Very confused on RN, BSN, ADN

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Oh my gosh, I am really confused now! I returned to college this semester after being out for ten years, hoping to become a nurse. I am still confused as to the differences of an ADN, BSN, RN, and LPN. I am attending a college and will get my BSN, but isn't that an RN? Man, I was reading some old posts trying to figure it all out, and I know even less now! What I guess I really want to know is, what can an RN do that an ADN cannot do, or an LPN? I have 3 children and I am just trying to make sure I am taking the correct route. Thanks so much for listening to me! :eek:


458 Posts

A BSN is a bachelor of science in nursing (4 years of college), an ADN is an associate of science in nursing (2 years of college). BOTH degrees qualify the graduate to take RN boards. An ADN and BSN that passes boards are qualified to do the exact same job......registered nurse (RN).

An LPN is a licensed practical nurse (1 year of college). LPNs take different boards than RNs.

I chose the ADN route. I wasn't a traditional student, so this way worked out best for me. It only took me two years and I paid less by going to a community college. I am now working as an RN in Surgery and can bridge to a BSN while I work. Many colleges offer bridge programs, both in classroom and over the internet, that are geared toward working RNs. I see that you are in K.C.....I went to Penn Valley Community College for my degree.

Good Luck in whatever you decide.

Hope this helps,



42 Posts

KC CHICK summed it up pretty well I will just add my 2 cents.

I believe that the only thing that really matters is how far do you want to go with your education? There is really NO difference between an ADN OR BSN RN. I just chose the BSN program because I wanted to work for a few years and get my MSN (masters of science in nursing) along with that I can get my FNP (family nurse practicioner certificate). There are a few things that the LPN cannot do that an RN can however I am not sure the extent.

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