because you get more clinical time. I don't see this - at my area community college the ADN nursing semesters are only half as many credit hours as the BSN program at the university. The extra hours for the BSN are theory classes; it is not theory instead of clinicals, it is theory in addition to clinicals. What is it like in your area - are ADN students really more clinically-prepared than BSN students?

    Please keep in mind that I am not trying to spark a ADN vs BSN which-is-better debate. I am only trying to determine why ADN students think they have more time in clinicals, and if this is true, then why the extra time? I am not saying one program is better than the other, or trying to decide which program to go into personally, just curious as to why this clinical argument exists. Opinions anyone?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   crnasomeday
    Hi again Shy...I seem to be responding to lots of your posts lately I'm glad that you brought this up, because I posted this same thing on another thread a while back and no one had a reply. I don't know where everyone gets the idea that ADN programs have more clinical time than BSN programs. I'm currently in a BSN program. We begin our clinical rotations in the fifth semester, so by the time we're done we have had four semesters of clinicals. We do clinicals for Med-Surg, OB, Peds, Community Health Nursing, Psych, Advanced Med-Surg, and then an area of our choice. I figured out all our clinical hours, and I found that by the time we graduate we log right around 1500 hours total in the clinical setting. That's in addition to another 120 (I think) hours that we spend in skills labs practicing different nursing skills on computerized manequin patient simulators (those are really cool) and each other. I have never understood where that idea that BSN grads haven't had as much clinical training comes from. I even compared our program to one of the ADN programs in my area and found that we had more clinical time because the ADN program doesn't do a community health nursing rotation.
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    I am in a BSN program.

    We take clinicals starting in the 5th semester. We have 129 credit hours to take to complete our degree. We do not get credit for clinical hours, but we take 1650 hours in clinicals which are set by 1 specialties per semester

    Med-Surg/Geriatric rehab & OB/Peds
    Critical Care/ Rural Public Health
    Community Mental Health/ Clinical Elective.

    I do not believe that ADN clinical hours outnumber ours. My school ranks 1st in a 4 state area for their nursing program, but i know that many others have nearly the same requirements. the ADN programs around northeast missouri so not offer their students any critical care, or mental health experience, and only limited OB. Many of my friends on this board are ADNs, so I would never say that one is better than the other clinically. My program however completes 20 hours of clinicals a week. A community college in the area sends ADNs over to work at the same hospital as us for many of their clinicals. We get there 2 hours before the ADN students, and we leave 2 hours after them. We overshoot their clinical hours by almost 700 hours.
    Last edit by BrandyBSN on Jul 14, '01
  5. by   kennedyj
    The number of clinicals to theory ratio depends on the school more than anything. They have a certain number they must meet in order to be a certified program. Some schools go over the standard amount of clinical hours than required.

    We had a BSN school and an ADN school that did clinicals in the same hospital. I would see many of the ADN students and made friends with a few of them (the hotties- lol). The med surge clinicals were about the same in hours but the specialties like OB, and Peds. were much different. The ADN students only observed in peds and OB. We did a whole semester of clinicals in each. But these are areas you could always learn afterwards. But I wouldn't say you get more clinic hours maybe in med/surge and a higher clinical to theory ratio but not total hours in the end. Total clinical hrs would be much more in a BSN with (peds, OB, community health, fundamentals, etc..)

    Jared
  6. by   janleb
    I am in a adn program. we have six quarters, and we have clinicals once a week for the first two quarters, twice a week for the third-sixth quarter. Prior to even beginning the nursing program we are required to take a nursing aid training class that is 10 weeks and 24hours of clinical time. The first three quarters are spent on a med surgical unit, with rotations in same daysurgery, er, and icu. And if requested we are allowed to go to other areas of the hospital if we want. The second year quarters 4-6we have rotations in psych/ob, and then medsugicalII. then we go to an area of our choice like peds or whatever else you want to do. The last quarter we do our preceptorship. So it seems that we get almost the same clinical time. But with an BSN degree you are more prepared for administrative duties, i think. I would like others opinions on this too.
  7. by   kennedyj
    In Our BSN program we did;


    Health assessment ( community assessments but paper fudged)

    3-4 month clinicals
    Fundamentals of nursing 2 days/week 8hrs a day
    Jr med/srg I&II- 2days/week 8 hrs
    sr adv medsurge - 2 days week 8hrs
    peds- 2 days week
    Psych- 1 day a week 8 hrs
    Community Health- 1 day a week with 5 half days in clinics

