BSN is a joke - page 4

I am a nurse at a major hospital where I have worked over a year after gaining my ASN. I have returned to get my BSN. What I'm not understanding is why there is such an ENORMOUS disconnect between... Read More

  1. by   Susie2310
    Some of the posts on this thread remind me of a discussion I read quite a long time ago on the CRNA forum. The topic was about CRNA's billing for their services if I remember correctly, and in the midst of this fervent discussion by CRNA's, an Anesthesiologist Assistant popped up with a dissenting viewpoint, and the conversation became more heated. Then someone corrected the order in which another poster had listed their credentials, and people (who displayed an impressive number of credentials) started to argue strenuously about the correct order in which to list one's credentials. It was the most memorable thread for me, and I still laugh when I remember it. The parallel I draw to this thread is that nursing has really lost sight of what nursing is primarily about:- providing hands-on patient care. When new graduates come out of nursing school and have received hardly any clinical training - forget about functioning as a novice; something is very wrong when the priority in nursing education is not to turn out competent novice nurses who can think critically using the Nursing Process, but to push the BSN while insisting the BSN is necessary for quality nursing today because of the research, leadership, community/public health components, when these classes could easily be offered and taken at a community college or as Continuing Education credits.

    In my opinion, nursing education (especially BSN programs) needs to get back to training competent new graduate nurses who can perform clinically at the novice level on graduation. It seems the attitude in some BSN programs is that becoming clinically proficient is just not important; a mere hindrance; and something much better (APRN) is awaiting one just around the corner, so actually there's no real need to ever become clinically proficient and really learn how to take care of patients properly; one can just bypass all that "unpleasant" stuff. The reality is, that "unpleasant" stuff is the actual foundation of nursing practice.

    Another thing: The last time I checked, 26 states do not require ANY Continuing Education Units for license renewal. Some states require 30 Units in a 2 year period. Why is this never a topic of conversation? Why do nursing leaders not jump on this? There is a huge variance in Continuing Education requirements statewide and this must surely affect the quality of patient care. Yet all the focus goes to the BSN because of the need for perpetual BSN enrollment in order to ensure perpetual enrollment in graduate level nursing education courses (including the desire to achieve a critical mass of Nurse Practitioners) and perpetual tuition monies.

    Becoming certified in one's specialty is in my opinion the best way to increase one's nursing/medical knowledge and improve one's practice, along with courses such as ACLS and basic rhythm recognition. Some specialty certifications require 100 units of continuing education in a four year period - enough to be almost continually studying. Becoming certified in a specialty and maintaining that certification did far more to improve my nursing practice than obtaining a BSN did (I graduated from an ADN program). I am not suggesting that some of the BSN courses were not useful or valuable, just that they were not essential to my practicing nursing, as my ADN training was. Introductory college statistics (4 units) has been very useful for my life, not just for nursing; and the public health nursing, research, and advanced health assessment classes, were useful too. However, these courses don't need to be taken as part of a BSN - as I already stated; they could be offered at a community college and this would mean they were much more affordable for many people.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Oct 12
  2. by   AJJKRN
    Quote from klone
    I stand corrected! It appears they have changed their policy in the last 6 months. Previously there was no requirement for frontline nurses to have a BSN. It looks like the ANCC has fallen in line with the IOM.
    It may also have an impact during the recertification process, as this is what my entity has been pitching to the staff since our last two recertifications but no one on this cite wanted to entertain the idea that it may really be true...
  3. by   AJJKRN
    Quote from Susie2310
    Some of the posts on this thread remind me of a discussion I read quite a long time ago on the CRNA forum. The topic was about CRNA's billing for their services if I remember correctly, and in the midst of this fervent discussion by CRNA's, an Anesthesiologist Assistant popped up with a dissenting viewpoint, and the conversation became more heated. Then someone corrected the order in which another poster had listed their credentials, and people (who displayed an impressive number of credentials) started to argue strenuously about the correct order in which to list one's credentials. It was the most memorable thread for me, and I still laugh when I remember it. The parallel I draw to this thread is that nursing has really lost sight of what nursing is primarily about:- providing hands-on patient care. When new graduates come out of nursing school and have received hardly any clinical training - forget about functioning as a novice; something is very wrong when the priority in nursing education is not to turn out competent novice nurses but to push the BSN while insisting the BSN is necessary for quality nursing today because of the research, leadership, community/public health components, when these classes could easily be offered and taken at a community college or as Continuing Education credits.

    In my opinion, nursing education (especially BSN programs) need to get back to training competent new graduate nurses who can perform clinically at the novice level on graduation. It seems the attitude in some BSN programs is that becoming clinically proficient is just not important; a mere hindrance; and something much better (APRN) is awaiting one just around the corner, so actually there's no real need to ever become clinically proficient and really learn how to take care of patients properly; one can just bypass all that "unpleasant" stuff. The reality is, that "unpleasant" stuff is the actual foundation of nursing practice.

