ASN or BSN? The Battle Goes On!


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In our humble opinion, no education is bad, whatever the degree level of study. Then why is there much debate over whether one should go for an Associate’s of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) ? It is being argued that employers today prefer to hire those with a 4-year degree more than those with the 2-year associate’s degree. But not everyone has the time or resources to go for a lengthier, more expensive 4-year degree.

There’s No Right or Wrong Here…

Let us assure you that those with an ASN are not at any disadvantage at all. Many successful registered nurses (RNs) have made it big in their careers starting off with just an associate’s degree. Regardless of your qualification, what’s important is that you work with dedication, always try to learn from more experienced colleagues, and do the best you can at your job.

Differences in Curriculum

A BSN typically spans over 4 years and covers more courses in nursing theory, such as nursing research and nursing and technology. An ASN, on the other hand, is shorter over 2 years, and is more focused on basic nursing education and training. With a 4-year BSN degree, additional courses in management, leadership, communication and community nursing are taught, and students also get a chance of more clinical experience than in an ASN program.

Advantages of the ASN Degree

Just because it’s shorter doesn’t make it any less sweet. For many, the ASN is a much better option than the BSN because:

  • It’s more affordable
  • It takes only 2 years
  • It prepares you as well as the BSN to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam

Advantages of the BSN Degree

There are benefits of going for the BSN too, such as:

  • Greater opportunities for career progress into higher positions such as a Nurse Manager
  • Direct admission into a Postgraduate Nursing Program such as a Master’s of Science (MSN) in Nursing

Both Degrees Prepare You for the NCLEX-RN Licensing Exam

Regardless of which degree you go for, what’s essential is that your degree is from an accredited institution, be it an internationally recognized university in your state, or an accredited online nursing school. Whether you take the ASN degree at, say, a community college, or opt for a BSN from an accredited university, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam after completing either of the degrees, as per the requirement for licensure in most states.

RN-to-BSN – A Good Option for Those Wishing To Further Their Education

Many current RNs who have an associate degree can go for an RN-to-BSN program that will shorten their way towards a BSN degree. In fact, going for an Online RN-to-BSN Program means that you can even pursue this program without leaving your current job.

So the next time someone questions your 2-year ASN degree, you know how to tell them that it’s totally worth it!

Written by

Kelly Gibson is the official spokesperson for, where she frequently writes as well. When she’s not busy reading about the latest trends in online education, she loves horse riding and going for the occasional swim. Check out her blog – which aims to assist you in your journey towards online education.

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