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Does anyone know the real benefits to getting a BSN vs an RN through certificate program?


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Is someone with an RN through a hospital's certificate program way behind someone who graduated from a university with a BSN?

If not, after a few years in the nursing field, could a BS in statistics in addition to an RN be more or less comparable to a BSN degree?

I'm a newbie to this field, so any insight you have into the profession would be greatly appreciated. rolleyes.gif

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  • 4 years later...

In some places you cannot work with just an RN diploma, you need a BSN as an 'entry to practice' requirement. (I am in Canada. My province, Ontario, moved to this in 2004-2005.) All RPN (LPN) programs changed from ~12 months to 2 years, as well.

Edited by echase
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I am not a nurse, but my mother is, as are a lot of the women in my family, and I investigated nursing as a career myself. So here's what I learned.


Hospital certificate programs are largely declining in the U.S. Nowadays, the most common way to get the RN is through a degree program at a college - either an associate's degree program (ASN) at a community college or a BSN at a four-year college.


With that said, a lot of hospitals are transitioning to only hiring, or preferring, BSN-educated nurses over RN nurses with an ASN. For example, a lot of hospitals that consider themselves "top" hospital systems - university hospitals, trauma centers, etc. - have a clear preference for BSN-level nurses. The more competitive shifts (day jobs) and positions (ICU, mother/baby, etc.) often go to BSN-level nurses over ASN nurses. That's not to say that you can't get these jobs, but especially in metro areas with an oversupply of nurses you'll be competing with BSN graduates.


Not to mention that a lot of nursing jobs that aren't floor nursing in med/surg require a BSN. For example, if you wanted to go into research nursing, consulting, community health education, nursing management, teaching, or public health nursing, you'll have a much easier time with a BSN.


Also, as echase said, the standards in the field as a whole are moving towards more education. The AACN declared the BSN as the new model for entry-level practice in nursing in 2000 (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/publications/position/bacc-degree-prep), and the Institute of Medicine released a report in 2011 advocating for a more highly-educated nursing force (http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health/Report-Brief-Education.aspx). Both of these organizations are pretty influential in health and medicine in the U.S.


No, a BS in statistics + an RN won't be equivalent/comparable to a BSN. However, there might be some really cool nursing-related jobs that you could do with that, like nursing epidemiology (although they typically have master's degrees) or research nursing.


If you already have a bachelor's degree, there are a lot of accelerated programs for people transitioning to nursing fields that take 14-18 months - you get the BSN in one fell swoop. That actually would be faster than doing a traditional ASN program, although you would have to attend full-time for the year and a half it takes. There are also three-year entry to practice programs, that take non-nurses with bachelor's degrees in other fields and allows them to earn a BSN and an MSN in three years.

Edited by juilletmercredi
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