BSN vs. ADN income disparity - page 4

I just went to a job fair and got a sheet from Loyola Hospital in Chicago. They pay their new ADN's 24.20. They pay new BSNs only 24.50 an hour. That does not make me happy at all. I am... Read More

  1. by   Katydidit34
    My classmates are geniuses--many are researchers, most have masters degrees and we even have a girl in my class who has a PhD in Molecular Biology. We are training to become Nurse Practitioners. I personally have over 10 years of healthcare experience as an unlicensed assistive personell or healthcare manager and you are telling me that after all is said and done, you are still only going to pay me .30 an hour more than an ADN nurse once I enter the workforce as an RN while continuing with my NP education? I am definitely not applying to Loyola if they care so little about education.

    I personally think that it seems as though your genius classmates may be seeking more in their lives than money. Nursing provides a personal satisfaction that one cannot put a price tag on. My personal opinion is that if one is in it for the money, perhaps they should seek another career. One will NOT become rich being a nurse. Even as a Nurse Practitioner, the money is much better, however, you will not be wealthy. This thread almost makes me sad.


    Every member of the nursing faculty at my university and every nurse who is teaching me has a PhD in nursing... Do you see where I am getting at? You don't necessarily get this preparation as an ADN student...[/quote]

    Also, I'm in an Associate's program....my teachers are PhD's as well. This is a poor generalization.
  2. by   tntrn
    [QUOTE=lovemyjob;2064139]To all of those whose argument is that "we all do the same job:"

    There are very few professions (actually none I can think of) where a higher education does not equate to a higher pay. My husband does not have a 4 year degree and he does not make as much as a person in his position in the same company doing his same job..... the only way he has been able to make this gap smaller is by working harder and smarter than his counterparts."



    Well, I can think of one, besides nursing: airline pilots. It's all about seniority (as in date-of-hire and the kind of equipment you fly.) My DH doesn't have a college degree, although he is one of the smartest, well-read people I know, and he is at the TOP of the food chain at his airline. Most airlines like to hire pilots with degrees, but it isn't only that qualification that will get them in the door or in the left seat. He's currently the Number One Captain (for 235 more days and then he will retire) and makes the same pay as any of the other Captains who fly the same equipment with the same years of experience.

    Again, as in nursing, what you say you know on paper, says nothing as compared to what you can actually demonstrate on the job. Experience is the best teacher: who said that? I don't know. But just having a bunch of alphabet soup behind your name doesn't make you good (or experienced) at anything, and until you can prove you are worth the bucks, employers are right to pay accordingly.

    Because we all take the same licensing exams, I oppose extra premiums for BSN nurses. I'm marginally okay with extra pay for those who choose to go RNC or other extra effort after they become an RN. But even then, most of them are still doing the same job I do as an ADN who is not and who isn't going to become an RNC.
  3. by   jjjoy
    (Copied from my post in the polls on this same topic)
    It's entirely fair for a newbie BSN to make less than someone experienced. However, why not have a financial reward for any RNs who earn their BSNs?

    A bachelor's degree is socially recognized as an indicator of higher education. People who earn bachelor's degrees aren't smarter or anything like that. But they have been to exposed to the type of academic work that usually constitutes a bachelor's degree. The degree simply lets others know that that nurse has studied at a university level in addition to learning nursing skills. Would that be a bad thing? To get into most other medical fields you first need to earn a bachelor's before even applying. And we know that it's not like nurses have less responsibility or don't need to know as much as other health personnel.
  4. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from jjjoy
    (Copied from my post in the polls on this same topic)
    It's entirely fair for a newbie BSN to make less than someone experienced. However, why not have a financial reward for any RNs who earn their BSNs?

