Home Forums Nursing Students unite ADN vs. BSN

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    Molly Hougham

    I have recently switched my major from psychology to nursing and am in my second year of college. I am registered to take my ADN NCLEX entrance exam at the community college I am currently attending but, of course, am 2 years behind. My boyfriend’s father, who is an ADN and is currently obtaining his BSN is strongly encouraging me to “take 4 years to get a 4 year degree rather 4 years to get a 2 year degree” and has encouraged an accelerated BSN program at a local college of nursing of which, if obtained my current GPA status, would be eligible for early admission. The trouble comes in where I’m not sure which I would like to get! Everything I have researched seems to only tell me that a BSN allows you to move up into a managerial position, which I’m not sure I’m interested in doing, given I went into nursing to take care of patients and be on the floor. I also know that the pay isn’t necessarily all that much better, especially in my area, until you move up into a higher position. Also, I am paying for my own schooling and know ADN schooling is cheaper than BSN schooling. I’m really struggling trying to decide which to do! Please help!


    If you can, do the BSN. Where I live, BSN nurses are preferred over ADN and will get the job 9 times out of 10. It took me 9 months to get a hospital job with an ADN (I worked in a nursing home in the meantime.) I have been employed on a med-surg floor for 2.5 years now and cannot move up in acuity until I have a bachelor’s degree – which I will have in December, thank goodness.

    Many hospitals want to go Magnet, which requires a large percentage of BSN nurses. And apparently research shows that patients that have BSN nurses caring for them have better outcomes. My suggestion is to look at the jobs available in your area and check out the forums on for your state to help you decide. If you’re seeing a lot of jobs that require or desire the BSN, that’s a good indicator. With a BSN, you could be a bedside nurse forever. Heck, the NLN is recommending that practicing nurses be MASTERS prepared, which goodness knows would cause major problems for the current workforce.


    I completely agree. If you can, the BSN degree is worth it. I know that in my area, it is extremely difficult for a BSN nurse to get a job as a new graduate, and my hospital will not even consider a new graduate with an ADN. If you are hired with an ADN, the expectation is that you are going back to school to get your BSN. Additionally, you cannot move up to even a full time charge nurse position without a BSN or the intent on getting one in many area hospitals. But I agree with Meg, look at the positions currently available in your area, or even try and talk with an HR department at a facility where you would ultimately like to work and get their opinion before you make such a huge investment in both time and money.


    Get the BSN; they are going to make you do it eventually anyhow and while it may not make one bit of difference in what kind of nurse you are (or will be), the people at the top like letters…

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