adn and bsn are degrees in nursing granted by colleges. an adn is an associates degree. a bsn is a bachelor's degree. each college has specific requirements which you must fulfill in order to obtain that particular degree from their college. to become a licensed nurse, your state has specific requirements that a school which teaches nursing must minimally teach you. that enables you to be able to take the nclex exam to become licensed as a nurse after finishing school. if you pass the nclex exam in your state, they grant you a nursing license to practice nursing.
now, here is where things get confusing to many people. each nursing school, once they meet the minimum requirements of the state board of nursing, is free to add whatever courses to their nursing curriculum that they want. so, you will see a lot of variation in the courses that are taught among the various nursing schools. however, the basic required nursing foundations will be taught. what you have to do is look at and compare what the various nursing schools are offering and see what suits you. most people find that with a bsn you have more job opportunities. a bsn is definitely an advantage if you want to go into any management or leadership positions in large institutions. the particular bsn program that i went into focused on training managers, honing communication skills and preparing us for moving on to getting a masters degree in nursing. other bsn programs focus on other things.
in general, you must understand that nursing school is only the beginning of a nursing career. it teaches you the basics of nursing. any job you take is going to require some orientation and on the job training. the more education that is involved in a career, the more education and training that is required in the jobs that are taken on due to the complexity of the work involved. nursing is a career where you are always learning and most states and many employers of nurses have a formal continuing education requirement that you must satisfy in order to maintain your license in nursing. this means that you will have to continue to take as many as 15 hours of nursing class of some kind every year. most all us licensed nurses do that.
if you do not like the idea of education and learning, then a career like nursing is not for you. but, you should not be afraid of education and learning if you are basing this on experiences you might have had as a child and teenager. adult learning is very different from grade school and high school. for one thing, as adults we learn differently than we did as children. for another, adult learners are in college for a purpose, not because they have to be as we were as children and teenagers. when there is a purpose and a goal to what we are studying, we tend to be more successful at it.
you also should understand that licensed nurses are taught to think critically in order to make decisions and judgments. what this means is that you are taught to make purposeful, reflective and goal directed judgments based on evidence rather than conjecture (guessing). you are taught to use the principles of science and the scientific method. this is not exactly the same image most people have of the kindly nurse who fluffs your pillow and brings you your medicine to take. although that is also a true picture of what a nurse does, the critical thinking is an even bigger part of the job that is not commonly known. rns are trained to be supervisors and managers of patient care. beside learning the skills of hands on care of patients, we learn other skills like how to prioritize and delegate tasks, plan and initiate patient care and the supervision of the assistant staff who do some of the actual physical work with the patients.
i am listing some links i have on general information about a career in nursing for you to explore. please read them and educate yourself about what nursing is and what nurses do. after completing nursing school there are so many career choices a nurse can make. you will find information about that in this reading. see you on the forums!
- this is a very nice site that has a career showcase that explains what some of the various specialties in nursing are as well as having information about the various licensing levels in nursing and how to prepare and get your education to become a nurse.
- "thinking about nursing school? consider your many options" from the college board.
- about nursing from webfeet.com
- about registered nursing from the u.s. department of labor
- about lpn nursing from the u.s. department of labor
- information on nursing assistants (cna) from the u.s. department of labor
- "before you decide to become a nurse". things to consider about being a nurse. lots of links to information about what skills you need to become a nurse. and, what if you're really bad at math and science is discussed.
- "ten questions to ask yourself" about nursing and if it might be right for you
- "nursing is not for everyone". this is a very down to earth and honest article that broadly discusses what a nurse does and what you can expect on the job as a nurse.
- "nurses skills transfer to other professions". a list of 8 basic job skills that nurses are able to perform making them desirable for hire in many other professions.
- a day in the life of a registered nurse thread on general nursing discussion forum
- lists a few of the career options in nursing along with links to their national organizations
- a day in the life. . .of a critical care nurse educator, professor of nursing, operating room manager and emergency room nurse. there is another link to the description of and informatics nurse at the same site
- "robert nelseon, registered staff nurse in the health care industry". read about the day in the life of an intensive care unit nurse.
- "joan nikkicoda, nurse practitioner in the health care industry". read about the day in the life of a family nurse practitioner who specializes in cardiac care.
- "maria o'connel, psychiatric nurse". read about the day in the life of a psychiatric nurse who works on an acute inpatient psychiatric unit.