WHY does a B.S. + RN not equal BSN

  1. 3
    I'm not trying to be argumentative here...I'm asking a serious question because I really don't understand. I also didn't post this over in the ADN vs BSN thread because it's not nearly as active. I also searched for answers (so don't skewar me), and while I found others who asked if it's the same and were simply told 'no it's not'...but I couldn't find an answer to WHY it's not. So here it goes...

    I have two B.S. degrees..one in Speech Therapy, and the other in Computer Science (don't ask..life detours keep life interesting).
    I am now purusuing a nursing career. My mother was a nurse for 40 years. I keep hearing how I really NEED a BSN to move up in the field. But here's the rub - I have no desire to go back for a THIRD BS degree. I have general education coming out the wazoo. At the most I'm willing to go from an RN-MSN program provided I get tuition help from my employer as I've had enough education expenses thankyouverymuch. But another BS degree...Really?

    I am also being told, here and in other places, that a B.S. degree in another field, plus an RN license does NOT equal a BSN. I really don't get that. I have the general education from a 4 year degree (and then some), and I will (God willing) have the RN education which basically encompasses the last 2 years of a BSN program (and the program I will be going through actual has MORE clinical hours than the BSN programs locally). So, 2+2 = BSN in my mind. So why doesn't it?
    And don't tell me it's because of this elusive Magnet Status either. Because two of our local hospitals have Magnet status and they not only HIRE ADN's, they RUN hospital based diploma programs which spit out wonderfully prepared diploma nurses...who then get hired at said hospitals. So, the theory that Magnet Status hospitals don't hire anything less than BSN's....well, I'm confused on that too because I keep hearing it here - but the reality seems quite different - at least where I live. Feel free to answer that for me too....

    So what I am hearing here is...get your BSN. If you get a diploma or ADN first and you already have a BS degree - then you need to do an RN-BSN program which will include your general education...which i ALREADY have! So, what, I take one or two bridge classes and call it a BSN? It not only seems like a money grab from the Universities, but also a semantic technicality by everyone else. What am I missing?

    Please, someone - kindly- explain to me the difference between a BS degree in ANYTHING in CONJUNCTION with an RN license...and a BSN. I really want to know.

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  2. 116 Comments...

  3. 9
    there is a major difference unfortunatly.
  4. 11
    Because a BSN is a bachelor's program in Nursing.
    So no, a bachelor's in art plus an RN licensure will not and won't equal a BSN.
    RNFiona, loriangel14, sauconyrunner, and 8 others like this.
  5. 7
    A BSN has a specific curriculum you'd have to complete in order to have the degree, just as your two degrees had specific curriculae. The RN curriculum doesn't have everything in it that the BSN curriculum has.

    That's where programs that bridge the other degree to the nursing degree come in.

    I had a degree in education. I wanted a BSN because that's all there was at the school I wanted to attend. I did not have to re-take the required courses that I had already completed. I got through my BSN in 2 years because of that. Now I'm a BSEd, BSN, RN, RN-BC, CNS, APRN-BC--lots of alphabet soup as far as I'm concerned.

    If you complete RN studies other than a BSN, you could be BS, ASN, RN (insert the degree you got in the middle, in place of the ASN). You can't be a BSN without the degree, simply due to the requirements for the degree. You don't need a BSN to practice as a nurse, in most places.
    loriangel14, Jarnaes, tvccrn, and 4 others like this.
  6. 5
    I got a two-year nursing degree and have a previous BA, so I researched all this bfore I chose the ADN in the first place. BSN has specific classes. If you already have two bachelor's degrees, chances are you only need to take the nursing classes for a BSN and no more general education. If you shop around and find a program that won't be picky about what your previous degree general-education credits are, you should be able to do an RN-BSN with only about 8 nursing classes. Or you can do an RN-MSN, which is more money per credit and more classes.
    Jarnaes, tvccrn, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  7. 0
    I can't comment on why, but I can tell you that if you have a degree, you don't have to do any more GE. There are accelerated programs for people just like you and in my state, a lot of the traditional programs take applications specifically for the nursing school after your "sophomore" year, so again you would have already completed those (because they give you credit). So with a prior degree you can get a BSN in 12-24 months, depending on your school. It is more expensive than an ADN, but the time is the same or less.
  8. 5
    The extra time spent in a BSN program (vs. an ADN program) has more advanced nursing theory content, which is different from what you learned in your speech therapy degree and computer science degree. I'm currently in my penultimate semester and one of our courses is nursing research (more of an introduction), and another is project management, related to nursing. Previously we have had major emphasis on community health and theories related to same.
    That's my perspective on the differences from my experiences. I'm sure not all programs are the same as the one I'm in.
  9. 5
    Having a bachelors in another field, I completely GET your frustration. It seems like BSN nurses go through 2 years of Gen Ed, then 2 years of nursing. You want to know why your two years of ASN nursing doesn't equal the 2 years of nursing the BSN students get.

    My understanding of this is that their education in nursing is at a baccalaureate level. The classes may be similar in content, but the course numbers are upper-division instead of lower.

    My analogy is that ASN nurses learn algebra, while BSN nurses learn calculus. It's all math, just a higher level.

    Fortunately, bridge programs are easy to find...and you get a lot of "credit" for already having a BS degree....you may only have to take the CORE nursing classes for that BSN. You should not have to repeat Gen Ed classes.

    Best of luck to you!
    Anoetos, Jarnaes, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from oaktown2
    I can't comment on why, but I can tell you that if you have a degree, you don't have to do any more GE. There are accelerated programs for people just like you and in my state, a lot of the traditional programs take applications specifically for the nursing school after your "sophomore" year, so again you would have already completed those (because they give you credit). So with a prior degree you can get a BSN in 12-24 months, depending on your school. It is more expensive than an ADN, but the time is the same or less.
    that may or may not be true. I also have a previous Bachelors degree and when I was applying to nursing schools, whether or not they would count any of my previous coursework towards my nursing degree was dependent on how long ago I took the class. So that is another factor you must consider when applying for programs-whether or not any of your previous coursework would count towards your new degree. Because if the answer is no, you then have to factor in whether the cost to re-taking said courses is worth it in the end.
    lindarn, Mrs. SnowStormRN, and netglow like this.
  11. 1
    I know that BSN nurses get community theory and clinical that ADNs do not get. I wonder if they don't have the ethics or leadership classes that I've had...you generally don't get that sort of thing in other BS degrees.
    lindarn likes this.


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