What if you have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and are getting a ADN?

  1. 0
    I'm a mid-life career changer and have a bachelor's degree in marketing. I spent 13 years in that profession and the last two positions were in management. I'll soon be entering an ADN program.

    My undergraduate alma mater has a BSN program, but I'd be paying nearly $100 more per credit hour to get the nursing component that I can get by going through my local community college's very well repected ADN program. The nurses I know at both local hospitals all say the graduates of the ADN program are vastly better prepared from a clinical perspective than the BSN grads from the local university program.

    Will the fact that I have a previous bachelor's degree and spent time in management come into play when seeking a promotion at some point in my future career?

    I do see one major benefit to having a BSN, and that is if you want to work for a magnet hospital. It is my understanding that a certain precentage of their nurses need to be BSN status to maintain magnet certification. Is this correct?
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 6,445 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 25 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    You may want to consider a second degree program...In my area they are 12-18 month intense programs, but you will have a BSN...may be more money initially, however you will also be working sooner..so things may even out. Good luck!
  6. 0
    I'm a mid-life career changer and have a bachelor's degree in marketing. I spent 13 years in that profession and the last two positions were in management. I'll soon be entering an ADN program.

    My undergraduate alma mater has a BSN program, but I'd be paying nearly $100 more per credit hour to get the nursing component that I can get by going through my local community college's very well repected ADN program. The nurses I know at both local hospitals all say the graduates of the ADN program are vastly better prepared from a clinical perspective than the BSN grads from the local university program.

    Will the fact that I have a previous bachelor's degree and spent time in management come into play when seeking a promotion at some point in my future career?

    *** I don't think so. I work with lots of nurses who have a BS in another field and an ADN and no body seems to care. It might make a difference if you are seeking a job in marketing like pharm rep or something.

    I do see one major benefit to having a BSN, and that is if you want to work for a magnet hospital. It is my understanding that a certain precentage of their nurses need to be BSN status to maintain magnet certification. Is this correct?

    *** No, that is incorrect. I work at a magnet hospital and as far as I can tell magnet is just a marketing thing with little meaning for the nurses on the floor.
  7. 0
    [

    I do see one major benefit to having a BSN, and that is if you want to work for a magnet hospital. It is my understanding that a certain precentage of their nurses need to be BSN status to maintain magnet certification. Is this correct?[/quote]

    Yes, this is correct. I work at a hospital who is seeking magnet status. My manager will only now interview BSN prepared nurses (to try and tip our ratio)

    I recently graduated and we discussed the pros/cons of this at length..... I am tired and could not easily find the specific qualifications.....
    but here is this...

    "More and more hospitals are requiring all RN’s to hold at least a bachelor’s degree so they can obtain Magnet status. The Magnet Recognition ProgramŽ was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to recognize health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and uphold the tradition within nursing of professional nursing practice. A hospital that is able to obtain this status has a competitive advantage. In order to obtain Magnet status, a certain percentage of the nursing staff must hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree- which means that hospitals are far more likely to hire an RN who already holds a bachelor degree.
    http://www.onlinehealthprofessions.c...lthcareNow.asp

    Sorry that is not a more reliable source, but at least it gives you a starting point for your own research.:spin:
    Last edit by jessi1106 on Jul 28, '07
  8. 5
    There are many places that do not require managers to have a BSN. Many will still accept and ADN or Diploma grad (particularly with a BS in another suitable field."
    However, the national trend is moving toward requiring that BSN. So, you will be at a disadvantage long-term.

    Whether that is a disadvantage you are willing to live with for the rest of your life ... that's something only you can say.

    It sounds to me that you are interested in pursuing career advancement opportunities and not in remaining a bedside staff nurse for your entire career. And it sounds to me as if the price difference between the two programs is not all that much when you consider it in the long run in light of the increased opportunities that will come with the BSN.

    Also ... might you someday be interested in getting a Master's Degree? A lot of good nursing jobs require a Master's Degree -- which would be much easier to get if you already had your BSN.

    Finally ... who is saying that the ADN program graduates are more prepared for clinical practice? Are those nurses ADN grads? Managers? Educators? etc. Sometimes (but not always) the ADN programs and Diploma programs provide more clinical hours than some BSN programs, making their new grads more comfortable with clinical skills at first. However, if the BSN program is a reasonably good one, their graduates quickly make up that difference. Think about it a minute. As a staff nurse, you'll be spending 36-40 hours per week doing direct patient care. If you choose to work in a facility that provides a good orientation, you will quickly learn any technical skills you didn't learn in college.

