Is there a difference between BS with major in Nursing and a BSN?

  1. 0
    Hello everyone. I just graduated with my ASS in nursing and now work as an RN. This fall, I will start the bachelor's program through Oregon Health and Science University (my classes are online, but my clinicals will be in my hometown). Anywhooooo.... I have a question regarding the degree I am seeking. I have done some research but still don't know a real answer.

    Is there a difference between when something says a Bachelor's of Science with a major in Nursing and when something says BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing)????

    The reason I asked is because somebody who just graduated from Oregon Health and Science University's Nursing Program has come to my town to start working as an RN.

    Her name badge says RN, BS. I asked her why it says BS instead of BSN and she said it's because she doesn't have a BSN, she just has a BS. She also said her major was in nursing (hense, the reason she now works as an RN). She said she did not know this until shortly before graduation!

    So basically, I'm confused. I didn't know there was a difference. My program info documents says stuff like : Bachelor's of Science with a major in Nursing, and then later documents will say BSN.

    So what am I going to get?!?!? Any ideas, opinions, clarifications would be appreciated!

    Thanks!!

    Kayla, RN

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    Yes, there is a difference.

    Perhaps llg, vickyRN or another poster with academic experience could explain the difference. It is my understanding that it has to do with the science content of the curriculum and/or whether the degree is issued by a college within a university (such as the College of Nursing of State University) vs a department within a university (such as the nursing department of State University).

    In terms of employment, I don't believe it matters whether an RN's degree is a BS with a major in Nursing or a BSN.

    I don't know if it matters in terms of applying to grad school, though.

    I do know that in our senior year, it was drilled into our heads that our degrees would be BS with a major in Nursing, and our nametags were not to read BSN after graduation.
  4. 0
    One of the universities here offers a BS in nursing, not a BSN. Their program is exactly like any other but it is in the College of Math and Science. They don't have a separate College of Nursing. Maybe this is the difference in the degree title...I don't know. They have a good NCLEX rate and their graduates find jobs. I wouldn't worry about the title.
    Good Luck!
  5. 2
    The above posters are right. The degree offered depends upon the organization of the school. Some universities have separate "schools" or "colleges" that issue degrees in a specific discipline -- i.e. BSN. Other colleges/universities have their "nursing department" within a larger college or school that offers a general degree (i.e. BS) with a major in a specific discipline.

    For the students, it doesn't make any significant difference. However, it does indicate a difference administrative hierarchy for the faculty and administrators.

    The difference between a BA and a BS (or an MA vs MS) is in whether the course of study emphasis the "art" or practice of the discipline or whether it emphasizes the "science" of the discipline (i.e. research, theory, knowledge base, etc.).
    Jolie and missjennmb like this.
  6. 0
    Interesting. I never knew this. I have a BSN from (Insert city here) State College School of Nursing...I didn't realize that it was possible to have a BS with a major in nursing, but not have it be a BSN.
  7. 0
    thanks for the responses everyone! the information makes sense. so, the school i am attending is Oregon Health and Science University's "School of Nursing". And according to this new RN whose name badge said BS, she must have attended OHSU's School of Nursing as well. Interesting! So it would make sense that a "School of Nursing" would give out BSN like llg mentioned, because they are more specific, but i guess not! I'm going to do some further research, maybe just call up OHSU. It would be interesting to know if it makes a difference when applying to grad school.
  8. 0
    It won't make any difference in applying to graduate school. As I said before, the title of the degree, BSN or BS(Nursing major), is usuall simply a matter of how the university is organized in terms to its governance, committee structure, etc. It may also be based on tradition related to how the school used to be organized in the past. It's no big deal.
  9. 0
    Quote from kaylajane08
    Hello everyone. I just graduated with my ASS in nursing and now work as an RN. This fall, I will start the bachelor's program through Oregon Health and Science University (my classes are online, but my clinicals will be in my hometown). Anywhooooo.... I have a question regarding the degree I am seeking. I have done some research but still don't know a real answer.

    Is there a difference between when something says a Bachelor's of Science with a major in Nursing and when something says BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing)????

    The reason I asked is because somebody who just graduated from Oregon Health and Science University's Nursing Program has come to my town to start working as an RN.

    Her name badge says RN, BS. I asked her why it says BS instead of BSN and she said it's because she doesn't have a BSN, she just has a BS. She also said her major was in nursing (hense, the reason she now works as an RN). She said she did not know this until shortly before graduation!

    So basically, I'm confused. I didn't know there was a difference. My program info documents says stuff like : Bachelor's of Science with a major in Nursing, and then later documents will say BSN.

    So what am I going to get?!?!? Any ideas, opinions, clarifications would be appreciated!

    Thanks!!

    Kayla, RN
    I heard you make an extra dime with BSN b/c you have an additional letter, lol.
  10. 0
    Oh, this is so frustrating -- Last year, in a nursing education class the difference was explained to me, but I can't find any notes on it. If I remember correctly, it didn't have anything to do with the configuration of the school as much as the curriculum -- I think the Bach of Sci in Nursing was actually more rigorous.

    For what it's worth, my diploma from OHSU says "Bachelor of Science in Nursing."

    Oh, and if you want to make brownie points at school, it is officially "Oregon Health & Science University." The ampersand [&] is an official part of the name.

    Congrats on starting your bridge program -- are you an OCNE grad?

    If you really want to know, I would email Barbara C. Gaines, EdD, RN -- she is mostly emereta faculty, but she teaches the Curriculum and Instructional Design in Nursing course (part of the Masters in Nursing Ed and the DNP curriculum) and also has a degree related to history of nursing. I believe she was the one who explained this to me. I won't post her email in a public forum, but once you have OHSU email you can access her addy.
  11. 1
    Quote from marachne
    Oh, this is so frustrating -- Last year, in a nursing education class the difference was explained to me, but I can't find any notes on it. If I remember correctly, it didn't have anything to do with the configuration of the school as much as the curriculum -- I think the Bach of Sci in Nursing was actually more rigorous.
    .
    Technically, you might be right about the "rigor" part for that particular school. But that would vary from school to school. Usually, the BS with a major in nursing means that the nursing program is governed by a multidisciplinary group -- and in the world of academia governance by the multidisciplinary university as a whole is more prestigious than being governed by only the discipline of nursing in a separately governed nursing school.

    However, whether or not there is any actual difference in the curricula or standards or not between 2 different programs varies with each different school. For example, a professional school of nursing located within a multidisciplinary university can CHOOSE voluntarily to establish the same academic standards as the other disciplines within the university and be just as rigorous as any in the nation. On the other hand, a university in which the department of nursing is part of the larger, multidisciplinary group can CHOOSE to set very low standards for their programs. Standards can be high or low regardless of the organizational structure of the school. One is not necessarily higher of lower than the other.

    So, the rigor, academic requirements, etc. are determined by each school -- and vary greatly school by school. The organizational structure does not dictate whether the standards are high or low. In fact, I live in a community in which the 2 worst nursing programs offer BS with a major in nursing degrees. That organizational structure is no guarantee of quality. But neither is the BSN degree. Quality of education is a different issue -- and it varies from school to school.

    The key thing for the OP is that Oregon is a fine university with a great reputation. Her degree will be well-respected regardless of its particular title.
    Multicollinearity likes this.


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