    A bachelor's degree is socially recognized as an indicator of higher education. People who earn bachelor's degrees aren't smarter or anything like that. But they have been to exposed to the type of academic work that usually constitutes a bachelor's degree. The degree simply lets others know that that nurse has studied at a university level in addition to learning nursing skills. Would that be a bad thing? To get into most other medical fields you first need to earn a bachelor's before even applying. And we know that it's not like nurses have less responsibility or don't need to know as much as other health personnel.
    Hmmm.....well, having given it some thought, I'm of the opinion that if BSN should always equal a higher financial compensation, then the test for licensure should indicate this. Meaning, once one graduates with a BSN degree s/he should then be able to sit for an "advanced" RN license. And that "advanced" license would then qualify those individuals to receive greater financial compensation for doing exactly the same job as the ADN RN, who has a "lesser" license. Please excuse the word "advanced" for the time being, I'm not speaking of advanced practice nurses, but it worked for my tired brain at the moment.

    As long as an ADN RN and a BSN RN are required to hold the same (minimal) license, then I simply don't see why an RN holding a BSN should qualify for more money only by virtue of the fact that they have more total education. We're all quite aware that anyone transferring ANY Bachelor's degree from a completely unrelated field gives them a BSN without any more actual nursing education than someone who has earned an ADN. And that there are people who hold more than one degree, associates and bachelors, but do not particularly have a BSN (but still multiple degrees). They, too, are not compensated any more greatly than the RN with one degree. I have more than one degree, yet my nursing education was through an ADN program. I have considerably more education than some of my peers. Should I earn more for doing the same job they are? I don't believe so. One license, one set of criteria for passing that license, one financial expectation at the end.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Feb 16, '07 : Reason: typo fixed
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from RNsRWe
    One license, one set of criteria for passing that license, one financial expectation at the end.
    I disagree. The NCLEX establishes a minimum standard of preparation but does not measure, and was not intended to measure, the intangibles of a bach education.

    That should be rewarded, just as experience. Carried to its logical conclusion, no bedside nurse should EVER get a raise because we ALL perform the same job and so, should get the same pay. That's just as silly an argument in favor of no pay differential for education as it would be for no pay differential for experience. They are the same coin.

    I approach this argument differently then the BSNs on this board, primarily because I'm NOT a BSN. Many argue that attaining a BSN standard will result in more pay and respect.

    I doubt it. It's a chicken and egg argument. Without a comparison to other educational pathways, there would be no more incentive to pay BSNs more then they are being paid NOW, which is roughly on par with ADNs.

    But, if PAY came first, it would shape the educational pathways towards the financial incentive of BSN. First, it would dictate a move to BSN for purely financial reasons. Second, it would serve to ESTABLISH that higher pay in a post ADN world.

    I have said this before, I hold a bach degree that I attained AFTER my ADN, but it's not in nursing. IF there had been a financial incentive, my bach degree WOULD BE a BSN.

    Until there is PROOF that a BSN will result in higher pay and more respect, the argument in favor of such is merely speculation.

    The ONLY way to achieve that is for BSNs to demand that higher pay. If this is done WITHOUT putting down ADNs, then the benefit will ultimately skew to all nurses. As ADNs realize that attaining that BSN will result in more pay, more will do so, and the benefit will eventually spread across the board.

    This is only an 'us against them' debate because of the slurs (such as the infamous 'technical vs. professional' insult) AND because our employers desire such division and pay accordingly to achieve it.

    There is a pathway to advance this issue so that we all benefit but that pathway must hold a healthy respect for all of us.

    As it stands, I'm simply uninterested in speculation as to what a BSN COULD do for me. Prove it first.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  6. by   jjjoy
    Personally, I'd love to see any "advanced" relevant education that nurses pursue be financially rewarded, whether it's a bachelor's degree or a specialty certification. Bedside nurses should be encouraged and rewarded for pursuing more learning in their area. Instead, it seems that employers think that there's no benefit for nurses to do more than just minimally keep their license active. Those who do want to continue their education then leave the bedside instead of bringing back to the bedside their knowledge and passion.

    While I don't agree that BSN should be the entry level for nurses, if simply because it's impractical, I do think that some of the reason that bedside nurses are considered "just" bedside nurses is because other health professionals had to attend school longer (not counting the time delay that class impaction has on many pre-nursing students) and take a broader base of coursework than most with an RN.

