So much negativity towards Associate Degree Nurses

Nursing Students ADN/BSN


Specializes in Cardiac Care, Palliative Care.

Hello all! I figured it will be safer to post here than in the general nursing forums, since alot of my fellow Excelsior grads post here regularly. I've read some recent and past posts regarding this ADN vs BSN debate, and it actually make me feel like the scrapings off the bottom of a barrel due to the fact that I only have a ADN. There a few members who are totally anti-ADN and is basically blaming the Diploma and Associate Degree Nurses for the reason why nurses are not considered to be professionals. These members go on to say that doctors will never respect us if the entry-level to nursing isn't changed to BSN instead of ADN.

Every step in my professional life has been earned with hard-work and dedication. In 2002, I started as a CNA in a hospital. In 2005, I became a LPN. In 2010, I became a RN. I've worked full-time while going to school for my LPN and RN. I was paying my own rent, bills, ect while focusing on advancing my career. My family and co-workers have been very proud of my accomplishments. My parents have my RN degree and license framed and hung on the wall as a proud display. I used to be very proud of my accomplishments until I became a regular visitor to this website. It seems like each day there is a student nurse or a pre-nursing student who asks the same question regarding whether they should go for their ADN or BSN, which as usual sparks a beat down of all ADN programs and nurses. There is the nursing news section that a member will post something regarding nurses are not viewed as professionals, which will have certain members again reiterating that ADN and Diploma nurses are to blame.

I have all intentions of completing my BSN in due time, but I never thought I will be viewed as a disgrace to the nursing profession because I have an Associate Degree. Am I being too overly-sensitive or is there others who feel the ADN bashing is also getting to them?

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.


I moved your thread to this forum because it's the right place for just this type of discussion. :)

Like you, I started out as a CNA (although I didn't have the option of becoming an LPN) and worked my way up to an ADN. I haven't gone any further, and at almost 52, I probably won't.....not only because I'm still paying student loans and can't afford more, but because I have no desire to tackle O-Chem and Statistics, along with more of what I call the "-ologies". I have taken continuing ed courses in my field, and I keep up with the most recent changes in practice through nursing publications and, of course, through Allnurses.

I do not, for one minute, believe that my ADN makes me less of a nurse than my BSN-or-better counterparts. After all, we ALL took the same licensing exam to become RNs in the first place! Also, while many BSN/MSNs were in college studying the "-ologies", I was out in the workplace, learning my craft at the bedside and taking care of people. So no, I don't see any reason to feel inferior to better-educated nurses, and FWIW, I've done quite well with my associate's degree, moving as far up as Director of Nursing of a 70-unit assisted living facility at one point in my career.

I support the desire of any nurse to further her/his education and go for those higher degrees; I simply don't choose to myself, and I refuse to apologize for it. Nor will I allow anyone to make me feel bad, like the LPN I worked with who told me that she'd wanted me to precept her through her RN/BSN clinicals, but couldn't ask me to do so because I'm "only" an ADN. I said "Honey, I'm not 'ONLY' anything---while you're in school learning how to demean other nurses, I'm here busting my butt actually DOING the job."

'Nuff said. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Take pride in what you have accomplished and never let anybody talk down to you because you haven't accomplished more.

You've worked hard for your degree and you should be proud to call yourself a RN. It doesn't matter if someone is a ADN/BSN/Diploma or what. Being a good RN comes with experience. Nobody is going to sit there and tell me that an ADN with 15 years experience is less of a nurse than a BSN with 2 years experience. Who would I choose to go to? The ADN of course, it's bedside nursing that we're talking about here. Now if it is management that we are talking about, well then maybe the BSN because their education is geared more towards management. But at the sametime I would still refer back to the ADN because as stated before they have more experience.

If you have intentions of getting a BSN then go for it. That's another accomplishment. Don't let anybody talk down on you just because you're an ADN vs a BSN. Remember you're both RNs and that's all there is to it.

There a few members who are totally anti-ADN and is basically blaming the Diploma and Associate Degree Nurses for the reason why nurses are not considered to be professionals. These members go on to say that doctors will never respect us if the entry-level to nursing isn't changed to BSN instead of ADN.
Many docs and RTs and pharmacists and others do respect good nurses, regardless of the letters behind their names.

