BSN vs ADN - page 2

by Grizabelle 5,421 Views | 38 Comments

No... I do not want to get into which one is better. I am in a BSN program, it was the best choice for me for a number of reasons and I am happy with that choice. I am simply curious why some people say BSN nurses are... Read More


  1. 0
    When i got my ASN (was called ASN back then, not ADN)
    which was eons ago, it was a 32 month long program, nonstop, all year long,

    like, you'd begin the nursing program, in Sept 2013,
    through Sept 2014,
    through Sept 2015,
    and graduate in May of 2016. But you went all year round, no summers off, nope. 32 months of education. not 24 months. And OHhhh was it EVER full full full time!! oh my, it really was!!

    Some ASNs had 33 month programs, graduating in June, but mine was only 32 months.

    which i always wished the college in the town i was in at that time, had offered a BSN, which was 36 months long, (9 mos per year, spread over 4 years) but, my town's college did not offer a BS in nursing. With 4 more months of schooling,
    and time in there somewhere to get a foreign language, (was req'd at the BSN programs in that state) then i'd have had a BSN.

    4 MONTHS of difference between my ASN and a BSN.

    I'm always surprised, when i hear people refer to a "2 year" ADN, and wonder, have things changed nowadays? Are there really 24 month ADN degrees now? WOW!


    EMBARRASSINGLY, i am not entirely certain of the difference, if any, between an ASN and an ADN, i always think it is just symantics.
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 8, '12
  2. 0
    Quote from Grizabelle
    Yeah, I don't want to get into assumptions that one is better than the other but look at the assumptions that the training is different and figure out why it was considered different other than a few classes that dont have a clinical focus. Yeah, I got a patho class upfront but then care classes that both ADNs and BSNs take seem to be more of the same patho so Im not really buying that as a good rationale for the assumption.

    We had a discussion in class about how the ADN degree came to be and were told that originally it was just because there was a serious shortage of nurses so they created the ADN programs to fit the need at the moment. I was just curious if the ADN had morphed into something else more like an apprenticeship type of training (based on all the assertations that ADNs are so much more clinically skillful) or if there was even actually a difference in the training you get outside of the specific extra classes you get with a BSN (aka Do ADN nurses get more time in clinicals? Not from what I have been able to tell).

    Im also leaning towards thinking it's about the school. The 2 schools I decided between were a local ADN with a 75% pass rate on the NCLEX or a slightly farther BSN with a 99% pass rate. I don't mean to imply that all BSN schools have a higher pass rate either, Im certain there are BSN schools with dismal NCLEX pass rates... I mean that you have to look at the school not the degree.

    Im also just want to know what skills I need to work on to "make up" for the perception that as a BSN nurse I am less qualified than the ADN nurse. I am very conscious of the competition to get a job when school is done.

    Perhaps you could ask at the facilities where you doing your clinical rotations what they specifically will be looking for in a new employee. Talk to your instructors. It sounds as though you are attending a good program, so hopefully your program has a good record of their graduates finding employment. If your program is well regarded by local employers then maybe graduates of your school are preferred by the hospitals etc. over ADN graduates. There are a lot of variables it seems.

    Hopefully some other posters will offer some good suggestions.

    Best of luck.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Dec 8, '12
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    xxxxx
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Dec 8, '12
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    Jean Marie, I think part of the kicker to the idea of a 2 year degree is to remember that most of the time, there is at least a year's worth of prerecs for the 2 year program that includes things like A&P, pharmacology, microbiology, etc.

    FWIW I had to have 60 hours of prerecs before admittance to my BSN program but the program itself is 4 semesters.
  5. 0
    Quote from Grizabelle
    Jean Marie, I think part of the kicker to the idea of a 2 year degree is to remember that most of the time, there is at least a year's worth of prerecs for the 2 year program that includes things like A&P, pharmacology, microbiology, etc.

    FWIW I had to have 60 hours of prerecs before admittance to my BSN program but the program itself is 4 semesters.
    You hit the nail on the head. The so called "2 year degree" really isn't two years because of the prereqs you have to complete prior to applying for the nursing program. Once accepted into the nursing program, then it takes 2 more years to complete the program and get your ADN. So basically, it can take someone 3 to 5 years to get their ADN, which makes no sense to go that route because you can spend that same amount of time and get your BSN.
  6. 0
    Quote from darmor11

    You hit the nail on the head. The so called "2 year degree" really isn't two years because of the prereqs you have to complete prior to applying for the nursing program. Once accepted into the nursing program, then it takes 2 more years to complete the program and get your ADN. So basically, it can take someone 3 to 5 years to get their ADN, which makes no sense to go that route because you can spend that same amount of time and get your BSN.
    Exactly, regarding it not actually being "only two years". It may make sense to some though, mostly for financial reasons as well as location. Had the community college that I attended and obtained my ADN at offered a BSN program, then I may have considered it instead of ADN but the financial aspect among other things worked better for me. So it depends on the person, IMO.
  7. 1
    I had a four-year degree in a social science when I decided to attend nursing school, so I would not have needed basic educational courses to get a BSN. What determined my choice of school was that I was locked into a Monday-Friday 8-5 job while I was attending school, and it was financially impossible for me to stop working. The BSN programs in my area expected me to be available basically all day and part of the evening. An ADN program in my area started a pilot program for people in my situation, in which the classes and most of the clinicals were conducted in the evening and on weekends. It was the only practical way for me to get my RN.

