A.D.N. versus B.S.N.?
Did you know that for over 30 years now there are controversies about A.D.N.
(Associate Degree in Nursing) versus B.S.N. (Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing) as entry level preparations for nursing practice? In 1965 already, the ANA (American Nurses Association) published a position paper that called for the baccalaureate degree for educational entry into professional nursing. This recommendation has been repeated by official professional representatives and has been examined in research over the years.
If you think that this debate might not affect you because you have graduated from one or the other program (or diploma program for that matter), think again. What would happen to you in you current practice setting if the B.S.N. becomes the minimum educational requirement for professional nursing? We would like to hear from you - what do you think about this issue? What do you know about it? Where do you agree and disagree with the arguments - pro and con, practice differentiation, etc.
We are three nursing students in an RN-B.S.N. program at a California State University. We also have developed a questionnaire to collect information and opinions about this matter. We will collate your responses and examine them against the literature about this topic. The survey questions are intended to provide us with information about your own educational background, your interest in this debate, your opinion from your experience about any perceived differences between A.D.N. and B.S.N. preparation and practice, and, of course, any comments you would like to share with us.
We will publish the survey results and more background information in this forum. We look forward to a lively discussion and / or your participation in our survey. Due to time constraints of the University semester, the survey will close on November 14th.
If you want to continue with the survey, please use the following address http://users.ap.net/~joan/nursing_survey/survey.htm
Oct 12, '98
Has this research been approved by your University Research and Ethics committee?
Oct 13, '98
thanks for your input. That is quite an interesting thought.
No, this is not a formal research project. It is for a class assignment, though, where we need to use the internet to start / participate in a discussion. During class, the topic of BSN as minimal entry education came up, and when we looked a little bit further we found a lot of pro from especially "official" sites (ANA, State nurses associations) and some very fervent cons from individuals in nursing. That intrigued us. We developed the survey in response to this. Of course, all survey entries are anonymous to us, aside from the information anyone wishes to share with us.
But you brought up a good point: this would make an excellent research project, and if we would do that in a formal way we would have to check out the research committe of our university.
Oct 13, '98
I thought a little more about your idea. I am going to find out more, whether our class assignment would actually classify as a research project. It will be interesting to find out.
It sounds as if you do research yourself that this came to your mind.
Oct 13, '98
Most Universities require all casual or formal studies involving humans to be approved by a committee that reviews the safety, ethics and confidentiality of any proposal sponsored by the school directly or even indirectly. If your University is receiving Federal funding for a topic that overlaps your study and your study is not submitted for oversight you could jeopardize all funding to the University.
I do know that other Grant sources also require a University to have an oversight committee to be in compliance.
In past few years a group of undergraduate students submitted a questionnaire over the Internet and triggered a lot of repercussions for their institute.
Oct 13, '98
Thanks Sharon, these are quite news to us! Before we got your reply I checked with our instructor who said that we are not doing research, but merely asking questions. Now I e-mailed him again with the information you just gave us. Of course, it is not our intention to cause problems for our department or the University, so we are going to find out what we have to do.
Thanks again, for bringing this to our attention.
Oct 14, '98
we still feel that what we are doing is not research. We apologize, though, when we gave a misleading impression. The survey is handled totally private: we get only whatever is answered in the boxes, no e-mail address, etc. We can refer anyone who sees a potential problem to our instructor.
Thanks again, for bringing this point to our attention!
Oct 27, '98
I am from a diploma program and have both ASN and BSN degrees and am starting my MSN. I think the entry level depends on the unit being entered. Although today's gen-med floors are more like the step-down units when I first became a nurse, I feel that this is the appropriate starting place for new ASN grads. It alllows them to build their confidence and critical thinking skills as well as master the techniques.As long as there are nursing shortages there will always be a shorter nursing track to allow the resource pool to expand faster. However, in the real world , it takes a good three to five years just to master the skills and adjust to the demands of full time nursing. Do I think that BSN grads are better suited for the real world? Not necessarily. The clinical times for ASN and BSN grads are closely related- the BSN grads have a larger theoretical background to utilize. The ASN who goes back for the BSN actually has more clinical time. So the question isn't really which has more of what or who is best at entry level because if you take traditional ASN and traditional BSN students the result is similar in real life. They both are just entering nursing and both need time to adjust and master skills, communication, and confidence. However in my experience the seasoned nurses that learned from the school of hard knocks believe the young RNs must learn the same way, so instead of helping a rookie learn and master new skills, the rookie is left floundering on their own and usually begin doubting why they entered the profession to begin with. I guess what I am trying to say is from a clinical starting point I do not really see the difference between the new ASN and the new BSN grads. I certainly would not recommend they start in the critical care arenas because I feel that is just setting them up for burn-out and probable failure. The debate for entry level has been going on forever and will not be solved any time soon. Why is it that nursing can be so petty about what degree is held rather than promoting the great nurses and their accomplishments, certifications etc. Doctors all go to school for basic 4year med-school, but then have different lengths of residencies depending on interests and field of specialty, but they are all called doctor. So all RNs have a minimum of 2years of school and depending on their interests and field of specialty require longer terms of education. It is not that one is better than the other, afterall we are all called "NURSE."
Nov 1, '98
thanks for your interesting thoughts on this issue. A general entry education based on the basic med-surg experience to gain experience before starting out onto different specialized career paths seems like a good idea. Also, the pettiness about degrees that you observed among nurses unfortunately reflects the general inability of nurses to unite and stand together for nursing issues (against other professions). No matter with what degree we enter the field, we should try to take what might be the best of our specific education and appreciate what we can learn from nurses with other educational backgrounds and what they have to offer.
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