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Should we Skip RN and go straight for BSN?

mamaxmaria mamaxmaria (Member)

So my co worker and I go to school together. We got into a bit of a debate yesterday and I want others opinions....

We are both on track to become RN's through a two year nursing programs.

He wants to transfer to a BSN program before getting his RN because he says it's a waste of time when hospitals only want BSN's.....

(we are both currently PCT's in ICU)

While I agree hospitals are now primarily hiring BSN's, I want to Finish my RN so I can get a better paying job so I can continue to my BSN.....

What do you all think?

I figure I'll get my RN, find a job anywhere I can as a nurse, then continue for my BSN

or is it better to just transfer to another school and get my BSN without first becoming RN

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

It depends on the specifics of your situation.

If the BSN is within reasonable reach for you in terms of time, money, etc. ... I'd recommend to start with a BSN. In many areas of the country, BSN's have a big advantage in the job market and you may have more trouble finding a job with an ADN. Also, I know a lot of people who got diplomas and ADN's with the intention of going back to school who never seem to get around to it ... and now, many years later, regret not having it.

However ... in some areas of the county, there are still jobs for ADN's ... and the costs, etc. of getting a BSN are outrages. If that's the case where you live, then starting with an ADN makes a lot of sense.

So ... what is the situation where you live? That's what you need to look at in order to make a good decision.

It makes sense to get a BSN degree in the beginning to save time, money, and aggravation. Once you have finished that rung of the education ladder you can forgo further formal education and be reasonably assured you have met the minimum employment standards for most RN work.

in NJ hospitals want BSN in my area - they term it like "strongly preferred" but still only choose BSN candidate to interview.. so my advice is to get the BSN


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

If you have begun to take nursing courses I recommend staying with an ADN program mainly because nursing courses do not transfer, and many 4 year programs are saturated with transfer students, i.e Rutgers.

You could always apply to an RN to BSN program that could be relatively cheap such as the one offered by Kean University.

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately! I am in an Associates program in NH. I've been told that getting the BSN right off the bat is unnecessary as long as I'm not planning on finding employment in the Boston area. Being in my 30's with a family, I just need to get a job and go on to get my BSN later, which I'm planning on. Check out the program you are in and see if they have agreements with any 4 year programs for BSN that would take all your transfer credits. My school has agreements with a few, which makes me feel better! Good luck!


Specializes in FNP, Derm Research, Critical Care, Oncol. Has 32 years experience.

I teach in both an ADN and a BSN program in NYC, and to be honest in the present market, ADNs are being shut out of most nursing jobs in hospitals. I have strongly encouraged my ADN students to return for their BSN ASAP. The longer you wait the harder it is to go back particularly as your obligations grow.

Regardless, if you fortunate to land a job as either a BSN or a ADN, inquire how the institution supports nurses and education, i.e. tuition reimbursement, paid conferences, on campus programs. Determine what you want of your future and make a plan for how you will achieve your goals.

Good Luck!

Thank you! I really can't afford to go straight threw to BSN under my circumstances, and yes my school is affiliated with a university or 2 in the area. School is expensive and I need a better paying job in order to pay for it! But I have a few nurse contacts in other hospitals so I'm hoping finding a job when i finish wont be too hard.


Specializes in ICU, PACU, OR. Has 37 years experience.

One thing to look at is tuition reimbursement. If you can get your RN and get a job-then go through your probationary period and jump on the opportunity to finish your BSN. Find a place that offers that-it seems that some places are cutting back on that benefit-so choose to interview with places that have that employee benefit. If you have already been working in a facility, you can talk with your HR rep to see what is offered to you so that you can easily move into a nursing job. Finish you schooling as quickly as possible, because life seems to get in the way. So you want to be free to enjoy your family, friends etc, to keep a balance in your life and have money to boot. So think carefully. It's worth the effort to get it out of the way and then live your life. Especially now that you're in your 30's.

absolutely, go for the RN, then the BSN, you can get the BSN online while working as an RN, many many hospital are hiring RNs, It is a rumor that they all wants BSNs.

