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How much "easier" or "harder" is the RN-BSN once you get your ADN?


Specializes in Case Manager. Has 4 years experience.

Right now I'm in an ADN program, and quite frankly, it's hard.

I heard that once you get your RN, that a bridge program is MUCH easier than an ADN program in respect to study time, material and complexity of the material. I even heard that you can complete your RN-BSN completely online...


Has 1 years experience.

I heard of Western Governor's university is RN to BSN online. I've read good things about that school. You should check it out.

Spikey9001, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case Manager. Has 4 years experience.

Well, I'm not considering any schools at the moment since I'm only in my first semester of an ADN program. I wanted an overview and opinions if anything.


Specializes in PICU, ED, Infection Control, Education, cardiology. Has 14 years experience.

Well, I wouldn't say it is easier. I found that it was different. The focus was changed from learning how to be a nurse and your basic assessment skills, to more of how to be involved in nursing. I did a program that was an online version from a brick and mortar school, so I wrote a ton of papers. I had 4 different clinical classes that I had to attend for so many hours. It really is an eye opener into how many areas of nursing you can get into. It is a journey that is a great opportunity to teach yourself just where nursing can take you. Good luck!

S.N. Visit, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health Care. Has 8 years experience.

I'm on my 3rd online class (Earning ADN- BSN/MSN). So far, the material is no more difficult than the ADN. I have taken Chemistry, Statistics, and now I'm in the middle of Ethics. I truly feel the ethics class is an entire waste of my time. All I do is write papers about subjects I could care less about. I will be so thankful to be done with Ethics, however next term is Women's literature . Gahhhhh! That will probably be worse!

Spikey9001, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case Manager. Has 4 years experience.

So... from the responses I'm getting, there are a lot of "filler" non nursing courses and some upper level nursing courses?

Because to me, non nursing courses are EASY compared to my actual nursing courses as of now. "Traditional" classes tend to be a lot less stressful to me and come a lot easier.


Specializes in LTC, OB, psych. Has 2 years experience.

Some acquaintances I know who are ADNs going to BSNs at a brick/mortar university say that it is "busywork and putting in your time," compared to the coal mine that is an ADN program. I can do that! I had hesitated before because I already have a bachelor of arts and was soooo sick of school. Now I find that I am sick of LTC, so BSN it is.

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

I completed my RN-BSN completely on-line through Chatham University last year. I loved that I could work it around my work schedule. The classes were more research or culture based. I had classes in research, gerontology, women's health, minorities and health, ethics, and other nursing related topics. I found it to be very enjoyable, and much much easier than when I got my RN diploma. If you think you will go on for your BSN, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible after graduating with your RN.


Specializes in ER. Has 15 years experience.

BSN programs differ, just as ADN programs differ. Mine was online with required practicum time in my community. It was not easy. I loved online courses with blackboard interaction with classmates and instructor. The absolute best way for my personal learning method. I do not miss classroom time and going at the pace of an instructor, or some person delaying instruction time based on a tangent. It depends on your learning style as to which BSN type is better for you. My program was identical in course load as to the classroom BSN. There was no difference in requirement. It has to be an accredited program, though. Check here: http://www.nlnac.org/Forms/directory_search.htm

NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 12 years experience.

I think it's easier in the sense that it's not typically a ton of information and learning of new skills crammed in a short amount of time.

Most programs require a statistics some upper division general ed which I refer to as fluff, and some nursing courses which can range from fluff to actual information. My RN to BSN course was fluff, my health assessment class was great, leadership haven't hit yet...but I imagine more fluff. Each school will be different though.

mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

I decided to forego the BSN in favor of a BS in elementary education after I already had the ADN. Not only was that a piece of cake after going through nursing school, I have not experienced any discrimination against my choice. In fact, I have been paid exactly the same rate as the BSNs who chose to take all those stupid fluff classes. And I really enjoyed the elem. ed program! Since I'm a pediatric nurse, the elem ed degree has actually been a plus. One of the reasons I was chosen to be a school nurse was due to my BS in addition to my nursing experience.

ckh23, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience.

I completed a RN-BSN program and it was entirely online except for the senior clinical. I am actually glad I did the RN-BSN program because I felt like I got more out of the BSN classes because I had experience to apply to it. I also liked that I could apply the knew knowledge to my practice immediately.


Specializes in Medical Surgical & Nursing Manaagement. Has 21 years experience.

I did a traditional bridge program in a class room setting and it was cake.

I did a Masters on line and it was difficult. No way to judge the caliber of your classmates, how the instructor is grading, etc. I need the classroom experience.

I'm just starting my RN-BSN and it appears to be much easier for me. It is a a lot of writing, but I enjoy that. I find it much easier than my ADN program.


Specializes in Nurse Practitioner. Has 4 years experience.

i just graduated from wgu's online rn to bsn. it was cake compared to my ADN program. there were only two difficult classes. biochemistry and my research course.