Which would be better? ADN or BSN? - page 2
Hi, I'm currently in high school and thinking about getting into nursing after I graduate. I can't decide if I should go straight to the University and get my BSN, or if I should go to a community... Read More
Sep 21, '12Occupation: Pediatric Hospice Nurse Specialty: 30 year(s) of experience in Pediatric ICU,Education,Hospice,NICU ; From: US ; Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 21; Likes: 14Stanford Hospitals and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital are now requiring BSN trained RNs. Also, you will have a hard time getting into a RN to BSN program any time soon--they are packed,especially in California! Definitely the BSN route for a new RN...
Sep 21, '12Specialty: 20+ year(s) of experience in Peds and Adult Critical Care ; Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 894; Likes: 1,152Go for the BSN, and get a job externing when you are a junior. Then suck it up and get a job on a very busy cardiac-surgical step-down floor, and then at least a good year in an excellent ICU.
After this, apply for whatever areas float your boat. You will have a stronger foundation than many others. The foundation you get can make or break you clinically IMHO.
Heck, even if you go into psych nursing, you will be more prepared for off the wall stuff that can definitely happen, even in some of those settings.
No, don't spend your money on an expensive school for your undergrad. State school is fine. Save the higher cost of education for graduate level education.
I went to an expensive undergrad, even though I already had the ADN and learned an awful lot and found the CCRN exam relatively easy. The only reason I went to an expensive school was because of what I would be doing for graduate education. In general,however, I say save yourself an outlandishly high tuition, unless you know you are going to apply for a competitive medical program or something like that.
A good state university with a solid reputation in nursing and board scores should suit you fine. You don't learn a heck of a lot until you get out there and start working in it--unless you get into a great extern program or a really great internship.
Keep your grades up, b/c you do NOT necessarily know that you will not want to get into something competitive after your undergrad is completed. Many programs look at CUMMULATIVE GPA, so don't screw yourself--or make it harder if you should seek to go on later, after undergrad.
Sep 21, '12Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 725; Likes: 1,304I have worked with BSN ADN and diploma prepared nurses. I also worked in a hospital that was heavily reliant on LPNs for staffing and patient care assignments. I am biased because I have a BSN.
I was a "traditional" college age student (right out of high school) and went the BSN route. I went to school in Ohio (where I lived at the time). I wanted to go to community college and do the ADN route - but my parents strongly insisted that I go the 4 year university BSN degree. They were right. It would have been much easier to transfer between programs had I decided nursing wasn't for me and I would not have wasted so much time given the amount of pre-requisites and co-requisites needed for nursing at my university. I also went to a small university - average class size (overall for all undergrad classes) was 13-20. Some classes were bigger - anatomy and physiology lecture, chem lecture, etc - but you will have bigger lectures anywhere. Our big classes were about 80 students. My nursing class, when we started we had 70 students. At graduation, we had 48 eligible to graduate with a BSN. Well, we really had 50...48 traditional BSN and two RN to BSN (RN-BSNs attended commencement with us and were in some classes like research, legal etc).
I have to disagree with the sentiment that "ADNs are better prepared clinically than BSN" grads. I think it depends more on the program and things that were focused on in your program. When looking at clinical hours in quantity alone, BSN program was second in the state in terms of quantity of hours completed...second only to another BSN program. To be fair, I was accepted into the program with the highest number of clinical hours...but I chose the program I did based on financial aid (all of my other considerations were very similar between schools). I've worked with some ADN grads that I am surprised haven't killed a patient. I have also worked with some BSN grads that equally surprise me in that respect.
I also disagree with the sentiments that "ADN is cheaper" or "state schools are cheaper". Do your research about programs please, please be an informed consumer. When I was choosing between BSN programs, my top two choices of schools I was admitted to were both private. I was accepted for admission at two state school's BSN programs. One state school had just received accreditation for their BSN program and the other is great but it can be a nightmare as an undergrad. The one that can be a nightmare - their BSN program is great, comparable to the two others I chose between (my top three choices were the two privates and this state school). But the average completion time considering availability of seats in both nursing and non-nursing courses typically made a 4 year degree equivalent to spending 5 years, and/or you may or may not have gotten into the nursing program the year you apply to that specific school. The cost of the state school STARTED lower than the private schools, but room and board was more expensive at the state school and the state school had a zillion extra fees including insane parking fees (I'll address this later). I think I paid over 3 years (didn't have a car my freshmen year) the same amount in parking I would have paid for one year as a student at the state university. My financial aid packages were considerably higher at both private schools than at the state school (state schools have a public budget and less money to go around, private schools typically have a larger endowment fund for /grants etc). The cost between the school I chose (private) and the state school would have, if everything had happened according to plan and in the best way possible at the state school, been about the same. I had to consider at my private school I already had admission to my program but at the state school I'd have to apply etc...and chose private based on the "reality" of cost.
