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Which nursing path is right for me, ASN or BSN?

Posted by Caitlyn Zimmermann on Oct 12, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Mercy College now offers two (2) paths to becoming a registered nurse.

Deciding which academic program path is right for you depends on your long-term nursing career goals. Mercy College of Health Sciences offers an Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). Both are sound and purposeful ways toward a career in health care, but the curriculum delivery and career choices differ.


The ASN program includes a more hands approach that integrates students into clinicals from the first semester they are admitted to the program. In comparison, the BSN program uses a concept-based approach that emphasizes nursing content across the lifespan and across clinical settings.

Completion of the ASN program usually take 6-7 semesters with prerequisites, while BSN students will earn their degree in 8 semesters.

Academic adviser Caitlyn Zimmermann said initially graduates from both the ASN and BSN program who successfully pass the NCLEX, will apply for the same positions. “The difference,” she says, “comes when a promotion is added to the situation. BSN degree holders have more upward movement and can get promoted faster.”

Zimmermann added that students who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing leadership, research, consulting, and teaching should definitely pursue the BSN degree as a bachelor’s is almost always required for these types of positions. A BSN degree is also appropriate for students looking to advance their nursing education and attend graduate school.

The great news, is that for those who select the ASN path and later choose to earn a BSN, Mercy College also offers a 100% online RN to BSN program, allowing registered nurses to work and study while completing their bachelor’s degree. It may take longer to complete, but you most likely won’t be a full time student either, and you may be able to take advantage of your employer's tuition reimbursement to assist paying for your BSN.

Learn about the  ASN program!      Learn about the  Mercy College B.S.N. Program!   Learn about the  RN to BSN program! 


Topics: Which nursing program is right for me, ASN or BSN?