BSN vs Bachelor's + RN School

  1. 1
    Just a thought here... if you disagree, please be respectful...

    There is a strong push from some for BSN to be the entry to practice for RNs.

    What about instead of requiring a BSN, to require those applying for RN school to have a bachelor's degree? The bachelor's could be in any field, though there would also be certain pre-reqs that if not covered in the bachelor's program would still need to be taken to apply for RN school. RN school would be revamped to include whatever BSN content is currently lacking, though some of it would already be covered by the previous bachelor's and pre-requisite classes.

    This is how medical school works. And in my state, to qualify for a teaching credential program you also have to have a bachelor's degree. It might force more consistency between nursing programs in regard to pre-requisites, as currently they vary a lot from school to school. This plan also doesn't force nursing programs to include collegiate course or offer college degrees. RN school would be strictly about training nurses. Students would be entering the programs already possessing critical thinking skills that they honed while earning their bachelor's degrees.

    Universities could even offer a bachelor's degree in "Nursing studies" or "Health care sciences" that would include standard RN school pre-reqs as well as cover topics relevant to nursing and health care.

    Let's discuss the merits of BSN versus bachelor's + (revamped) RN school and not whether or not BSN should be the entry for practice.
    DisneybearRN likes this.
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  4. 32 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    So instead of two or four years to get an RN you're advocating for six???

    Bad idea.
  6. 0
    What sense does that make? How is having an RN who also has their bachelors degree in, say marketing...any mopre beneficial than an ADN?

    Do you realize that the BSN courses differ from the ADN courses in that they focus also on management skills (scheduling, delegating, employee relations, legalities, etc), public/community health nursing, and nursing research amongst other things. There are often more science credits as well-ie an extra sem. of chemistry. It's not the same as an ADN with some extra fluffy elective classes thrown in as many think. And you can't just throw these into a general RN program, they take time you know!
    :trout:


    (please note I'm not saying anything against those who hold an ADN or diploma in nsg. But I have read in many places that the onnly diff is taking some extra humanities, when in reality there are related differences in the levels of education)

    People don't hone the critical skills necessary for nursing just because they have a bachelors degree. A degree in marketing, or computer science or mathmatics or political science or women's studies or pre-law, etc...that's supposed to prepare someone for nursing??

    Not to mention the extra years required (I'd guess that after throwing in the "professional" courses, it'd be around 3yrs...enough to have become an APRN if done normally), but you'd expect someone to
    1. APPLY TO
    2. GET ACCEPTED INTO
    3. COMMUTE TO
    4. FIND CHILDCARE FOR
    5. GRADUATE FROM and
    6. PAY FOR two different institutions of higher learning? No spank you! :uhoh21: I don't even want to think what this would do to the nsg shortage!

    ...all while either working full time or being supported financially by a significant other or their family?

    No spank you! :uhoh21: I don't even want to think what this would do to the nsg shortage!

    No offense, but this is one of the weirdest suggestions regarding the "BSN mandatory" issue that I've ever heard. I'm thoroughly confused here as to why you thought this would benefit ANYONE--nurses, patients, families, hospitals...
  7. 0
    Quote from KellNY
    Do you realize that the BSN courses differ from the ADN courses in that they focus also on management skills (scheduling, delegating, employee relations, legalities, etc), public/community health nursing, and nursing research amongst other things. There are often more science credits as well-ie an extra sem. of chemistry.
    Actually, it depends on from where the BSN is earned. I've looked into several on-line programs and some focus on preparing the graduate for teaching or management while others on advanced practice. I'll be pursuing the latter.

  8. 0
    Very true. I forgot about those. But IMO, any BSN degree should cover the management/research stuff because as a BSN, you're qualified to perform those "duties", so even a basic overview is beneficial.

    (kinda like learning to parallel park as part of drivers ed...you're gonna need it to pass the road test and are expected to know how in holding a drivers license-even if you never parallel park a day in your life)
  9. 0
    To say that an ADN plus BS in another field = BSN is like saying that a Associate's Degree in Physics plus a BSN is the same thing as a BS in Phyics. "It just ain't so."

    It's simply bad logic. I have a PhD in Nursing. Had I gotten an Associate's Degree in Physics, my PhD in Nursing would not make me qualified to take the place of someone with a PhD in Physics.
  10. 0
    As it is, many schools are now offering "accelerated" BSN programs for those who already possess a bachelor's degree that in theory squeeze two years worth of RN training plus any special BSN coursework into 1 year.

    We all know that "2-year" RN programs are really require at least 3-years of study because of pre-reqs like microbio and A&P. Yet BSN programs usually are 4 years of coursework from start to finish. So with just 1 year of difference in coursework, the BSN provides a bachelor's degree and includes *all* those extra BSN courses.
    Something doesn't add up.
  11. 1
    KellNY - I appreciate that you think it's a crazy thought. I don't see that you needed to be so harsh in your critique. I see your reasons for opposing the idea. I'm just tossing thoughts out there as I try to make sense of nursing education and nursing as a profession.

