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Position difference between RN vs. BSN

Nurses   (4,671 Views 23 Comments)
by kalevra kalevra, BSN, RN (Member)

kalevra has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Telemetry,Hospice, ICU, Supervisor.

19,344 Visitors; 530 Posts

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I just got into the RN program, and I was wondering what the difference is between RN vs. BSN. I fully understand both must pass the NCLEX-RN in order to become a licensed RN and that both have the same scope of practice regardless of degree. I have read previous posts that there isn't much of a difference in compensation for RN vs. BSN. What I am more interested in is the positions available for RN vs BSN. Let me be specific, my mother is an BSN working for the Catholic Healthcare West system, I was told that the primary difference between the two types of nurses is the type of position that they can hold. For example she said that an RN could not be put in charge of a BSN such as a charge nurse position. However I was told that the Kaiser system didn't have such a policy. I would like to know if there are other differences in positions between RN vs. BSN.

If there is no difference between RN vs. BSN in terms of position then what is the point to having two different degrees for the same license. I also understand that some specialties require a BSN in order to move on to their respective MSN.

Keep in mind when I say RN I mean an RN with their Associates Degree

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NurseKitten has 20 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Case Mgmt, Anesthesia, ICU, ER, Dialysis.

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No state's nurse practice act prohibits associate-degree prepared RN's from supervising bachelor-degree prepared RN's, that I am aware of.

Any facility can make their own rules where this scenario could be feasible.

As for the difference, both degrees prepare nurses to assume care of patients at bedside within an inpatient setting. In general, however, the bachelor's degree extends the education to topics such as community health, systems management, and integrates the foundation for more advanced nursing degrees to build upon. This is not to say that these topics aren't taught in ADN program, but at least in my experience, they are taught more in depth within the BSN programs.

Either track produces quality nurses.

If you want additional nursing degrees and/or have aspirations of going into academia or administration, you will most likely need a BSN.

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Annaiya has 5 years experience as a NP and specializes in PICU.

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I have never heard that an ADN can't be in charge over a BSN. I have a BSN and many of my charge nurses are ADNs. Usually BSNs get paid more ($1/hr at my facility), and BSNs are more likely to be hired and get promoted. With the current job market, ADNs in my area are finding it very difficult to get hospital jobs. They are more likely to get clinic, LTC, SNF type jobs, unless they worked in a hospital during school. Studies have shown that BSN nurses have better patient outcomes so there has been a push to hire more BSNs than ADNs. However, I doubty the ADN programs will ever go away due to the extreme nursing shortage it would cause.

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kalevra has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Telemetry,Hospice, ICU, Supervisor.

19,344 Visitors; 530 Posts

Thanks NurseKitten for the for the input it really helped out. From what i understand there are more options down the road for an RN with a BSN should they choose to move into something else different.

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3 Followers; 96,632 Visitors; 36,688 Posts

The RN license allows one to practice as an RN, whether one obtained that license through education at the diploma, ASN, BSN, or entry level MSN level. The BSN is one of the RN education levels. One can obtain a BSN education yet never practice as an RN, because they have not obtained an RN license.

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kalevra has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Telemetry,Hospice, ICU, Supervisor.

19,344 Visitors; 530 Posts

I have never heard that an ADN can't be in charge over a BSN. I have a BSN and many of my charge nurses are ADNs. Usually BSNs get paid more ($1/hr at my facility), and BSNs are more likely to be hired and get promoted. With the current job market, ADNs in my area are finding it very difficult to get hospital jobs. They are more likely to get clinic, LTC, SNF type jobs, unless they worked in a hospital during school. Studies have shown that BSN nurses have better patient outcomes so there has been a push to hire more BSNs than ADNs. However, I doubty the ADN programs will ever go away due to the extreme nursing shortage it would cause.

Thanks Annaiya for the input. I am not worried about the pay difference, mostly worried about being blocked out from positions. The nursing shortage issue in California isn't really an issue, in fact all the CSU are impacted as well as the community college system. We have new grads that kind find a job out here. Thanks for replying.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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There are no legal rules barring ADNs or Diploma nurses from supervising, teaching, precepting, charging or managing other RNs. And BONs do not regulate that in most cases that I know of.