Go for the RN, then you can go for the BSN while working as a RN for the BSN.

Get your RN. Hands down. If you wait, that's two years loss of RN pay, experience, seniority, raises, and tuition reimbursement. Especially since you already work in a hospital, you're more likely to be hired "in-house" even without the BSN. Absolutely go forward and finish your BSN, but don't wait to take your boards and get your license. I'm coming up on 2 year experience, planning to go back after that to finish. My hospital will help pay for me to finish, and even have once every 2 week classes at the hospital for BSN completion. Also, I needed the time and money to financially and mentally recover from the 2 year boot-camp that was nursing school! Now I'll be able to go back without needing any loans, and be free of credit card debt. Get your RN, and go to WORK! Good luck!

I received my AAS in 1996 and immediately received a position in my local hospital in the med surg unit. In 2000, I accepted a position in a large teaching institution in the Newborn ICU. In 2005, I accepted the position of Asst. Nurse Mgr in our unit of 140 staff members. Last year, everyone in management were informed that we could no longer hire anyone with less than a BSN, as we are a Magnet Hospital. Also, we were informed that anyone in management didn't hold a Master's degree would have to obtain a Master's by 2015. I am struggling now trying to obtain this degree. I would advise anyone in a RN program to immediately return to school and at least obtain a BSN, and if you have any desire to move up the ladder, obtain at least a Master's.

I'm also working in a Magnet hospital, with a 2-yr degree.

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor.. Has 23 years experience.

You know your current financial circumstances best, so why not just weigh that factor in your question. Personally, if I already have a lot of debt or bills to pay, and really can't see beyond my present circumstances, I would choose to put away a percentage of my paycheck each pay period, and forget about it until I had enough saved up to begin the BSN program. On the other hand, if my financial circumstances are such that I would be able to go for my BSN now, I would do that. Only you are in the position to really make the wisest decision.

I paid about $600 a semester for 2 years, received my ADN and got a job in the specialty I wanted right out of school. My employer paid my $7000+ expenses for my BSN.

You do the math and tell me if you should wait for your BSN. Do hospitals prefer BSNs - yes. Can you get a good job with an ADN - yes.

Don't listen to the doom and gloom of other graduates that have a hard time finding a job. They aren't you and they don't have your personality. Be positive and eager to learn in interviews. Nobody expects a new grad to be a veteran nurse.

Edited by Kezef76

I wEnt back for my BSN aftEr 32 yEars in nursing. I always thought that I would obtain my BSN as soon as I graduatEd from my AD program, but things got in thE way and onE nEvEr sEEms to prioritizE of going back to shcool. My advicE go straight into thE BSN program. You'rE wasting timE going to an AD program. I'vE rEtirEd, but sincE wEnt back to work, and thank God I had obtainEd my BSN, bEcausE no onE was hiring AD nursEs only BSN. Good luck in your dEcision.

newtinmpls, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dementia & Psychiatry.


"Get your RN. Hands down. If you wait, that's two years loss of RN pay, experience, seniority, raises, and tuition reimbursement. Especially since you already work in a hospital, you're more likely to be hired "in-house" even without the BSN. "

Depends. I was in a scholarship affiliated with the hospital where I'd worked for 15+ years, got my RN just as the economy hit the toilet and just as my facility became unionized. I'm not against unions, but it was very frustrating to be essentially shut out of nursing jobs for two and a half years while all the panicking intermittants applied for everything in sight, and got those jobs because "they were in the union already." I ended up working weekends at LTC just to get experience.

That being said, my cohort went through a AA program where you had the option of getting your LPN after year one, and a fellow student of mine did, and worked as an LPN in the pediatrics clinic - made her a more valuable employee.

If you can afford the RN, go for it. The sooner you start accumulating experience the better. I've finished my BSN (as of last week) and am starting Grad school to go BSN-Psych/Mental Health NP doctorate. For me, if I waited, I wouldn't do it, so it's my best option.

Your best option is the one that works for you