Quote from Sloan RN
Get the BSN. It'll cost more money and more time, but you'll make more money and have much more employment opportunities when you graduate. If you want to work in critical care, don't even consider anything else! There are some ADNs in the ICU I work in, but they've all been there for a long time. It's really hard to compete with BSNs for jobs as a new nurse.
As a new grad you won't neccesarily make more money as a BSN- some hospitals pay more to BSNs but some don't, and it's rarely a large difference for equivalent work- one hospital I worked at offered 25 cents an hour more to BSNs than ADNs, my current magnet hospital offers no difference in pay and still hires ADNs.
BSNs *may* be hired preferentially, and more management and other non-floor positions are certainly available to BSNs with experience, but as a new grad seeking a staff nurse position, the competition is stiff for everyone and factors like networking, a stellar preceptorship, good recommendations, and other methods of distinguishing yourself individually are just as if not more influential. A BSN alone doesn't land you the job- I've sat in on peer interviews of woefully underprepared BSNs. I was a new grad ADN not that long ago, and though the new grad market is oversaturated, ADNs absolutely are still being hired for hospital jobs in many areas. Experienced ADNs are much more marketable than new grads regardless of degree, and while that may not be the case forever, it will probably not change in the next 3 years so it's mostly a matter of determining what your new grad prospects are at the time you graduate, and what your timeline is for completing a BSN post-licensure.
I recently interviewed for several hospital positions in Nashville, and although I am not a new grad anymore, I was interviewing for specialties outside my current one and I was still offered the job after each interview. The only one who brought up the issue of BSN in any of the interviews was me, asking about their facility's support of employees pursuing further education.
I intend to complete at least my MSN in the next few years, so I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from pursuing a BSN, but I do think that the best approach varies widely. If time and money are no object, then a direct BSN is a great idea. But for many students, starting work years sooner, paying less for the initial degree, paying less for the BSN completion, and often receiving tuition assistance from an employer is a sensible plan that can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in savings and income. What makes the most sense for each individual varies with circumstance, resources, and timeline.