    If hospitals felt that the BSN grads were not competent, they wouldn't be hiring them. But they DO hire them, because they understand that grads from all 3 types of programs can do the job.
    The BSN grads then have the advantage for being promoted.

    If you decide that the ADN program is right for you ... then that's OK. I wish you well. But don't let biases against higher education for nurses or a little money overly-influence you. Look at your long-term goals and choose the route that will give you the highest probability of long-term happiness and success. Once again, if that's the ADN route, there is nothing wrong with that. But realize that you may find yourself having to go back to school once again in the future to get that BSN someday if you want certain jobs.

    llg (who teaches in an RN-BSN completion program)
    Last edit by llg on Jul 28, '07
    srun21, Jessy_RN, Tweety, and 2 others like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from llg
    If hospitals felt that the BSN grads were not competent, they wouldn't be hiring them. But they DO hire them, because they understand that grads from all 3 types of programs can do the job. The BSN grads then have the advantage for being promoted.
    With all due respect, I really don't think the op was implying that BSN grads were incompetent. Honestly, I thought the op brought up some interesting questions and was not necessarily "biased" against higher education at all!

    I completely understand why the op is questioning the rationality of pursuing the bsn rather than the ADN. For those of us who do have a Bachelor of Science in another discipline, it is frustrating the way it seems that we MUST receive a BSN as the other degree does not count for anything.

    I understand that management must have a keen grasp on issues specific only to nursing. However, because there does seem to be so many problems within the profession that I read about here and other places over and over, maybe having a pool of nurses with advanced degrees in other areas wouldn't be such a bad thing! Imagine if more nurses in upper management had a better understanding of accounting, engineering, human resources, chemistry, computer science... maybe things would actually change for the better!

    In addition, I would like to point out two more things:

    1. Assuming that you already have all the general education and science prereqs that you need for a BSN, there is only a difference of about 20 credit hours between an ADN and a BSN (comparing several Accelerated programs in my area to the Community College). This amounts to approximately 5 classes, including topics such as Legal/Ethical policy issues, Community Nursing, Leadership and Management, and Research topics.

    I believe it is important for management to have a strong body of knowledge regarding these topics, but I'm not sure how beneficial it would be to the non-management nurses. If a nurse decided she wanted to advance into management, I think it is reasonable for her to take these classes as needed... which is what the RN-BSN completion programs are for, right? Therefore, I just don't see the urgency of completing the BSN program up front.

    2. The money situation can be a big issue, and shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. In my area, the community college costs approx. $70 per credit hour. The local universities cost between $250 and $300 per credit hour. That is a significant difference. I was accepted into an accelerated program that would have cost around $25,000. I just read that the tuition cost for this university went up another 12% for the fall, not including another $13/credit fee that will be tacked on in addition to the increase. That's a lot of money!!!
  10. 0
    Quote from Michigangirl
    With all due respect, I really don't think the op was implying that BSN grads were incompetent. Honestly, I thought the op brought up some interesting questions and was not necessarily "biased" against higher education at all!

    I completely understand why the op is questioning the rationality of pursuing the bsn rather than the ADN. For those of us who do have a Bachelor of Science in another discipline, it is frustrating the way it seems that we MUST receive a BSN as the other degree does not count for anything.

    I understand that management must have a keen grasp on issues specific only to nursing. However, because there does seem to be so many problems within the profession that I read about here and other places over and over, maybe having a pool of nurses with advanced degrees in other areas wouldn't be such a bad thing! Imagine if more nurses in upper management had a better understanding of accounting, engineering, human resources, chemistry, computer science... maybe things would actually change for the better!

    In addition, I would like to point out two more things:

    1. Assuming that you already have all the general education and science prereqs that you need for a BSN, there is only a difference of about 20 credit hours between an ADN and a BSN (comparing several Accelerated programs in my area to the Community College). This amounts to approximately 5 classes, including topics such as Legal/Ethical policy issues, Community Nursing, Leadership and Management, and Research topics.

    I believe it is important for management to have a strong body of knowledge regarding these topics, but I'm not sure how beneficial it would be to the non-management nurses. If a nurse decided she wanted to advance into management, I think it is reasonable for her to take these classes as needed... which is what the RN-BSN completion programs are for, right? Therefore, I just don't see the urgency of completing the BSN program up front.

    2. The money situation can be a big issue, and shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. In my area, the community college costs approx. $70 per credit hour. The local universities cost between $250 and $300 per credit hour. That is a significant difference. I was accepted into an accelerated program that would have cost around $25,000. I just read that the tuition cost for this university went up another 12% for the fall, not including another $13/credit fee that will be tacked on in addition to the increase. That's a lot of money!!!

