Where does an ADN with an advanced non-nursing degree fit in?

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in School, Camp, Hospice, Critical Care.

Hi, all!

I'm a student, and I mostly post over at the Student Nursing board. The following question came up within a thread and no one over there knew the answer, so I'm coming over to the experienced source!

I've seen discussions of the need for a BSN to be considered for management and many non-bedside positions. Many of us at the Student Nursing board are working on a second career . . .

Once one has a few years of bedside nursing under one's belt, is an ADN nurse with a BA or BS in another field considered comparable to a BSN when advancement is considered? Just how does the ADN with an advanced degree in another field stack up?

How much would management experience in a different field count?

(Really kids, I'm not looking for a debate of ADN vs BSN on any level--just trying to figure out how my previous education and experience may fit in!)


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

as one of the "kids" here who also is not looking for debate, my honest opinion is, that ADN nurse fits in a lot of the time where the rest of us "ADN's" do.........

He/she can get a staff nurse position ANYWHERE. But...

Most the time to advance in nursing, they want you to have a BSN. A BA IS helpful for some management positions, yes. But to teach, or advance in other nursing areas, it seems a BSN is more helpful in most cases, at least where I live. I would suggest the person with a BA or BS in another field of study research his/her opportunities in nursing management (some will take into account the higher degree and the prior experience you mention) or look into an accelerated BSN program for those holding bachelor's (or higher degrees). JMO.


465 Posts

Agree with Smiling on the research I have done - I have the BSBA but it seems no substitute for the BSN. However, your best answers will come from those in the know - good luck!


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

"is an ADN nurse with a BA or BS in another field considered comparable to a BSN when advancement is considered?"

Not in most places. Depending on the specialty (say a BS in psych when the advancement would be in the psych department, e.g.), some faciities may treat them comparably, however, it would depend on what kind of work the "advancement" would be, the union contract, organizational policies, etc. So check with the specific facillity you have in mind for a definitive response.

"How much would management experience in a different field count?"

See response above. Same answer.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,493 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

The manager of our ER had a ADN and a degree in Education/Business and advanced into management. He had a lot of management experience in other fields. He is such an awesome person and a role model in a lot of areas.

So it wasn't just the degree that got him his. It was his years on the floor and in the ER, his spirit of teamwork, hard work, good attitude that got him ahead.

The director new him as an ER nurse and he was promoted from within. I'm sure however, when looking at outside applicants they would not have considered someone without a BSN.

I'm fairly sure though his higher ups are sending him to school for either a nursing degree BSN or a Masters of some sort. The institution I work for encourages Masters degrees for managers for those that don't have it. I've kind of lost touch with him after his promotion and see him only occasionally.

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