ADN vs. BSN

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“ADN vs. BSN” provides an overview of an Associate’s degree in Nursing vis-à-vis a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The article puts forth important aspects about both these degrees, which help you decide your route to the nursing career.

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ADN vs. BSN

  1. 1. ADN vs. BSNIf you are a nursing aspirant or even a practicing nurse, you must have heard the raging debateover an Associate’s degree in Nursing vs. the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Any effort at findingout which one scores over the other is sure to lead to massive confusion for a candidate.The truth of the matter is that both of these nursing degree programs have their own set ofbenefits and drawbacks. The key is to find which one of these two programs fits into your schemeof things.But before you can decide which one suits you more, you need to understand the distinguishingfactors between the two programs as well as their pros and cons.Associate of Science in NursingThe Associate degree in Nursing program was first introduced to overcome the shortage ofnurses. The intent of the program was to provide technical education to candidates, whichremains the main focus of most ADN programs even today.In fact, many Registered Nurses (RNs) whose first degree is an ADN will argue that their clinicalexperience and technical proficiency is often more than what BSN graduates are exposed to.The main difference between an ADN nursing program and a BSN degree, however, is theamount of time and number of credits required to complete them. An Associate of Science inNursing program is usually offered by nursing schools, community colleges, and some four-yearcolleges. It usually takes about two years to complete, but in some cases may take more than twoyears and up to three years for completion.The biggest advantage of an ADN over a BSN is that it leads to quicker graduation and transitionto the workforce. You can start practicing earlier with an Associate’s degree in Nursing.Another benefit of an ADN nursing program is reduced cost of college, as these programs tend tobe less expensive than university-offered Bachelor’s degrees.Bachelor of Science in NursingPopularly referred to as a BSN degree, this is a Bachelor’s program in nursing granted byuniversities and some four-year colleges. Like other Bachelor’s programs, a BSN requires fouryears of coursework unless it is available on a faster schedule that allows graduation in muchshorter than normal completion time.According to the American Nurses Association, this degree prepares graduates for the “full scopeof professional nursing responsibilities.”(nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/StudentNurses/Education.aspx).What this translates into isan intensive program that covers courses in not just nursing theory, but also humanities,behavioral science, and other science topics like biology, microbiology, organic chemistry, etc.A BSN program also lays emphasis on developing skills like leadership and communication,which RNs looking to move into managerial or administrative roles later in their careers may finduseful.Evidently, the scope of learning is a lot more with a BSN program as compared to an ADNnursing program. A BSN degree may also be necessary to have access to advanced nursingpositions.
  2. 2. A Bachelor’s degree may be essential for career progression as well. Where an ADN graduate’scareer may plateau with providing bedside nursing care, those who have a BSN can branch outinto varied roles in the fields of nursing management and administration.For example, the position of a nurse manager may be out of bounds for an RN with just anAssociate’s degree in Nursing. Additionally, a BSN is the perfect stepping stone to advancednursing degrees that promise further professional growth for RNs.So, which one is the right path for you? The answer lies in your career objectives and what you’reseeking from your role as a nurse!

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