Bachelors vs. Associate

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    I'm wondering what peoples opinions are regarding a Bachelors or Associates Degree in Nursing. I'm having a hard time deciding wether I want to go to NHCC for ADN or SCSU for BSN. My hubby works at SCSU so I would get a discount on tuition. I hear that the competition into both programs is pretty intense, but I figured if it is going to take me 3 years to get an Associates, why not go for 1 more year to get my Bachelors (assuming I get in on the first try). Oh, I'm confused.....
  2. 19 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Maybe I should add that I'd ultimately like to end up in Maternity or NICU.
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    Go for the bachelors degree. It will open up more doors for you in the future. You will regret it later if you choose the ADN program, because it is hard to get motivated to start school all over again. Bachelor degrees are professional while Associate degrees are technical, 4 years vs 2 years of education. ADN nurses want to be called professional nurses but to do that they need to go back to school. Why should a ADN nurse be classified the same as a BSN nurse? We do not classify CNAs the same as LPNs or LPNs the same as RNs and we should not classify ADN nurses as being the same as BSN nurses.
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    Thanks Miss! I just found out that I will get more than half my credits free since my hubby works at the University I want to attend. So I'm thinking BSN might be the way to go. Does anyone know if you need a BSN in order to work in a NICU or if it's to your advantage?

    I spent a month on hospital bedrest and then my twins were in the NICU for 2 weeks. Those nurses really inspired me!!!
  6. 7
    ADN and BSN both sit for the nclex. Both are able to sign RN after their name.

    While I agree that the BSN route is preferable I wouldn't characterize the difference on a technical vs professional continuum. The only real difference in the training curricula is public health, management and research classes.

    3 basic routes are available.

    2 phase
    LPN then ADN

    ADN program

    BSN

    Given the competition for training seats I would apply to all 3 types of programs.
  7. 0
    Quote from NickieSever
    Thanks Miss! I just found out that I will get more than half my credits free since my hubby works at the University I want to attend. So I'm thinking BSN might be the way to go. Does anyone know if you need a BSN in order to work in a NICU or if it's to your advantage?

    I spent a month on hospital bedrest and then my twins were in the NICU for 2 weeks. Those nurses really inspired me!!!
    The BSN tends to always put you a leg up for being hired to higher end nursing jobs.
  8. 4
    Quote from Miss independent
    Why should a ADN nurse be classified the same as a BSN nurse? We do not classify CNAs the same as LPNs or LPNs the same as RNs and we should not classify ADN nurses as being the same as BSN nurses.
    Ummm, how about because they pass the same licensure exam and have the same scope of practice?? Please don't try to stir up the ol' BSNs-are-better-than-ADNs debate again. If you really want BSN-prepared and ADN-prepared RNs "classified" differently, feel free to lobby your state BON to promulgate regulations creating two separate classes of RNs (and see how far you get with that effort).

    For the OP -- this is a v. personal choice, dependent on quite a few variables. It is true that a BSN will give you a wider range of professional opportunities within nursing. It is also true that "BSN completion" programs for ADN-prepared nurses are widely available, many completely on-line, and are comparatively easy and inexpensive (compared to "basic" nursing school, that is). As you note, there's not much difference in the amount of time involved in both degrees, and, if you get a tuition break at the uni because of your husband, that may be your best choice. If it would still be significantly more expensive than the CC, you may be better off going the CC route and completing a BSN later. Another consideration is whether one program has a significantly better reputation in the area than the other (for turning out well-prepared nurses). There are strong and weak programs among both CC and uni programs. If one of your choices has a really good reputation and the other is regarded as average or poor in quality of its graduates, you would be better off at the stronger program (regardless of which one that is!) It may also boil down, simply, to which one you can get in to first -- I would encourage to apply to both, and then see how things work out.

    Whether or not you would "need" a BSN to work in an NICU depends on the individual facility. If you know you're going to be staying in this particular area, you may want to contact hospitals with NICUs in your area and ask them if they have a preference or requirement. Be aware, though, that plenty of facilities won't hire new graduates into specialty areas like NICU, anyway, so it may take some time (working in another clinical area) to achieve your goal.

    Also, it's extremely common for people to start nursing school with the idea that they know they want to specialize in one particular area (often based on their personal experiences, as you describe), only to find, by the time they graduate or by the time they've been working for a while, that they are more interested in something completely different. In school, you will be exposed to all the main practice areas of nursing (medical/surgical, OB, peds, psych, community health, etc.) Most people are unaware until they're in nursing of the incredibly wide range of career/practice possibilities "out there."

    Best wishes!
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    Awesome Elk!! Thanks so much! Both the schools I want to attend are the top schools for their programs. The university had 100% NCLEX rate last year and prior years were very high 90's. The CC is also the highest in the state for ADN at 98% with prior years being about the same.

    And you're right about possibly changing my mind about what I'd like to specialize in. I have a strong feeling I will want to be in Maternity/NICU but that could def change.

    As to the price, obviously the university will be more, but after hubby's discount, it would end up being almost the same price as going to the CC.

    I plan to apply to both nursing programs after I get the majority of my generals done. I think I'd prefer to go to the university, but hubby says it's super hard to get into.
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  10. 3
    Quote from Miss independent
    Go for the bachelors degree. It will open up more doors for you in the future. You will regret it later if you choose the ADN program, because it is hard to get motivated to start school all over again.
    Not wanting to get into a war of words here - but this isn't true for everyone. Some people such as myself need to get into the working world ASAP - hence my LPN-ADN- and eventually BSN route. Everyone has different motivation.

    Quote from Miss independent
    Bachelor degrees are professional while Associate degrees are technical, 4 years vs 2 years of education. ADN nurses want to be called professional nurses but to do that they need to go back to school. Why should a ADN nurse be classified the same as a BSN nurse? We do not classify CNAs the same as LPNs or LPNs the same as RNs and we should not classify ADN nurses as being the same as BSN nurses.
    Again, not wanting to start an uproar, however, as a CNA I was not a licensed professional. As an LPN I sat for my NCLEX-PN, have a license and have regulations from my BON to follow. I have an education that CNA's do not. I am not a CNA.

    I am preparing to sit for my NCLEX-RN and have my job lined up for after graduation. The RN's I will be working with are a mix of ADN and BSN prepared nurses. Some graduated from a traditional 4 year school, others are completing BSN's through an online program. A few are beginning masters programs, and others are good, well respected, RN's with great skills that are very happy with their ADN background.

    One of the great things about nursing is its versatility. This is apparent not only in the variation of jobs available, but also in educational opportunities.

    As another poster suggested, contact some of the HR depts for the hospitals where you live. Some settings may only hire BSN prepared students. Contact your state Board of Nursing, see if they have suggestions. Visit the nursing depts of both schools and ask them about recruitment or job placement for the graduates.
    Choose whatever program fits best into your life, financially and emotionally. Good luck on whatever choice you make.
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    Quote from NickieSever
    Awesome Elk!! Thanks so much! Both the schools I want to attend are the top schools for their programs. The university had 100% NCLEX rate last year and prior years were very high 90's. The CC is also the highest in the state for ADN at 98% with prior years being about the same.
    While NCLEX pass rates are certainly important, they are not all that is involved in a school's reputation (or the reputation of its graduates). If you have the opportunity and connections to be able to talk with experienced nursing folks in your area, you may want to explore further.


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