A Different Approach to the ADN vs. BSN Debate - page 7

by Sheri257

20,899 Views | 147 Comments

Over and over again, we read the same things on these threads. Pay BSN's more at the bedside, and mandate a BSN for all entry level nurses. There is widespread assumption that a BSN mandate would limit the labor supply even... Read More


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    I have run into many people on the nursing units at the hospital (which has both ADN and BSN students and equally hires from both schools) who judge you based on your degree. I have had several nurses say to me and fellow BSN students "just because you are in a BSN program doesn't mean you know this or that" WHICH is TRUE! But, I don't like being talked down to just because I am working on my Bachelors so I can go on or do management. I do not appreciate being judged on my degree. I realize that this BSN program focuses less on clinical skill and more on critical thinking and problem solving, which will hopefully make us effective nurses in the long run. I don't want to be "better" than someone just because of my degree and knowlegde, I want to be judged on how I use it to care for my patients.
    BTW--I have also had ADN students tell me that I would not get a job because I don't have the skills and because all we do is 'book work'. I have signed on and my nurse manager loves the fact I am a BSN student!
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    I just logged onto this site and I know I am entering this debate a bit late. I am a BSN working on my MSN/NP. After working in nursing at the bedside for several years now, I can truely say that I see little or no difference between the care provided by BSNs versus ADNs. I will also say that I really don't know what degree is held by most of my collegues. Individuals are judged based on the quality of care they provide and on their professionalism in practice. I really think the argument over who is a better nurse is just ridiculous.
    Here is the kicker though...
    If nursing is to define itself as a profession, which I don't believe it has to this point, a few things need to happen. Nursing must (and does) have a distinct body of knowledge. Nursing must have autonomy in practice and governance (which it doesn't have). Nursing must have a standard qualification for entry to practice.
    If we as nurses want better pay, more respect in the healthcare community, and greater satisfaction in our work, it is imperative that we take control of our discipline (notice I did not say profession). Do I think it is important to have a standard for the level of entry into practice? YES! Do I think it will be a difficult transition? YES! Do I think it will be worth it? Emphatically, YES!!
    Thanks for listening...reading...you know what I mean
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    Oh well ... I guess despite my efforts, this thread has turned into the same old debate.

    Just as a reminder (especially before the thread gets shut down) ... the point of this thread was to discuss whether a BSN mandate would actually be practical and, also, in the best interests of nurses who already have their BSN. To wit:

    * Where would the money come from to convert all of the ADN programs to BSN's?

    * What would happen to ratios if a BSN mandate limited labor supply? Isn't it possible that patient loads would increase? Couldn't this thwart efforts in other states to pass ratio laws not to mention, make bedside nurses' lives more difficult?

    * Why would BSN nurses want every nurse to get a BSN when it gives them a huge advantage and allows them to qualify for jobs that other ADN nurses don't qualify for?

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 9, '07
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    I am a ADN RN. I started my nursing career as an LPN. I sat for the same exam as the BSN nurses. I hold an administrative position and am asked frequently to speak at different seminars all over the country. Most assume I have a Masters degree, I do correct them when they state this. My point is that just because someone does not have a BSN, you can not assume that they are not as intelligent or should not be put in a position other than bedside nurse. Each nurse should be judged on her/his abilities not on their degree. Requiring a BSN would severly limit the amount of students who would go into nursing.
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    Quote from suzy253
    With the BSN--how many years are actual nursing? Are the first two years prereqs and general courses and then 2 years of nursing?
    The college I attended required 2 yrs liberal arts and 2 yrs of strictly nursing classes. The ADN programs combine general/liberal arts and nursing over a two year period, of course it likely takes longer than that but it is structured to be 4 semesters. I felt that I received a more balanced education than I would have in a 2yr program- and no, I am not saying this to cast doubt on the quality of the ADN programs. :spin:
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    Quote from cc_nurse
    The ADN programs combine general/liberal arts and nursing over a two year period, of course it likely takes longer than that but it is structured to be 4 semesters.
    What ever gave you that idea?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
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    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    What ever gave you that idea?

    ~faith,
    Timothy.




    The 4 semester ADN program info is based on the community colleges in my area. The diploma programs are generally 3 yrs in duration.


