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Looking for advice from working nurses on adn vs bsn

Posted

I know this topic has been discussed quite a bit, but I'm at a crossroads and was hoping to get advice from nurses already in the field. I've been in school two years and have all the coursework done to go in the adn or bsn program. I know it seems like bsn is a no-brainer, but I keep hearing how much better prepared the adn program gets students to work. Around here, apparently it has a better reputation amongst the hospitals because they say the nurses with the adn run circles around the bsn students. I want a bsn, but mostly I want to be a good nurse. Also, Ive heard the adn program is less competitive to get in to. If I go the associates route, I could go in the bridge program but then it would take me a year longer. And then another thing I have to consider is that my husband is military so we move every few years, so the bsn may help with the job search. Anyways, I'm obviously conflicted and would love to hear any feedback or insight you may have. Thanks!!

gerry79

Specializes in ED, Cardiac Medicine, Retail Health.

Choose which ever program is right for you. Most if not all nursing programs are competitive to get into and have wait lists. I don't agree with the assertion that one program better prepares nurses than the other, but do believe that having a BSN affords one better opportunities (away from the bedside, as bedside nursing is very hard on the body) in these challenging economic times. Good luck on your decision, and thank you and your husband for your service.

Gerard

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

I think the "ASN's are better prepared" thing only circulates in certain areas, under certain circumstances. For instance, that attitude prevailed in my area when I graduated from the local community college with my ASN. That cc had an outstanding clinical reputation and the 3 BSN programs in my state were (at the time) teetering on the edge of probationary status due to their graduates' failure rates. So the local hospitals were truly anxious to hire the ASN new grads (back in the day when most new grads had multiple positions to choose from).

It seems to me, given your circumstances, that you might do well to complete the ASN program and be able to work sooner. Then, if your husband is transferred, you can always pick up with your BSN courses in the new city(ies).

Edited by roser13

Thanks for your reply. I have no idea which would be the best fit! They both start at the same time, and are the same length. I know the bsn is better longterm, but I'm concerned about not getting as much clinical experience as the adn offers. But, if I go the adn route I would have to go to school an extra year or so to get the bachelors so it almost seems like a waste. I'm so torn!

My husband is in the military too (we are in Japan) and if you are interested in working as a civilian in military hospitals, then you'll need a BSN. They give spouses priority for hiring and you will only have to be licensed in 1 state regardless of where you move!

When we get back to the states, I've decided to get my BSN so that I can have my choice of options. Even if you only plan to work off base, you'll be able to apply to a wider variety of jobs with a BSN. I know in the state I lived in previously, that many of the Nursing jobs were for nurses with a BSN.

But it's really just about what is going to work best for you!

Best Wishes!

Where I am at it seems like alot of the places are being picky as to who they pick and they are taking a bsn over the asn. I had been told more then by one person that the one hospital that I have applied at that they don't even look at the 2 yr rn. They are trying to get magnet status and they only want to hire bsn.. pretty crappy I say..

Orange Tree

Specializes in Medical Surgical Orthopedic.

I have an ADN and always hear how much better prepared ADN students are. I honestly have no idea why people say that. New ADNs and BSNs both seem to operate on a novice level as far as skills are concerned. But that's OK! We didn't train to be brick-layers. The theory behind the tasks is more important, and you'll get plenty of clinical practice when you actually start working.

...not to say that ADN isn't a good option. It was the right option for me. But if clinical skills are all you're worried about, don't be.

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

You can absolutely competently, successfully, and admirably practice nursing as an RN with an ADN. You should pursue your BSN if you can as it will enhance your future options and professionalism as a nurse.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

It sounds to me as if you already have a very good understanding of your situation. You just need to make the decision -- and that can be difficult even with all the information.

As you already know ...

The BSN is what you really need long-term for your career. Looking at the big picture, most BSN programs provide a more comprehensive education and it is the preferred degree for many of the better jobs in nursing.

However ... individual educational programs (at all levels) vary in quality. Some BSN programs are fantastic and other BSN programs are horrible in quality. Similarly, some ADN programs are fantastic and some are horrible in quality. In my particular city, the best program is a BSN program ... but we also have one BSN program that is just terrible. We also have a really good ADN program ...and a couple of really terrible ADN programs.

So ... you have to look at the particular programs in your area and assess their quality in order to figure out which would be the best option for you. Look at their NCLEX pass rates, but also look at a few other things. How many people start the program, but don't graduate on time? Do they do their clinical rotations at the best hospitals? Are they full accredited? Are their academic credits transferable to other universities? etc.

