Different pay and responsibility for 2 year RN's VS 4 year RN's

Nurses General Nursing


I'm completing an RN to BSN program in 2 months. I have learned so much in the BSN program I wish I had taken it sooner. The additional education has taught me skills I never learned in trainings, or by experience.

I think that just as there is a difference in the tasks an RN and LPN can preform, there should also be a difference in what a two year RN can do, in comparison to a RN with a BSN. The 2 year RN should not be in leadeership or management positions since they have not been trained in accredeited colleges for this skill. The BSN has. I'm sure the 2 yers RN's will disagree with me, and 2 years ago I would have disagreed also. However, after being able to compare the two from personal experience, I feel the BSN is more educated for leadership and management. The BSN nurse should be paid more, and should be the starting educational level for these positions.

Most professions have at least a 4 year degree. Nurses need to improve their educational standing to be equal with other professional fields.


19 Posts

Don't you need a BSN in order to be management where you are? Here in Alberta you do. You also get paid more as a BSN however it's not that much. It's called education allowance and is $1.25/hour. It would take years before you were reimbursed for the educational costs. RNs do have to take charge on their units if they have a fulltime or parttime position but if you are casual (prn) you don't have to.

Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

I think in most U.S. hospitals there is no pay differential for amount of education. I do believe most management positions require a BSN though. Except in North Dakota, where our class was told that all R.N.s must hold a BSN. But I don't know how true that is.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Welcome to the board, and, Congratulations to you. I agree, increasing education and skills is very important in nursing, more now than ever......no arguments there. It does depend on where you are as to whether all managers hold BSN or above or not....like everywhere else, there is a shortage of nurse managers, too, especially in rural hospitals in the USA, and some places will consider an Associate-prepared or Diploma grad (especially a well-seasoned R.N.), for such positions. Right or wrong, it's what happens sometimes. Also, many places pay VERY little differential for degrees held (I believe it's .50 an hour where I work). I think that sends the wrong message. MANY nurses I work with say "why bother with a BSN, I don't want to be a manager and I am paid well w/an associate's degree?". You can HARDLY argue with them. I am not sure I EVER want the headaches management, especially in a hospital, brings with it. I like being with my family and having a life WAY too much.

But again, I salute your accomplishment. Hopefully, your education will serve you well in the future of your career.:kiss


6,011 Posts


Welcome Kasey 14546

What goes around.....comes around and this topic has come around again.......

For example:


Kasey, I agree with you 100%. Usually a BSN is required for management positions in my area, but new staff nurses make the same regardless if they have an ADN or BSN. I don't think this is right considering the BSN has more education, and therefore more skills. The profession of physical therapy has become a mroe well-respected, higher-paying profession because they all agreed to now requiring the phD. If nurses could all agree to make the BSN the minimal required entry level, this may help advance our profession as well. BTW, welcome to the board!


294 Posts

Gotta disagree with you here, Emerald and Kasey.

Everyone, PLEASE compare ADN and initial BSN programs before restarting this old argument. I have done this- compared my ADN program with a very well known BSN program. I took more nursing credits, covered more chapters of the same texts, and had more clinical hours. The people who went right into a BSN program took more classes than I did- but they were in subjects that had nothing to do with nursing- things like phys ed and world history. Those classes may have made for a more rounded education, but they didn't make any of those BSN grads a better nurse. And NURSING skills are what we are paid for.

I do agree that there is a difference between a BSN education and that of an ADN who goes back for a BSN. When you go back for a second degree, you have to take classes that "initial" BSN's don't. I looked into this- all programs will be a little different but going for an ADN then completing a BSN has something like 25 more NURSING credits than a program completed by someone who just went for a BSN. I'm all good with compensating for a greater NURSING education, including specialty certifications. But a flat decree that an ADN nurse is not worth as much as a BSN nurse who doesn't perform any better isn't right.

I agree that BSN programs teach more about management and have no problem with a BSN requirement for those positions. But ADN and BSN grads do the same job as staff nurses and there have been studies that show ADNs actually perform BETTER for a year after school, then they equal out. I've never seen ANY study that showed that a BSN provided better nursing care than an ADN.

Nursing is not like other professions- much more of our profession is taught "on the job" than in other fields. You can't base things on degree with nursing as much as you can in other fields. People doing the same job with the same level of expertise should make the same money. A BSN does not automatically provide any greater expertise than an ADN and shouldn't automatically be better rewarded.

Personally, I think that nurses will be seen more professionally when we stand together in support of what we do, not try to pick our ranks apart with things like this. Honestly, I think the public has no idea of what our education is- they only think ADNs are unprofessional because some nurses say it.

Specializes in Med-Surg.

For curiousity's sake, what about people who have an advanced degree in some non-nursing area, but an associates or diploma for their RN?

I have a BA in social science. For me to get my BSN I was going to have to take a bunch of additional leberal arts rot that had nothing at all to do with nursing. Had it been one or two additional classes, I would have gone for it, but what was required was just silly. I could understand if there was a vast difference in the amount of actual nursing courses taken, that there should be more difference for RN and BSN, but as far as I could tell it boils down to maybe 2 classes, research and the other varies depending on the school. My school includes a semester of management.

Edited to add:

Education=knowledge, not necessarily skills. Being required to take 3 hours of art and a physical activity does not make one a better nurse.


1,037 Posts

Very well put Ratchit.. :) There is nothing else left to say


245 Posts

Originally posted by MEtheBabiesRN

You also get paid more as a BSN however it's not that much. It's called education allowance and is $1.25/hour.

Don't scoff at $1.25 an hour....our new EB (not signed off yet, but coming) has GENEROUSLY proposed an education allowance....for a masters/PhD, we will get an additional $13.00 PER WEEK!!! NOT HAPPY, JAN......!!

Although I currently have an ADN, I would have to say I agree that a BSN should be the minimun amount of education required to be an RN. I think it would help to improve the image of our profession. However, I feel that the BSN program should include more nursing credits rather than gen ed credits. I know people who have chosen to get their ADN first and then go on to get their BSN because they feel they get a better nursing education in the ADN program.

I think it may be a long time coming that a BSN would be required considering the current nursing shortage; it's hard enough to get enough students to enroll in a two year program... JMO...


992 Posts

Oh no, not this argument again. :chair:

Anyway, I work with several nurses on the floor who have their BSN's and I can hold my own with any of them. (I have an ASN degree). Matter of fact we have one BSN who does bedside care who doesn't have a shred of common sense. Lots of book smarts, and no common sense. For bedside care I don't think it makes a big difference if you are an ASN or BSN. I think 90% of bedside nursing skills take time to master...there are just some things that the colleges can't teach a student for in the real world.

I think a lot of times BSN's and higher in management forget what it is like at the bedside and start coming up with all kinds of paperwork and stuff for us lowly bedside nurses to do in our "spare time." My feeling is that EVERY nurse manager should have to "work in the trenches" to make sure they keep a grip on the real issues of nursing, such as having adequate equipment and staff to properly care for your patient, instead of sticking themselves in their office with their computers....want to know what my nurse manager's latest kick is? If we have made the proper referrals to social services, therapy, and dietary when a patient is admitted. She is actually auditing charts for this. Too much time on someone's hands if you ask me....

Kasey, if you going marching into some floor with this BSN is better than an ASN attitude, you will be setting yourself up for major problems with the staff....fortunately where I work, the BSN grads who work the floor don't think they are any better than us 2 year degree nurses....we are all there to provide patient care, regardless of our degrees...

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