    Does this differ from your location?
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    Quote from cc_nurse
    The 4 semester ADN program info is based on the community colleges in my area. The diploma programs are generally 3 yrs in duration.


    Does this differ from your location?
    I'm not trying to step on Zasha's toes, but thought I'd offer up my school in this discussion: if you look at the flowchart, sure enough, you can finish an ASN in four semesters. However, what's NOT on there is the unwritten rule (that darn it ought to be written by now) that you'd better have everything that's a co-requisite course be done as a pre-requisite. So all the courses listed in the general curriculum "along with" the core nursing classes are expected to be taken before Fundamental Nursing. Many of these courses also have pre-reqs that take a year to complete (two semesters) and now with co-requs that have become pre-requs, add on another one to two semesters before your two years of actual nursing courses and clinicals.

    How can they do this? Simply because the waiting list / demand has become so high that they can afford to limit admission to the nursing program to only those students who have already successfully passed everything else. While technically it's a four-semester program, if you haven't done all the general ed and electives for the Associates, you won't be high enough on the wait list to get a place come Fundamentals time. And administration makes no bones about it: the nursing classes alone will chew up all your time between skills lab, studying, clinicals, extracurricular assignments, research papers and community assignments (yep, we did them, too).
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    Quote from RNsRWe
    IMany of these courses also have pre-reqs that take a year to complete (two semesters) and now with co-requs that have become pre-requs, add on another one to two semesters before your two years of actual nursing courses and clinicals.

    .

    Ah yes- the prereqs...

    Gotta love it I took 6 yrs to finish my BSN because of all the "extras" involved. Regardless of where you obtain your nursing degree, it is going to be one of the hardest things you will be involved in. But worth it regardless! :wink2:
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    Quote from lizz
    Oh well ... I guess despite my efforts, this thread has turned into the same old debate.

    Just as a reminder (especially before the thread gets shut down) ... the point of this thread was to discuss whether a BSN mandate would actually be practical and, also, in the best interests of nurses who already have their BSN. To wit:

    * Where would the money come from to convert all of the ADN programs to BSN's?

    * What would happen to ratios if a BSN mandate limited labor supply? Isn't it possible that patient loads would increase? Couldn't this thwart efforts in other states to pass ratio laws not to mention, make bedside nurses' lives more difficult?

    * Why would BSN nurses want every nurse to get a BSN when it gives them a huge advantage and allows them to qualify for jobs that other ADN nurses don't qualify for?

    :typing
    Dang-it! Well, at least you tried Lizz.

    I think you have a very valid point. Where I live in Southeast Colorado, there are two ADN programs and zero BSN programs. Therefore, if someone wants to become a BSN prepared nurse, they have to travel to Pueblo (over two hours away), leave their area and community, and thus take greatly needed healthcare away from this community. In the town in which I work, only one nurse that I know of has a BSN, even the charge nurse here has an ADN because the demand is so great and most of the BSN nurses move to the cities where they can advance further. To live out here, you have to be in it for the love of the community and it's people, not the money. Typically, the people that work here have lived here all their lives, went to school at one of the CCs that they either had to drive 36 miles to attend or 72 miles to attend (one way).

    I cannot even begin to imagine what would happen if those schools no longer offered the ADN program (I am 100% sure they could not transition to the BSN program, they are, after-all, low-funded community colleges). I fear that, if that happened, our local hospital would cease to exist or would have to be run purely by agency nurses. If all of the Bachelor's degree nurses were more expensive for this hospital to obtain, it could no longer stay afloat (it is struggling as it is), and it would shut it's doors. What a shame - and all because there is an ongoing argument among nurses of "who is better". So sad.

    I personally am attending an ADN program and drive 50 miles (I live 21 miles from the town I was referring to) one way to attend night/weekend classes because I have a family and have to work full-time, and I have to get student loans to pay for my education. Between the cost of driving to Pueblo and the higher tuition rates as well as the time it would take away from my work and my family, that would make going the BSN route impossible for me at this stage in my life. I am but a lowely student, but I think I am going to turn out to be a very caring and compassionate nurse and it would be too bad if those doors were closed to me.

    Great point Lizz - thanks!


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