Nursing was formally established in 1633 by the Sisters of Charity. During those days, nurses were trained in the classroom and did their clinical training in a hospital setting. The students graduated with a diploma in nursing. In 1952, the first Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program was started by Fairleigh Dickinson University. By 1990, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) became the coveted degree by most registered nurses.
Although a nurse holding a diploma, or an Associate Degree in Nursing, may be just as knowledgeable as a nurse who possesses a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the latter degree holds more prominence in the medical field. It takes from two to three years to obtain a diploma or an ADN, but it takes four or more years to obtain a BSN. When applying for a management position, a BSN degree can make a nurse appear to be more qualified to administrators of medical facilities, due to the extra years of training.
When employed by a small medical facility, such as a doctor’s office, a diploma or associate’s degree may suffice to move up in management. However, the bigger the institution, such as a hospital, the nurses with diplomas and associate degrees work primarily as staff nurses, while the BSN nurse is more likely to hold a management position.
To obtain a BSN degree would be the most desirable choice; however, many people cannot afford the time and cost of obtaining such a degree. Obtaining a lesser degree can be a stepping stone to eventually earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Later, they can enroll in an RN-to-BSN degree program, either in a conventional institution or online through an accredited nursing program.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a glowing future for registered nurses. However, when applying for a job in nursing, the odds will probably work in the favor of the nurse who holds a BSN degree. The reality of life is that education matters.
A nurse, regardless of what degree they hold, should stay informed. Staying involved in the College Network of nurses will not only keep them informed about the latest advances in the nursing profession, but will inspire and motivate them to further their education. With the rapid advances in technology in the medical field, a nurse needs to be able to keep up with the latest innovations in the profession.