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ADN vs. BSN: Why a BSN Might be Worth Your Time?

Higher Education Articles April 10, 2013

You have quite a choice on your hands if you are wondering whether to pursue your ADN, which is an Associate Degree in Nursing, or a BSN, which is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Let’s try to objectively examine the pros and cons of each career path. Usually, an ADN is thought of as a career starter. What sometimes happens though is that students earn their ADN and then immediately jump into the work force. The similarities between the two degrees involve teaching the student, the fundamentals of nursing. You might also be surprised to know that an ADN will probably earn you the same salary as a BSN, at least when starting out. However, as you consider more pros and cons, you will notice some distinct advantages with the BSN route.

Long-Term Care and Beyond Hospitals

An ADN is probably best suited for a city hospital where they are typically short-handed and can always use the extra help. However, just because you have an ADN will not guarantee you a job, particularly if the competition has more education to speak of. Besides, when you pursue a BSN degree, you will have more opportunities open up to you, even outside a hospital. Highly educated nurses can seek help in other work fields, such as health care facilities, schools, pharmaceutical companies, nursing home care, military, and so on. You can even pursue certification with a BSN.

When you specialize in a subject, you may have plenty of well-paying niche opportunities open up. For instance, many nurses specialize in areas of cancer treatment, pediatric care, office administration, and so on. The BSN can also prepare you for an even greater education, perhaps pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate degree. An advanced degree in a subject such as nurse practitioner skills can help you progress to a leadership role, perhaps supervising other registered nurses.

The ADN is the Right Direction

Obviously, the ADN degree is a stepping stone you will need, as you will eventually pursue a BSN and greater. You may start out in the same role to begin your career. However, you should be using this experience as a means to progress, not merely settle for an ADN as an educational peak. Remember, you can work as an ADN, even while seeking greater education. Choosing only an ADN will limit your career paths, but gaining experience with this degree, and continuing your education while working will only help you prosper. There are also many tuition programs to consider helping with achieving higher degrees. Imagine if you could get a BSN at a discounted price; that is a hard deal to pass up.

Why a BSN Matters

A BSN can help you find a fast-paced nursing job faster than an ADN, as you will be in higher demand. BSN graduates, on average, make over $65,000 per year and have job security. If you plan to have a career as a nurse, and not merely a job, then a BSN is the best career path. You will not only be paid well, but valued by the facility you work for. Hard workers receive raises and promotions frequently, as hospitals do want to keep their best workers happy. An ADN will probably help you earn an entry-level job, but going after higher education will earn you more exciting and lucrative career.

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  • Students who qualify may apply for the Opportunity Scholarship, which can help lower education costs.
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