There is a lot of heated debate, especially amongst current Nursing students as to which education produces better Nurses. BSN or ADN? So, let's discuss shall we?
Let me begin by just stating that I am an ADN grad and have worked my way up from CNA to LPN to RN.
No matter what kind of Nursing student you talk to they will tell you the same thing. An ADN student will tell you that Hospitals would rather hire an ADN nurse, especially from his or her program than a BSN student from a near-by and therefore "rival" program. And a BSN student will tell you the same thing. Here is a funny touch of Irony, BSN programs better prepare nurses for the type of nursing required in a long term care setting and ADN programs train their nurses for Med-Surg type units and it is usually the opposite when it comes to job placement. ADN will end up in long term skilled type facilities where as the BSN nurses will flock to hospitals. I have a friend working at a nursing home that is completely run by ADN nurses. Not a single nurse has gone beyond the two year mark. Yet, I met a BSN graduate working as a CNA at a hospital because she hadn't passed the NCLEX yet and since she hadn't gone to a bi-level ADN program she wasn't eligible to take the LPN boards. I was an LPN at the time, in clinicals, telling someone with a BSN that I needed her to do this or that. It was so strange.
Let's try using some simple math to get an answer. I googled the number of credit hours required to obtain a BSN. I wanted a middle of the road number so I picked Oklahoma City University which, geographically speaking, is pretty well in the middle. They say it takes 124 credit hours for a BSN. Any arguments? My college requires 72 hours of Nursing credits in order to graduate. I graduated with 129 credit hours. That's just how the system works, between prereqs and liberal arts/humanities electives needed in order to apply, I ended up with 5 more hours than is needed to hold a BSN. So, mathematically it seems to be no different. (By the way I suck at Math)
(I really hope to get a good discussion going from this blog)
I have talked to nurses that are just straight snobs about their BSN and others that have flat out told me it isn't worth shit, I have friends that have gone on to complete their BSN after ADN. Me personally I believe we are all just nurses. I mean an RN is an RN is an RN, right? If I go on the get my BSN I don't take another NCLEX, same goes for my Master's level nursing... No new NCLEX. (However, there is a board certifiaction for Nurse Practitioners if I were to go that route)Those of you in BSN programs... your NCLEX is no harder than mine was and, not to brag, but, I'm sure you won't/didn't do much better on it either. Surely, its not just a matter of initials after your name, right?
So, BSN students get more class time and more Nursing Theory, whereas ADN students spend their time hands-on in clinicals, labs, simulation, etc... As far as who is the better nurse... I think we can all agree that that is an individual assessment. My nursing program didn't make me the nurse I am today, but they did provide me with the essential information I needed to overcome the first big obstacle, which was the NCLEX.
In my personal opinion, it is better to go through a 2 yr bi-level nursing program. You can start as a CNA when you start the program. After a year you can test for your LPN and start earning LPN wages and gaining real world experience in nursing. Then after two years (hopefully) you can test for your RN and begin making RN wages and building valuable experience. Then if you must have a BSN or MSN or ARNP after your name, you can continue your education while working and earning a living. It may take a little longer than if you just went straight through but you won't be new to nursing when you get your MSN or BSN you'll be a seasoned nurse.
But what do I know?
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And special thanks to co-author @That1Murse and to @bigwesyall for his continued support