ADN vs BSN

Which should you choose?

Each degree an ADN and a BSN both will allow a student to reach their goal of becoming an RN the main difference is in the length of time it takes to achieve your degree. ADN is a two year program whereas to achieve a BSN is a four year program; this includes the prerequisites you need to enter the program. There are also accelerated BSN programs (18-21 months) for students who have a Bachelor’s Degree in another field.

A BSN program and ADN program will both focus on the following types of nursing:

Adult Health
Maternal and Neonatal
Pediatrics
Psychiatric
Community Health

A BSN program will also focus on nursing theory (ex. Nursing Research and Nursing Informatics). In general there is no difference in the amount of income you make if you are an RN with an ADN or BSN degree; however, the more advanced RN positions require a BSN which in turn will come with a higher
wage. On average in California a BSN prepared nurse will make$75,017 annually whereas an ADN prepared nurse will make $70,804.

In the end, each program has its own advantages an ADN program will allow the student to become an RN faster and is also less expensive. While you are working as an ADN prepared nurse you are always able to return to school and work towards receiving a BSN degree; many times an employer will pay
for their employees to attend a program to work towards a BSN degree. The advantages of having a BSN degree, prepared for working towards advanced nursing degrees (ex. Nurse practitioner) and opportunities for advanced nursing positions (ex. Nurse management).

Essentially it is up to the student which program fits best into the career they wish to have in nursing and what programs are in your area. There are instances of an ADN program having a better NCLEX passing percentage in comparison to a BSN program; so make sure you do your research and check passing rates and your schools accreditation.

**It should be noted that neither degree gives you the title of being an RN these are simply degrees and an RN is a certification based off your results from taking the NCLEX.