Considering an ADN over a BSN but already have a bachelors - page 4

by heyitsryan

9,448 Views | 38 Comments

Hello everyone, I had a question regarding the associates and the bachelor's degree in nursing. Currently I am active duty Air Force, but plan on getting out soon and am hoping to change my career to nursing. I have a degree... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from focker14
    Hey man, you will hear a lot of varying ways to go about this. In all honesty, you really need to pursue the avenue that best suits your family, which usually is the cheapest route in my book. I graduated with a BA in psych, and then went back to school to get my ADN from a CC. Had no issue with getting hired, nor was there any stigma associated with my ADN vs BSN. In fact, many of the managers I knew "preferred" the ADN vs the BSN prepared RN's because they seemed better prepared clinically to take patients from the get-go. Usally this is the result of the BSN students having to devote time to non-clinical subjects such as Theory, Law/policy, etc...I then obtained my BSN via online at the University of NC at Chapel Hill. It took one year to get it and I was able to work full-time. It is extremely nice to have income coming in when your in school! I now am in CRNA school and will graduate with my MSN in 10 months.

    Did my BSN help me out with my job? NO. Did my BSN increase my pay? NO. Did my BSN change the way I practiced? NO. Will I most likely will get shunned by someone on allnurses. for saying that---yes....however it is the truth. A BSN most likely will get you into management positions quicker as opposed to an ADN.

    Although you already have 4 year degree, it unfortunately doesn't mean S*%T in the nursing world. Sad but true!! Unless you took a lot of pre req's already I would bet you are going to have to take some chemistries, math, biology, etc just to get into a program. Again, do this the cheapest way. Find a community college that you can take these classes at and many of them can be taken online...ie...easy to continue if you MOVE.....

    You said your end goal was to become a NP. Once you become a RN, there are numerous RN to MSN programs and even more BSN-MSN programs. Cannot stress it enough----find what will suit your needs accordingly. If your wife is still Active Duty, then online programs may be the best route for you.

    Hope this helps....i'd be glad to talk more if ya want to. Also, THANK YOU----to you and your wife for serving our country!

    i was a USAF brat.. (dad was a full-bird). I know what you go through!
    Good points! I go to an ADN program and truth is it is so much cheaper a more cost effective. I don't have any student loans and the BSN program i am to attend will be manageable for me to pay mostly out of pocket while working as an RN. My goal is also NP. I have figured, figured, refigured, and refigured again. Talking with college and hospital recruiters and advisors and my plan checks out, and it should save me a substantial amount of money. I am 19 and will graduate from my ADN program in May of 2013, I don't want to spend my 20's in debt, not saying that all BSN students are in debt, however, just me personally.
  2. 0
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** It doesn't work that way with the compact license. You must live in a compact state to use the license in other compact states. For example if you got a license in Wisconsin, a compact state, but continued to live in Cal you could only work in Wisconsin, not the other compact states. Gatting a different state license is pretty easy. California is famous for be among the most difficult and you already have that one.
    Keep you eye on USAjobs. If you search "nurse" withing 100 miles of San Diego county there are some staff RN listing in Long Beach and some other areas. Also search indeed. Use broad search terms like "nurse" not "RN" or "new grad nurse". I see the navy is opening a new hospital on Camp Pendelton. They might have openings soon. They will show up on USAjobs.
    I was recently on Tri-City Hospital's web site and they have a ton of RN opening but they all want at least 1 year experience. A tough place for you to be. I feel sorry for you and the other new grads having a hard time finding that first job. The false and self serving "nursing shortage" propaganda (there has never been a nursing shortage in the 18 years I have been in nursing) has hurt many like you.
    Here is a list of Ca hospital web sites:
    California Hospitals and Medical Centers CA

