bsn or asn?

  1. Hey guys!

    Is two years of a bsn program more rigorous than two years of an asn program?
    I will graduate from college this year, and want to go back for nursing. I don't know if I should go the bsn route or asn route.

    I will already have the first two years done for the bachelor's degree... so what do you think? It is very frustrating trying to decide what is best for me!
  2. Visit schoolforever profile page

    About schoolforever

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 27


  3. by   LadyFree28
    No...I've experienced an ADN program (did not pass; did not know I had test anxiety; was excellent in knowing concepts, and note taking and studying; professor thought I would make it), and a BSN program (successfully passed; loads of support in terms of combating test anxiety, etc., even though I was an LPN in the program; I competed the program in its entirety and learned new concepts along the way).

    Nursing school is rigorous, period...there is another thread that one of our well seasoned posters give a EXCELLENT reason in getting the BSN....I hope she reposts!

    You will also have people come on this thread and state BSN programs are not rigorous, yet never attended one as an entry level student.
  4. by   schoolforever
    Wow thanks!! I have test anxiety too :/ boo!
  5. by   krisiepoo
    Personally I'd go the BSN route because more hospitals are looking to that vs an ADN. I'm 65 days from graduating with my ADN and know I'd have a much easier time getting a job if I went for the BSN instead... look at the job trends in your area, what are the job ads saying (or implying?)
  6. by   schoolforever
    Well, plenty of people get hired with ADN's where I live, so that really isn't the issue. I just wanted to know what the course load was like in a two year bsn vs. adn. I know the BSN program has you taking more classes, but are the classes just more balanced? I don't know what it would be like to have 5 nursing classes vs. 1 class for my first semester. I know the ADN program only has you taking fundamentals first semester, while the BSN has you taking 5. Any advice?
  7. by   schoolforever
  8. by   nurseprnRN
    Quote from LadyFree28

    Nursing school is rigorous, period...there is another thread that one of our well seasoned posters give a EXCELLENT reason in getting the BSN....I hope she reposts!
    Would that be me? Even if not, here's my take.
    This is one of the most contentious issues in nursing: the level of education needed for a profession. As many of the NN'rs know, I come down squarely on the side of a BS in Nursing or BSN (not a BA or "BAS," whatever that is) as entry-level educational preparation. When I had smaller kids and they asked me a question, I always asked them, "Do you want the short answer or the long one?" Since I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they ever said, "Short" and still have enough left over for the Boy Scout salute, here it is again.

    (Disclaimer: Have worked as a staff nurse, inservice/staff development, instructor, NCLEX prep course instructor, case manager in multiple settings, and other stuff too numerous to mention. In short, been around, seen that, done that.)

    What's a profession? Is nursing a profession? What's the basic educational prep for people you think of as professionals? Would you want your chemistry research done by someone with an associate degree? Your child taught high school math or English? Your income tax advising? Sure, there are good people with lower level education who succeed in life, but don't let that "we all have the same license and sit for the same exam" fool you. Better education makes you better at what you do. There are any number of people who can give you examples of BSNs or MNs who don't know how to take a rectal temp (why does everyone focus on that and bedpans when they think of nursing, anyway?) and marvelous crusty old LPNs who saved the resident's butt one dark and stormy night, but for every single one of those I will see your anecdote and raise you half a dozen godawful errors made by nurses who didn't take the coursework and didn't get exposed to the idea of autonomy in school.

    Time: The bachelor's degree takes four years. The associate's degree (AS or ASN) takes ... three and a half, once you count all the prerequisites you're going to have to take before they admit you into the nursing program. And those who say you can work on your BSN while you are working as an RN with an AS don't tell you (and maybe don't know, to be charitable) that many of your course hours from the AS program are not transferrable, so it won't just be a matter of a semester or two or three. AND working as a nurse is HARD, almost as hard as nursing school ... think you'll have the mental, physical, social, and financial energy for more education at the same time? Oh, and in most jurisdictions you can't sit for the LPN exam and work as one while partway thru a AS or BSN program anymore, either.