One reason some members of other professions show disrespect for nurses is because they see us do it to each other, so they figure it must be all right.

Specializes in forensic psych, corrections.

I don't think anyone here is anti-ADN. If you've been around this site for any length of time, you'll see some variation of this thread over and over again. In my opinion more education is never a bad thing and it is something to be encouraged. What usually happens, though, is people get very emotional and defend their own degrees and it evolves into an 'all RNs are the same' and 'I'm just as good as you' sort of argument.

We've all worked long and hard for our degrees and credentials, whatever they may be. A well-rounded education is only part of what makes a good nurse -- and until we have a standardized entry level into clinical nursing that is the way it will stay.

Specializes in Cardiac Care, Palliative Care.

I want to thank all of those that replied. I agree that more education is not a bad thing, but just because someone doesn't have a BSN, it doesn't make them incompetent, which some members here are trying to prove. Instead of reading the negative generalized comments certain members write about ADNs, I'll just listen to what my co-workers and management say about my work performance since they see me in action every day.

Thanks again for the replies, it definitely made me feel better!

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

Actions speak louder than words - initials!

Proud ADN x 17 yrs currently doing research despite ONLY being an ADN!:D

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health.

I have never seen this! In fact, I think most of my fellow staff RNs are Associate Degree nurses. I'm a BSN and personally don't care where you went to school as long as you passed your NCLEX and you're a good nurse. Come work with me!

Specializes in adult ICU.

This is such an old debate and honestly, I don't think that these types of feelings are going to really go away much. I think the reality is that, albeit slowly (VERY slowly), the nursing workforce is getting more educated. When I started practicing, there were 4 accelerated BSN programs in the country and now there are a bunch. I had never heard of a DEMSN (I'm not sure they existed yet.) BSN completion programs have popped up everywhere ... on the internet, at private and public colleges, and very reputable nursing schools. More and more employers are pushing the BSN. Management positions and up, in some institutions, are going to MSN level nurses only. DNP programs, now, seems to be the new big push.

20 years ago, diploma programs all but disappeared. I don't think that the ADN programs are going to go away anytime soon, nor the LPN programs, but I think that pretty soon, there will be very few non-bedside jobs made available to LPNs/ADNs. LPNs in my part of the country have been pushed out of most hospitals in the area and that has been for a long time now. LPNs and ADNs are slowly becoming less desirable, it's true, and I think that is what you are feeling ... and this is coming from a former ADN (now with 1/2 an MSN.) I felt it and I think the sentiments are real.

ADN nurses can be and are excellent nurses, don't doubt that for one second for yourself...just be aware that others might doubt your skills and education, and even more so in the future.

Specializes in Sub-Acute/Psychiatric/Detox.

Negativity against ADNs is common. Negativity against nurses of all Degree levels is more common then you think.

The general public doesn't care as long as RN is after your name. I am well aware of the BSN requirement a lot of hospitals want now.

I am contriadicting myself. The general public doesn't care about nurses. All they see usually know is Nurse and Nurse Practitoner (Some people confuse LPNs with NPs).

You think you get negativity being an ADN.. Try being an LPN.

A majority of nurses in the area hospitals are Diploma nurses and ADNs in all nursing departments.

Of course most of these hospitals only hire BSNs now.

Specializes in pcu/stepdown/telemetry.

you should be proud of your degree because it's still very hard getting through an associate program despite how you may be made to feel. and yes pt's just want to see RN. they don't know whether you have a master, bsn, or adn. they just see rn. the magnet hospitals are pushing for further education for more management roles and research. they also push for certification. personally when rn have gone from adn to bsn at my facility there is no

obvious change in their ability to be a great bedside nurse. however, getting through the process/studying for a certification exam teaches you knowledge needed for being a better nurse for your pt and that is more obviously seen.

Specializes in ACUTE CARE.

I would like to point out that at least most ADN degrees take 4 yrs to complete just as a BSN. There are 2 years of prereqs prior to the 2 yr program. Granted there are some things you get from a BSN program that you dont in the ADN, the biggest one for me was the bill for a four yr program. Don't get me wrong I am not by any means putting down the 4 yr, but those with a 2yr deserve the same respect, as we have worked just as hard for just as long.

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