Well the ANA came out with a new stand on specialties about this time. Like after a certain date, ADN/ASN/degree program nurses would not be eligible after a certain date, for the CNOR, CNS, etc etc. they said the requirement would be a BS minimum, to specilaize through certification. This really struck me hard. It made me feel inferior, and discriminated against. I could not see how they could discriminate, without loosing a lawsuite.
Yes, I remember this issue well. It is without question one of the most asinine concepts that the ANA has ever proposed. The majority of RNs within the US are either diploma or ADN nurses, and such a move would destroy any chance of gaining membership support via a national campaign. From the standpoint of a diploma/ADN nurse, it certainly appears that the ANA leadership is comprised of a group of pompous Asses.
They blew it when they merely proposed the issue.
At first glance, it may appear that the ANA was suggesting that BSNs are bettered prepared and thus more qualified than their colleagues. However, there was a deeper underlying motive, which Jenny and Tim touched on. Unfortunately, nursing is not considered a "profession" by the mainstream (the public, hospital administrators, politicians, and the vast majority of physicians). Regrettably, nursing is viewed as laborious, menial, vocational work with little or no room for advancement. Although this view is unfounded, it nevertheless true. Americans, (generally speaking) do not consider a person to be a "professional" with anything less than a four-year degree. Yes, many people do label themselves as a "professional XYZ". Regardless of the spin they put on their title however, their career is generally not considered a profession. Whether it's wrong or right, it's the way of the world.
The ANA, astutely aware of nursings' tarnished image, attempted to apply higher standards to nursing. It was their hope that a gradual shift to the BSN degree as the entry level will bring "legitimacy" to nursing. Maybe it was their hope that critical care and ER nurses with a diploma/ADN would pursue a BSN, while encouraging prospective nurses to enter at the BSN level. Clearly their intentions were misguided. The end result was increased dissension among many nurses, as well as a monumental loss of support for the ANA (in my state anyway).
My personal reason for supporting membership to the ANA is not to shore up support for NPs. Additionally, it isn't to support the ANA's current agenda. My reason for advocating membership to the ANA is so that nurses may have a collective voice to let everyone know that enough is enough. Wildtime states that a dismal 7% percent of nurses across this country belong to the ANA, which equates to 175,000 (based on a population of 2.5 million nurses). Although 7% of nurses make up the ANA, I think it is safe say to say that 93% of nurses share a common thread, which is a disgust for the working conditions and wages within hospitals today. If 93% of nurses united as one, they could have a booming voice. That voice does not have to push the current agenda either. Let your voice be heard within the ANA as you do on this BB.
As it is now, legislators and leaders of the American Hospital Association (or whatever they call themselves) probably view nursing as a disorganized, poorly led institution. A lack of unity enables these idiots to continue to do as they please, because legislators certainly aren't going to make any sweeping changes. Why should they? They don't see the 2.5 million votes out there telling them to do so. Instead, (in my state) they are proposing a bill to conduct a study to investigate the reasons for the nursing shortage. Unfortunately, only 3% of the 28,000 or so nurses in this state belong to the state's nursing organization. With such poor numbers, they aren't being heard.
But you are right. If I were a diploma or ADN nurse within an ER or critical care unit, I wouldn't choose to support the ANA either. Yet,let's face it...the current conditions aren't going to get any better. It's time to come together.