Non-degree RN license issues...

  1. There's an issue going on with our nursing program...

    In December our class will have all the requirements needed to test for the nclex but we aren't issued degrees cause we still have another year left in our BSN program. We have the choice to take the nclex before we graduate which the BRN will label us as non-degreed RNs OR we continue on with the BSN program for another year and take our boards after we graduate which the BRN will label us as degreed RNs.

    My issue is that I want to take my nclex before i graduate so that I can start working while i'm continuing my BSN program. This will give me a non-degree rn license yet i'm still planning on getting my BSN.

    (even if i do receive my BSN afterwards, i'm still labeled a non-degreed RN, and I can only change my status if I take the NCLEX again)

    The question is what are the disadvantages of having a non-degreed license, even if i will be receiving my BS in nursing?

    I understand that non-degreed RNs will have a hard time getting licensed in other states, but how hard is it? Isn't it just the matter of sending in your transcripts stating you have a BSN?

    And is there an issue about going for higher education with a non-degreed license?

    How do hospitals look at this, even though I will have my BSN.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   3kids
    From what I understand, your license would only be good in CA and you would not be able to transfer it to another state. But I don't know very much about this subject either. I know someone has posted on this issue before.
  4. by   gerry79
    Get the degree. Your license will only be good in Cali if you dont.
  5. by   Haunted
    I'm the non degreed nurse stuck in Tennessee and licensed in California. If I had it to do all over again I would still take the NCLEX (you only have to take it once and it is a national standard) and work for a while. I have never noticed any treatment from employers regarding any degree I may have had when I am working.

    Take the NCLEX while everything is still fresh in your mind and then continue to get your degree part time, work part time. Plus, your education is a write off. My issue is that I never thought I would leave California, otherwise I would have been happily working and maybe taking a few classes to become, as I was at the time, a Forensic nurse.

    Here in TN they do not provide sexual assault nursing support, it's all performed in the ER by a MD or PA, sort of like the good ole' days. As for me, I still have to complete a "music appreciation" class to get my license here. I hope the BRN in TN doesn't incorporate singing into their rules and regs. Someone could lose their hearing.

    I will be in California throughout much of December and part of January and have several shifts lined up with my agency. I get paid more than I will here in TN and it will be nice to work with familiar faces. I was a little frustrated when I first moved here and started going S L O W L Y thru the licensing process. I expected to be up and working right away.

    Well, I am up and working, just not for the people of Tennessee! And after all this, I will have my ADN. And if I can just add one more thing, if you take your borads and start working, you will be getting the benefit of lot's of technology which is literally changing overnight and you will have experience far beyond those that stay behind to get that BSN......example....bluetooth technology for telemetry, very cool stuff there! There is a company that has a disposable telemetry monitor that can be worn throughout the hospital stay, patient can shower, have procedures, xray etc. It's more accurate and more comfortable.

    If your still in the classroom these things will be completely foreign to you. GO! Pass the boards. Get paid for what you are doing for free! Then take a few classes at your leisure. You have time. Go for it!!!!!!
  6. by   BonnieSc
    I went through this a few months ago and ultimately decided to wait until after I graduated to take the NCLEX. Almost everyone in my class ended up waiting, even though originally a lot of us talked about taking it early. Unless you're in dire financial straits, it's only a few months that you'd be working extra. Getting an internship or externship if you don't have one already might be a better idea. You won't want to have to fool with licensure stuff if you move, after you're already licensed. At this point it is not possible to just show them you have a BSN along with your RN non-graduate license--the license says you took boards before graduating, and as you say, that will never change unless you take them again (this is what I have been told, never found anything to the contrary).

    Higher education should not be an issue, as they're more interested in your undergraduate degree--again, that's my understanding.

    And if new grad jobs are so easy to get where you are, count your blessings!
  7. by   Haunted
    I'm confused....nothing on my license indicates grad/non grad status and if you take and pass the NCLEX you will never ever take them again, even if you work in another State and get licensed there.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    The California non-degreed RN option leads to 2 outcomes: a terminal education and a limited RN license. I hope the following information clears up the fuzziness on this issue.

