Degree Options -- Pathways

  1. Hello all,

    My gf has decided that she wants to become a nurse, which is great news! She is hell-bent on getting a BSN because the market/careers are better. Whether or not that's true -- I am not too sure. I have done some research on the topic but I rather get it from the 'horse's mouth.' I understand the fundamental differences between getting an ADN and a BSN. Whichever degree you choose, you take the test (NCLEX) and become an RN (correct?).

    NOW, this is my question -- She wants a BSN, what's the best way in doing this?

    Method #1 = Take pre-reqs or acquire an AS (pre-BSN) degree and apply to a traditional BSN program and finally take the NCLEX.


    Method #2 = Apply to an ADN program, take the NCLEX, then apply to an RN-to-BSN program.

    Whats the benefits/disadvantages or both methods? I feel Method #2 is 'safer' in the sense that she still becomes an RN even if she somehow doesn't get into a RN-BSN program. I feel the time spent is negligible for both methods (as it would be ~4yrs). Not too sure if cost will greatly differ [I feel the ADN is more expensive than the AS; and the traditional BSN compared to RN-BSN is negligible].

    1) Whats the better method in your opinion? Is there another option/way?
    2) Is the job market worse for an ADN-educated RN compared to a BSN-educated RN? I figure the BSN one definitely has the advantage but is it difficult to find a job as an ADN?
    3) Differences between ADN and BSN -- most lists are very generic such as (ADN:faster and limited) (BSN--longer, more opportunities to advance). Is there more to it?

    Sorry for the length -- Just would like some solid expert advice from the field (of students and nurses alike). Suggestions and ideas VERY welcomed!

    Thank You,
    Dr. D
  2. Visit DrD21 profile page

    About DrD21

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   TC3200
    Job market depends on location. Rural areas and low-income locales are still hiring new grad associate degree and diploma school RNs. Some hospitals are kicking out all the LPNs and replacing them with associate degree RNs. Some hosps are only hiring BSRN new-grads but will hire and keep experienced RN of any favor. Some hosps are making all RNs get a BSRN or lose the job.

    Most associate degrees will take 3 years b/c they don't admit students until they've complemented at least 2 semesters of college work.

    Diploma RN might be another route, with an online bridge to BSRN immediately following. I quit a 28-month diploma RN program after just 1 year because it was disappointingly tedious, a total b*llbuster that would never give us any free time, never give us enough time to properly complete assignments without our teaming up and cheating on them, and kept us tied down with far too much trivia and useless make-work, like observing Head Start 4 hours and writing a paper about it, observing wound care 4 hours and writing a paper about it, and spending 4 hours at a Poverty Simulation and writing (ya guessed it!), a paper about it. Or spending two days listening to lectures about peds nursing, without actually doing any peds floor time, and calling that a peds clinical. I had completed all of my college work and just needed to do the 24 months of nursing, I'm a very bright and dedicated student, and even I could not keep up with the constand demands they made. Some programs are just a poorly designed and/or executed product.

    In my opinion as a middle-aged college-grad career-changer from engineering and technical careers, that particular school totally putzed around too much, buried me in junk, and retarded my progress toward RN. Plus made it such a miserable and joyless schooling that I shall probably never return to any RN school, ever. But some locales have good diploma school programs, and require as much college as an associate degree, and they still have seats open.

    My caution about either ADRN or diploma RN is just how of the student's time do they propose to monopolize? If you are always tied up in lectures, clinicals, and writing papers, then you can't be reading and studying what you need to learn for the exams. Are they allowing sufficient time off from school to promote thorough study and let the student complete all assignments without constantly running on 3-4 hours of sleep a night? Or is the schooling just one big unhealthy cram session and psychological and physical flogging? How is the curriculum structured, do the instructors take into account the total aggregate workload when they make assignments and set deadlines, or do they all just do as they d*** please, no matter how unrealistic the aggregate workload they create for their students?

    In a BSRN program, I think they cover more material, but they can pace the NCLEX-related nursing content better so that the workload is distributed better throughout the 4 years of the program.
    Last edit by TC3200 on Apr 10, '12