I know this is an incredibly old post, but my best friend and I have debated this issue for the past few years. We have come to a reasonable conclusion to the question of ADN vs. BSN...which is better? The answer really depends on your personal situation. Location, program types vary from state-to-state, time, travel, child care arrangements, personal economics, etc. The right answer is to go with whatever route is best for you. Look at all your options. Ignore what everyone else says and do what is best for you.
Both of us are non-traditional students, meaning we are becoming second-career nurses. We are both single parents. My son was grown, but she still had a little one at home to support. We began school right around the same time. She went the ADN route at the local community college near her home. I looked into the ADN route at the local community college near my home and was told that there was a 6 year waiting list unless you scored a 100% on your TEAS. Of course, I only scored a 98%. Well, if I had to wait 6 years, I probably would never go back to school. In Illinois you have to complete approximately one year of prerequisites before entering the two-year ADN nursing program
, meaning it takes a minimum of 3 years to get a 2 year degree. At this point, I began looking into the 4-year BSN programs at local private universities. At first, I was deterred by cost, which is significantly higher than going the ADN route. But after meeting with financial aid department at the school, I learned that I qualified for several scholarships and grants, which made the cost much more reasonable. I looked into attending nursing school at the community college my friend was attending, but the out-of-district tuition and travel expenses would have been more than what the school with the BSN program offered me. So I applied and was accepted. I am now in my very last semester and am set to graduate in Dec. 2016.
My friend started her nursing program, became a CNA and later became an LPN. Due to unexpected life events, she had to leave school. She obtained a job she absolutely loves working as a LPN at a really great private nursing home. She received certifications for wound care and Alzheimer's care and a raise with each certification. Between her salary and overtime, she makes more money as an LPN than what the local hospitals near my home pay new grad BSN nurses. This may not be the case everywhere, but that is the situation here.
My situation is a little different. My son graduated high school in 2013 and joined the Navy. I moved in with my boyfriend who was really supportive of me going to nursing school. I was able to quit my full time job as a Certified Medical Assistant and take a part time position. Without his support and help, there would be no way I could possibly work full time to support myself and attend nursing school full time. If you go the BSN route, make sure you live with your parents, spouse or someone willing and able to provide a roof over your head. It is really difficult trying to be successful in nursing school when you are working too much! I know lots of people do it, but I couldn't. Another word of advice: Know and accept your limitations!
Another example of how location affects your decision: My cousin's husband just graduated with his ADN and was immediately hired as an ICU nurse at a large hospital in Indianapolis, IN. The hospitals here in northern IL for the most part only hire BSN's. Ask around where you live. If you can get hired as an ADN at a hospital in your area, let them pay for your BSN.
So, the answer to the question - Which is better ADN or BSN? Depends on your personal situation, location, finances. Do your research, look into all pathways, then just do what is best for you. Every nurse has a different path in their career. No two nursing students' experiences are ever the same. I noticed this even with the girls I attend school with. We are working towards the same goal, but each of us has our own path.