I worked at a state university affiliated medical center in their float pool during my junior and senior years of nursing school. They preferred to hire their own students or other BSN students even for assistant positions. This medical center had an externship program for the summer between junior and senior years...people in the program pay for a quarter's class at the university but are paid for their work and practice with a preceptor one on one much like senior practicums/preceptorships work. The new graduate internship would only hire BSN prepared nurses, and they'd get 1000+ applications so it helped to know nurse managers or work in the system as an assistant...they looked at their own grads and 'internal' applicants first. The new graduate internships - especially the ones at prestigious medical centers - forget about it unless you know a nurse manager and/or have a BSN.
I think it depends on your area but it seems that the wind is blowing in the direction of a BSN. So many postings it seems require a BSN or say things like 'BSN strongly preferred'. Sure you can do it both ways, but it depends on your goals and what you want.
Sep 21, '12Occupation: CRRN, now a case management RN Specialty: Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 38,032; Likes: 69,287Soon after the financial meltdown of 2008, many hospitals in the U.S. started explicitly declaring a preference for BSN-educated new grads. Since so many new nurses are being pumped into local job markets across the country, the BSN degree has become a new weed-out tool: an applicant might get weeded out without one. It reduces the number of candidates that HR must interview for those few available job openings.
In addition, why hire a new ADN with no experience when the hospital has a flood of new grad applicants with BSN degrees who are willing to work for a lower pay rate than in previous years? It saves hospitals money in reduced wages, and a higher proportion of BSN-educated nurses looks good on paper when marketing the facility to the public.
Sep 21, '12Joined: Mar '11; Posts: 1,101; Likes: 2,018My opinion:
First, better and quicker do not go hand in hand. I would go for the BSN program, rather than planning on a bridge program down the road. If you are young and free of major responsibilities now, that may change. Take advantage of being able to focus on school. The practical aspects of going for the BSN are that you may have more job opportunities, job security, opportunities for advancement, & better pay. The more important reason to opt for the BSN program: You'll find people debate the merits of different degree programs all over this website, but education is valuable. More educational preparation may make you a better nurse, & that statement does not dismiss the qualifications & experience of nurses without a BSN.
Sep 21, '12Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 3,569; Likes: 7,810I think it depends on a number of things. You will hear very impassioned arguements on either side of the fence.....kind of like should moms work or stay at home....different strokes for different folks....I personally fought my mom (3 year hospital grad) tooth and nail to do a BSN. Several years later I was widow with a small child and had a career trajectory that I might not have had without my BSN. There would not have been an opportunity for many many years to go back to school. When that time came Because I had my BSN I was then able to get my Masters.
We all make our own choices based on a number of things...you need to weigh it out and figure out what you want out of your career. Personally I think you should get your BSN to start....
Good Luck in what ever path you choose!
Sep 22, '12Occupation: RN Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in ED ; From: US ; Joined: Dec '10; Posts: 143; Likes: 112Agree, go to a state school and get a BSN. The job market, which is still depressed right now, isn't going to be that much better in 2yrs verse 4 yrs. Take your pre req at a community college (take your time and get A's or better) then transfer to a four yr school. Get a job in a hospital while you are in school. Learn how a hospital works, learn how to use the computer systems and get to know people (the key to getting a job). Please, if you do get a job in a hospital think about it as a long interview for a RN. Show up on time (maybe even a little early), put the patients first, don't spend your time... (texting, facebook,twitter,youtube failblog or whatever you young people do these days) and dress, talk, act like a professional. The medical field is a small community, even in a major city, if you get labeled unprofessional it will follow you.
Sep 22, '12Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 184; Likes: 205Here in my area new grad ADNs are finding it almost impossible to get hospital jobs. Hospitals here are turning away from hiring ADNs even if you are actively pursuing your BSN. My daughter-in-law is an ADN with three years of Medical-Surgical experience in a small community hospital. She and her family want to move to the larger city. She has been applying in the suburban hospitals and has not gotten a job there, even with three years of Medical-Surgical. She is now pursuing her BSN. I think she realized she couldn't put it off any longer.
I would say you would never regret going for your BSN first. Also, if there are Nurse Intern positions available, I would consider trying for a position. I think those are much more available for BSN students.