    And "there are only a few differences, just a leadership course and a research course, I don't need that." Well, if hospitals are hiring more BSNs than anything else, and making up the staff with unlicensed personnel. you'd better have some theory at least in management, because you'll be managing every day even if you aren't a charge nurse. And evidence-based practice gets more important every year in this health care milieu, so you'd better be able to recognise the difference between good and bad "research."

    Job opportunities: Although the old a-nurse-is-a-nurse-is-a-nurse attitude is fortunately fading away, at entry level for new grads, about the same, and I realize that people who are just starting out have a very incomplete idea of what it means to be a nurse. However, look around the place and see who's working. Are you planning to be older some day? Do you see older nurses working in those entry-level staff or charge positions? If not, where did they all go? Why do you care? Well, suppose you work on a general medical floor and get entranced by cardiac rehabilitation after following a patient who did it. A job comes up in the department, hooray! Oops, BSN only. Or you find your heart drawn to helping underserved women in a public health clinic for high-risk pregnancy. Sorry, BSN only in public health. After five or six years as a staff nurse you have become a resource to new hires and your peers and you realize you have a gift for teaching. You see that a position in staff development has come open, and you are first in line at HR to apply. You got it.... BSN is the minimum. School nursing? BSN. Hurt your back and want to go for a job in case management? BSN. You discover you have a gift for asking, "Why do we do it this way?" and are amazed to find you want to look into jobs in management or nursing research.....BSN minimum. And if you look at the regular old want ads for nurses in the paper, you will see more and more and more of them say "BSN preferred/ required." And if BSN is becoming "preferred/required," then exactly how is getting the BSN later going to help you now? You are starting to get the picture now. Also, many, many practice settings give you a differential for BSN. No, I know, not all, but hey. One more factor.

    Growth: The questions in the licensure exams (NCLEX) are developed from errors made in the first year of practice by new grads, and regardless of pass rates from different level programs, anyone in practice can confirm the research: In the first year of work all new grads perform at about the same level as they get their feet under them and get used to the idea of working as an RN. But after that year, the BSNs pull ahead in ways that are related to their higher level of education. Why? Because what we call in the ed biz "psychomotor skills," the things you do with your hands, can be done by anyone with enough practice. Hell, we teach lay people how to do peritoneal dialysis at home or suction tracheostomies. But the understanding of WHY some things are as they are is something you get in better education: more science, more sociology, more psychology, more history, a basic statistics class, exposure to more clinical settings (I doubt if you'll get a full semester in peds, psych, OB, or any public health at all in any AS program) give you the insight to ask better questions and make better decisions.

    If you really want to be a NURSE, don't you want to find yourself in the camp of folks who are grateful they learned more, rather than the ones who find they had to for advancement or competence and wish they'd done it in the first place? My answer is clear.
  9. by   schoolforever
    Wait, is there really a difference between a BSN and a BA in nursing? The school I go to now offers a BA in nursing for people that already have four year degrees, although I don't see what is so different about it from the other program?

    Any insight?
  10. by   nurseprnRN
    I have seen those. It's not really a clinical nursing degree and wouldn't count for a BSN if it's what I'm thinking.
    It's probably more like a BA in management for nurses with basic nursing education of some kind (they used to admit people with diplomas and associate's degrees, though I don't know if they still do); you can probably look up the courses in the catalog on line. I have seen those. It's not really a clinical nursing degree and wouldn't count for a BSN if it's what I'm thinking.
  11. by   schoolforever
    Really? Weird. I'll have to bring it up when I meet with the nursing recruiter at my school. Online it says they offer a BSN and a bachelor's in nursing for people who already have a bachelor's. The school I go to now seems like a good fit for me, personally. Small class sizes, etc. I would hate to go to a community college where the professors don't care about anything besides failing you. I want support!
  12. by   nurseprnRN
    That would be an ABSN, accelerated BSN, often configured for someone with a bachelor's in something else (assuming the science prerequisites are in place). Not a "BA in nursing." That makes more sense.
  13. by   schoolforever
    No, it's still a two year program. I've looked into ABSN's but I would rather take it the slow and steady route. Maybe it's just something weird on their websites; websites tend to be wrong.
  14. by   LadyFree28
    Yes Grn, I was referring to you. Glad you made it over here!