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BSN vs. BS, major in Nursing??

by Michelle05 Michelle05 (New) New


Can someone tell me if there is a difference between getting a BSN, and getting a BS with a major in Nursing? The school I've been accepted to offers the latter.

Is there a difference in course requirements, accreditation, or in the types of jobs you can get? I feel like job ads I've seen request a BSN, but I wasn't sure if these two terms are interchangable or if I'd be missing out on opportunities by getting a BS with a major in Nursing, instead of a BSN.

Thanks in advance,


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

The technical difference in the 2 degrees is usually in the administrative oversight of the school -- and that rarely makes a difference in the quality of the program.

A BS is a degree offered by the university as a whole. They offer bachelor's degrees in a variety of different majors, but each program is governed by the school as a whole. In most cases, the top faculty/administrator in each department has a title such as "Department Chairman" or something like that. A "Dean" is then over multiple different departments.

A BSN is offered by a professional school that is separate entity unto itself. If the school of nursing is part of a larger university, there will be connections between the larger school and the school of nursing -- but the school of nursing will have its own "Dean" and more political independence.

In most cases, it makes no difference to the students or to the design/quality of the program. If the program you are considering is part of a reputable university and accredited, then I wouldn't worry about it either way. Some people prefer one organizational structure -- others prefer the opposite structure.


Thanks for explaining that to me!

Now I can cross it off my list of things to worry about! :D


what are the legalities for using BS when you have a BSN, or BSN when you have BS?

Does it make a difference to use BS or BSN in your credentials?

i.e. I have a BS with major in Nursing; therefore, can I use BSN, or must I use BS?



BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 26 years experience.

well call me ignorant... i have no idea what my degree is!! (i'll have to go dig it out and check).


Specializes in Gas, ICU, ACLS, PALS, BLS. Has 5 years experience.

Essentially, a BS degree with a major in Nursing is more academic and research-focused than a BSN degree. Many BSN programs are now available online for nurses who have a busy lifestyle. A BS degree with Nursing as the major is what is often offered by large universities and colleges who urge students to continue on for their MSN degrees and/or PhD's. Hope this helps!



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