Is a Bachelor of Science In Nursing Really Better than An ASN?
In every state in the union, a nurse can take his or her state licensing exam to become a registered nurse after graduating from a two-year nursing program that awards an Associates Degree in Nursing.
However, an increasing number of students are deciding to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree as well. The question some prospective nursing students often have is why bother with the extra schooling and expenses if both an Associates and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing qualify you to become a registered nurse?
Why take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? – Like other Bachelor degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing usually takes 4 years to complete and is offered at many colleges and universities across the country. There are also RN to BSN courses available that allow current RNs to gain a BSN in about 18 months.
There are a number of reasons that nursing students and practicing nurses choose to continue their education to the Bachelors level. An increasing number of healthcare institutions – especially hospitals – are giving preference to RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for certain positions and a BSN is a must for any lower level management position (most high-level managers have Masters Degrees) Often the pay for experienced RNs is very similar though, whether they have a BSN or just an ASN if they work in the same department.
The biggest reason to take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for most people though is a desire to make sure that they can keep advancing their profession, As previously mentioned almost every managerial/nurse administration job requires a minimum of a BSN as do lucrative jobs with insurance companies who hire BSN RNs to provide telephone and email support and advice to their subscribers.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing also means that a Masters degree will take just another 2 years to complete and once an RN has a Masters many more opportunities are available to them, including the chance to teach or become an advanced practice nurse.
How do ASN and BSN Courses Differ? – Aside from the timing, there are noted differences between an Associates Degree in Nursing program and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. A BSN program teaches far more about the management and psychology aspects of nursing. There is little difference in the practical aspects of the two courses though, which is why it is possible for a working RN to complete an RN to BSN at online school versus at a traditional physical campus.
There are also accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs available but as appealing as the thought of completing school faster might be a student has to give the prospect serious consideration. Accelerator degrees mean completing more work in a rather short space of time and if you are a working nurse or have a family you may not be realistically able to devote enough time to such a course and would be better off completing a more traditional degree program.