    As far as clinical training (and bear in mind I completed nursing school over 15 years ago) it seemed that the BSN students I encountered in the hospitals were not as well versed in the hands-on skills. A BSN student who was about to graduate asked me (during my second semester) what supplies she would need to start an IV. In my last clinical rotation I was on an oncology unit. On my first day on the floor, one of the nurses walked over to me and looked at the patch on my uniform sleeve. She said "Thank God. I thought you were from (the most prominent BSN program in my area)."

    As far as the professionalism aspect, it is a fallacy, IMO, that one can only be a professional with a BSN. There are pluses and minuses to both degree paths, and as others have pointed out, you do not complete an ADN in two years. Having been to a four-year university beforehand, I can honestly say that the quality of my instruction in both prerequisite courses and nursing courses compares favorably with the four-year schools I attended. If the ADN is not as "worthy", someone please explain to me why we consistently outperformed the BSN programs in my area in the percentage of students who passed state boards.

    There will always be people who want to split the nursing profession into tiers - with themselves at the top. You don't strengthen a profession by excluding most of the people in it.
    Susie2310 likes this.
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    Just for the record ... there are some ADN programs that are as short as 15 months long (with no pre-req's). We have one such program in my area. Yes, it's a "for-profit" school.
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    it may depend on the program some, but depends on the individual nurse a lot. Texas requires the same amount of clinical hours for all the programs, but some elect to do more than is required. However, not all students are equal either. It is not good to start labeling schools or people as someone will always come along to break the "rule"
    Orca and llg like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Orca
    I had a four-year degree in a social science when I decided to attend nursing school, so I would not have needed basic educational courses to get a BSN. What determined my choice of school was that I was locked into a Monday-Friday 8-5 job while I was attending school, and it was financially impossible for me to stop working. The BSN programs in my area expected me to be available basically all day and part of the evening. An ADN program in my area started a pilot program for people in my situation, in which the classes and most of the clinicals were conducted in the evening and on weekends. It was the only practical way for me to get my RN.

    As far as clinical training (and bear in mind I completed nursing school over 15 years ago) it seemed that the BSN students I encountered in the hospitals were not as well versed in the hands-on skills. A BSN student who was about to graduate asked me (during my second semester) what supplies she would need to start an IV. In my last clinical rotation I was on an oncology unit. On my first day on the floor, one of the nurses walked over to me and looked at the patch on my uniform sleeve. She said "Thank God. I thought you were from (the most prominent BSN program in my area)."

    As far as the professionalism aspect, it is a fallacy, IMO, that one can only be a professional with a BSN. There are pluses and minuses to both degree paths, and as others have pointed out, you do not complete an ADN in two years. Having been to a four-year university beforehand, I can honestly say that the quality of my instruction in both prerequisite courses and nursing courses compares favorably with the four-year schools I attended. If the ADN is not as "worthy", someone please explain to me why we consistently outperformed the BSN programs in my area in the percentage of students who passed state boards.

    There will always be people who want to split the nursing profession into tiers - with themselves at the top. You don't strengthen a profession by excluding most of the people in it.
    Yes, there are many good reasons why people pursue ADN degrees. One reason is cost: Six units at the community college I obtained my ADN from are $308 for the spring 2013 semester. Six units at the state university I bridged in to my BSN at are $3584. If you already have a bachelor's degree or for graduate school the fee for six units is $4,217. I have nothing against nursing advancing as a profession, but today college education at universities is becoming increasingly for the more affluent, or at the very least the fully employed in well paying jobs, or those whose families can provide financial support. Yes, I know there are scholarships, and loans, but when I look at the numbers, being saddled with a large amount of debt when nursing jobs are not easy to come by or keep (let alone good nursing jobs), is a questionable move to me. I would not pay these fees today for a BSN. I won't pay them for a graduate degree either. But, everyone's circumstances, career ambitions, ideas and beliefs about education are different, and that is the important point, that we are all different, with different backgrounds, schooling etc. and ADN fits some people. I won't even mention the topic of whether ADN training is clinically superior (we have all read these boards). What is important surely is that the graduate of either program is a good nurse.
    Orca likes this.


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