BSN vs ADN - page 4

by Grizabelle

4,914 Visits | 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. 1
    Quote from akulahawk
    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.
    Just so you know there is *BIG* drama going on about community/junior colleges being allowed to award BofS degrees. No other than University of Phoenix is leading the charge:

    University Of Phoenix Lobbied Against Community College Expansion
    sapphire18 likes this.
  2. 1
    Quote from mayahp22
    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.
    There are all manner and flavor of MSN programs that will take ADN/dipoma RNs to MSN and along the way award a BSN. Others will take those with an undergraduate degree in a non-nursing major and are dual BSN/MSN degrees. In the top tier of such programs would be the famed Columbia University BSN/MSN (ETP) school of nursing. Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

    Columbia U has a *very* famous and great nursing education history but for various reasons discontinued their undergraduate program decades ago, in favour of masters and above nursing education. There is no way to obtain a BSN from Columbia without going for the MSN portion as well.

    That being said for most of these MSN types of programs they are elite in that only a handful of applicants out of hundreds make the cut. Long story short we're still talking about seeking entry into graduate school and that is never easy, especially for top programs. Here is a bit of Columbia's process:

    http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/nu...nformation.pdf

    Now matter how "good" a nurse one is if you cannot muster the chops to obtain a good GRE score then your chances of being accepted at Columbia or any other top BSN to MSN etc... program are slim. As another posted stated these programs want to see applicants that can prove via past academic work they are able to handle graduate school.
    sapphire18 likes this.
  3. 0
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Just so you know there is *BIG* drama going on about community/junior colleges being allowed to award BofS degrees. No other than University of Phoenix is leading the charge:

    University Of Phoenix Lobbied Against Community College Expansion
    I am not at all surprised that there is a big to do with community/junior colleges being allowed to award Bachelor of Science degrees. I am also not at all surprised that University of Phoenix is in fact leading the charge, because it goes against their business model. What they are looking for is to funnel community college students into their online bachelors programs. If a community college is offering a Bachelor of Science degree, that would certainly undercut some of their business.

    Personally, I think that junior colleges should be allowed to offer Bachelor of Science degrees to certain select programs, such as nursing. The reason being that public health, statistics, etc. can be offered at the junior college level and those are typically the main differences in coursework between the bachelor of science and the Associates of science degrees in nursing.

    In any event, I am certainly surprised that junior colleges are being allowed to offer and award Bachelor of Science Degrees, because I just amazed that they are allowed to do that. When I began going to college, the separation between community college and university level schools was very very clear. Community colleges could only offer and award Associate's Degrees and universities could offer Bachelors Degrees and above.
  4. 0
    Just to give the OP an idea of what kind of things we ADN students learn, this has been my experience so far:

    I just finished up 2nd semester last week.
    Out of 18 weeks we were in the hospital 16. Two days/wk, 5.5 hrs/day.

    I've been lucky to get a grand total of 2 foley cath insertions and one NG tube. Both with the instructor present.
    For meds we do our 7 rights (we do 7, not 5) with our instructor, she walks in with us to our pt's room, sees that we are safe id'ing our pt then she leaves and we give the meds. If we are giving injections the instructor is always present.
    I've lost count of how many insulin and lovenox shots I've given. Vaccines, too.

    I have dc'd a few IVs and maybe 2 foleys without supervision. The first 2 or 3 we MUST do with our instructor.
    This semster we hung IV bags- no meds- with our instructor present, and we also did tubing changes.

    Next semester it is my understanding we will buddy up with a fellow student to do the 7 rights of med admin and we are on our own giving meds. Still our instructor will be pulling meds for us. We'll be doing IV meds as well. That's about all I know about next semester which isn't much.
    Anyway, 4th semester students do their preceptorship the last 4 weeks I think- ICBW on the timeline- and if they have > an 80% avg they get to choose their specialty. Otherwise it's med-surg.

