Four-Year College Nursing Programs

The Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) is one of the two most popular degree tracks to a good job in the nursing field. The other is the Associates in Nursing degree. What’s the difference between what you learn in an ADN and the BSN? Can you get a better job with a BSN?

Four-Year College vs. Community College Nursing Programs

Four-year colleges are significantly different from community colleges. Many four-year colleges are residential campuses—students actually live in dorms or in nearby apartments. Classes are run according to clean-cut schedules and allow for little flexibility.

On the other hand, the community college system was put in place to help provide education to the community at large, many of which are adults, professionals with continuing education needs, and students in the community looking for very specialized career or vocational training without a lot of academics. Emphasis at the CC level—the Associates Degree in Nursing-- is on practical hands-on skills versus didactic learning or academic theory. Types of four-year nursing schools:

Smaller colleges with a nursing major will package in more liberal arts requirements than others. Besides the typical nursing curriculum, you could be required to take a battery of humanities, art, English/Composition, foreign language, physical education/health and more. In contrast to the community college nursing program, nursing students in a four-year program split their study time between didactic or academic learning and hands-on practical skills and clinicals. Four-year nursing school curriculum:

  • Nursing theory
  • Sociology/Anthropology
  • Pharmacology math
  • Anatomy/Physiology
  • Diet/Nutrition
  • Evidence-based research
  • Women’s Health
  • Child-bearing family
  • Geriatric nursing
  • Public/Community health nursing
  • and more

When you study at a university you have increasing opportunity to study part of your coursework online, via sophisticated distance learning environments. Few four-year colleges engage students in this way. Your biggest advantage is being onsite to complete your clinical study. Nursing students that may study coursework from home must plan to schedule a block of time on campus or negotiate a clinical experience close to home in accordance with faculty guidance.

The Four-Year College Experience

And finally college age students especially often prefer a smaller residential campus to a community college or large university campus. You have more opportunity for one-on-one guidance, smaller classes, a more unified nursing class, and an experience you want to talk about for years to come.

Explore Your Nursing Degree Options Today!