Should I Be Scared of Getting an ADN in 2011?

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    My immediate goal is to obtain a BSN, an accelerated one at that because I already have a bachelor's. I am currently awaiting decisions from several programs, with muffled anxiousness I might add. However, I have also applied to one ADN program as a backup, in the event I don't get in to one of my BSN choices OR in the event I am unable to afford the attendance at one or more that may offer me admission. I keep reading story after story about how BSN nurses are getting an edge in hiring these days. So, I am a bit reluctant to pursue an ADN if it means I am not going to get considered for work after I graduate. I do intend on going on to grad school so either an ADN or a BSN will allow me to enter an MSN program. And I know that all new grads are having a hard time anyway.

    Ultimately, I wish to return to my native NYC, but I am not opposed to working in Westchester, Long Island, or Connecticut if conditions are more favorable for ADNs there. Wishful thinking? But I keep seeing so many students entering ADN programs, they can't be completely dead -- so what's happening to them all after graduation?
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

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    New Jersey has closed 13 hospitals in the last 4 years so there are a lot of nurses in this (the NYC metro) area. New ASN's aren't getting hired as quickly if there are 10 year BSN's around and there are. But all 60 nurses in my school's last graduating class were hired within 7 months. They were all diploma RN's with an ASN from the community college. Of course not all of them went to hospitals. I would say, don't worry about it, just get in. Especially if you need to get out and work ASAP. With your degree you're already given preference for the BSN so it may not matter.
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    To PACO69, i'm in the same boat as you... at this point ive realized that I can ONLY for for my aas if I want to keep working full time. The only program in my area that will allow me to work and go to school part time for my BSN, is tooo expensive (LIU in brooklyn... 896.00 per credit- 66 credits= lots of money. i have undergrad loans from my BS degree that I will be paying for the next 20 yrs).

    So i plan to do the aas degree, then do the bsn either online or wherever life takes me. For now I have to stick to where I live and work, nyc- all the best to you
    Paco-RN likes this.
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    I am an ADN, graduated Dec 2010, and found a job about a month after graduating as an RN. A good, reputable employer looks for a well-rounded individual with some sort of experience. Any new grad with hardly any healthcare experience, BSN or not, is going to have a harder time right now-that is just reality. My suggestion is to do the program that is best for your situation, and work on getting some good experience in healthcare as a CNA or something similar in the meantime. I had work experience as an LPN in a clinic and private duty setting, as well as PCA experience in a group home. The job I got offered was doing private duty nursing and the reason they looked at my resume was due to my work experience, not whether I had my associate's or BSN. Another new grad RN I graduated with worked as an ER tech while she was in school and ended up getting offered a floor job at the hospital she worked at. Good luck to you, and hope this helps some.
    MsbossyRN and Paco-RN like this.
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    I agree with the post above. At my hospital they pay ADN and BSN nurses the same, and don't care which you have, what they do care about is work experience. They will almost always take an ADN graduate with healthcare work experience over a BSN graduate with none. While I believe furthering your education is important, working in a hospital as a CNA I see what a headstart it gives you to get some healthcare work experience. Our hospital also usually tries to hire within the hospital first when hiring new grads.
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    The fastest and least expensive route to RN will almost surely be as an ADN. There is usually only a trivial salary differential between ADNs and BSNs, assuming you are fortunate enough to find employment. If your goal is to work as nurse after getting your degree and becoming an RN however, you may find that there are fewer openings for ADNs than for BSNs, though this is largely dependent on where you are located.

    In my part of the world (Phila metro area), 2 of the largest hospital chains are both in the process of trying to attain magnet status. The immediate impact of this is to eliminate new grad ADNs from consideration for employment at these institutions. The follow-on impact is that other hospitals and health care institutions in the area, including some LTCs, now state "BSN required" as one of their employment criteria, effectively barring new ADNs. The majority of nursing positions in the Phila now state "BSN preferred", which is not an absolute barrier to getting hired as an ADN but does make it more difficult. From what I can see, this is also a trend in other parts of the country and one which ironically is supported - at least tacitly - by the ANA.

    My situation was similar to yours (second-degree RN) and I needed to continue to work while in nursing school. With that in mind, as well as cost, I opted for the ADN. While I don't regret my choice, it has made it difficult to find nursing employment: I have not yet been able to get an interview for a nursing position. Thankfully, this is not critical in my case since I have simply continued in my old, non-health care related job. The story would be quite different if I had to find work as an RN: The unofficial statistic from my CC, which has a well-regarded and quite competitive nursing program is that 90% of my class from 2010 have been unsuccessful in finding jobs. The success rate for new BSNs from local schools, some of which have less competitive admissions and lower NCLEX pass rates, reportedly is much better. So I plan to go with the new flow and will begin an on-line RN-BSN program this summer. The hope that - and the part-time job as a CNA that I hope to get (interview pending) - will be enough to open the door to a nursing position sometime in early 2013.

    So should you be "scared" to get an ADN? No, but you should be realistic and be prepared to relocate if you do. My recommendation is that if you can afford it, go directly for the BSN.
    Last edit by chuckster on Mar 1, '11 : Reason: typo
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    Hospitals on LI such as Stony Brook and the LIJ network will not take ADNs w/ < 10 years of experience. But if you REALLY want to be an RN then do whatever it takes. There a many opportunities to advance your studies while working in the field.
    If you already have a bachelor's then the BSN is the better option and will take the same amount of time as a ADN.
    I am currently enrolled in Stony Brook's nursing program if you have any questions I am happy to answer them.
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    I am in the same boat as well, I already have a BS but getting a BSN is too expensive for me. I will be starting and ASN in August, I currently work in a hospital as a unit secretary, unfortunately I already know that I will not be offered a position at my current job, which has magnet status and does not hire ASN nurses...but you have to do what you have to do! I couldn't find a job within the scope of my first degree, so this is nothing new for me! but finding employment is inevitable! so keep on keepin on
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    WOW, this is an old thread. So much has transpired since Jan 2011.

    UPDATE: I was accepted to two accelerated BSN programs about 2 months after I posted the original message. Turns out attending one year at a public university was going to cost less than 2 years for a private school associates, how odd is that? As a result, I withdrew my application to the one ADN program to which I applied. I was living in FL at the time and decided to accept the offer from the nursing school in NY, so I returned to NY and just graduated with my BSN this past May. I was offered a job right after graduation at the university hospital and will start orientation later this week! I will be taking my NCLEX sometime next month.

    I am still amazed at how fast this all happened. And in hindsight, I must say: choosing the BSN route was the way to go, especially in the NY area. If you can do the BSN, do it! But in some areas of the USA, an ADN might just do.

    Good luck everyone
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    Paco- idk if you remember me but back in 2011 we were both apply for stony brooks acc. BSN program but i didnt get in so i ended up going to UMDNJ acc BSN program that summer. I cant believe you already graduated ! man has time flew by ! congrats! =)) def. happy for you ! hope when i graduate i will be as lucky in finding a job. lol