Associate Degree in Nursing versus Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Grand Canyon University: NRS 430V
May 1, 2011
There are two major educational pathways to become a Registered Nurse (RN): an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). Typically, an ADN degree takes 2 years to complete while a BSN degree takes 4 years to complete. Both allow the nursing graduate to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) consequently allowing the graduate to enter the field of nursing as a Registered Nurse. It is important to discuss and understand the differences in educational preparation as well as resulting competencies for both degrees. Prospective nursing professionals are advised to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling in either program of choice. Both degrees are a wonderful path to nursing but with a BSN degree, opportunities for advancement are greater and graduates are better prepared to handle the multifaceted nursing demands in today’s society. The ADN program was developed due to the severity of the nursing shortage during the postwar years allowing prospective nurses to graduate at a faster rate (Creasia, 2010, p. 15). This program is usually a 2-year program offered by community colleges, technical schools and nursing schools. According to the American Nurses Association (2005), the ADN degree prepares nurses for roles that are based on nursing theory and technical proficiency. What this translates into is a program that focuses more on clinical and technical skills rather than nursing theory. The ADN degree offers several advantages and these include: earning a nursing degree at a faster rate, potential to earn money more quickly and affordable college tuition. The ADN degree has disadvantages and these include: degree can take up to 3 years to complete depending on program requirements, scope of practice is not what original founder had originally envisioned and patient care...
References: Creasia, J. L. & Frieberg, E. (2010). Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional
Nursing Practice (5th ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Ellis, S. (2006, April). To BSN or Not to BSN – That is the Nurse’s Question. Retrieved from
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011, April). AACN Fact Sheet. Retrieved
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008, October). The Essentials of
Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice Position Statement. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/positions/baccmin.htm
The American Nurses Association (2011). Nursing Education. Retrieved from
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