    Good luck on your interview!
    I've applied to all of those places you mentioned, and have been looking at indeed and Craig's List every day. I just finished an application on USA jobs for the naval medical centers. So if I want to apply to a hospital in Ohio I have to have an Ohio license, and if I want to apply in Wisconsin I have to apply for another license? It sounds very expensive!
  3. 0
    Quote from itsnowornever
    First....I never understand why ADNs feel they are better prepared clinically? All hour requirements are the same. Technically, BSNs have a larger knowledge base due to patho classes they have to take.
    Here, in SE NC, it us not difficult for ADN nurses to get a job. Most hospital are hiring now, all across the state, with the clause that if an ADN prepared nurse is hired, regardless of experience, they will sign an employment educational contract saying them will have a BSN in X amount if time. Many of us ADN students plan to continue our education anyway, 70% if my class intends to continue to Graduate level education, approx 92% intend to get there BSN within 2 years if graduating. Our school is partnered with the local University fit a bridge RN-BSN Program.

    Our county and area can't really "afford" to say they will only hire BSN grads, because we only have one BSN program/ university in our county, and few in our surrounding counties, but we have plethora if ADN programs. I know this can very across the state though. Yet, even statewide, there are numerous more ADN programs than BSN, the BSN programs wouldn't provide enough nurses in time to fill the need for them in the various healthcare settings in the state. That doesn't mean VSB programs are bad or invaluable though, they just can do it by theirselves at this point in time.


    You are certainly right about the different programs having the same clinical hour requirements. Many states boards of nursing require RN initial educational programs to have a set minimum amount of clinical hours each semester and throughout the entire program regardless of the educational preparedness level. However, it is fact that, in my area, this is approached differently by BSN and ADN programs. My school, an ADN program, logs more clinical hours in the actual healthcare setting DOING patient care and interaction than the local BSN program who has an amazing and brand new sim lab. Our school can't afford a full sim lab, but we do have 2 sims dummies. The BSN program also logs some of their observational experiences, where no nursing or clinical care is provided by the student, as clinical time. Of course we do too, but a lot less than our local BSN program.

    Both programs achieved 100% pass rate on the NCLEX thus boast year (yay!) both have released bad and good nurses.

    We have multiple nursing courses in a semester, although less than the local BSN program does. We have community health rotations and coursework at the health dept, nursing leadership and management course, care management rotation, L&D, OR, ICU, ER, new born nursery/ NICU, Peds/ Picu rotations! And we actually provide the nursing care, not just observe. Our local BSN program doesn't rotate through half as many sites and specialties as we do, but neither do most of the other ADN programs. Our program director stated she has to truly advocate on the benefits for the state to be allow her to do these "extra" specialty rotations and log them as legitimate and well spent clinical training time. She said that the state (NC) would have it we did almost straight med-surg, because that's the main focus of a novice RN and NCLEX is heavy on Med-Surg, more so than specialty areas.
    Last edit by PatMac10,RN on Oct 3, '12
  4. 0
    Quote from ughhmehh
    I've applied to all of those places you mentioned, and have been looking at indeed and Craig's List every day. I just finished an application on USA jobs for the naval medical centers. So if I want to apply to a hospital in Ohio I have to have an Ohio license, and if I want to apply in Wisconsin I have to apply for another license? It sounds very expensive!
    *** Oh no not at all. You don't need a license in a state to apply for a job. Nearly every job posting will saying something like "has a license in this state or is elligable to obtain one". You only need to get a license in the state where you actually get a job. In most states, other than California, getting a license is just a matter of sending them money. Most state are "walk through" anyway. Meaning if you show up at the board fo nursing with your documents you can get a license in a day. As along as you graduated from an accredited nursing school and passed the NCLEX getting another state's license is no big deal.
  5. 1
    Quote from PatMac10,SN


    You are certainly right about the different programs having the same clinical hour requirements. Many states boards of nursing require RN initial educational programs to have a set minimum amount of clinical hours each semester and throughout the entire program regardless of the educational preparedness level. However, it is fact that, in my area, this is approached differently by BSN and ADN programs. My school, an ADN program, logs more clinical hours in the actual healthcare setting DOING patient care and interaction than the local BSN program who has an amazing and brand new sim lab. Our school can't afford a full sim lab, but we do have 2 sims dummies. The BSN program also logs some of their observational experiences, where no nursing or clinical care is provided by the student, as clinical time. Of course we do too, but a lot less than our local BSN program.

