When exploring whether to obtain an associate’s degree (ADN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing, there are a variety of factors to consider. Upon completion of prerequisites, most ADN programs take two years to complete. Traditional BSN programs incorporate the prerequisites and take four years. If you obtain your ADN and successfully become a licensed RN, you may then enroll in an RN-to-BSN program. For individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline, Marian University offers an accelerated BSN track, which takes 16 months upon completion of prerequisites.
Your decision between an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree should be based on future career plans. If you plan to work at a Magnet®-designated hospital, be aware their Magnet® recognition status includes the following:
“To provide an action plan and set target, which demonstrates evidence of progress toward having 80% of registered nurses by 2020.”
– American Nurses Credentialing Center
Magnet status is not a prize or an award. It is a credential of organizational recognition of nursing excellence. Approximately 6.9% of all registered hospitals in the United States have ANCC Magnet® recognition status. Hospitals spend years achieving this designation. In Indianapolis, IU Health Systems achieved their status in 2004 and was re-designated in 2009. We were proud last March when our clinical partner, St.Vincent Indianapolis, was honored. Our students are fortunate to invest more than 750 hours of clinical rotations within the St.Vincent Health System.
Choosing between an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing is indeed a personal choice. Understanding the future of the industry is vital in making that choice. Be sure to explore all factors, including where you plan to start your career.