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ADN vs. BSN

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Is there a difference in how prepared you are when you take the NCLEX after only 2 years of nursing school (Associate) vs. 4 years of nursing school (Bachelor)?

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Is there a difference in how prepared you are when you take the NCLEX after only 2 years of nursing school (Associate) vs. 4 years of nursing school (Bachelor)?

I'm a little confused. Are you asking if the NCLEX is different for those holding an associate degree vs someone with a bacehlor degree? If that's what you're asking, then the answer is no. The test is the same no matter what degree you hold.

Are you asking if bachelor degree programs prepare you better for the NCLEX (because you have 4 yrs of schooling vs 2) again the answer, in my opinion is no. since we all take the same test, both the 2 and 4 year programs must teach you what you need to know in order to take the test.

One of the biggest differences between the two programs is that you have more general ed classes (english, maths, humanities etc) in the 4 yr program. you do have some extra nursing classes but those would not factor into knowledge to pass the NCLEX. Because, the NCLEX uses the same test no matter what. So they would not test an associate degree holder on classes that are normally reserved for a bachelor program.

Sometimes, I think you might find the ADN even more focused toward the NCLEX because you don't spend the extra time on the gen eds or the nursing content (leadership/management, research, public health) that won't appear on the exam.

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

No, you prepare the same way. There's no "advantage" on NCLEX for the BSN grad vs. ADN grad.

There is no difference based on your degree. Some schools prepare you better than others, so checking NCLEX pass rates for schools that offer the different programs is what you want to look at.

A 4-year Bachelor program includes 2 years of core nursing coursework, as well as non-nursing classes that round out what makes up a Bachelor degree.

A 2-year Associate program includes 2 years of core nursing coursework, as well as co-requisite (and usually a year or so of pre-requisite) classes that round out what makes up an Associate degree.

Each degree contains the same amount of nursing classes and clinicals, so the preparation to take the NCLEX (minimum competency exam for entry-to-practice nurses) is the very same.

No. Whether you do an adn or bsn does not affect how well you do on the nclex. You'll be prepared either way. What may matter is the reputation of the school (nclex rate) regardless of whether it's a bsn or adn program. In my area, the local community college's adn program brags about how much better their nclex rate is compared to the local public university's bsn program.

I agree with what has been said so far, that the BSN offers no real advantage with regards to NCLEX. That said, the stat-lovers will tell you otherwise as, according to NCSBN, the passing rate is roughly 4% higher (at least this year) in favor of BSN vs ASN.

I dont think there is a difference. NCLEX is trying to find out if you will be a safe nurse, in the end ADN or BSN one doesnt trump the other in patient safety. I went to an ADN program and plan on moving on to get my BSN but regardless I passed my NCLEX on my first try in 84 questions with ADN.

passing rate is roughly 4% higher.......

Eh, I'm one of those stats lovers, LOL, but don't pay any mind to this one. It's simply too variable, quarter by quarter, to have any value. Heck, the first quarter stats for 2015 had diploma programs as higher pass rates than either! But.... So what? Stats say a lot more about a situation than just a simple number, even trends. Guess I really am a stats geek, LOL!

Statistically, as someone said, there is a small difference in NCLEX pass rates, but it depends much more on the school. My ADN program in Washington state has a higher pass rate than the supposedly nationally top rated BSN program, by a few percentage points (on average for the past 3 years). And at least 5% higher than the $30,000/ year local private university. Most of my classmates are passing NCLEX in 75 questions, some more but I don't think anyone has failed yet. Not sure if this is because we focus a lot on NCLEX in our

last quarter, or if we are better prepared throughout the program.

That being said, there are a few ADN programs that have very low pass rates. They can be all over the map.

Thanks everyone for the comments. The school I go to has very low pass rates for the NCLEX so i guess that's why I posed the question because it is only a 2 year program. The school lacks structure and organization and I am aware that most of the studying is done independently but it alarms me that so few graduates have actually passed the NCLEX. But, I am aware that it depends on how well the school prepares you and how much effort you put it in.