    Kind of off topic, but what a ripoff the ADNs in your area are getting by being nearly 20 credit hours away from a BSN. To me that's a good enough argument to go for the BSN. One is going to spend about 2 years (presuming pre-reqs are done) getting an ADN that's just a few courses shy of a BSN. I would feel cheated.

    My RN to BSN program includes a bit more, but similar. Some courses like Patho., Pharm and Assessment seemed redundant because it was covered in the core of the ADN program but they are NLN requirements of an ADN to BSN program and were much mroe detailed. In adition I had to take Stats., Chemistry, a couple of humanties, and a soc course "Aging in Society".
    DNRS/NRSG 326 3 credits Concepts of Professional Nursing
    DNRS/NRSG 327 4 credits Health Promotion and Assessment
    DNRS/NRSG 328 4 credits Principles of Pathophysiology
    DNRS/NRSG 329 3 credits Pharmocology
    DNRS/NRSG 446 3 credits Community Health Nursing
    DNRS/NRSG 447 3 credits Population-Focused Health Promotion
    DNRS/NRSG 485 3 credits Leadership and Management in Nursing
    DNRS/NRSG 497 3 credits Nursing Research Methods
    DNRS/NRSG 499 3 credits Seminar in Nursing


    As far as moving up in the world with a degree in another field, it can definately be done. I know a Director who has a BA in Business that got his ADN and is now running an ER in a major hospital. I think experience in the units or types of units that the person wants to manage, coupled with their own personality and style will get them a promotion over a BSN, all other things being equal.

    There's just no cut and dry forumula.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jul 30, '07
  11. 0
    Thanks for all of the interesting insights on this perplexing issue.

    Yes, Michigangirl, you are right on the mark...I was definitely not implying BSNs were incompetent. I was merely repeating what I have had several nurses in the two major local hospitals tell me (and two of them were BSNs) that the community college ADNS had a general reputation of being better clinically prepared than the local university's BSN grads. One of them said (and I am paraphrasing) "They can write pretty nifty care plans, but aren't real adept at carrying them out." I'm speaking of our local situation only, and I'm sure there are many BSN programs that graduate very fine RNs...it just seems that my local university has a reputation on the street of graduating "okay" RNs.

    I'm very attracted to nursing specifically because I'm interested in the clinical aspect of it. I've done my stint in management and I really didn't like it much. I would much rather be "down in the trenches." I really don't see myself going into administration. I wouldn't mind perhaps teaching toward the twilight of my career, in which case I would need a Master's degree.

    The nice thing about already having a B.S. degree at my alma mater is that they offer an option if you have an ADN of taking 6 or 7 additional classes and then being able to enter their MSN program.

    That being said, I don't want to be in school for the rest of my life either...I'm 43 and if you would have asked me 5 years ago if I thought I would be back in school training for a new career I would have laughed at you.

    I'll probably do the ADN route and get the lay of the land. Even if I decided to do and ADN to BSN down the road, it won't be that much more coursework since I already have that B.S. under my belt.

    Thanks again for the insights and advice!
    Last edit by AZO49008 on Jul 30, '07
  12. 0
    Quote from Tweety
    Kind of off topic, but what a ripoff the ADNs in your area are getting by being nearly 20 credit hours away from a BSN. To me that's a good enough argument to go for the BSN. One is going to spend about 2 years (presuming pre-reqs are done) getting an ADN that's just a few courses shy of a BSN. I would feel cheated.
    Tweety, I meant that because I already have all of the other classes done already (english comp, sociology, all of the psychologies, etc, etc...) that is what it amounts to, and I think that is pretty standard among the colleges around here. Also, from your list, it looks to be about the same if you don't count Patho and Pharm. I am actually going to an informational meeting today about the RN-BSN program, (even though I don't have my ADN finished yet), so I may come home with different information.

    But I agree, its a good argument to go for the BSN. Can you lend me some money?????
  13. 0
    Quote from AZO49008
    That being said, I don't want to be in school for the rest of my life either...I'm 43 and if you would have asked me 5 years ago if I thought I would be back in school training for a new career I would have laughed at you.

    I'll probably do the ADN route and get the lay of the land. Even if I decided to do and ADN to BSN down the road, it won't be that much more coursework since I already have that B.S. under my belt.
    AZ, it sounds like we have a lot in common (same age, same background, same area, same crossroads in life...) You gotta do what's best for you!

    Good luck to you!


Top