What was harder? Non-nursing bachelors or ADN? - page 2

I started a new job yesterday and was talking to my manager about NS. He made some offhand comment that all nurses act like they have worked so much harder for their two year degree. He said he just... Read More

  1. by   ICRN2008
    I have a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science, and so far I am finding the nursing program to be easier (less science and math) but also more tiring (more papers and projects). As JaneyW said, it's like comparing apples and oranges.

    Your boss is obviously ignorant and I would ignore him. Some people just want to think that their major in college was harder than everyone else's.

    Good luck in nursing school
    Last edit by ICRN2008 on Nov 16, '05
  2. by   JaneyW
    Oh, and to the person who spoke about people with psych degrees not knowing what she was talking about when speaking of Maslow, etc. Nursing approaches psychology in a very different way than psychologists and researchers do. Also, I have been a nurse for three years and have met plenty of nurses who can't tell me pretty basic things, either. You can't remember everything and if you don't use it in your specialty you will lose a lot of it quicker than you think!
  3. by   P_RN
    My BA was a walk in the park. I just collected all my various credits etc. They mailed me a paper. Whooooopee

    Nursing on the other hand is a minefield, hardest of the hard, toughest of the tough and NO one can convince me otherwise.
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    This will depend on many things...the nursing program you attend, the university you attend, and the non-nursing major you chose.

    My cousin and I are both in nursing school and we tease my other cousin who is majoring in business at U of MS...he is at a university yet never studies and parties 100x more than us and can still pull off a B avg, where as we never see the light of day from all our studying and struggle to pass...and our abilities in HS were all pretty well matched...so no IQ differences here. It's just that his program is not as demanding as nursing and certainly takes less extracirricular time.

    As far as science majors and psych...these are extremely difficult from what I have heard.

    The real problem is that you simply can't compare nursing school with other programs of study because they are too different. One may argue about writing a thesis for graduation, but I would have to argue that a long care plan (with pathophys, ROS, psychosocial data, nutritional analysis & diet recommendation, interventions, goals, and outcomes, plus referrals and teaching documentation)....might be just as difficult. You only have to write ONE thesis...we have done 2 long careplans and 6+ shorts just in the last two semesters...on top of research papers and essays for other classes like psychology, human growth and development, english, and microbiology- all of which are required to even be in nursing school.

    Then you have to figure in critical skills check-off's...just the stress alone of having to learn a skill like trach suction then demonstrate it less than a week later on a Pass/Fail basis puts a different level of stress on a nursing student. We must learn to critically think on our feet...no time to brainstorm, theorize and contemplate action...just have to draw from knowledge and use intuition to solve problems. Plus, you are constantly reminded that no matter what your grade is, how well you work with your patients/peers...if you screw up, make a med error, etc...you are OUT of the program that you have dedicated your life to recently.

    Finally, time...it takes four years to get a BA in most programs. It takes FOUR years to get your ADN in most nursing programs, due to pre-req's and waiting lists. You spend only part of your time in class...for me this semester its a two hour lecture three times a week. Then an 8 hour clinical day once a week. Plus trip to hospital to get patient information and fill out pt worksheets...6 hours one night a week. Care plan due weekly...10-30hours depending on whether it is long or short required. Study time...
    1-2hr a night usually. Computer time required by my program (6 hours this semester), various prn assignments, doctors visits for current med. records/shots/physical/drug test/etc, and other classes (in my program we MUST be registered for 12 hr to stay in nursing program and nursing only counts for 9 this semester!!!

    Anyone who discounts nursing as being easier than a four year degree simply because it is a two year program,well maybe I should keep my comments to myself to avoid a warning...walk a mile in my shoes I say. To compare nursing to other programs of study is simply not practical, it is a different method of learning, grading, and performance & stress.
  5. by   HappyNurse2005
    Well, I'd suppose this would also depend on where your personal aptitude is. If you are a more literary type, then a BA would be easier for you than science heavy nursing school.

    I am more math oriented, so nursing school would be easier for me than an english major. I might die if i had to write 50 million and one papers, in apa format, on the deeper meaning of books, philosophical stuff, etc. Yikes.

    (I do have a nursing degree, and no other degree, though)
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from thrashej
    When I think about it though I used to roll my eyes to all the posts in this forum that commented on how difficult NS is and how you will drown if you don't really want it. Now I see firsthand now that I am in NS, but to be honest, I don't think I would have ever thought it was this difficult unless I was in it.
    This is the truest statement I have ever read and I can totally relate
    I skated thru HS no prob, then my pre-req's haha what a joke! I got most of them out of the way before nursing school and had a 4.0 avg. I discounted experienced nurses and current students' statements that claimed how hard NS was and thought, "you don't know me, school is easy for me, maybe it was hard for you, I was told the same thing about A&P and it was a breeze..." etc. etc. etc.

    Then I entered my first semster and reality hit me like a ton of bricks!:imbar I took on a huge courseload in addition to my 7hr nursing class...had A&PII, Micro, and Pharm. I got my A but I almost killed myself striving for an A to prove to everyone that I could do it and not wound my pride. Wound up on two antidepressants, snapping at my poor hubby when he would call from Iraq and interrupt my study time, alienated my family and friends...bad bad situation. I wish I had heeded the warning!

    Needless to say this semester i took nursing and one other class, saving my last pre-req's for BSN for summer (Chem I & II), and took plenty of me time to talk to hubby, spend time with friends and family, and just relax (kinda haha). I think I will finish just under an A but I am perfectly okay with that! A nurse is a nurse...

    pre-nursing students beware and good luck!
  7. by   smk1
    Quote from tele6girl
    I would never minimize anyone's degree, however, I feel any science degree, whether nursing, biology, or physics is much more difficult than a degree in the arts. I have had conversations with people who have psychology degrees and bring up Erickson or Maslow and they don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Nursing, whether an ADN or BSN requires a vast amount of knowledge (Phar, anotomy, micro, patho, etc).