    Both programs achieved 100% pass rate on the NCLEX thus boast year (yay!) both have released bad and good nurses.
    We both must have had great programs because we too had all the specialty rotations. I typed up this HUGE response and it deleted. UGH! So I will just say to the OP---your military experience will get you far if you find someone who can understand what that means. I have 8 years experience as an MP and promoted to SSG in 4 years. I have been an instructor at the school house, worked retention and recruiting in addition to being an MP. This landed me my first job (starting today!) working as a CCT nurse. The gentleman that hired me said that they are looking past the 2 years experience required because he believes that as an MP I will be able to be calm under pressure. I have never had an "observation" rotation. I have titrated cardiac drips on stroke patients (several) as well as titrated propofol on a few. I have always jumped right in and helped run critical patients in the ED and ICU. The trick? Don't be afraid. I have always gotten frustrated when the more timid students will stand behind me watching me work and say, "I dont know how you do all of this". I try to explain it, try to teach it and they just say, "Oh, I can't do that"....example: stroke pt in the ed was given lasix about 15 min before I showed up. The nurse was telling someone she just pushed it and I noticed there was no foley....so I asked "Um, where is the foley?" the nurse said "SHOOT!" so I did what I'm supposed to do, I said "I got ya" grabbed the foley, got it in in less than 5 min and was done. No mess, no fuss. Meanwhile a fellow student said "I dont know how you do this so fast!" I had asked her to grab sterile gloves and help me with legs and by the time she had found the gloves, the foley was already in. Don't be afraid. No matter what degree you get. Trust your knowledge (as long as you are a good student who actually will study). Get that experience. Dont just watch the entire time.
    PatMac10,RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from loriangel14
    If you want to be an NP you will need your BSN at some point.You may as well get it now.Your other degrees will be of little use as a nurse and an employer won't care about non nursing degrees.
    Actually, there are quite a number of MSN programs leading to NP that admit second-degree RN's (non-BSN RN's with a prior degree in a non-nursing area). As an RN with several prior degrees, including a graduate business degree, I can second your second statement though.
  7. 0
    Actually, there are quite a number of MSN programs leading to NP that admit second-degree RN's (non-BSN RN's with a prior degree in a non-nursing area).


    *** One can become an NP with no bachelors degree in anything. There is no requirment to possess a bachelors degree to earn a masters degree.

    As an RN with several prior degrees, including a graduate business degree, I can second your second statement though.

    *** This seems suprising to many people and I don't know why. If you were seeking a job as an engineer why would they care about your nursing degree?
  8. 1
    I'm in an ADN program, I took a year of Anatomy and Physiology and a year of pathophysiology so what was it you were saying about an "increased knowledge" base? I've compared my program to BSN programs, the major difference was the BSN programs had a lot more nursing research, nursing leadership and health care informatics classes while the ADN had a lot more in the way of in the hospital, on the floor clinical experience. Will I get my BSN- yes but will it dramatically change my practice, Nooooo. I also plan on getting my DNP.
    PatMac10,RN likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from MatthewSN
    I'm in an ADN program, I took a year of Anatomy and Physiology and a year of pathophysiology so what was it you were saying about an "increased knowledge" base? I've compared my program to BSN programs, the major difference was the BSN programs had a lot more nursing research, nursing leadership and health care informatics classes while the ADN had a lot more in the way of in the hospital, on the floor clinical experience. Will I get my BSN- yes but will it dramatically change my practice, Nooooo. I also plan on getting my DNP.
    Yes. Yes. We have heard all this before. Go on which ya bad self


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