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Question for those who have completed an RN-BSN

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I have a question for those who have completed an RN-BSN. I already have a BS degree in an unrelated field. So if one looks at a typical 4 year college degree and breaks it down into general education and major-specific education then it makes sense to me that obtaining a BSN on top of my existing BS would take 2 years. However, if I already have a nursing diploma which will be 4 semesters of nursing specific classes, why would I need that two years? Why would obtaining the BSN not just be 1 year or two semesters? Can anyone enlighten me on this? The reason I'm asking is that every RN-BSN program I have looked at in my area talks about it taking anywhere from 15 months to 2 and 1/2 years to complete. I have not called program coordinators to ask my question, but it has been bugging me. It seems that it would be reasonable for me (or any student in this hypothetical position) to receive credit for the classwork completed in the Diploma or ADN program and reduce the amount of time it takes to get the BSN. Can anyone fill me in on how this process works?

Thank you!

I'm working on pre-reqs now and hope to enter NS into my local accelerated diploma program in May '12.

BluegrassRN

Has 14 years experience.

There are often a few "bridge" courses that one needs to take. In mine, it was Fundamentals of Nursing Theory (one of many useless theory classes...), and patho I and II. While I didn't need to take any other prereqs, you might. Mine required a physics and a stats course, but I had luckily already taken those. Obviously, all my other classes for my BA transferred.

My program is, I think, 30ish hours of course work. One of my instructors stated that it theoretically could be done in one year, but they had only had a handful of students do that, in the 20+ years of their distance program. Most students are working at least part time, and so they don't take a full load of classes.

I suspect it is the bridge program that makes the programs you've looked at 15+ months long.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

It "should" take less time, but to be sure you'll have to check each university's specific course requirement to graduate, and whet courses you have that can be transferred.

If I remember right, at my school, the RN to BSN bridge program was 1-1.5yrs, like two semesters and maybe a summer. But you're right, you're in a bit of a complicated situation with having both a degree and an RN (I assume an RN goes along with that diploma, right?)

Now, if you want to actually argue numbers about how long it would/should take, then you're oversimplifying with 2yrs general, 2yrs nursing. Because while the 2yrs of general for me wasn't as part of the nursing school, there were two things: for me they were very specific general courses (how many math majors took separate anatomy and physiology, a life span course, or a nutrition course?), and the school wants you to take as many courses there as they can. 1) it makes them money, 2) it makes sure when you sit for boards/extra certifications/work, they've got consistency in the nurses they graduate.

Oh yeah, and a course coordinator would be able to answer your questions better than anybody on here (who's not a course coordinator or at least not in some part involved in a school).

AnnaN5

Specializes in AGNP. Has 7 years experience.

I am taking my last course in a RN-BSN program. I have a BS in Biology and my associates in nursing. The BSN completion program required me to take 10-11 classes which was significantly less than if I didn't have my previous bachelors. Speak directly with the programs you are interested in.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Another factor here is that a reputable school is not going to give you a degree with THEIR name on it if too much of your coursework was taken at another school. Schools may have a minimum number of credits that must be done at THEIR school in order to qualify for THEIR degree.

Imagine taking 4 years of coursework in ... say ... political science ... but being 1 course short of the degree. Then with only 1 semester left before earning your BS, you drop out of that school and transfer to Harvard. Harvard is not going to give you a degree with the Harvard name on it if you only take 1 course at Harvard. Do you see what I mean?

To qualify for a degree at a certain school, you need to meet the specific requirements of that school and take a certain number of credit hours at that particular school. For the better schools out there with strong reputations, they are going to have several requirements that you must meet AT THEIR SCHOOL to qualify for THEIR degree.

Even with terrible schools ... they want you to pay THEM for courses before they will award you a degree. The more requirements they have, the more money you pay them.

hotflashion, BSN, RN

Specializes in Foot care. Has 12 years experience.

Since I'm unemployed and have a lot of time on my hands, I took a look at the curriculum for a local ADN program and compared it to the curriculum I was required to complete for the BSN at my alma mater. I'll list only nursing and associated science and/or technical courses, not the liberal arts or English courses. There is more depth and breadth to the BSN curriculum, and after looking at the differences, I value my BSN much more. I can see why the RN BSN is regarded as a professional nurse and the RN ADN a technical nurse.

ADN Nursing

Fundamentals of Nursing

Intergenerational Nursing

Pharmacology for Nurses

Nursing Care of the Adult I

Nursing Care of the Adult II

Nursing Issues

BSN Nursing

Foundations of Nursing

Health Assessment

Pathopharmacology I

Pathopharmacology II

Medical-Surgical Nursing I

Medical-Surgical Nursing II

Mental Health Nursing

Maternal-Newborn Nursing

Pediatric Nursing

Chronic Illness

Community Health Nursing

Selective Practicum (21 hours/week, w/preceptor, typically on a med-surg floor)

Nursing Leadership & Management

Nursing Research

ADN Science & Technical

Anatomy & Physiology I

Anatomy & Physiology II

Introduction to Microbiology

Intro to Statistics

Intro to Psychology

Cultural Anthropology

BSN Science & Technical

Chemistry for the Health Sciences

Anatomy & Physiology I

Anatomy & Physiology II

Survey of Microorganisms

Applied Statistics

General Psychology

Intro to Sociology

Human Growth and Development

Nutrition

Tankweti

Specializes in LTC.

