Associate's RN or A-BSN RN?

  1. What is your opinion on getting an RN through an ADN/ASN versus a BSN program?

    I currently have a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Psychology from University of California and have been working on completing prereqs for a nursing program. I have the option of applying to an accelerated BSN program or an associate's RN program. Both will take about the same amount of time to complete, the BSN costs about $4,000 more to complete (and is at least an hour's drive away), and I will be staying in this area (Tampa Bay, Florida) for school and work.

    My questions are:

    1. What do you recommend if I intend on eventually getting an MSN? (Since there are RN to MSN bridge programs, traditional BSN to MSN programs, and I already have 2 bachelor's degrees.)

    2. Will the BSN make me SUBSTANTIALLY more competitive in the job market? Or will my other bachelor's degrees help at all on an application with the associate's RN degree?

    3. Is there a big salary differential between associate's RNs and BSNs?

    4. When you are actually out in the real world practicing nursing, is there a quality difference between an associate's RN and BSN? (I have never noticed as a patient...) Is there a PERCEIVED, but not actual, difference?

    If there's any other advice or considerations you think I should know about, please let me know. Thank You!
    •  
  2. Visit amberscareer profile page

    About amberscareer

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 6

    4 Comments

  3. by   Double-Helix
    Consider the area where you want to work as a nurse. If your goal is a hospital position and your area a desirable area, institutions are Magnet designated or pursuing Magnet, or the area is saturated with new graduate nurses, the BSN will likely give you may more job opportunities than an ADN. An ADN applicant with Bachelor degrees in other fields is unlikely to be a more competitive candidate than an applicant with a BSN in most job markets.

    You'll have more graduate program options if you achieve a BSN first, but since you have other Bachelor degrees, you'll also be eligible for some MSN programs that only require a Bachelor degree, not specifically a BSN. You'll also want to consider the financial and time commitments of an RN-MSN program vs a traditional MSN.

    Salary, in my experience, is usually based on experience rather than degree, so there would be no or little difference between an entry level BSN or ADN prepared nurse. However, the institutions that pay more are likely to attract more applicants and therefore it's more likely a BSN will be preferred.

    IMO, experience is more important than degree. I've worked with some excellent nurses who are diploma prepared. I've also worked with some inexperienced nurses who got their MSNs right after undergrad and never had time to develop their clinical skills. I'd take the experienced diploma nurse any day of the week.
  4. by   OldDude
    My standard answer to this question is...if you can afford the extra time and money for the BSN, I'd recommend it. If you're needing to generate an income ASAP, go with the ADN.
  5. by   Farawyn
    BSN. It's going to be the standard.

    Your extra degrees are nice, but really just background knowledge for nursing, and don't count towards your MSN outside of electives. You still have to take your nursing courses either way.
  6. by   KelRN215
    1. What do you recommend if I intend on eventually getting an MSN? (Since there are RN to MSN bridge programs, traditional BSN to MSN programs, and I already have 2 bachelor's degrees.)

    Accelerated BSN. If there are Accelerated MSN programs in your area, that's also an option.

    2. Will the BSN make me SUBSTANTIALLY more competitive in the job market? Or will my other bachelor's degrees help at all on an application with the associate's RN degree?

    It depends on the area of the country and the area of nursing you're seeking to be employed in. If you want to work in a SNF in North Dakota, probably not. But if you want to work in an ICU at a teaching hospital in a major city, yes. I don't know what the job market is like in Tampa. In Boston, a BSN is required by almost all of the teaching hospitals. Your previous bachelor's degrees will likely be inconsequential. A Bachelor's in something else + an ADN is not equivalent to a BSN.

    3. Is there a big salary differential between associate's RNs and BSNs?

    Once employed, no. But if the area you want to be employed in is BSN only for new grads, it's a difference of salary vs no salary.

    4. When you are actually out in the real world practicing nursing, is there a quality difference between an associate's RN and BSN? (I have never noticed as a patient...) Is there a PERCEIVED, but not actual, difference?

    There is research that says there is. In general, you won't know if your nurse when you're a patient is an ADN or BSN prepared RN so I don't think perception necessarily plays a role.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...631-8/abstract

    Economic Evaluation of the 8% Baccalaureate Nurse Workforce... : Medical Care

    https://online.mc.edu/articles/nursi...-outcomes.aspx

close