Pros and cons of ADN, BSN and MSN

  1. 0
    What are the pros and cons of ADN, BSN and MSN besides the difference in income? Does higher education make us more competent or better in nursing? Glad to hear your opinion.
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    you missed one...a diploma in nursing and that is what I have and I have no regrets getting it!!! It is not a degree, but I am still a Nurse and took the same national test other degree schools take and passed first time! the major difference is in a degree program, we had a ton of clinical which I feel you need as a nurse. An ADN has a little more classes under your belt and a BSN has a few more (per say). BSN and MSN are more if your looking at management positions or teaching. I want to go back and get my MSN eventually so I can teach but who knows? Diploma programs are sometime a little shorter in time because they have less requirements for classes, but the time is equal because of the greater number of clinical hours they have. BSN has less clinical and more theory. I worked with a girl who graduated from an excellerated BSN program who did not know the difference between insulins???? she said she only gave insulin like 1 time in clinical. In my diploma program, we gave insulin on a daily basis sometimes multiple times a day!! that is one example of a difference. I work in a fast paced ED and this girl had to transfer to a med surg floor because she had no clue in the ED and could not keep up with the pace. Not that I am knocking BSN programs because I want to go back, but watch what school you decide to go to. Make sure it has standards both in clinical and classroom... having both will/should make a good program no matter which you decide to attend
  4. 2
    The nurse is what makes the nurse, not the degree. I've seen entry level nurses from many programs and they all are fairly green, but good nurses.

    The advantages of getting the BSN, MSN are as the person said above, getting jobs away from the bedside. There are many "BSN preferred" positions, and many BSN required positions in management, teaching, reserach, safety, case management, public/community health, insurance companies, etc. etc. etc. A BSN is a good investment for the future away from the bedside.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 15, '08
    treezuh_lvn and Elvish like this.
  5. 1
    Diploma programs are becoming less avaliable as the years pass since government is implementing laws on education of the RN.

    As a ASN you will take pre reqs such as General Psych, Socio, Anatomy and Physiology, Mico Bio, Chem, and English. You will also take your general nursing classes [nursing I-IV]. You will gain extensive knowledge in the clincal aspect of nursing, such as meds, procedures, patient care, etc.

    As a BSN you will take the same pre reqs as an ASN plus statistics, organic and inorganic chem, nutrition and some extra classes which i cant name at this current moment in time. As a BSN you will be taught more the theories of nursing than the actually clinical portion. A BSN is good in specialized areas of nursing like say OR, Endo, Same Day, and the O so popular Administraion

    An MSN will take it a step further and you will know have managerial positions such as Nurse Manager, Nursing Supervisor, Director of Nursing, and so on and so forth.

    If you are interested in doing bed side nursing including ICU and ER I recommend going to a community college and obtaining your ASN, afterwards work for a bit and continue to your BSN. You will actually save more money this way because community colleges are much cheaper than a four year university.

    As for ASN's in NJ, rumors are going around that legislature in our senate is pushing for a law that requires all Diploma or ASN nursing to obtain their BSN with 5 years of graduationg from a RN program. Its a push to have a magnet facility which will appeal to government which will inturn offer more money, which wil put more money in the pockets of the hospital CEO.

    As for pay both degrees pay about the same bonuses might differ. but if you are looki
    jyakin likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from happyloser
    As a BSN you will take the same pre reqs as an ASN plus statistics, organic and inorganic chem, nutrition and some extra classes which i cant name at this current moment in time. As a BSN you will be taught more the theories of nursing than the actually clinical portion. A BSN is good in specialized areas of nursing like say OR, Endo, Same Day, and the O so popular Administraion
    The extra courses you're talking about might be research, community health, more detailed patho and pharm, leadership, ethics, etc. The BSN's focus is a bit more broad, whereas the ASN is focused on the bedside.

