BSN vs. ADNApril 10, 2013 • By Joshua Felts RN
As someone who already attended a four year institution, it only took me two years to complete the degree.
However, if you don’t already have a four year degree, you might opt for your Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) rather than your Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN).
After all, in the end, you’re a RN either way. And hey, it’s usually cheaper to get your ADN.
Why, then, do BSNs have more opportunity and prestige than ADNs?
In nursing school, I was told that my BSN better prepared me as a nurse.
As a BSN, I was told I was more efficient and effective than my ADN counterparts.
However, I disagree. In all honesty, I can’t tell the difference.
Who has the upper hand?
Yes, I understand the difference between a Bachelors and Associates degree.
At university, we study a whole plethora of topics, ranging from micro economics to British literature, but does that really matter as far as nursing goes?
BSNs and ADNs assess patients, start IVs, work codes, pass narcotics, etc.
Sure, BSNs may be well-rounded academically, but who cares?
We all know education doesn’t always equate to intelligence.
And albeit, I have discussed economics, history, and abstract art with my patients, it doesn’t make me a better nurse.
Okay, as usual, I’m going to give you my opinion, as if I haven’t already. I’ll try not to get overly philosophical, but I’ll dive in it a little bit. After all, I love philosophy.
The reason I have “RN, BSN” on my badge whilst ADNs just have “RN,” is, well, ego.
Someone, somewhere, decided that we should separate ourselves. Why?
They wanted to set up an artificial class system among nurses, giving BSNs more prestige and opportunity.
And, whilst I’m not a conspiracy theorist, it does help fatten the pockets of four year universities.
As a healthcare clinician, I can’t help but notice how my colleagues are obsessed with credentials.
The more letters after our name, the more prestige we have, regardless of IQ.
It’s a system corrupted by ego, narcissism, and self-worship, paradoxically alienating brighter and better clinicians by relegating them to professional purgatory.
It’s a shame that an ADN can’t get certain certifications or move into management positions, even when they’re far better qualified and more intelligent than some of their BSN counterparts.
Maybe I should perpetuate the status quo and pontificate the virtues of the BSN.
But then again, I’d be lying. Instead of setting up a class system which divides us rather than unites us, we should spend more time on more important issues, such as patient care and nurse empowerment.
Oh, and by the way, the correct way to proudly show your credentials is “BSN,RN” not “RN, BSN.”
In the end, our licenses are only temporary where our degrees are not.
But hey, what do I know?