Which would be better? ADN or BSN? - page 2

by Reckless96 | 7,628 Views | 23 Comments

Hi, I'm currently in high school and thinking about getting into nursing after I graduate. I can't decide if I should go straight to the University and get my BSN, or if I should go to a community college and get my ADN, and then... Read More


  1. 0
    I would definitely recommend the BSN. In my area, many of the hospitals are "Magnet" status, which requires they have a certain number of BSN nurses. My mom, who has her ADN and over 15 years experience, faced some issues when trying to find a new job, and many of the positions were requiring that she commit to getting her BSN as a contingency for hiring her. If you have the option to do BSN or ADN, I would recommend the BSN.
    Last edit by RNBritt on Sep 21, '12 : Reason: typo
  2. 2
    Quote from sunrae0110
    Do you ever plan to go further with your career than just having an RN license? I say BSN all the way. ADN is just a waste of time and is going to double the work you have to do if you do plan on doing anything more with your career down the road. Plus, many places pay more for a nurse with a BSN than for an ADN. I know the hospital I work (a VA hospital) at is no longer hiring ADN nurses, only BSN. There's no right choice, however, I feel that the BSN will allow for more choices in the future.
    I would definitely not say that an ADN is a "waste of time" Where I live many of the hospital RNs are ADNs and around here you don't get paid any less than a BSN nurse. Some of these RNs are being reimbursed for their RN-BSN. I would hardly call that a "waste of time". Yes, it is better to go with the BSN right away, but people in ADN programs work hard for their degree and still get hired in many places. Just because the degree may put you at a disadvantage in some areas does not make it a complete waste across the board.

    Anyway....I agree with the above poster. If you can get into a state school go with the BSN. You're young and have time for it. Make sure you keep your grades top notch though, because around here at least all the state university BSN programs are EXTREMELY competitive....and it is often impossible to get in with anything less than a 3.5 GPA. The private BSN programs here are easily $80,000 for the whole 4 years, and a lot of them don't have the greatest of reputations. Research your area though and see what people say about the schools. Doing the BSN right away will save you less hassle in the long run, and depending on where you live it will be easier to get a job with a BSN. If I had to do it all over I would've done the BSN right away, but my first year of college I messed up my grades pretty bad and I have no chance at getting into the state university programs and the private programs are wayyyy out of my budget so I went the ADN route, and when I graduate I'll only need 4-5 classes for my BSN because I already have all the pre-reqs for the BSN program done. I go to a good ADN program, and around here they still hire ADN nurses, but if I could do it over I would have just done the BSN right away.

    Many ADN programs have super long waiting lists too, and it isn't always quicker. The ADN programs around here still require about a year of pre-reqs, and there is a 3 year waiting list...so it's not any quicker than doing a BSN program straight through.
    BDavisRN and samadams8 like this.
  3. 1
    After having gotten an ASN I would suggest at your age do not go for short cuts. Get the traditional BSN and get as much clinical experience as you can. You have time and it will save you from the problems I'm seeing in that experience matters and a BSN just eliminates the question of whether you have enough education. Otherwise, someone else applying for the same position WILL have a BSN and your application will have some concerns. Might as well just eliminate that problem now.
    samadams8 likes this.
  4. 1
    Stanford Hospitals and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital are now requiring BSN trained RNs. Also, you will have a hard time getting into a RN to BSN program any time soon--they are packed,especially in California! Definitely the BSN route for a new RN...
    samadams8 likes this.
  5. 2
    Go for the BSN, and get a job externing when you are a junior. Then suck it up and get a job on a very busy cardiac-surgical step-down floor, and then at least a good year in an excellent ICU.

    After this, apply for whatever areas float your boat. You will have a stronger foundation than many others. The foundation you get can make or break you clinically IMHO.

    Heck, even if you go into psych nursing, you will be more prepared for off the wall stuff that can definitely happen, even in some of those settings.

    No, don't spend your money on an expensive school for your undergrad. State school is fine. Save the higher cost of education for graduate level education.

    I went to an expensive undergrad, even though I already had the ADN and learned an awful lot and found the CCRN exam relatively easy. The only reason I went to an expensive school was because of what I would be doing for graduate education. In general,however, I say save yourself an outlandishly high tuition, unless you know you are going to apply for a competitive medical program or something like that.

    A good state university with a solid reputation in nursing and board scores should suit you fine. You don't learn a heck of a lot until you get out there and start working in it--unless you get into a great extern program or a really great internship.

    Keep your grades up, b/c you do NOT necessarily know that you will not want to get into something competitive after your undergrad is completed. Many programs look at CUMMULATIVE GPA, so don't screw yourself--or make it harder if you should seek to go on later, after undergrad.
    SE_BSN_RN and soxgirl2008 like this.
  6. 1
    I have worked with BSN ADN and diploma prepared nurses. I also worked in a hospital that was heavily reliant on LPNs for staffing and patient care assignments. I am biased because I have a BSN.

    I was a "traditional" college age student (right out of high school) and went the BSN route. I went to school in Ohio (where I lived at the time). I wanted to go to community college and do the ADN route - but my parents strongly insisted that I go the 4 year university BSN degree. They were right. It would have been much easier to transfer between programs had I decided nursing wasn't for me and I would not have wasted so much time given the amount of pre-requisites and co-requisites needed for nursing at my university. I also went to a small university - average class size (overall for all undergrad classes) was 13-20. Some classes were bigger - anatomy and physiology lecture, chem lecture, etc - but you will have bigger lectures anywhere. Our big classes were about 80 students. My nursing class, when we started we had 70 students. At graduation, we had 48 eligible to graduate with a BSN. Well, we really had 50...48 traditional BSN and two RN to BSN (RN-BSNs attended commencement with us and were in some classes like research, legal etc).