    Many people are very upset at the fact that they have a 4 year degree, while a nurse with a 2 yr degree makes more money than them. Half of the people in my nursing program were working on their second bachelor's and many didn't make it out of the nsg program.
    Hence, the fact that they need to start calling a spade a spade. I don't know about you all, but there isn't ANY RN program around these parts where you can earn your 2 yr degree in 2 years! it takes a year of FULL TIME PREREQS (assuming that you are at a college level for reading, english, math etc..) and some of those prereqs have prereqs. (bio, chem, micro) then the program takes 2 full years. this is 3 years fulltime and due to the lag time between acceptance and start date of the program most will be "in school" for 4 yrs anyway. The ADN is rigorous enough and time consuming enough to BE a bachelors program. The BSN and its extra classes should almost just be incorporated into the ADN program and just the whole thing can just be recoded as a BSN. Not to turn this into a BSN vs. ADN thing, but around here you pretty much have to dedicate 4yrs anyway (sometimes 5 when all is said and done) you might as well have gotten a bachelors anyway.:uhoh21: I paticularly think this because of the way registration is done at most of the schools around here. The people with the most credits get to register first, so all of the required sciences that you need to get into the program take forever to get into and you end up taking all of the BSN transfer prereqs just to get enough credits to register for the ADN prereqs anyway. When I graduate the ADN program it will take me just 1 more year of school to earn a BSN (not even fulltime!). Some folks who want to compare apples to oranges just have no clue! I am sure there are may difficult bachelors programs and the fact that you made it through any 4 yr degree path is impressive, but as far as time committment, breadth and depth of material, the difficulty of getting into a nursing program and staying in it, I think a lot of the liberal arts majors just aren't as difficult.
  8. by   westcoastgirl
    Nursing school is hard but so far it has been worth it!
    I have a BA in psychology. I took more math and sci than required at that time. Now I am a msn nursing student. Both are top notch schools.

    I'd say the nursing school is much harder and more fun due to integrating so many different disciplines. Soc and psych plus hard sciences plus some legal "need to know" stuff, and you also need to learn "hands on" type of skills. On the other hand, nursing school is easier in that the lockstep schedule means I don't think too much about what to take when, and the certainty of knowing what you'll "do with your professional life" after graduation is great. I just need to be studious and get through the program. During my BA however I spent a lot of time outside of class working or researching job prospects because the department didn't help us at all when it came to what happens after graduation. Sometimes I also found my BA too dry and academic, thus losing motivation.

    your boss sounds like he looks down on 2 year programs, he is a jerk but unfortunately I encountered that attitude a lot when I told people I was applying to ADN programs. For the amount of time and effort ADN grads should be counted as earning a Bachelor's in my opinion!
  9. by   tridil2000
    Quote from *SMP* FUTURE RN
    I do not want to belittle anyone here. I graduated from a 4 year college with my BA. It was a hard ride. I had to do a Senior Thesis and present it to the entire department before I could graduate. So getting a 4 year degree is not at all a walk in the park.

    I have just started taking my science pre-reqs so that I will be able to apply for the Nursing Program next November (ADN). This is also very hard, but in a different way.

    I think getting your ADN if tough for two reasons 1) Nursing is a difficult profession and you need to know the ins and outs to succeed. 2) In an ADN program you get so much information crammed into your head in such a small amount of time. So I think that is why many people see Nursing being so much harder than other 4 year programs.

    Your boss seems to be hard headed. He clearly doesn't understand what Nursing entails.

    where are you going to school? i'm in nj.
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    My biology degree was much more difficult than my nursing degree.

    Try the first question on my biochem 1 exam (8yrs ago, but I still remember it): Name the processes and the catalysts involved in each step of the Krebs Cycle and draw each intermediate.

    Ouch. And let's not even begin to discuss Physics I & II.

    Don't get me wrong, nursing was hard work and much more difficult in more ways than some. But in terms of pure academic 'heft', several of my biology degree courses were much more in-depth and required much more work to produce lower gpas than I had in nursing.

    My philosophy for my last sem of Biology: "D" = diploma.

  11. by   December716
    Try the first question on my biochem 1 exam (8yrs ago, but I still remember it): Name the processes and the catalysts involved in each step of the Krebs Cycle and draw each intermediate.
    I know this one, I know this one!

    Anyway, I'm no longer a pre-nursing student, but I think it's silly to attempt to compare degrees. I'm taking ten hours of lab a week next quarter (Biology and Inorganic Chemistry), on top of 11 hours of lecture. I don't think that this is a walk in the park, myself, especially considering I am working.
  12. by   ZASHAGALKA
    I think the reaon, for me, why my biology degree as more difficult is that nursing was an exposure to content that I was constantly building on and therefore, becoming more familiar with understanding.

    But when it comes to advanced physics and things like deriviatives, those are concepts that were still somewhat foreign to me, even after studying them.

    I think it's the application phase of nursing that made things 'click' more.

    But I agree, comparing other degrees with nursing is like comparing apples to oranges.

  13. by   smk1
    i think science degrees would be extremly difficult and draining... I got the impression people were comparing liberal arts bachelors degrees to the ADN. There is no question in my mind that the difficulty of the material in a chem, physics or math degree is phenomenal. Kudos to those who have those degrees. (personally i would like to have a chance at a minor in microbiology, but i would need to move and uproot our family and business etc.. so i'll just enjoy reading more and learning more on my own.)