ADN or BSN? Which prepares better??

  1. Hey guys...I'm a senior at a pretty large BSN program and have been getting mixed messages about ADN vs. BSN students from all over. My teachers seem to think that BSN students have more critical thinking ability and are more responsible and thorough with patient care. On the other hand, a nurse--with her BSN I might add--stated to me last week that she thought BSN students where not as prepared skills wise as ADN students were. My personal opinion is that the amount of time spent in the hospital is the same and skills level is the same, depending on the types of patients you take care of and where you are at. BSN students just get more theory and community clinical work. I don't know....just thought this was an interesting topic!
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    About tattoochick

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 58
    nursing student


  3. by   fergus51
    It totally depends on the program. At my university, the BSN and diploma prgrams are the same except the BSNs get an extra year in school and thus more clinical time. BSN, Diploma, ADN all produce solid nurses. I think it's as much about the student as the program
  4. by   KC CHICK
    Hi there!
    First of all, it really gets my goat that your teachers are expressing such an attitude regarding ADN programs. This may be the reason why there is so much controversy between ADN grads and BSN grads. Why cultivate a 'superiority complex' among students?? I just don't understand.

    Put this way.......we ALL have to pass the EXACT SAME NCLEX!!!! I don't get how some think they have BETTER skills and critical thinking when we all get evaluated the same way. If ADNs weren't prepared....then ADNs would not pass. It's that simple.

    ADNs and BSNs just have different roads to take to get to the same place, that's all.
    Most of the new grads that were hired this spring in my hospital were from ADN programs and the hospital DOES NOT pay any more $$$$$$ for having a BSN. Most of my class were also hired into specialty areas: L&D, Pediatrics, OR, ER, and ICU. If ADNs were not as prepared, or able to critically think, would they be able to land jobs in these areas?? I think not!!

    I believe I got my fair share of community health clinicals. In regards to both programs, I feel that the Surgery/OR piece needs to be included again. (I was told by others that it used to be included in all programs)
    The average age of the OR RN is about 45 now I've been told. My program scheduled students to observe in the OR about 1 day out of each semester.....I was fortunate enough to get more time there. They need additional focus on this incredible area of nursing.
    Last edit by KC CHICK on Oct 21, '01
  5. by   BrandyBSN
    I think it depends a lot more on the program then the actual degree. Some BSN programs concentrate more on Clinical skills than others. We have well over 1000 clinical hours, i believe the current minimum is 1080 over 4 years, but then there are programs for BSN that only require 800 hours, which is significantly less in the skills area. BSN nurses usually have more managment classes (I hate my staff managment classes by the way), and some offer clinical electives, so that you can work in THE area that you are most interested in (I am spending mine in the ER). Clinical hours and skills vary a lot by program, and some programs are more highly regarded than others.

    Don't stress about the degree, look at your program. Do you feel that it has prepared you? That is the most important part.

    Good Luck!
  6. by   peaceful2100
    Personally I don't feel either one prepare any better than the next. What I mean by that and what I am trying to say is that each program is going to be different you may have one program that is an BSN program that is much better than some ADN programs just like you will have one ADN program that will be much better than some BSN programs.

    No matter what program you choose you are going to graduate and take same test and get a job in virtually any area you want that hires new grads.

    BSN programs have more theory plus some management courses.

    I already state my personal reasons for going for the BSN and I respect anyone who chooses the ADN route. Sometimes for many people choosing one over the other is not that hard of a decision and for others it is a very hard decision to make. Plus I heard so many crazy rumors that sorta acutally made me go the BSN route. I heard several times from several people before I settled on the BSN route that they were going to phase the ADN route out. I must have been crazy for believing that one. If it EVER happens it won't happen anytime soon.
  7. by   essarge
    The only difference I have heard about between BSN and ADN is that out in the field, most management positions require a BSN. Our local hospital does not differentiate with pay according to education but, the state does as does the trauma center about 1/2 north of here (guess where I'm going?). Even though I still have 2 1/2 years to go I'm really looking forward to trauma when I graduate and have already talked to the recruiter about it.
  8. by   Beverly McKee
    Hey, I feel that the ADN and BSN programs are completely the same except with the BSN program you get more clinical time and the classes are leadership based. The class in the BSN program are not skills based. We all learn the same skills in the first two years of school and then the BSN program further your education with leadership based classes. So therefore, skills wise a ADN and BSN program, in my opinion, prepares us the same. I think that if you want to compare how prepared nurses are the school they attended is probably a better judgment. You can be a better prepared ADN nurse if you attended a really good school with a good background compared to a BSN nurse who went to a sucky school. I think that the letters do not have anything to do with how good of nursing care you provide it all comes down to patient care which we all learn the very first semester of school no matter what program you are in.
    Bev- ; )
  9. by   KristaB
    I disagree that you get more clinical time with a BSN. Where I live, there are only two programs in town, and it is widely known around here that we ADNs are better prepared clinically, while the BSNs are better prepared for management roles (but catch up on clinical skills pretty quickly after going to work). Both programs are two years long; everyone takes the same NCLEX at the end.

    I can also do the RN-BSN as soon as I'm done in one year with no additional clinical time (unless I choose to do the community health elective, and then it is minimal).

    That said, I agree with the other posters that said it just depends. I think both programs turn out good nurses, it just depends on what your end goal is. For me, ADN was the only choice because the BSN program is almost impossible to get into, even with an exceptional gpa. Back in my wild youth, I was not such an exceptional student (can you imagine?! ) and I have those old grades hanging over me. Since my ADN program is so many credits, I can hopefully make up for those not-so-great grades over the next 1.5 years and be able to get in the BSN and the graduate program I want to do.

  10. by   seven
    hmmm, all very intresting, but what on earth is an ADN? is this like the american version of the canadian diploma RN? or is it more like an LPN?
    its all greek to me, lol
  11. by   KristaB
    ADN = Associate Degree in Nursing
    BSN = Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    Both are equivilent as far as licensure goes. LPN is not the same as an ADN; LPNs have a more limited scope of nursing practice and require less school. Both ADN programs and BSN programs turn out Registered Nurses that take the same test for licensing.