    I have to disagree with the sentiment that "ADNs are better prepared clinically than BSN" grads. I think it depends more on the program and things that were focused on in your program. When looking at clinical hours in quantity alone, BSN program was second in the state in terms of quantity of hours completed...second only to another BSN program. To be fair, I was accepted into the program with the highest number of clinical hours...but I chose the program I did based on financial aid (all of my other considerations were very similar between schools). I've worked with some ADN grads that I am surprised haven't killed a patient. I have also worked with some BSN grads that equally surprise me in that respect.

    I also disagree with the sentiments that "ADN is cheaper" or "state schools are cheaper". Do your research about programs please, please be an informed consumer. When I was choosing between BSN programs, my top two choices of schools I was admitted to were both private. I was accepted for admission at two state school's BSN programs. One state school had just received accreditation for their BSN program and the other is great but it can be a nightmare as an undergrad. The one that can be a nightmare - their BSN program is great, comparable to the two others I chose between (my top three choices were the two privates and this state school). But the average completion time considering availability of seats in both nursing and non-nursing courses typically made a 4 year degree equivalent to spending 5 years, and/or you may or may not have gotten into the nursing program the year you apply to that specific school. The cost of the state school STARTED lower than the private schools, but room and board was more expensive at the state school and the state school had a zillion extra fees including insane parking fees (I'll address this later). I think I paid over 3 years (didn't have a car my freshmen year) the same amount in parking I would have paid for one year as a student at the state university. My financial aid packages were considerably higher at both private schools than at the state school (state schools have a public budget and less money to go around, private schools typically have a larger endowment fund for scholarships/grants etc). The cost between the school I chose (private) and the state school would have, if everything had happened according to plan and in the best way possible at the state school, been about the same. I had to consider at my private school I already had admission to my program but at the state school I'd have to apply etc...and chose private based on the "reality" of cost.

    I worked at a state university affiliated medical center in their float pool during my junior and senior years of nursing school. They preferred to hire their own students or other BSN students even for assistant positions. This medical center had an externship program for the summer between junior and senior years...people in the program pay for a quarter's class at the university but are paid for their work and practice with a preceptor one on one much like senior practicums/preceptorships work. The new graduate internship would only hire BSN prepared nurses, and they'd get 1000+ applications so it helped to know nurse managers or work in the system as an assistant...they looked at their own grads and 'internal' applicants first. The new graduate internships - especially the ones at prestigious medical centers - forget about it unless you know a nurse manager and/or have a BSN.

    I think it depends on your area but it seems that the wind is blowing in the direction of a BSN. So many postings it seems require a BSN or say things like 'BSN strongly preferred'. Sure you can do it both ways, but it depends on your goals and what you want.
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
  7. 1
    Soon after the financial meltdown of 2008, many hospitals in the U.S. started explicitly declaring a preference for BSN-educated new grads. Since so many new nurses are being pumped into local job markets across the country, the BSN degree has become a new weed-out tool: an applicant might get weeded out without one. It reduces the number of candidates that HR must interview for those few available job openings.

    In addition, why hire a new ADN with no experience when the hospital has a flood of new grad applicants with BSN degrees who are willing to work for a lower pay rate than in previous years? It saves hospitals money in reduced wages, and a higher proportion of BSN-educated nurses looks good on paper when marketing the facility to the public.
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
  8. 0
    My opinion:
    First, better and quicker do not go hand in hand. I would go for the BSN program, rather than planning on a bridge program down the road. If you are young and free of major responsibilities now, that may change. Take advantage of being able to focus on school. The practical aspects of going for the BSN are that you may have more job opportunities, job security, opportunities for advancement, & better pay. The more important reason to opt for the BSN program: You'll find people debate the merits of different degree programs all over this website, but education is valuable. More educational preparation may make you a better nurse, & that statement does not dismiss the qualifications & experience of nurses without a BSN.
  9. 0
    I think it depends on a number of things. You will hear very impassioned arguements on either side of the fence.....kind of like should moms work or stay at home....different strokes for different folks....I personally fought my mom (3 year hospital grad) tooth and nail to do a BSN. Several years later I was widow with a small child and had a career trajectory that I might not have had without my BSN. There would not have been an opportunity for many many years to go back to school. When that time came Because I had my BSN I was then able to get my Masters.

    We all make our own choices based on a number of things...you need to weigh it out and figure out what you want out of your career. Personally I think you should get your BSN to start....
    Good Luck in what ever path you choose!
  10. 1
    Agree, go to a state school and get a BSN. The job market, which is still depressed right now, isn't going to be that much better in 2yrs verse 4 yrs. Take your pre req at a community college (take your time and get A's or better) then transfer to a four yr school. Get a job in a hospital while you are in school. Learn how a hospital works, learn how to use the computer systems and get to know people (the key to getting a job). Please, if you do get a job in a hospital think about it as a long interview for a RN. Show up on time (maybe even a little early), put the patients first, don't spend your time... (texting, facebook,twitter,youtube failblog or whatever you young people do these days) and dress, talk, act like a professional. The medical field is a small community, even in a major city, if you get labeled unprofessional it will follow you.
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top