    OB- 18 hrs prep lab and 1 day 12hrs a week x 2 1/2 months.
  8. by   kennedyj
    In Our BSN program we did;


    Health assessment ( community assessments but paper fudged)

    3-4 month clinicals
    Fundamentals of nursing 1 day/week 8hrs a day
    Jr med/srg I&II- 2days/week 8 hrs
    sr adv medsurge - 2 days week 8hrs
    peds- 2 days week
    Psych- 1 day a week 8 hrs
    Community Health- 1 day a week with 5 half days in clinics

    OB- 18 hrs prep lab and 1 day 12hrs a week x 2 1/2 months.


    The medsrge clinical time is probably the same. I am not sure how much time is spent in Peds and OB. Many ADN programs do a brief period in these areas instead of like regular clinicals. We did about 16 8hr days in peds and OB.
  9. by   janleb
    I have noticed that BSN students get more Peds clinical time. We barely touch on peds, and community health in the ADN. I don't care how I become a nurse, just so I graduate and am competent to care for my patients.
  10. by   peaceful2100
    I don't know how it is in other areas but I notice with the ADN vs the BSN programs in my area. The ADN's do not have as much PED's as the BSN does and the ADN's do not have the community/public health. I will say that the ADN's at one community college in my area have an extra semester of Adult health in place for the community/public health and the PED's. AT my school in our last semester senior year in the BSN program we get to do a nine week clinical practicum in an area of our choice whether it be community health, labor delivery, PEDS, NICU, mother baby, OR, ICU and many other areas and it is providing us with an Autonomous function in a clinical setting and we are working with an RN on the floor. We start a small 3 day clinical in our fourth semester then the fifth semester we go more in depth. I think maybe many ADN's think that they get more clinical hours because they do not have as much theory classes to take. Also keep in mind that there are some ADN programs that will have more clinical hours than some BSN programs and vice versa there will be some BSN programs that will have more clinical hours than an ADN program but EVERY program must meet a MINIMUM number of hours to be considered a good program and accredited it is up to the individual school if they want to exceed the MINIMUM amount. ALL students should be getting the BASICS and the SKILLS that are NEEDED to be a good nurse starting out.
  11. by   justbegun
    I'm not sure why there would be a question of who gets more clinical hours. All that should matter is that you apply correctly what you learned in either the ADN or BSN program. I have orientation on Monday, July 30th for the ADN program that starts at a nearby college in August. I chosed the ADN program because I would be out of school within 2 years. Then here's another thing that some people don't know. At most 4 year universities, if you are an RN that graduated with an ADN, you can complete there BSN program in a year, which will mean you earned a BSN in 3 years instead of the 4 yrs or more that it takes if you go straight into a 4 year program. At the University of Alabama in Birmingham(UAB), they have a BSN-MSN program that would actually allow you to earn a Master's in 5 extra semesters, which adds up to an extra 1 1/2 years. That would mean that the 4 years it would take to earn your RN at a 4 year university, you could have a MSN instead. That's the route I plan to take. One more thing, my sister inlaw is asst. DON with only an ADN. Then I know several ADNs with DON positions. Go figure!
  12. by   kennedyj
    Very true. You can get a BSN from an ADN in about a year but with most people it takes 1 1/2 years (depends on how many classes you want to take. I am in a MSN program currently and find that it would be just about impossible to finish in 1 1/2 years. It usually takes 2 years full time. I am doing mine in about 2 1/2 because I am working full time also. You can do ADN - BSN and also MSN online w/ a preceptor of your choice.

    Many hospitals like BSN new grads because of their extra clinical hours. It gives a little jump start, but doesn't mean that a BSN grad will be a better nurse. We had some scary students in my class like I am sure every class does.There are many great nurses in ADN and BSN nursing.

    When I was in my BSN program I took an independent study course in L&D for 3 months. My preceptor was an ADN. She was incredible and I would recommend her as a preceptor to anyone.
    When I finished my BSN I continued to keep working on this unit. Even though I had a higher degree it doesn't mean I am a better nurse. I continued to learn much from here and the other ADN and BSN nurses.

    Jared
    Last edit by kennedyj on Jul 28, '01

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ADN/BSN Argument