BSN vs ADN - page 3

by Grizabelle 5,512 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


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    llg is correct in that not all schools are created equal. Not only are some ADN prorgams at for-profit schools shorter in duration, but I know one near me that provides 1/2 of the in-hospital clinical experiences that the community college 5 miles away offers. Many of its clinicals are in nursing homes (for med-surg) at a Head Start clinic (for peds), or are similation experiences in the lab.

    I encourage prospective students to do their research about programs. Of course you should look at NCLEX pass rates. But also look at retention/attrition rates --- what percentage of the students who start on Day 1 graduate on time? A third thing to consider is where current graduates are working for their first job. What you want to find is the Trifecta --a high pass rate on the NCLEX, nearly everyone who starts the program graduates on time, and they all get the starting jobs that you want to have.
    Orca and llg like this.
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    Where I livE and what I've been told is that ADNs are more confident and need less monitoring than BSN nurses. Btw I'm an Lpn so I'm not biased one way or the other, but when I was a caregiver on the floor we had many bsn students in their leadership who had never given any injections during school and the ADNs I saw had a lot more clinical experience already. Also the ADN school preps you for nclex better here with. 99% pass rate whereas the bsn had only 75%(as of earlier this year). It's making me lean more towards completing my ADN first when I go back and going my bsn at done point online.
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    Quote from UVA Grad Nursing
    llg is correct in that not all schools are created equal. Not only are some ADN prorgams at for-profit schools shorter in duration, but I know one near me that provides 1/2 of the in-hospital clinical experiences that the community college 5 miles away offers. Many of its clinicals are in nursing homes (for med-surg) at a Head Start clinic (for peds), or are similation experiences in the lab.

    I encourage prospective students to do their research about programs. Of course you should look at NCLEX pass rates. But also look at retention/attrition rates --- what percentage of the students who start on Day 1 graduate on time? A third thing to consider is where current graduates are working for their first job. What you want to find is the Trifecta --a high pass rate on the NCLEX, nearly everyone who starts the program graduates on time, and they all get the starting jobs that you want to have.
    Clinicals at nursing homes or other non-hospital but still a healthcare facility happened back in the 1980's and has only grown, at least here in the NYC area. For one thing with hospital stays being cut to the bare bone duration by what Medicare/Medicaid and insurance companies will pay patients are discharged to LTC,nursing homes, rehabilitation, etc to receive skilled or nursing care that would would have been part of their hospital duration. There is nothing wrong or evil in taking clinicals as such locations by nature. Long as the instructors are on top of their game, the facility supportive and so forth student nurses can and usually do receive the same sort of training equal to hospital.

    Whenever we have this debate (which seems to occur as regular as the cycles of the moon), the thing often breaks down into differences between ADN and BSN programs. Have said before and will say it again it is not totally fair to make this comparison, especially when it comes to clinical hours.

    By their nature two year (associate) degrees are job training programs with college level content added.The nature and amount of that said content varies by state education laws/rule and mission of the school. However usually most states give leeway for associate degrees to focus more on the job "training" aspect in lieu of hard college level education.

    OTHO four year nursing programs are subject to the same rules/laws set down by states for *all* BofS or BofFA candidates. Colleges and universities may also and often do impose their own sets of "core" or other courses mandated of all four year students. There are only so many hours in a day and with only eight semesters to work with something has to give. It would be wonderful to send all nursing students both BSN and ADN for two or more full days of clinicals, the problem for each but more so the former is they cannot be two places at once. Time spent on clinical sites means time must be found elsewhere for not only nursing classes but a good part of the 120 some odd credits required to obtain a BSN.

    The obvious solution to this would be to run a BSN program similar to old hospital programs, that is three years in duration with only limited short breaks for the winter holiday and summer. That simply does not fly with most American students as they have grown quite used to long winter, spring and summer time off.

