Bsn/adn/diploma Question

Nurses Career Support


Hi Everyone,

After speaking with several schools, my options are to either finish my undergraduate degree in nursing (switch from bio to nursing that is) - either an Associate's or Bachelor's, or to earn a diploma from a local hospital program. Both the Associate and Diploma routes would be quicker for me, however, seeing that this is a big decision, changing careers, wouldn't it make more sense to take the slightly longer route and get the Bachelor's?

The three programs seem so different to me, yet each allows one to sit for the Boards and become an RN?

Just curious what people's thoughts are on this topic. When I finish school and apply for jobs, will having a Bachelor's pay more than an RN who has a diploma? Is a Bachelor's the favored degree? What will employers be looking at? What will be the determining factors?

I don't go back to school until September, but I like to have my ducks in a row. Any advice is much appreciated.


live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Do what is best for you and the situation you contend with in your daily life. One can always build on a firm foundation they start for themselves educationally. No route of education is wrong. Just do what fits for you! Whether you have a Diploma, Associates, or Bachelors in Nursing, you'll get hired as long as you successfully pass the NCLEX. The degree one chooses is only the beginning. The final outcome of passing state boards and getting a license to practice as a RN is what employers are looking for. Much success to you! :nurse:

Specializes in Med-Surg.

It's a personal decision! I am doing a diploma program because I needed to get done quickly. The AD route here is through a program I don't have a lot of confidence in. I will need to get my bachelors or masters (I have a BA in another field, so I can go MSN) because of the lack of mobility here for non-BSN RNs. I figure this way I can start work, get qualified for tuition reimbursement (one year of full-time employment) and then return to school at my employer's expense.


42 Posts

Specializes in Level III NICU.

Hi, I agree with cheerfuldoer. Do what is best for you and your family at this point. I have my BSN, & speaking from what I have seen, there is no difference in pay between the 3 RNs.You must think about the amount of $$$ you will spend to get a BSN. It is quite a bit more classes. The only difference is that you may not be able to get certain postions without your BSN, however rules are always bent, and expereince usually comes before degree. You get hired as a Nurse, not as a degree.

Thank you!

I've never been so excited about a career change!

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