What is the RN-BSN like, main differences with ADN?

  1. ADN is all about Med Surg and Pediatric and building your clinical skills and taking NCLEX type exams.Since I am about to start a RN- BSN program, just wanted to hear out how is it different or similar from the ADN.Thanks!!!
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    About European, BSN

    Joined: Mar '10; Posts: 203; Likes: 64
    from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in ER,Surgical ICU,Neuro ICU, OR


  3. by   Dixielee
    I got my ADN in 1973 and my BSN in 1991, so my experience may be dated. I went to a great RN to BSN program and really enjoyed it. While the ADN portion was focused on clinical and getting the basics, then BSN portion was designed to expand your world view. We were all practicing RN's so we were treated more as colleagues with the professors than we were as students. We got into more of the politics of nursing by spending 40 clinical hours with the state legislature, sat in on health and human services committee meetings, met with nursing lobbyists, read bills related to medical issues etc. We also took a great class on cultural diversity.

    We did some work in public health that was eye opening to me as my entire career had been in critical care/ED settings. Our last semester we were to choose an area of nursing we had never done but found interesting, find a preceptor and learn all we could about it. One classmate chose Army nursing, one chose to work in an AIDS clinic, another infection control. I chose to work with the risk management nurse and sat in on countless meetings with administration, legal, etc. My main contribution was to develop the "at risk to fall" policy for the hospital.

    I know many who have not enjoyed their BSN transition, but mine was fantastic! I hope yours is too.
  4. by   EMP, RN
    I graduated from my BSN program in 2010. BSN programs have more of a focus on nursing leadership and broader scope of nursing practice. We did community assessment and projects to address needs of our communities. I worked on CQI projects at various sites and attended nursing conferences. We had some quizzes in epidemiology, but other than that it was mainly writing papers and working on projects.
  5. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I really enjoyed it as well, especially because of the programs difference to the atmosphere of being an ADN student. I loved the flexibility of going to school every other Thurs, Fri, and 2 Sats a month. By the time classes started, I was looking forward to it. It really gives you a chance to focus on the "interesting" and "professional" aspects of nursing. There is a large focus on management and administrative duties, but my heart always lied in the "Clinical" and "Scientific Application" of Nursing.

    It really opens doors to the "Behind the Scenes" areas of the Nursing Profession. It was the first time I was introduced to Public Health, Community Nursing, Forensics, Administration, Flight Nursing, and Legality. I think it is invaluable.

    As far as unforgetable experiences, they will differ with your interests. If you want to be a DON, ADON, or Administrative, you will see more of that. If you want to see deeper clinical settings, then you will explore Aids clinics, Community clinics, Not-for-profit specialty clinics, health depts. (never boring), Mental institutions, forensics, and deeper laboratory/research ops. It really is just like anything else, it is a great chance to help you open a door easier, and an even greater chance to network. We also had political experiences in State Legislature, and sitting in on BON hearings.

    I veiwed it at the time as a bridge to my Masters, and wish I would have taken on more experiences while I was in the program, but I have never regretted my choice to get the BSN. If I had to compare it to ADN program, I would just say it is more "Academic' and "College" feeling.
  6. by   Watchtower
    I have to echo that BSN is more academic. Like it's been said, you are nurse so they aren't really gonna focus on teaching you how to be a nurse rather you'll be taught how to be a nurse manager.

    My thing, and this is totally just me, but I felt like the BSN was a whole lot of hoops to jump through with paper writing. My personal view (right or wrong) is that depending on your own goals ADN is sufficient. I am not interested in being a nurse administrator/paper, policy pusher, but I do want to be a FNP. For that to happen I had to get my BSN, so it became a necessary evil to me. In my geographic area, the pay "increase" wasn't worth the headache of attaining a BSN alone. That's my experience/view.

    BSN is just more emphasis on leadership and paperwork. I'd have enjoyed it more if there had been more of an expanse of clinical skills. My ADN program did very well in addressing community nursing- we had community nursing projects and were required to take a nursing seminar and do community service. Given that your scope of practice doesn't expand with a BSN outside of being able to file papers (at least in my state), I felt very annoyed with my BSN program.