ADN clinicals and BSN clinicals

  1. I am a little confused on the differences in the programs and especially about clinical time.

    I am in a BSN program and I went to clinicals once a week the whole semester the first semester and in the second semester, I am going twice a week, one is psych clinicals and the other is Med/Surg on a post op floor.

    Third semester will be twice a week too, but OB and then PEDS. The hours are 6:45-4:00 for all except first semster we got out at 12:50.

    Fourth semester is advanced Adult health or what some schools call Med/Surg II. I am going in the summer, so I'll go twice a week for twelve hours for a month. Then the second month we do community health the same way except may be shorter hours.
    If I were going during a regular semester, I'd still only go once a week for 9 hours.

    The fifth semester, we have a preceptor and work their schedule.

    So, what is the difference with ADN?

    Do you go to more clinicals per week or do you do 12 hours throughout?

    I hear people say that ADN nurses are more trained for patient care and BSN more to be a manager. I don't know how true that is because we don't learn about that till fifth semester. I do think that more clinical days would be helpful, but I don't know where we would fit it in. I'd even be willing to go to an optional weekend clinical.
    Tell me about your clinical experiences please ADN students.
    Last edit by Lisa CCU RN on Nov 20, '06
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    About Lisa CCU RN

    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 1,721; Likes: 160
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU


  3. by   AuntieRN
    My ADN program went like this:
    First semester was Fundamentals: clinicals or lab for 6 hours a week (1day)
    Second semester Med/Surg I (I had this in the summer so it was 6 hrs two days a week for 9 weeks...usually it is 6hrs one day a week for 15 weeks)
    Third semester Chronic illnesses 6hrs one day a week
    Fourth semester: Critical care and Psych: Critical care 6hrs one day a week and Psych was 7hrs one day a week
    Fifth semester (I also took in the summer...this was h***...Peds, OB and Trends....Peds was 8 1/2 hrs one day a week, OB was also 8 1/2hrs one day a week for 10 weeks and Trends clinicals consisted of 40 hours working one on one with a nurse on her schedule *did not have to be done in one week as long as it was completed the first 7 weeks of class)
    I do not feel we had nearly enough clinical time in school.
  4. by   Daytonite
    Every state board of nursing has rules about how many clinical hours an RN in a school of RN nursing is to complete. It is up to each individual nursing school to fashion those clinical hours in the way, shape and form they like, as long as they meet the criteria of your state board of nursing.

    As for the difference between ADN and BSN programs, again there is minimum criteria that the board of nursing has mandated. There are also accreditation requirements that have to be met. Once an individual nursing school has met those requirements, they are free to add whatever program objectives and goals they deem important. This is why everyone should investigate what each individual school of nursing offers.

    I happened to attend a BSN completion program that was specifically designed and programmed for RNs who were already in management positions. So, the focus of our classes was to enhance already learned supervision, management and communication skills. However, I also know of BSN programs where students enter as first time nursing degree-seeking students where the curriculum is really not much different than what it was in my original ADN program with a few exceptions that are accreditation requirements. Again, this is an individual school's choice. Investigate your schools ahead of time and pick wisely if you have a specific goal of your own in mind.
    Last edit by Daytonite on Nov 20, '06
  5. by   marilynmom
    I'm in a BSN program so I can only offer my schools perspective.

    We start clinicals the first day of class and go for 12 hours a week our junior year for the full 16 weeks. We have Med/Surg and Psych clinicals divided into 8 weeks each the first semester for example.

    Senior year we have 24 hours a week of clinicals for the full 16 weeks.

    The whole ADN vs BSN clinical argument is just another myth.
  6. by   Lisa CCU RN
    So far it seems that there is not all that much difference in clinical times.
    Since EL Centro makes such good nurses, any students from there care to share their clinical times?
  7. by   amyk_ncsu
    In my ADN program, we go 8 hours 2x a week for all five semesters beginning with the first semester. I've heard that ADN programs have more clinical time, but I'm not sure how true this is. This is what the website for my school says:

    "Q. What are the differences between a BSN and an ADN program, other than length?
    A. There are three big differences:
    -General education courses. BSN programs contain considerably more liberal arts classes - history, economics, foreign language, etc. - than ADN programs. On the other hand, ADN programs usually contain more total clinical time.
    -How quickly you start nursing. BSN programs typically dont start you in nursing classes until the thrid year. ADN programs include clinical courses and patient assignments the first semester.
    -University atmosphere. The BSN is often offered at larger colleges. So if big school atmosphere is important to you, then a BSN program may be right for you."
    Last edit by amyk_ncsu on Nov 20, '06 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   Tweety
    Here the ADN's and BSN's do the same number of hours for clinical. Some of the experiences are a bit difference as the BSN students go to community health clinical sites the ADN students don't. The ADN students stick pretty much to the hospital, so in a small respect they have more direct patient care time. But in the big picture it's not much. Both prepare nurses for the beside on pretty equal footing. BSN's don't come out of school ready to take management positions. Later on down the line there are BSN required positions in management, but they all require experience.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 20, '06
  9. by   HididiScribbler
    1st semester:
    Fundamentals: 6 hour clinical twice a week
    Intro to Med Surg/Gero: 6 hour clinical twice a week
    2nd semester:
    Med Surg I: 8 hour clinical twice a week
    OB: 12 hour clinical once a week (or two 6 hour clinicals)
    I'm in an ADN program. I don't know exactly the clinical amounts for the third and fourth semesters, though.
  10. by   jpRN84
    I went to an ASN program and we had clinicals two times a week throughout the whole program, in the first semester we only had med-surg, but through the rest of the program we learned one subject such as psych for the first 7 weeks and have clinicals with that, and then we would do Med-Surg or whatever the other 7 weeks.