    There's an unfortunate assumption that nurses chose nursing as opposed to another field because the pre-reqs were "easier" than for other health professions. Yes, you need to get great grades in those courses because of the competition but most nursing schools "only" require intro chem and microbio classes (or specially designed for pre-nursing students) which are shorter and less in depth than those required for science majors or as pre-reqs for other health professions.

    Those colleagues with college degrees might assume that non-degreed nurses weren't interested in the mind-broadening experience of a bachelor's degree and preferred a vocational degree. Or simply didn't have the time and resources to pursue a college degree. Whatever valid reasons a nurse might have for not having a college degree, other health personnel will (rightly) feel that they've got more formal education than the nurses that they are working with.

    Again, you don't need a bachelor's degree to be a great nurse and a bachelor's degree doesn't make you perform nursing skills better. Doctors don't need bachelor's degrees either. In some countries, students enter medical school straight from high school (having been in a pre-med track in high school). Theoretically, you don't even need nursing school and medical school as these roles could be completely on-the-job training with the trainees self-studying the pathophys, pharmacology, etc. Any system is a bit arbitrary in where the lines are drawn.
    Last edit by jjjoy on Feb 16, '07
  7. by   ICUPM
    I'ts all supply and demand. If BSN's could clearly deliver superior results that employers needed, and if employers needed those results in excess of the number of BSN's graduating, then BSN pay would rise. Results count. In our field we call that evidence based practice. I am peripherally aware of studies that have shown improved outcomes of RN's over LPN's. Valuable outcomes are the only reason any of us are paid at all. It has little to do with how much effort we put into the equation IMHO. The RN vs LPN studies are being used to drive demand for higher RN ratio's. This drives demand for RN's vs LPN's and supports a pay differential. I have seen some hospital units staffed predominantly with LPN's. As a profession we better come up some some justifying data for RN pay otherwise we'll all be getting paid $14/hr.

    If evidence is available, or can be made available, that shows BSN's produce improved outcomes of ADN's then the BSN's should take the same approach. Employers would see a valuable difference and would demand / pay more for BSN's.

    It is my perception that our employers do not perceive that a BSN can produce anything "more" or "better" than an ADN. Sure BSN's are desired for management but there are lots of nurses for every manager and roughly 1/3 of us already have BSN's so there's plenty of supply for that.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I disagree. The NCLEX establishes a minimum standard of preparation but does not measure, and was not intended to measure, the intangibles of a bach education.

    That should be rewarded, just as experience. Carried to its logical conclusion, no bedside nurse should EVER get a raise because we ALL perform the same job and so, should get the same pay. That's just as silly an argument in favor of no pay differential for education as it would be for no pay differential for experience. They are the same coin.
    I suppose I don't disagree with the bulk of what you have written. Perhaps we are saying to some degree the same thing: *IF* the education attained for a BSN were valued at a higher dollar amount than the education attained by an ADN graduate, then there would be a different financial expectation at the end. But as it stands, there IS no real value placed by employers on the BSN designation above an ADN designation--we know this because of seeing either zero difference in base pay, or a few cents more an hour as a token.

    The reason I stand by "same license, same pay" is because a new graduate nurse holding a shiny new RN license (and graduating with a BSN) *IS* the same level of experience as a new graduate nurse holding a shiny new RN license (from an ADN program).

    I do believe in rewarding greater experience with greater earnings, so obviously your (intentionally silly) anecdote about a beside nurse never expecting an increase because every bedside nurse is equal to another is, of course, silly.

    However, since this thread was started by a person who was shocked and disgusted that his shiny new BSN (yet to be earned and yet to be licensed, btw) would be worth the same as any shiny new ADN, it was that vein in which I responded.