To Revolution: The reason they are telling you it is going to take up to 2.5 years is because no school will accept courses that you have already taken and passed. I got into a big argument with NLN some years back over the fact that I had to repeat nursing courses I had taken and passed at a local community college when I wanted to move on to BSN elsewhere. I only found out after the fact that nothing transfers because, in fact, no one knows what you know because there is little consistency between nursing schools. The only transferrable courses are those not designated as nursing. However, if you already have your ADN, then you should be starting into a BSN program that takes that into account. My problem was that I did not have any type of existing nursing license back then. Once you have a license, then the number of courses you are required to take for BSN should be decreased. And I also went into all this with a previous Bachelor's in Biology. Ultimately, was able to transfer 90 credits to my BSN school. Still took me from Fall 2007 to Spring 2010 to finish and graduate.

I was in a similar situation myself. I graduated in 2005 with a BS in Biology and in 2007 with a BS in Chemistry. I decided to go back to get a degree in nursing. I figured I could get an associates in nursing since I already have 2 Bachelor's Degrees. But I found out that this was not the way to go. To compete with the other grads and the job market, you need to get the BSN. Even with my prior college under my belt, it will take me 2.5 years to get my BSN. I have one year left. I live in Boston and most of the hospitals have a FAQ page that specifcally states if you have a BS in something else and a Associate's in nursing, then DO NOT apply...You need to have the BSN..If you really want to do nursing, don't do any shortcuts and get the BSN..You really need it.

Spikey9001, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case Manager. Has 4 years experience.

Since I'm unemployed and have a lot of time on my hands, I took a look at the curriculum for a local ADN program and compared it to the curriculum I was required to complete for the BSN at my alma mater. I'll list only nursing and associated science and/or technical courses, not the liberal arts or English courses. There is more depth and breadth to the BSN curriculum, and after looking at the differences, I value my BSN much more. I can see why the RN BSN is regarded as a professional nurse and the RN ADN a technical nurse.

ADN Nursing

Fundamentals of Nursing

Intergenerational Nursing

Pharmacology for Nurses

Nursing Care of the Adult I

Nursing Care of the Adult II

Nursing Issues

BSN Nursing

Foundations of Nursing

Health Assessment

Pathopharmacology I

Pathopharmacology II

Medical-Surgical Nursing I

Medical-Surgical Nursing II

Mental Health Nursing

Maternal-Newborn Nursing

Pediatric Nursing

Chronic Illness

Community Health Nursing

Selective Practicum (21 hours/week, w/preceptor, typically on a med-surg floor)

Nursing Leadership & Management

Nursing Research

ADN Science & Technical

Anatomy & Physiology I

Anatomy & Physiology II

Introduction to Microbiology

Intro to Statistics

Intro to Psychology

Cultural Anthropology

BSN Science & Technical

Chemistry for the Health Sciences

Anatomy & Physiology I

Anatomy & Physiology II

Survey of Microorganisms

Applied Statistics

General Psychology

Intro to Sociology

Human Growth and Development

Nutrition

I don't know where you're from but all those bolded courses are in my ADN nursing program... I'd even include pharm but there isn't TOO much emphasis placed on it in our program... It's integrated into everything else. But then again, everyone says our program is one of the hardest around the local area when compared to other ADN programs.

Most of the RN-BSN programs in my area are made to be part-time for the working RN which is why they take so long. Only 1-2 classes per semester, and they have to be in order. But it really isn't many classes.

I have a previous BS & MS, so it cut down on a lot of the prereqs for the RN-BSN program I will be enrolling in. Otherwise I would have had to take a good 8-10 more classes. Now I only need the 8 nursing classes.

Bumashes, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Hospitalist.

They fill it up with crap classes is why it takes so long. I wish I would have just took the BSN originally, but oh well. Doing the RN-BSN now, and it's just full of fluff. I looked at 6 different colleges for my area and they all were filled with useless stuff. Well, okay, there are about 2 classes out of the 11 that actually look interesting, so not all fluff. I guess it's just b/c they don't know what to do with you if you've already gotten your RN, so they just throw courses at you so they can make money off of you. I believe that I would have had a much better learning experience with my BSN had I gone that route originally.

Also, to the person comparing classes of the ADN and BSN programs, you've got to look at the credit hours gained by the courses. In my ADN program, it would only list us as taking 3 classes per semester, like Acute Care of the Adult I, Pharmacology, and Dosage Calculations. The Acute Care class gave you 12 credit hours and covered anything from Psych Nursing to Emergency/Critical Care Nursing to Rehabilitative Nursing to Maternal. An all-in-one type deal. Then the Pharm class was for 3 credit hrs, and the Dosage Cal was for 1 credit hr. So you end up taking 16 hrs that semester, which is on par with most BSN programs. ADN programs just lump all the classes into one single class that the BSN programs tend to list out as many separate classes. We would even have mini-pharm tests at the end of each section that would pertain to commonly used drugs in that area (like Psych or Emergency.) So even pharm got mixed in with all the other areas in that one single class. So it seems that the RN-BSN programs just try to pull out most of the med-surg and patho classes and have you take research, nursing trends, nursing theory, and leadership & management in order to complete your BSN.

Oh well, I had a Bachelor's for Science Education before I went for my ADN. I was not familiar enough with nursing and all the rigamarole surrounding the ADN, Diploma, and BSN nonsense. I thought that ADN was just where everybody was supposed to start. Felt like a dork when I figured it out during my second semester. But Hurricane Katrina had destroyed the University I would have wanted to attend anyway. Now it's rebuilt, and I'm completing my BSN.

Sorry to the OP. This seems like it's about to go down the path of ADN vs BSN as usual. *Sigh*

Thank you all for your input. This reinforces my goal of doing an RN-MSN at Chapel Hill. They have 1 semester of "bridge" prerequisites to take based on your own curriculum gaps and then you begin MSN coursework. This is, of course, assuming that I get accepted to the program once I get to that stage in my career.