ADN vs BSN: One Nurses Journey

My Nursing Journey

There has been a long standing debate about whether or not Registered Nurse (RN) employers should require an Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) or a RN with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both sides have a compelling argument and research supports the impact of furthered education.

adn bsn

Photo from nursingexplorer.com Link to article above

I started my nursing career as a housekeeper in a nursing home.  After six months, I became a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). Three years later I was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and two years after that I graduated with my ADN and sat for my RN boards. I definitely took the long route as I have always worked full time and put myself through school.

After earning my ADN in 2000, I began working in nursing management and became a CNA instructor a couple of years later. While working in the college environment, I felt like I needed more education.  Most of my colleagues were Master’s prepared so I decided I should at least get my BSN.

I went back to school for my BSN. I was required to take more science, English and a few other core classes.  I only actually needed 30 credits that were upper level nursing classes. Part of these classes required clinicals but none of my clinicals were floor nursing. I worked with a high school nurse for a while, went to a community clinic and put in hours doing nursing management.

The next year, after I was sure I was done with school, I went back to get my Master’s in Nursing Education. Now I continue to get certifications and attend trainings because I truly am a Lifelong learner.

What’s the difference between an ADN and BSN?

I didn’t feel a difference in my bedside nursing skills. At first, I thought maybe it had been a waste of time and money. Then, slowly, I began to notice that I felt better-rounded.  I was able to understand research articles, felt more confident, became more professional and I knew more about other areas of nursing which was an asset to my position.

A picture taken at my MSN graduation party of me with Jan. Jan was my best nursing instructor while getting my LPN.  Later she became my boss and mentor.

A picture taken at my MSN graduation party of me with Jan. Jan was my best nursing instructor while getting my LPN. Later she became my boss and mentor.

 

I am glad I furthered my education. Looking back, I feel I learned the most about being a bedside nurse while getting my LPN and ADN. That being said, I also think that I became more of a professional after furthering my education. I am a strong advocate of the ADN nurse but even a stronger advocate of lifelong learning.

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