    I believe, too, in rewarding greater education with greater earnings. However, like I said previously, holding various degrees in unrelated subjects is of no greater value to my employer than holding a single BSN, so what is the point? I can show my employer two prior degrees unrelated to nursing, plus an ADN, and it earns me $X per hour. I can also show up WITHOUT those prior degrees, only the ADN, and still earn the exact same $X per hour. It doesn't earn me more money because that education is unimportant to my employer. Just the same as if I showed up with a BSN: my employer is not impressed with the additional education, I am viewed only as a "new nurse", period, with no experience and needing orientation and training.

    Just like you, I say if employers truly valued a BSN over an ADN, they'd show me the money, folks. And until then, the whole "I have more education so I'm better and should be compensated better" argument is totally bogus. They don't want to pay, so going in having already achieved the degree and THEN demanding more money is useless. What's THEIR incentive?
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Until there is PROOF that a BSN will result in higher pay and more respect, the argument in favor of such is merely speculation.
    I agree. A certain kind of degree doesn't always translate into higher pay. There's too many other factors involved like unions, supply and demand, local markets, etc.

    RN's nationwide make $57K a year, on average. But while OT's require a bachelor's and, beginning this year, a master's ... they only make a couple of grand more a year at $59K.

    PT's require a master's and they make $65K on average so, I guess the theory holds true there but, the pay disparity isn't that great considering it's a master's requirement. CRNA's, for example, do a lot better with their master's.

    Meanwhile dieticians and medical social workers require a bachelor's and they only make $45K and $42K respectively.

    At the same time ... RT's and radiation techs who have roughly the same amount of education time as ADN's make a lot less than RN's at $47K a year.

    And, of course, this also varies significantly by region. In California, for example, RN's make just as much as OT's and PT's at $70K a year on average so ... the bachelor's and master's degrees makes absolutely no difference there.

    So ... if people are expecting a bachelor's standard, in and of itself to make a big difference in pay, they may be disappointed.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Feb 19, '07
  10. by   romie
    Tp RRsWe:

    Yes in fact, most of my classmates in my direct entry program are in fact "geniuses" compared to what you find in ADN and even general BSN programs. More than half of us have advanced degrees- many in public health, social work and psychology. A quater of the my classmates (there were only 40 accepted out of 550 applications, which required the GRE) were researchers, including one who was a lead researcher at the Mayo Clinic. We a have student who was a practicing JD, a PhD Molecular Biologist, students who were fulbright scholars and red cross volunteers at Katrina and Peace Corps members. I am sorry if I sound condescending and hurt the feelings of those of you who think my graduating class deserve the same pay as some low tier ADN graduate. I think one of the major problems of nursing is that the professional lacks b---s and pretty much has low self esteem and allows themselves to be undervalued.

    As far as doing my research on nursing pay RNsRWe, I have done my own thorough research using university resources and my masters degree knowlege on how to do research and find information beyond google, so don't offend me there.
  11. by   NeosynephRN
    I am still not sure what being a lawyer has to do with Nursing...so you have a classmate that is a lawyer...and a bunch with higher education...SO do I...I have 5 in my class with Masters degree's...and almost everyone else has a bachelors...but since we are all attending a "low tier" community college...we are not going to be as good of a nurse as you are?!? What a crock!!! NOT one of my classmates that has thier masters has ever complained that they will make the same amount of money as the rest of us...you will have the same nursing skills as those of us that are apparently slumming in the CC...and we will have half your attitude, so in my opinion we will be better off!!
  12. by   romie
    My point about the student who was a practicing JD is that we are a smart group of students. And I happen to be going to one of the top Colleges of Nursing int the country. Sorry about my "attitude", I am actually a really nice person in real life, I come from a marginalized segment of society, worked my a$$ at universities for the past 8 years, I come from a very low Socioeconomic status, so my "attitude" is really me just being mad at other people for selling themselves short. Quit defending allowing nurses to get low pay.
  13. by   vickynurse
    [QUOTE=stevielynn;2054391]I admire your convictions but the truth is an RN is an RN - whether they have a BSN or ADN.

    Your goal is nurse practitioner I see. No worries - they make more than RN's usually.

    NP pay can be very disappointing. For me it would have been a cut in pay for FAR FAR more responsibility and liability. Take a look before you take the leap!

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