In some facilities, especially those with clinical ladders, the upper levels may require a Bachelor's degree. But that is an institutional policy. Most schools require upper level degrees as requirement for classroom teaching, but still permit ADNs to be clinical instructors for onsite clinical supervision.

In the current recession, many employers are showing preference for BSNs for new grad positions over other nurses.

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SpEdtacular has 7 years experience and specializes in ED, ICU, Progressive Care, Informatics.

5,851 Visitors; 190 Posts

I have never heard that an ADN can't be in charge over a BSN. I have a BSN and many of my charge nurses are ADNs. Usually BSNs get paid more ($1/hr at my facility), and BSNs are more likely to be hired and get promoted. With the current job market, ADNs in my area are finding it very difficult to get hospital jobs. They are more likely to get clinic, LTC, SNF type jobs, unless they worked in a hospital during school. Studies have shown that BSN nurses have better patient outcomes so there has been a push to hire more BSNs than ADNs. However, I doubty the ADN programs will ever go away due to the extreme nursing shortage it would cause.

I've never heard that BSNs have better patient outcomes. Where did you hear this? (I'm not being sarcastic. I know my post might come off that way). I know many hospitals prefer BSN over ADN because higher/continuing education is one of the "Forces of Magnetism" criteria used when a hospital goes for a Magnet Certification and as a previous poster said the BSN courses go more in depth into things like management.

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Annaiya has 5 years experience as a NP and specializes in PICU.

13,169 Visitors; 555 Posts

I've never heard that BSNs have better patient outcomes. Where did you hear this? (I'm not being sarcastic. I know my post might come off that way). I know many hospitals prefer BSN over ADN because higher/continuing education is one of the "Forces of Magnetism" criteria used when a hospital goes for a Magnet Certification and as a previous poster said the BSN courses go more in depth into things like management.

I don't at all mind being asked to back up my statement. We can't all be right all of the time:) I've read various articles about this in nursing journals, but here is a link to some information that I could Google quickly:

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media/factsheets/impactednp.htm

Scroll down to the "Recognizing Differences Among Nursing Program Graduates" part to see references to some studies that have been done.

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SpEdtacular has 7 years experience and specializes in ED, ICU, Progressive Care, Informatics.

5,851 Visitors; 190 Posts

I don't at all mind being asked to back up my statement. We can't all be right all of the time:) I've read various articles about this in nursing journals, but here is a link to some information that I could Google quickly:

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media/factsheets/impactednp.htm

Scroll down to the "Recognizing Differences Among Nursing Program Graduates" part to see references to some studies that have been done.

Interesting information. I haven't had the opportunity to read all the studies at this point but it seems they show a definite correlation. I'm curious about whether or not they found causation and what factors might be responsible for the difference. I guess I've got some reading to do ;)

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getoverit has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER/ICU/Flight.

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Annaiya,

Thanks for posting the link to the studies. I read a couple of them when they came out.

I'm definitely not arguing against furthering education, but my issue with the studies (only the ones that I read as part of a statistical analysis) is that I never saw any mention of staffing ratios, differing acuity levels, mandated overtime, general health of the nurses, etc.

These may have been included, but my group was unable to identify those variables in the study. I think it's reasonable to assume that they also influence patient safety and overall outcomes. I'm not disputing the studies by any means, although without knowing whether or not the ADN/diploma nurses in question had poor staffing, maybe their 6th twelve hour shift in that many days, forced to work 16 hour shifts, problems with child care, illnesses, etc....if those factors are in play, then they could influence the validity of the findings.

We were unable to locate the answer to that. bottom line: I agree with furthering education and plan to pursue my MSN, but I don't think it should be forced upon anyone.

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The RN license allows one to practice as an RN, whether one obtained that license through education at the diploma, ASN, BSN, or entry level MSN level. The BSN is one of the RN education levels. One can obtain a BSN education yet never practice as an RN, because they have not obtained an RN license.

Is there a reason other than failing the NCLEx for RN that would stop someone from obtaining an RN license?

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