Good Luck. Whichever way you go, the important thing is that you are aiming for your BSN. I predict that within the next 10 years, the MSN will become the preferred level of education for RNs, with BSN being the entry level for hospital. Personally, I think hospitals are making a mistake turning away the ADNs so much. They should hire them wtih the requirement they get their BSN within a certain time period from their hire date. RN to BSN programs are designed for the working nurse.
Sep 22, '12Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 7; Likes: 12This is easy. Given your situation, the BSN is the better bet. ADNs seem like they are more prepared to hit the floor because all the 2 years they spend is really focused on floor nursing. BSNs however do other education that expands their knowledge base of nursing as a profession and not just a job/skillset. ADNs may hit the floor running and BSNs lag behind ... but after a year or 6 months, the BSNs have a better handle on things .. not just direct patient care but by the way they deal with things that are not patient care (eg. dealing with families, dealing with other health professionals).
There is a reason why the ANCC and professional nursing organizations prefer and encourage the BSN over the ADN ... research itself shows it. Actually, the ANCC were at some point pushing for the professional registered RN to be at the least Masters-prepared. There really is a difference, and it's harder to see the difference when you are an ADN looking up versus a MSN looking down. The approach and perception differ with respect to patient care and contributions to the hospital organization and nursing profession as a whole.
But, if you have financial issues, the ADN may be a more realistic choice. So it depends on you.
Eitherway, there is a push for new grads to be at least BSNs. ADNs usually might end up in nursing homes or other non-acute/sub-acute areas. In my hospital in Los Angeles county, we don't even consider ADN applications over the last 2 years. All applications are only BSNs and MSNs. This may be even more pronounced for hospitals seeking magnet status.
Also, historically, the ADN training was never meant to be the end of becoming a registered nurse. The reason why ADN was allowed, was due to the shortages. We just needed RNs right away. The ADNs was allow in the hope that they will pursue the BSN.
Sep 22, '12Occupation: pill pusher Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in LTC, agency, HHC ; From: US ; Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 836; Likes: 427Quote from tweetRNNo, the difference between the ADN and BSN is not just management classes. It builds on the ADN skills, knowledge, and incorporates management classes. The ADN's I work with, when I ask them questions about something I had in class they say "I don't know, I didn't have to take that class." I don't know where you are, but in my BSN classes, I don't, and haven't, followed around any people in management. My clinicals were spent on the floor taking care of patients. My last class will be a NCLEX review, not following management around. (I don't go by semesters, though, either.) I have a leadership class built into my program, but my clinicals focus on med surg 1, psych, OB, peds, community health, and med surg 2.I agree that it seems like ADNs seen to have more clinical experience than BSNs. That's actually why I chose to do my ADN even though I was accepted to a BSN school as well. my nurse friends told me that the feel like the ADNs are more prepared clinically. And I do feel the same way now that I'm out of school and working on the floor and not only work with other ADNS but also the students. Seemslike the only time I see BSN students is when they are following mgt for their last semester while ADNs we see weekly. Doing your ADN is a LOT cheaper too even if you calculate in doing you BSN after. When you bridge over there usually are only a couple classes you are lacking as far as prerequisites go and then the only difference is the BSN program you get management classes. For me it turned it to be a whole year quicker doing ADN then bridging over to BSN. When I bridged I could do the entire program online or go to class one day a week for 2 semesters. However like someone else mentioned, many hospitals are striving to be known as "magnet" hospitals which require them to have a high percentage of RNs be BSNs so they usually hire few ADNs if at all. Some will hire you if you express that you plan on doing you BSN or if you are already in a bridge to BSN program. Before you decide you might check around your area and see if they hire ADN our if they require BSNs. You can do that by calling the hospitals and asking to soak with the nurse recruiter. Good luck!
Sep 25, '12Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: Pediatrics ; From: US ; Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 5; Likes: 1As an ADN nurse, I say go for your BSN. One of the other posters made a good point--if you get into nursing and you decide it isn't for you, it will be so much easier to switch if you're going to a state school where you have a lot of other options.
That said, ADN worked best for me. This is my second career, it was faster, the ADN program in my area didn't have a wait list (once you passed the entrance exam you could start), and it was cheaper. In my area, ADN grads are absolutely getting hired, even in hospitals. Even in Magnet hospitals. I had three job offers before I graduated and got to choose which specialty and hospital I wanted to start in. I do plan on pursuing my BSN, once I've worked for a year, and the hospital I am working at will pay for the majority of it.
My point is, honestly, what is best for one person is not best for everyone. You have to really weigh your options and decide what is going to work for you, to get you hired in the area you live.