    This semester we had about 6hrs of lecture/week (after you subtract break time).
    So I've been told by the time we graduate we should be capable of carrying out all RN tasks except starting IVs, which we do learn and get tested on but will never actually do in clinical.
    Since 1st semester we have lost ~10 people, either bc their grades weren't good enough or they were forced to drop due to poor clinical performance.
    My school's NCLEX pass rate has been >97 or 98% for many many years.

    Finally, I would like to add that I would have loved to go for a BSN but I didn't for 2 big reasons: #1 Two extra years in school and #2 The cost is prohibitive (and getting worse!).
    I have a B.S. already so when I applied to the Nursing program my prereqs were already done!

    Best of luck to you!
    Last edit by Naturalist on Dec 17, '12 : Reason: time fix
  5. 0
    Quote from SHTFnursingplan
    Just to give the OP an idea of what kind of things we ADN students learn, this has been my experience so far:

    I just finished up 2nd semester last week.
    Out of 18 weeks we were in the hospital 16. Two days/wk, 5.5 hrs/day.

    I've been lucky to get a grand total of 2 foley cath insertions and one NG tube. Both with the instructor present.
    For meds we do our 7 rights (we do 7, not 5) with our instructor, she walks in with us to our pt's room, sees that we are safe id'ing our pt then she leaves and we give the meds. If we are giving injections the instructor is always present.
    I've lost count of how many insulin and lovenox shots I've given. Vaccines, too.

    I have dc'd a few IVs and maybe 2 foleys without supervision. The first 2 or 3 we MUST do with our instructor.
    This semster we hung IV bags- no meds- with our instructor present, and we also did tubing changes.

    Next semester it is my understanding we will buddy up with a fellow student to do the 7 rights of med admin and we are on our own giving meds. Still our instructor will be pulling meds for us. We'll be doing IV meds as well. That's about all I know about next semester which isn't much.
    Anyway, 4th semester students do their preceptorship the last 4 weeks I think- ICBW on the timeline- and if they have > an 80% avg they get to choose their specialty. Otherwise it's med-surg.

    This semester we had about 6hrs of lecture/week (after you subtract break time).
    So I've been told by the time we graduate we should be capable of carrying out all RN tasks except starting IVs, which we do learn and get tested on but will never actually do in clinical.
    Since 1st semester we have lost ~10 people, either bc their grades weren't good enough or they were forced to drop due to poor clinical performance.
    My school's NCLEX pass rate has been >97 or 98% for many many years.

    Finally, I would like to add that I would have loved to go for a BSN but I didn't for 2 big reasons: #1 Two extra years in school and #2 The cost is prohibitive (and getting worse!).
    I have a B.S. already so when I applied to the Nursing program my prereqs were already done!

    Best of luck to you!
    Thank you for showing that ADN programs are just as rigorous n hands on as BSN program. Also your reasons for choosing an ADN program are similiar to mine.
  6. 0
    Quote from akulahawk
    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.
    Thanks for this and your entire response
  7. 0
    Quote from samadams8

    That is generally true for all of nursing, regardless of baseline degree.

    Well, there is Linda Aiken's study from U of Pennsylvania.

    I already stated in another thread that two year schools should just focus on preparing nursing students for four year programs, helping them with transferrable GE courses, and giving them mentoring programs, for which they would obtain transferrable credit. This would save on the cost of obtaining the four-year degree, and it would help students get insight into whether or not this is the right field for them--and if it is what they think it is. If they find out it's not, they won't lose the GE credits and may transfer them to another area of study.

    But the two year programs just need to stop with the whole ADN deal. It's pretty much a dead that anything other than a basic four-year program of study in nursing is the educational standard for entering practice. It's enough already. Make it such that unless you have that four-year degree in nursing, you can't sit for the NCLEX.

    Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. If nursing is ever going to raise up to a professional standard, it's the only way to go. But I would make the clinical requirements and experiences for those in four-year programs tougher, so to help prepare them better for clinical functioning after graduation.