    The non-degreed RN education is terminal because it does not lead to a degree or diploma, and you simply cannot return to school to take a few classes and earn a degree once you have completed this option. You'll have to start from scratch as if you had never attended school before, and complete an entire 2 year ADN program or 4 year BSN program if you want the degree.

    The non-degreed RN education leads to limited RN licensure because it can never be endorsed to any other state. Other states do not accept the this program and, therefore, will not allow you to practice registered nursing in their states with this education. You may think you'll never leave California at this point in your life, but situations do change.
  9. by   Haunted
    Quote from TheCommuter
    The California non-degreed RN option leads to 2 outcomes: a terminal education and a limited RN license. I hope the following information clears up the fuzziness on this issue.

    The non-degreed RN education is terminal because it does not lead to a degree or diploma, and you simply cannot return to school to take a few classes and earn a degree once you have completed this option. You'll have to start from scratch as if you had never attended school before, and complete an entire 2 year ADN program or 4 year BSN program if you want the degree.

    The non-degreed RN education leads to limited RN licensure because it can never be endorsed to any other state. Other states do not accept the this program and, therefore, will not allow you to practice registered nursing in their states with this education. You may think you'll never leave California at this point in your life, but situations do change.
    I'm licensed in California and wanting to work in Tennessee. I am a non graduate from a community college. When I started the application process here I was denied because I did not graduate. After many emails, phone calls and meetings with my original college I was told I needed to take a Psych 101 (done!) and a humanities elective and submit the transcripts to my college and I will be granted both my diploma and my ADN degree.

    I doubt anyone is making special allowances for me. California did have a few goofy options when I went to school though. I just did what I had to do to complete my preceptorship, pass the NCLEX and start working, which I have been doing for 10 plus years. I'm sure I'll have my RN here in Tennessee and am working closely with the BRN here but will keep my California license active as I still own a home there and travel back frequently to visit family and friends.
  10. by   lolale
    In my case I can still continue with my BSN program that i'm originally in, So down the road i'll have my BSN. Is that going to be an issue if I move to another state even though i'll be a nongrad RN with a BSN?
  11. by   BonnieSc
    Yes, it will be. It's great that Haunted is going to be able to get that ADN, but that doesn't mean s/he will necessarily get licensed in Tennessee--and even if s/he does, Tennessee will be the exception, not the rule.
  12. by   Haunted
    Quote from Wendy79
    Yes, it will be. It's great that Haunted is going to be able to get that ADN, but that doesn't mean s/he will necessarily get licensed in Tennessee--and even if s/he does, Tennessee will be the exception, not the rule.
    Wendy, yes I will get my RN license here in Tennessee. I have , as I have said before, a Humanities class to complete for my ADN degree, which is all that CA and TN are requiring of me to grant me that. And TN is not the exception, the requirement to either "graduate , have a degree or diploma" from your nursing school is THE RULE !!!! Believe me, if there was any way around it, I would have found it.

    Hope that clears up any confusion....
  13. by   Haunted
    Quote from lolale
    In my case I can still continue with my BSN program that i'm originally in, So down the road i'll have my BSN. Is that going to be an issue if I move to another state even though i'll be a nongrad RN with a BSN?
    Lola, how can you be considered a nongraduated Registered Nurse with a bachelors degree in Science, Nursing? You will be an RN and have a BSN degree. That is ample enough to obtain a license in any State. Most states require an ADN as a minimum requirment, that is what I will have. California did not require that of me to be licensed. Now that I am relocated I am completing those "holes" in my education to get my ADN and get licensed here, or anywhere else I choose to go.
  14. by   lolale
    Quote from Haunted
    Lola, how can you be considered a nongraduated Registered Nurse with a bachelors degree in Science, Nursing? You will be an RN and have a BSN degree. That is ample enough to obtain a license in any State. Most states require an ADN as a minimum requirment, that is what I will have. California did not require that of me to be licensed. Now that I am relocated I am completing those "holes" in my education to get my ADN and get licensed here, or anywhere else I choose to go.
    I'd be an RN but it would still be non-degreed. My school offers you to continue the BSN program even if you received your license. But they won't issue you a ADN unless you switch your entire program around.

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