You seem to think that your local ADN program is of better quality than the local BSN program. If that's true, then there is nothing wrong with choosing the ADN program and then following up with a BSN completion program (hopefully paid for by your future employer.) However, be aware that ... if you move to an area where the hospitals strongly prefer BSN grads, you could be hurting your chances of employment until you finish that BSN. So, I would not choose the ADN program unless you are either (1) really sure that the quality of the ADN program is significantly better than the BSN or (2) you are unlikely to move out of the area until after you have competed the RN-BSN program.

In short: if your quality assessment of the 2 programs is that the 2 are CLOSE in terms of quality, I would recommend the BSN program. However, if the local BSN program is really bad, then I would recommend going the ADN route.

llg, PhD, RN-BC

diamondmeadows, BSN, RN

Has 8 years experience.

How reliable are your sources?

I think I would rather do an ASN program and then bridge than go to a bad school, but I would want to be very sure that the school was really bad first.

I did some prereqs at a community college, and I found that a lot of the students there were very biased against the main BSN program here. I heard all kinds of crazy rumors about the BSN program. People said that it was on probation with the Board of Nursing, that new grads from there were actually paid less than ADN grads at local hospitals, that no one wanted to hire them, and on and on. I did a little investigating, and none of it turned out to be true. It was all made up by people who wanted to feel like the program they chose was better than the other program. I went with the BSN program and it was wonderful.

I'm not saying that means that your BSN program is good. Just make sure your information is correct, if you haven't already. Good luck!

badphish

Specializes in ED. Has 1 years experience.

i finished my ADN paramedic to ADN in a year, now i'm working and I plan on doing my RN to BSN/MSN this year. if u r a military wife i dont see how how you hve the time for 4 years of school vs 2 years, no reason one has to stop at ADN. I'm a hard working guy that needs to keep earning a paycheck. eventually you will need your BSN. that's pretty much the trend.

so yeah i'm biased but to each his own, i rather work as a nurse while getting my advanced degrees, plus much of what i learned in school doesnt apply to day to day reality of nursing.

by the by im retired military

Is it true that NCLEX pass rate for the school you attended is a significant factor for Nurse Managers who hire new grads? I know someone who is an NP and she attended her local diploma program and then bridged to MSN. She has really encouraged me to attend this same school, and I am considering it, but it is an hour's drive each way. My local program is an ADN and was on probation in 2007, NCLEX pass rate jumped way up in '08 and then in '09 settled back to mid-80's and has maintained that so far for '10. This does not sound strong enough AND everyone I have talked to about this program says that the instructors have the boot camp mentality in which they berate you a lot. I am 40 years old and do not need a drill sergeant in my face. I'm motivated plenty on my own.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I did some prereqs at a community college, and I found that a lot of the students there were very biased against the main BSN program here. I heard all kinds of crazy rumors about the BSN program. People said that it was on probation with the Board of Nursing, that new grads from there were actually paid less than ADN grads at local hospitals, that no one wanted to hire them, and on and on. I did a little investigating, and none of it turned out to be true. It was all made up by people who wanted to feel like the program they chose was better than the other program. I went with the BSN program and it was wonderful.

QUOTE]

I think you make a really good point here, diamondmeadowsRN. If the people bad-mouthing the local BSN program are all ADN program graduates, their opinions may be biased and not very accurate. The OP needs to be sure that she is getting unbiased information about the quality of both programs.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

Moved to Registered Nurses: Diploma, ADN, or BSN? forum.

Carry on! :)

Thanks for all your replies guys! It's been a huge help to me. I think I'm going to pursue the BSN. I've already been taking pre-reqs for two years so I've got everything done to go for the ADN or BSN next fall. And the BSN is actually 2 months shorter! I haven't really heard bad things about the BSN program-it's actually at a pretty well-known university-I've just heard that the grads aren't prepared for clinicals as well as the ADN graduates. And that does make me nervous. But I know that with time I'll pick that stuff up, and the BSN will help me find jobs in the long run! Thanks again for your feedback!

I just wanted to say, I work with several nurses that are ADN prepared (I am BSN) and they are brilliant. I have NO DOUBT that you'd get a wonderful education. HOWEVER, most of the ADN's I work with are back in school. First to complete the necessary pre-reqs and then to get their ADN to BSN and THEN on to MSN. Do yourself a favor... get the BSN. Save yourself some time. We all learn floor nursing on THE FLOOR. Most things are learned hands on. I think it is much more important to work somewhere that supports learning than to listen to the 'ADN students work circles around the BSN students' rhetoric.

If necessary, you should apply elsewhere.

Good luck!