How important is a BSN for someone who already has a bachelor’s degree in another field? Can they just get an ADN?

By | 2021-05-28T17:41:16-04:00 February 2nd, 2015|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am trying to give my daughter guidance as she pursues a career in nursing. She has a bachelor’s in sociology and is now thinking about nursing. How important is a BSN for someone who already has a college degree? She is considering an ADN program because she will complete her education more quickly.

Daughter Needs Guidance

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Daughter Needs Guidance,

A BSN in very important in today’s competitive job market and increasingly complex healthcare environment. Many places of employment are hiring nurses only with BSN degrees or at least a majority with that degree. This is partly because there is a growing body of research showing the higher the percentage of BSN nurses in a patient care setting, the better the patient outcomes. So while the thinking used to be get an ADN, get a job, and then continue on for a BSN, many of those ADN graduates are now having trouble finding work.

The fact your daughter has a bachelor’s is great, but it is not a substitute for the same level degree in nursing. Even though the BSN is not required for entry to practice, every other healthcare professional (physician, dietician, social worker, physical therapist, pharmacist etc,) is required to have an advanced degree specific to their profession. Nursing is just catching up.

There are “second degree” accelerated BSN programs for individuals like your daughter who already have a bachelor’s degree in another major. It might be her best bet. Some of those programs take only 15 months. You can do a search for such programs on the Internet by typing in the search term “accelerated BSN programs.”

Best wishes,


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