ADN or much does it really matter?

  1. Hello everyone. I am not a nurse yet but rather applying to get in to a nursing program. My original plan was to just get my ADN, make contacts, and get a job upon graduation so I could start earning money sooner. Now I am worried I will have trouble getting a job without the BSN in this economy/job market. I am hoping to go into L&D, OB, PICU, see the idea. I hope to go back for a BSN or RN-MS later on with the financial assistance of my employer. I'd appreciate any feedback from nurses who have taken different paths as well as those in charge of hiring.

    Thanks so much!

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    About mom23boyz

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 693


  3. by   klone
    It matters more now than it did 5 or 10 years ago.

    Will you still be able to find a job as a floor nurse with an ADN? Probably.

    However, you may not want to discount the possibility that you may not want to do floor nursing for your entire career.

    When I became a nurse, I just KNEW I wanted to just be a floor nurse. Five years later, I'm looking for work outside of the floor. And I'm finding that not having my BSN has closed a lot of doors for me.

    I think getting an ADN and then enrolling in an RN-BSN program is a great option for many people, but I would recommend to ANYONE that you go for your BSN, however you choose to do it.
  4. by   Tweety
    It really depends on the market where you are. Around here there is only one major BSN program, so entry level positions are taken by ADNs and RNs. The facility I work at advertises "BSN preferred" so the BSN gets the edge.

    I would say that if the market is tight where you are and you have the time and means, go ahead and get your BSN now. It might help you get an entry level position, but it will also serve you well in the future as you age and want to get away from floor nursing and do other things.

    All the best.
  5. by   mom23boyz
    Thanks! What exactly do you mean by floor nurse? I assume you just mean working on the floor taking care of patients one on one?
  6. by   AgentBeast
    Quote from neyman
    Thanks! What exactly do you mean by floor nurse? I assume you just mean working on the floor taking care of patients one on one?

    Floor nursing is basically Med/Surg nursing. Anyone not in a specialty area such as ICU, ER, Post-op, step down, L&D, ect is considered a "floor nurse."
  7. by   mom23boyz
    The job postings I've been seeing around here don't specify BSN. They just require a year or two of experience. I am in the DC metro area and am 36 years old...if that helps direct any advice.
  8. by   Tweety
    At 36, I can understand the desire to get to work quickly, so the ADN might be a good option, and you can always get the BSN through a bridge program. Sometimes though with pre-reqs etc. BSN schools take only a year or less longer than ADN programs, but are more expensive depending on if you go to public schools.

    Maybe you can hone in on some locals in DC and ask the same question here:
  9. by   klone
    Quote from ScottE
    Floor nursing is basically Med/Surg nursing. Anyone not in a specialty area such as ICU, ER, Post-op, step down, L&D, ect is considered a "floor nurse."
    Well, I work L&D and I still consider myself a "floor nurse". By "floor nurse" I meant working on a floor in a hospital (as opposed to case management, community health, nursing administration, etc).
  10. by   mom23boyz
    Thanks, I just posted over there as well. I was told it would take me a semester longer than the ADN but with the additional prereqs I need, the way the app deadline works, and the BSN program curriculum, I am looking at another year...assuming I get accepted on my first attempt. I should mention, I do have a BA in another field.
  11. by   Tweety
    Have you checked into "accellerated BSN" programs....they only take those with a bachelor's degree in another field and fast track to an RN in one year. But it's very intense. Just another of the dozens of things to think about.
  12. by   happyinillinois
    My advice is to go straight for the BSN, not the ADN. This is coming from someone who just graduated with an ADN and already has a Bachelor's in a different subject. The Chicgoland area is flooded with nurses, nurses with experience, nurses with MSN's, and nurses with Bachelors and ADN nurses. Who would you hire for the same money? I am 44, and all I wanted to do was direct patient care on the floor. I did not aspire to go into Management etc. so I was told to go the ADN route. 3.5 years later (1.5 years of pre-req's) the area is flooded with nurses and no one will hire an ADN without several years experience. Had I gone the BSN route, I'd be finishing up at the same time. Now I need to continue with the RN-BSN degree, it will be at least 18 more months and around $19,000 for a state school. My advise to you would be go the BSN route, get a job as a CNA so you will have your foot in the door when you graduate.
    Last edit by happyinillinois on May 20, '11 : Reason: spelling error
  13. by   mom23boyz
    I saw one program for CNL but that was it. And I would still need to take these other prereqs. Otherwise, I'd be looking at the VERY expensive schools like Georgetown, Hopkins, etc.
  14. by   chuckster
    I'd second nearly everything that the previous posters have said.

    Depending on your location, you may or may not be able to find employment as an ADN. In my area for example, 2 major health care chains are seeking magnet status for their hospitals. The practical effect is that ADNs are no longer considered for employment at about 8 local hospitals that are now "BSN required". Looks like you may be in the WDC metro area which may be different and if so, the ADN is perfectly adequate.

    If getting a job when you complete the ADN is something you absolutely need to make part of your plan, I'd suggest you do a careful survey of your area. If at all possible, phone or better yet, visit the HR departments of local hospitals and ask if they hire ADNs. Ask your community college what the employment rate for RNs from their last class is (for reference, I'm in the Philly metro area and for my CC class of 2010, it's about 25%, for the 2009 class it's about 50%). Look at the BLS numbers for your area.

    In my opinion, the long-term trend is toward the BSN as the entry-level credential. This shouldn't dissuade you from getting your ADN however -once you become an RN, you can complete a BSN in a number of ways. And this may be the less expensive route to the BSN, since your CC is likely to be the low cost alternative to get about 50% of your BSN work done.

    My last bit of advice: Do your homework, double-check the info you get and develop a realistic plan based on objective data, not faith. Oh, and remember that this advice is worth every penny you paid for it.