    Finally as one has also repeated often, BSN programs in theory were never designed to produce bedside nurses per se. Rather in the grand scheme of things the four year prepared RN was supposed to be more involved in planning, management,evaluation of care along with management and administration of the nursing service. ADNs and UAPs were supposed to provide a bulk of the bedside care. Sadly no one bothered to tell hospitals about this and they have been calling the shots. For the most part a nurse, is a nurse is a nurse.

    Just took a quick peek at the NYS website for NCLEX pass rates and yes ADN grads out scored BSNs by a bit over two percent. NYS Nursing:Nursing Programs:RN NCLEX Results: 2008-2012

    However the question is what does the NCLEX truly measure and is it any indication of clinical competence. Persons have taken the NCLEX and passed often with *great* scores whilst never having set foot in any healthcare setting for clinical education. Indeed a group of RNs are suing a for profit university system on just those grounds. These RNs attended this program, graduated and passed the NCLEX only to find upon seeking work they lacked any clinical experience. If it wasn't for whomever was doing the hiring of these ladies they would have remained totally ignorant of their situation. What did the school do for "clinicals", according to one news interview the nurses said they were taken to a zoo and other public places.
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    Does having a Bachelors in a health field and an ADN give you a one up or equal BSN? I mean is the issue just not having a bachelors degree, since I feel the diff BTW the two degrees is the amt of gen ed courses which I've gone thru and completed with my BS. Just wondering
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    Quote from mayahp22
    Does having a Bachelors in a health field and an ADN give you a one up or equal BSN? I mean is the issue just not having a bachelors degree, since I feel the diff BTW the two degrees is the amt of gen ed courses which I've gone thru and completed with my BS. Just wondering
    A bachelor's degree in a health field and an ADN are not equal to a BSN. The coursework for a BSN includes specific nursing courses. I bridged in to a BSN program after finishing my ADN and obtaining my RN, and had to take a public health class; advanced health assessment class; a nursing research class; do a community health practicum and a preceptorship, plus a few other nursing classes. The public health class requirement as part of the BSN requirements along with already having an RN license meant I was eligible to apply to my state board of nursing for certification as a public health nurse.

    I don't remember the number of general education courses I had to take overall, and not knowing how many courses you had to take I can't make any comment on the differences.

    I hope this helps to clarify.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Dec 16, '12
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    So why is it that MSN programs will accept students with just a RN license (AND) and a BS in a health related field? I've looked into that like Rush University CRNA program that does this, an elite school. It's still somewhat confusing since for instance the public health class you speak of I've taken in undergrad. Not starting a debate just saying.
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    Quote from llg
    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.
    I'm sorry, but that's disgusting. Really?? Just...wow.
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    Please let it be known that there are for profit schools that are offering BSN programs like West Coast University; and not just ADN.
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    Quote from mayahp22
    Please let it be known that there are for profit schools that are offering BSN programs like West Coast University; and not just ADN.
    My bad that came out confusing there are as much for profit schools awarding BSN just as ADN programs
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    In regards to Master of Science level Nursing programs:

    They are looking for students that have a certain level of academic achievement. As part of their prerequisites, they are probably looking for certain types of coursework that is going to show them that you are able to absorb the information that you will be given. You do not necessarily need management training, public health training, or things like that to succeed in a Masters level program. You are probably going to need some type of research course, statistics course, and the like. That is probably what they are looking for in their students. An RN with that type of preparation will probably do just as well as a BSN, because they've had similar academic preparation that is geared more towards research.

    That being said, a Bachelor Science in any field, even healthcare, does not equal a BSN because the BSN coursework typically include some classes that are not included in any other healthcare field.

    Personally, I think that it is a folly to take the position that an RN that has a Bachelors of Science in a healthcare field is less capable of incorporating best evidence-based practices into their own practice than a BSN is. After all, many ADN programs are just as academically rigorous as BSN programs, without some of the public health and management coursework that the BSN programs do provide. The program that I was in until recently, is actively looking at petitioning to get their program recognized as a BSN program, that is taught at a junior college. They recognize that they will have to incorporate a little bit of new content that is not currently part of their curriculum, and should they be approved for that change in program status, they will simply add the missing content.


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