Are you worried about which course you have to choose for your nursing career? ADN vs BSN, the guide we provided helps you to make a better choice on nursing degree.

TCM Staff

21st March 2020

It's all you decide that how you obtain your nursing degree. But the most preferred method to get into the field of nursing is by completing ASN/BSN.

ADN is an associate degree in nursing, usually takes about 2 years to complete the course. You can finish the program at community college, and it is cheaper when compared to any bachelor's degree.

Having an ADN allows and prepares you to sit for the NCLEX, it is the National Certifying Boards exam that you take in the United States to become a registered nurse. Once you pass this test, you will get a license as a nurse.

BSN stands for a bachelor’s degree in science and nursing. It is a 4-year university degree. It also prepares you to take the NCLEX exam for getting a license to become a full ground nurse.

This course consists of upper-level classes that includes research and integrating evidence-based practices into medicine.

If you complete an ADN and BSN, then you are a complete registered nurse.

Difference in pay between ADN & BSN

The pay may vary depending on your experience. A bachelor’s is higher than an associate course, obviously, the pay would be better. More the degree, more the pay you get. So, it's just you who needs to decide which one to pursue.

It really depends on you and what goals you have for yourself. Earning ADN is the best way to do it for the students who don’t have any future goals and would want to earn their degree soon.

Which Nursing Degree is Right for You?

For having clear experience as a nurse practitioner, and a nurse manager, then it’s suggested to go with a bachelor’s degree (BSN).

Earning a bachelor’s degree helps you to develop a foundation for your career. AND is made perfectly for those who want to complete their degree in a very fast-paced environment and get job-ready.

What Jobs You Can Have with a BSN Degree?

There are many roles for a BSN degree, few are listed below:

  • Nursing education

  • Infection control

  • Quality control

  • Case management

  • Healthcare informatics

  • Assistant managers

  • Family nurse practitioner

  • Diabetes Nurse

  • Informatics nurse

  • Nurse advocate

  • Medical-surgical nurse

How Long Does It Take to Complete a BSN Program?

You need to achieve 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s course. But if you already had ADN credits of 60 points, it will be automatically transferred to bachelor’s degree where it counts for only 60 credits.

In this case, it takes 2-3 years to finish the bachelors.

You can also choose for a special RN-BSN program, which can reduce the program period.

Pros of BSN:

  • You will have a greater career if you take the BSN Program

  • Recruiters prefer BSN Nurses

  • You can earn more income

 Cons of BSN:

  • Tuition fee is more when compared to ADN

  • You have to give commitment

  • Some facilities do not pay high

What to Expect from an ADN Program?

To become a registered nurse, an associate degree is a basic prerequisite. Listed below are some of the ADN program courses:

Courses under ADN program

Nursing Fundamentals: Fundamentals is the necessary class in nursing programs. It trains you on the basics of nursing, daily roles and responsibilities, and duties.

Also, helps you to set short-term and long-term goals for patient care.

Pediatrics: This course covers specific problems for child care.

What You Will Learn?

  • Pediatric care techniques

  • General needs of children, and

  • Common medical complaints in child patients

Behavioral Health: Generally, the responsibilities of a nurse are to interact with patients across the hospital, their family members, or medical staff members. You need to check and respond to their behavioral problems also.

You will learn the basics of behavioral health in this course.

How Long it Takes to Complete the ADN?

The ADN requires 60 credit points, based on the college you choose. In a few cases, you may have an internship in your course which will increase your credit score. Also, science lab programs can earn you more credits. It takes 2-3 years to finish the ADN program.

Pros of ADN


  • Short time to complete
  • Tuition fee is less than BSN

Cons of ADN

  • Career growth may be limited

  • Harder to get a job

  • Less earning potential

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