RN Versus BSN- Which one to choose?

If nursing fascinates you and you wish to enter then you really should. In the nursing category, you must choose the registered nursing area. Registered Nurse or simply RN is a health care specialist who takes care of ailing patients. Registered Nurses usually work as health professionals who take care of patients, and work on the recovery of sick people and the maintenance of their health.

Registered Nursing is one of the largest health care occupations, with over 2 million jobs. Also, registered nursing is one of the 10 occupations projected to have the largest numbers of new jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 23 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster as compared to the average for all occupations.

There are two best ways to become a registered nurse. You can enroll yourself for a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN). When we talk about RN Verses BSN, we basically mean the difference between ADN and BSN.

ADN degree:

Most of the eligible candidates prefer to enroll for the ADN program, which is typically a two-year program offered by community and junior colleges. An Associate’s Degree in nursing prepares a nurse for administering and taking care of patients in different health care facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals or clinics. A registered nurse with an ADN degree works under a physician, and he or she cannot practice medicine without the supervision of a physician.

BSN degree:

The Bachelor’s of Science Degree in nursing (BSN) programs, offered by colleges and universities, take at least 4 years to complete. This program offers theoretical and clinical foundation in the field of nursing. With a BSN degree, a registered nurse is prepared to begin working in health settings like hospitals, private care providers, and nursing homes. Here with this advance degree in nursing, RNs can even practice medicine alone, for example a midwife, a nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist. This means they can practice on their own without the supervision of physicians.

Cost of Education:

The four year BSN program in nursing is more expensive as compared to the two year AND program in nursing. The main reason behind the difference in the RN programs is the durability. As the students of BSN program need to go to school for four years, they need to spend more money on education. But in both the cases, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN examination to get your license before you start looking for RN job.


Both BSN and ADN programs include subjects such as Adult health, Maternal and newborn nursing, and pediatrics. Psychiatric nursing, community health nursing, and Gerontological nursing are sometimes included as well. A BSN program has some additional courses in nursing theory, including nursing research, and nursing informatics, which is a field of study that examines how nurses use technology.

Job Prospects:

After completing your ADN degree in nursing and getting your license, you can get entry level positions and begin working in his or her career field. However, with the BSN degree and the required license, you can apply for higher nursing positions, such as a nurse manager. A BSN degree is more valuable and can lead to more job opportunities, especially in management or administration. A nurse with a two year AND degree cannot do the same duties that a nurse with a BSN degree does. Hence, With a BSN, any door in nursing is open to you, as well as the potential of moving into various other medical fields


From an income standpoint, most health care facilities in the U.S pay more to RNs with BSN degree. Considering the hiring preference, RNs with BSN degree holder are more likely to get a job they want instead of just the job that is currently available in the industry. With a BSN degree, registered nurses can earn an average of $50,000 at less than a year of experience and with the potential of hitting close to $70,000.

Advantages of ADN:

Some of the advantages of ADN program are it is usually less expensive, less time consuming and you get to enter the job market sooner. This is why many people prefer to join an ADN program to become a registered nurse. Once you get a job in this field you can always opt for RN to BSN program to get your BSN degree.

Advantages of BSN:

Some of the advantages to BSN program are that you get more opportunities to advance to higher positions in nursing such as nurse manager and you can also enter advanced degree program such as nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. BSN program is also the preferred degree by the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nurses.  Another thing you will find is that a person with a BSN does not have to take orders from a higher up like a person with an RN does. A person with an ADN has to be under the direct order of a person with a higher degree. This is normally a doctor. Also to get admission in a master of nursing program, the minimum educational qualification must be a bachelor of nursing program.


Well, to enjoy the best job positions in the field of nursing, a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) is must. A BSN degree will help you to get your dream job in various fields such as management, administration or teaching. In case, you have an ADN degree and wish to purse higher students, you can enroll yourself for RN to BSN bridge program that takes about one to two years to complete.

There are many accredited schools in the U.S. that offer RN to BSN degree. Some of the more recommended RN schools online include Walden University Online, University of Phoenix, Capella University and Kaplan University. The curriculum of RN to BSN program basically consists of courses in chemistry, pharmacology, maternity, research skills, leadership and therapeutic communication, among other things; all in preparation for more advanced medical roles.

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