    You're statement " As a BSN you will be taught more the theories of nursing than the actually clinical portion. " might be true where you are, but definatley isn't true around here. NLN-accredited programs have a specific amount of clinical time required for the BSN and the ASN. Around here, it's the exact same number of hours.
  7. 2
    Actually, PA has the most diploma program in the conutry! They are also accredited by the ANA and all the other legal and govermental regualtions pertaining to nursing schools. Some are getting lax and falling by the wayside because of non-compliance and lack of interest by the schools. The school I went to was awesome and I would not have thought of going anywhere else. I had as much clinical as I did theory and came out prepared to take on any patient that I was given. We also had 6 semesters of clinical instead of the average of 4 for ADN programs. I spent 1/2 semesters on each of the specialties (OR/PACU, Maternity/child, psych/home health, ICU/ED, including legal and ethical issues) compared to the week or two in ADN and BSN programs. For this reason, I believe diploma programs are the best and prepare the student better than some other programs that are out there. I still had to take all the "pre-requisits" the ADN had to take without having to take chem or abnormal psych. they are the only classes I didn't take but soon will to obtain my degree as well. My school is afiliated with Penn State as well so I can easilty go back and get my BSN from PSU and all my credits will transfer including those from nursing school.
    All of the instructors at my diploma program have there MSN as well as it is required by the school. most ADN and BSN programs only require a BSN in order to teach. Thats is the way it is here in PA anyway, it may be and prob is different in NJ.
    elkpark and Altra like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from Brian F
    Actually, PA has the most diploma program in the conutry! They are also accredited by the ANA and all the other legal and govermental regualtions pertaining to nursing schools. Some are getting lax and falling by the wayside because of non-compliance and lack of interest by the schools. The school I went to was awesome and I would not have thought of going anywhere else. I had as much clinical as I did theory and came out prepared to take on any patient that I was given. We also had 6 semesters of clinical instead of the average of 4 for ADN programs. I spent 1/2 semesters on each of the specialties (OR/PACU, Maternity/child, psych/home health, ICU/ED, including legal and ethical issues) compared to the week or two in ADN and BSN programs. For this reason, I believe diploma programs are the best and prepare the student better than some other programs that are out there. I still had to take all the "pre-requisits" the ADN had to take without having to take chem or abnormal psych. they are the only classes I didn't take but soon will to obtain my degree as well. My school is afiliated with Penn State as well so I can easilty go back and get my BSN from PSU and all my credits will transfer including those from nursing school.
    All of the instructors at my diploma program have there MSN as well as it is required by the school. most ADN and BSN programs only require a BSN in order to teach. Thats is the way it is here in PA anyway, it may be and prob is different in NJ.

    In NC where I went to school, and it's true here in FL, at NLN approved schools the instructors in the classroom are Masters/PhD prepared (in BSN programs that are NLN approved there must be a certain percentage of PhD prepared instructors for them to get this accreditation), but clinical constructors can have "only" a BSN with experience in the area they teach. With 16 years and my BSN, I certainly would feel comfortable leading a group in Med-Surg. I probably could teach a class or two but I'm not allowed to, which is as it should be.

    Interesting I wonder what the students who spend 5-10 weeks only in those areas you mention do with the rest of their time? Med-Surg? Schools I guess are different. I can't imagine any NLN approved school allowing only one to two weeks in pysch rotation, or maternal/mom care, although I only did one day in ICU and zero days in the ER, public health (until I got my BSN) and home health.

    All that said, I do agree with one statement: Diploma schools prepare nurses probably the best because of the longer amount of time spent in clinicals.

    However, from what I've been ADNs and BSNs do well as well in the long run, with time being the equalizer and on the job training settling them into their roles eventually.

    All pathways to the RN have advantages, and those that choose one over the other can certainly point out with ease the disadvantages of the others, sometimes with smug arrogance, and other times with false information (such as BSN nurses only prepare you for management and don't have a lot of clinicals, or ADN programs don't teach critical thinking, or diploma nurses are very week in complicated pathophys. knowledge, on and on and on)

    Which leads me to my original statement that it's not the degree/diploma that makes the better nurse, it's the nurse.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 16, '08
    Elvish likes this.
  9. 0
    I have three co-workers who are doing an MSN program online. I was surprised to find that all they are doing are group projects, power point presentations, gleaning information from researched topics and putting them together to "present" to their professor. Not that they aren't working pretty hard at it, but they are not going to set foot in any kind of facility for any of this. There is no patient care involved. I've always been lead to believe that the more alphbet soup you have behind your name, the "better" nurse you are, but since they aren't actually learning any new nursing skills or improving the ones they have, I am rethinking that.

    That being said, I think they will benefit from the work and "degree." Two are quite a bit younger than I am, so perhaps management is a real possibility for them. This 59 year old ASN RN is getting ready to hang up my stethoscope.
  10. 0
    Quote from tntrn
    I have three co-workers who are doing an MSN program online. I was surprised to find that all they are doing are group projects, power point presentations, gleaning information from researched topics and putting them together to "present" to their professor. Not that they aren't working pretty hard at it, but they are not going to set foot in any kind of facility for any of this. There is no patient care involved. I've always been lead to believe that the more alphbet soup you have behind your name, the "better" nurse you are, but since they aren't actually learning any new nursing skills or improving the ones they have, I am rethinking that.


    I guess it depends on what you mean by "nursing skills". I think those three are definately learning nursing skills - just not ones used at the bedside, and ones that might not interest you. So no, alphabet soup doesn't make you a better nurse. Many online Masters programs presume they are working RNs and the "facility they set foot in" is one in which they are already working, or have experience in. Research is the backbone of Masters programs.
  11. 0
    hey!....if u dont mind me asking how long did it take for u to complete the diploma program? and what school did u attend?


Top