jr in high school: Associates VS BSN?

Nurses General Nursing


I am trying to figure out how much of a difference in being hired or in pay I there will be if i get an Associates degree or a BSN? I have heard different answers to this question---some say that I will get paid much less, while others say it is about the same.

Also, I am contemplating going to grad school to become a nurse in anesthesia, which would require a Bachelors, but I'm not sure my parents can afford or will be willing to pay for me going to a university. How difficult is it to pay for getting a bachelors after you have started working as a nurse with an associates degree? (pay, time, etc etc) Would it be worth it if I end up not going to grad school? Advice would be lovely! Thanks.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,566 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Hi! Most families can't afford to send their kids to universities anymore because they are so expensive. The vast majority of graduates these days are graduating with student loans.

If you were hired here there would be little difference in the pay between a new grad BSN and a new grad ADN because they both are inexperienced, both took the same NCLEX test to become RNs. The advantage comes later on as you try to advance. Many careers in nursing are locked out from ADN nurses.

I went the ADN route myself because it was the only program in my medium-sized town and I had to work full time. I'm now in an RN to BSN program 15 years later.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have gotten my BSN fresh out of high school and gotten it out of the way.

Since you have goals that require a BSN, I would look into financial aid/student loans and get the BSN right away. Because to be a CRNA, you also have to have experience in critical care, etc. Getting your ADN would prolong your goals even farther.

Good luck in whatever you do. There's no dishonor in being an ADN nurse and then going for the BSN later.


99 Posts

If you were my daughter, I would say "go for the BSN". I'm doing the ADN thing because I had conflicts with day care issues and I am old. With pre-reqs, it will have taken me 4 1/2years for ADN. If you do the BSN, you won't regret it. Good Luck:)

Specializes in er, pediatric er.

If your goals include going into nurse anesthesia school, I would go ahead and get a BSN, since you will need one anyway. Most of us have student loans. You can find a way to get your degree from a university.


21 Posts

I graduated from an Accelerated Nursing Program = BSN which left me 50,000 in debt. I could have gotten an Associated for about 10,000. If I could do it over, I would have become a LPN/LVN first, started to work immediately, and utilize the hospital funding for futhering my education- and having a positive cash flow, rather than living off savings and educ loans.

I know the LPN's on my floor (the ICU) make the same money as BSN do. As said before, BSN's come into play when you're moving up on the ladder. I would also have to stipulate going back to school immediately. When we put things off, life tends to get in the way- and the one year you wanted as a break from school becomes a 4-8 yr wait.

Best of luck, regardless- Nursing is an absolute wonderful profession. I wouldn't change my job for all the tea in china (despite the bureaucratic BS, which is present in all jobs, I've found)

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma.

Get your ADN first, then have your hospital pay for you to get your BSN. Most hospitals pay for their nurses to further their education. The ADN route is, by far, the most economical way to go.

Specializes in Adult SICU; open heart recovery.
Get your ADN first, then have your hospital pay for you to get your BSN. Most hospitals pay for their nurses to further their education. The ADN route is, by far, the most economical way to go.

I tend to agree with this advice, if student loans are a big concern. I got a BA fresh out of high school and wasted $100K+ from my college fund on a degree I didn't appreciate or use (Psychology). I know how lucky I was to have that money instead of needing loans. When I decided to go to nursing school a few years later, I chose to do an ADN program in part because I didn't want to spend a lot of money again. I got my ADN for less than $10,000. My plan was always to go right back to school, which is what I did. I'm in an RN-MS program, and my hospital will pay for all of it. CRNA programs may be a bit different, since I think most want you to go to school full-time, which would make it hard to work.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for just doing the four years right out of high school. I'm finding it really difficult to get back into student mode while working full time as a nurse. I guess the bottom line is, you have to decide what's more important to you -- getting the degree done quickly, or saving money.

Good luck! You'll do great whatever decision you make!


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