    Overall, however, the 4 yr degree isn't as much about individual practice per se. You develop that after you graduate and practice for a while. You decide what kind of practitioner you will be. It may, however, set the tone for the how you will practice.
    It's about moving the profession forward--and in this it has been kicking and dragging its feet for more than 3 or so decades. It's totally lame.

    It's ridiculous to me that people can become RNs in two years. Physicians and student physicians frequently jest about this.

    Do you know what you are if you have a two-year degree in teaching? A teacher's aide. I'm just saying. . . it's time to get real about the whole thing.
    Your suggestions are unrealistic at this time however. The number of BSN prepared nurses is on the rise, but the majority of nurses are still educated and prepared at associate degree level.

    If one were to do some simple research, one would find that ADN programs are preparing people to go and get there BSN. Think of all the RIBN and bridge programs being created. People are realizing that it is more cost effective in this difficult economy for individuals to receive part of their education at a community college. This way people can get into work faster and finish the remainder of their education with a seamless transition.

    I go to an ADN program and 90% of our class plans to enroll in the university bridge program associated with our school. We have a whole nursing leadership and management course, have community health rotations at the health department, write multiple 15+ Page papers in APA a semester, and we due care management rotations. We are what my program director calls and "evolved" ADN program. She says she doesn't want us to enter our degree completion program not being exposed to most of the information that we will learn, at least once in our initial education.

    Since first semester, Our care plans are graded every week and we must include and EBP or research article r/t our patients reason for hospitalization or dx, complete a pathophysiology informational sheet about our pt. dx, and give a smart of however will implement EBP in our clinical practice as a student. At the end of our semester we had to include how we implemented EBP throughout or while semester. So if anyone from my ADN program doesn't know how to implement EBP by now, it's not bc they didn't learn how to.

    Oh, and I didn't get a summer break, I was in school also summer.
    Last edit by PatMac10,RN on Dec 21, '12
  8. 0
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    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.
    *** Yes absolutly there are two year associates degree RN programs. There isn't a real degree called an "ADN". ADN is a catch all to describe associates degree programs. There are differences among associates degree programs. Some schools (like mine) grant an Associates of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN). Other colleges grant an Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN). The main difference is in general education. Typicaly an AASN will have 1/3 of the credits in general educations vs 1/2 the credits in education for the ASN.
    My program did not have any college class pre-reqs except a 2 credit online chemistry for those who did not take chem in high school and could be (and was/is by many people) completed in 4 semesters. Thats how we end up with a few 19 year old RNs in my hospital each year.
  9. 0
    I serve as a preceptor and instructor in a large hospital's Critical Care Nurse Residency Program. We hire both BSN and ADN grads. We find the BSN grads to be a little more expensive to train since the local BSN programs simply don't teach the skills the ADN programs do. For example our ADN grads come to us competent in blood draws and IVs. While they may not be skilled at getting the hard sticks they understand the process and can do IVs on their own on patients with good vessels. In addition they understand why we have different IV sizes and when to choose a 22 ga vs an 18 ga. The BSN grads simply don't know this and we must train them at additional expence for the hospital. Not just IVs but other skills as well. While the BSNs are learning basic skills the ADNs are sitting in hemodynamic monitoring or pharm classes. My observation is that this gives the ADN grads a slight edge since they get to move on to advanced subjects sooner.
    That said by the end of the 9 month residency there are no differences between them, at least among those that make it to graduation. The washout rate is also slightly higher for the BSN grads. My observation is that the BSN grads tend to be much younger and come to us with less life experience and fewer coping skills to get them through the demanding and high stress residency program vs the ADN grads who are often in their late 20's to late 40's and come to use with considerable life & work experience. Obviously there are older BSN grads and younger ADN grads who are exceptions.
    Another thing we have found is that the BSN grads have a much lower contract completion rate. The contract completion rate was so low among the BSN grads hired for the SICU that they are simply not hired for that unit anymore. The ADN contract completion rate is (so far) 100%.


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