    So why did I bring up this particular thought? Because outside of nursing and even within nursing, people don't know what a BSN provides beyond RN training.

    Is is management training that differentiates BSN from RN programs? My BSN program didn't teach it. We did have a course in ethical and legal issue in nursing that touched on things like delegation. From my perspective, BSNs are preferred in management not because they had special training in it, but that the bachelor's degree usually requires practicing thinking from a wider perspective than just immediate circumstances. I think most bachelor's degrees give practice in this.

    Is it "critical thinking" that makes the difference bewteen BSN and RN? Does that mean RNs don't learn and use critical thinking? I think not. RNs DO use critical thinking in regard to patient care. The bachelor's degree, as noted above, gives practice in another realm of critical thinking - such as on an organizational and societal level.

    Is it learning about research? In my program, yes. We specifically had 2 courses in relation to this. We also had the opportunity to work directly with nurse researchers as an elective if we desired.

    Is it the extra training in public health? In my program, yes. We had a course in epidemiology and a public health nursing course and rotation. I don't know if this is standard in all BSN programs. If so, that right there is a good chunk of the difference in RN and BSN training.

    Is it the "mind-broadening" experience of a bachelor's degree? Yes. My program included 4 upper division electives you could choose in related fields such as medical sociology and developmental psychology. There were also all of the gen ed requirements of the university such as lower division humanities (history, anthropology), social sciences (sociology, psychology) and physical sciences (astronomy, physics) etc. This benefit of a college education comes with any bachelor's degree.

    My BSN program was a 2 yr program at a state university. We took all the pre-reqs and lower division coursework before applying formally to the nursing program. So it was 2 years for all RN training AND other BSN/bachelor's coursework. Let me reiterate - TWO YEARS for *ALL* RN training AND public health and nursing research and upper division electives.

    I think instead of "BSN-only" for certain jobs, there should be someway to earn the equivalent of BSN without having to earn another bachelor's degree if one already has one. Some accelerated programs do this. And there are RN-BSN programs that try to accomodate this. But it's a patchwork of different solutions for those who have a bachelor's degree in another field to earn a BSN. If one already has a bachelor's degree, the RN course required and the *BSN* coursework required should be clear. RN coursework being nursing care and rotations and nursing issues. *BSN* coursework being nursing research, public health, and whatever else that is supposed to cover. Maybe "BSN-equivalency" certfication. Wherein if someone has a bachelor's degree and an RN, they just have to take nursing research, public health, etc but not actually have to earn a second bachelor's degree.
    NY_teach likes this.
  12. 2
    Quote from jjjoy
    As it is, many schools are now offering "accelerated" BSN programs for those who already possess a bachelor's degree that in theory squeeze two years worth of RN training plus any special BSN coursework into 1 year.

    We all know that "2-year" RN programs are really require at least 3-years of study because of pre-reqs like microbio and A&P. Yet BSN programs usually are 4 years of coursework from start to finish. So with just 1 year of difference in coursework, the BSN provides a bachelor's degree and includes *all* those extra BSN courses.
    Something doesn't add up.

    I agree that "something doesn't add up" -- but I think the problem is that the ADN programs are trying to milk their students for more money by requiring 3 years worth of courses. An ADN degree is supposed to take 2 years (4 full time semesters) to complete. That's the standard throughout academia and that's how it was when the ADN degree was created. The idea was to create a nurse with a "technical" background that would be appropropriate for entry-level roles and who would be clearly less educated than the BSN grads who were educated as "professionals" prepared for more advanced roles.

    However, over the years, people have come to expect ADN grads to fulfill more advanced functions -- rather than pay a little more to require BSN for advanced roles. Simulataneously, ADN grads and program directors have not be happy being considered "less than" BSN program grads. So ... the ADN programs keep adding requirements to "beef up" their programs. As you have correctly pointed out, it now takes 3 years to get through some ADN programs. In the process, the ADN program makes more money from the students -- but still doesn't qualify them for the higher BSN credential.

    I think the people who should be most upset about this should be the graduates of ADN programs who take more than 2 full time years to complete. They are doing more work and paying more money than an ADN is supposed to require -- but only getting the "2 year" credential. But instead of being angry at their schools for requieing more than is necessary ... they get mad at everybody else. Some people get mad at the ADN programs who actually graduate people 4 semesters only and say that those programs are too short. Some people get mad at the BSN grads and say that their 3 year degree is equal to the 4 year degree. Their anger is misplaced. It should be directed at those who pad their ADN programs with extra requirements that make it more difficult and more expensive to get a degree that other schools offer for 4 semesters.
    SharonH, RN and donsterRN like this.
  13. 0
    Just a note... I think the reason the ADN has become a 3 year program is the difficulty getting classes when you need them. Credit-wise, it's about 80 credits to get an associates degree (looking quickly at my program including the prereqs). That is doable in 5, maybe 6
    semesters. It's just that it is impossible to take the classes in the correct order, apply to the program, wait on the waiting list, and finish up the nursing portion in two years elapsed time. But theoretically, I suppose it could happen.


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