Whether a nurse is BSN prepared or ADN prepared is an ongoing topic that will always be up for a debacle. Which one is a better nurse is up for grabs. The educational preparation for these graduates for one has a tremendously large difference, but the goal of both preparations will always be the same which is to deliver the best possible care and to promote the best possible outcome for the patients. The curriculum is completely different. The BSN program includes a higher level of curriculum, including research, leadership, health promotion, disease prevention, and community based nursing, ("ADN program curriculum," 2011) which are not included in the ADN program curriculum. The BSN nurse is prepared to be the leader and the manager of the floor, while the ADN nurse is prepared to be the skilled nurse at the bedside, but both are prepared to critically think as nurses.
While being a buy product of the ADN program, I have strongly felt that what I have learned in that level of preparation has made me a good nurse in the same way a BSN nurse would be. Our roles have very little difference especially at the bedside. Starting as both new graduates, we are both trained and taught the same way. In the real world setting, no BSN graduate has ever become a nurse manager right away straight out of nursing school. It would take years of bedside and actual hands on experience for one to be in that role. So basically, after one finishes with either program, what will matter to both is having a license to practice. Both graduates take the same NCLEX exam, and both are called new grads in their respective areas of practicing nursing.
When I started in the NICU, there was one nurse that had just started a month before me in the new grad program, and she was a BSN graduate prepared RN. I saw little difference in the way we practice, and in the way we dealt with the families of our infants in the NICU. The organization and time management we possessed were both exceptionally acceptable in the specialty area unit where we were at. Given the track of our progress, in this due time, we are considered the seniors of our unit. If she had stayed longer, she would have the advantage over me to be in the charge nurse role or the manager since she has her BSN.
Most managers consider a BSN graduate to be in the Charge Nurse role over an ADN graduate because of their abilities to make decisions and the quality of the higher education they have. I was chosen to be in the Charge Nurse role because of my abilities, strong attributes, and my clinical experience, even without my BSN degree. Sometimes, it is not about the degree level, but it is what you are able to do, and how you are with your colleagues and the doctors, and how good you are professionally.
In these day and age, a lot of the health care facilities have geared on hiring the BSN prepared nurses. It has been a tough battle out there for the ADN grads for the job availability has not been on their side. (NSNA, 2011, p. 38) Most hospitals have started to move their facilities up to the magnet status, which means that they would need 80 percent of their staff RNs to be BSN prepared by year 2020. (Rosseter, 2012) What happens to their existing staff RNs? Especially the ones who are close to retirement? Some of these nurses are prioritizing their children’s college education over their own, especially if there are just a few years left into their careers.
Most facilities like in my work place have started having BSN prepared staff all the way down to the Charge Nurse Role. Most of the new registered