Sorry to hear about the poor quality of your school. Did you not know these numbers when you enrolled? Or was it a recent downturn?

At this point, all you can do is prepare yourself as best you can. Look into commercial preparation courses, seems like they would benefit you quite a bit. In your case, your school being a two year program has nothing to do with the pass rates. Your school has a low pass rate,simply because it is a poor school, not because it is a two-year program.

Actually, if the school's pass rate falls far enough for long enough, it will cease to be an accredited school..... if it is even an accredited school now, that is. :(

Une Infirmiere, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

Thanks everyone for the comments. The school I go to has very low pass rates for the NCLEX so i guess that's why I posed the question because it is only a 2 year program. The school lacks structure and organization and I am aware that most of the studying is done independently but it alarms me that so few graduates have actually passed the NCLEX. But, I am aware that it depends on how well the school prepares you and how much effort you put it in.

Please do not let low passing scores discourage you. As long as your school is accredited, they should be able to prepare you for the NCLEX. Study hard! Nursing school is no joke. The nurse you will become depends initially on what you learn from your nursing instructors.Once you hit the floor to work as an RN, you will know where the real learning is. A big chunk of what you learned in school won't matter anyways.

As of BSN vs ADN, the preparation is the same to take the nclex. I graduated an ADN program and I am currently enrolled in a RN-BSN program. ADN focuses more on bedside while BSN emphasizes on leadership as well. The main difference I would say is this:

-More writings....They want you to master the APA Style.

-Community Health Clinicals in order to get your public health certificate.

-More health assessment... Yes you will be going back to the Sim Lab:blackeye: ...

Other than that.....Good Luck!

There weren't many numbers that I knew of because the program was still in its infancy. But, the first graduating class which consisted of about 10, had about 8 students that passed on their first attempt on NCLEX. When I began my first semester the current dean at the time resigned without much warning and a new person took her place. Not saying that caused the school to go downhill but its as if everyone is still trying to make the program organized and function well and I was just caught in the cross fire.

BecomingNursey

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

Both take the same exam. No difference.

Please do not let low passing scores discourage you. As long as your school is accredited, they should be able to prepare you for the NCLEX.

I think this is the problem: it doesn't appear that the OP's school IS accredited, if it's this new. They can't have even qualified yet...which IS unfortunate for the OP because now she's going to have to be extra-vigilant, work extra-hard to compensate for whatever her program is currently lacking.

There weren't many numbers that I knew of because the program was still in its infancy. But, the first graduating class which consisted of about 10, had about 8 students that passed on their first attempt on NCLEX. When I began my first semester the current dean at the time resigned without much warning and a new person took her place. Not saying that caused the school to go downhill but its as if everyone is still trying to make the program organized and function well and I was just caught in the cross fire.

OP, with so very few students, the passing percentage becomes less relevant. Two failing out of ten is quite different than 20 failing out of 100. While the percentage is identical, for relevant statistics you're talking apples and oranges.

Your school is very new, which means you don't know how they are going to do when it comes to readiness to pass NCLEX. Best thing you can do is be proactive and prepare yourself. Good luck!

Edited by RNsRWe

In my professional opinion, both the ADN and BSN prepare the nursing student to take te NCLEX exam. Preparation for entry into practice is another aspect. BSN students are much more prepared in the sciences, assessment skill, and evidence-based practice. However, there remains a place for the associate degree. My concern is that if we remove this typeof a program, we marginalize those that can not afford expensive tuitions and perhaps, cannot meet the time demands of a traditional BSN program. Community Colleges do a great job of accomodating adults that have other life committments through evening and weekend hours, etc. I realize that traditional BSN program offer some on-line learning which is also helpful. Perhaps associate degree programs can be mandated to offer a BSN track . Some colleges are doing this, and it seems to work well. For example, if an associate degree program aligns with a BSN program, the student can begin to take courses towards theire BSN during (or towards the end) of the associate degree program.

See the following website for helpful informaton:

American Association of Colleges of Nursing website: http//www.aacn.nche.edu/media-

relations/fact-sheets/impact-of-education