    Another thing: The last time I checked, 26 states do not require ANY Continuing Education Units for license renewal. Some states require 30 Units in a 2 year period. Why is this never a topic of conversation? Why do nursing leaders not jump on this? There is a huge variance in Continuing Education requirements statewide and this must surely affect the quality of patient care. Yet all the focus goes to the BSN because of the need for perpetual BSN enrollment in order to ensure perpetual enrollment in graduate level nursing education courses (including the desire to achieve a critical mass of Nurse Practitioners), and perpetual tuition monies.

    Becoming certified in one's specialty is in my opinion the best way to increase one's nursing/medical knowledge and improve one's practice, along with courses such as ACLS. Some specialty certifications require 100 Units of continuing education in a four year period - enough to be almost continually studying. Becoming certified in a specialty and maintaining that certification did far more to improve my nursing practice than obtaining a BSN did.
    AMEN!!!
  4. by   rn2you
    I was part of a Magnet Designation Preparation Committee, and one of the requirements for a hospital to obtain "MAGNET STATUS" is that 80% of floor nurses have to have their BSN.
  5. by   PixieRN1
    I agree with the poster who stated that what you are earning is not so much more Nursing knowledge, but the actual "bachelor's" component. I have my first degree in Biology, a BS (BSN is my second degree). Yes, I had plenty of science and math courses.

    However, I also had about two years of general requirements that had little to do with the biology portion of my degree. Various English requirements, including a literature class, nutrition, psychology, abnormal psychology, economics, sociology, yada, yada, yada. They didn't have a whole lot to do with studying biology.

    Yet the purpose of a Bachelor's is a generally to receive a rounded education with courses that are considered more of a "general ed" component. When you received the ADN, you received your Nursing portion of the BSN (for the most part). You did not receive a baccalaureate Level education. That by default includes a large number of general education courses.

    There is nothing wrong with BSN programs; they fit the criteria of a Bachelor's degree. It sounds like your issue is with a BSN being required at all because you don't feel the education is pertinent.

    That is a bit of a different argument. That would speak to the point of a Bachelor's degree in any largely technical field. Do people with IT degrees really need biology or English Lit? Not for their daily performance. But the point of a baccalaureate degree is not just to get credentialed to get a job; it's also to receive a standardized, rounded education.
    Last edit by PixieRN1 on Oct 12
  6. by   catsmeow1972
    Quote from missmollie
    Reading the responses of those for the BSN education, the general theme is that to be professional, you need more education. I agree with the OP, and I agree with the person who said that RN to BSN programs provide a "crappy education".

    I do spend quite a lot of time researching, but that is only because I find it enjoyable. I write my papers ten hours before they are due, and I get A's on them, although this can be contributed to the previous English degree. The biggest issue with the BSN education is how ridiculously easy it is. I believe we need challenges to grow, and there is no challenge with the RN to BSN program. I believe there is a difference between a BSN and the RN to BSN programs.
    I partially agree with this post as i did the same thing. I had the privilege of 12 years of Catholic school and if the experience taught me anything, it was how to read and write quite well. That has always held me in good stead when it came to writing papers. As i recall my first "research paper" of sorts replete with footnotes (in MLA!) was in 7th grade! But I digress.
    I slogged through my ADN while working full time and probably had the worst grades of my life because yes, folks those hands on tasks were hard! They were, however, metaphorically beaten into me. When it came to my BSN? I bounced between 3 different programs and repeated a few classes due to a combination of one program closing down on me and personal health issues forcing me to drop out a few times (took me 9 years but dang it, I did it!!)
    There were a lot of classes that while I found very interesting had absolutely no correlation to my practice as a bedside nurse. There were others that I found absolutely as boring as watching paint dry and could not wait for that 5 weeks to be finished. The ability to read and write well made a lot of it ridiculously easy.
    I pursued the BSN because frankly I like being in school. Yes, i'm weird. Go ahead think it. The ASN is great if your goal is to be a bedside nurse in whatever bedside area you choose, be that cardiac, med/surg, OR or whatever. There is nothing wrong with that. As other posters have said those letters can mean the difference between getting passed over for an interview for that dream job at that teaching hospital or that move into charge nurse/manger, etc.
    Right now i am glad I have that degree because I am in a position where I have no desire to go back to the bedside yet do not have the resources to go to grad school (and in spite of liking school do not particularly want to.) In past generations, a college degree, not matter what it was in, made it much easier to get a job. Now, that BSN opens up more and different nursing jobs. THAT is the difference between the ASN and the BSN.
    Every Bachelor's degree in any area has its possibly interesting but useless classes. With nursing they just happen to come at the end.
    Last edit by catsmeow1972 on Oct 12
  7. by   Rocknurse
    You're failing to see the bigger picture and you are too focused on nursing being task oriented. APA is required so it can teach you how to properly disseminate and present research and theories. If you were to transcend into a management role or an advanced practice role you'd need to know how to not only evaluate research but how to collate the data from it and present it in a logical way so that you could apply it to your practice. While you are busy passing meds your higher ups are making decisions that changes processes within your facility because they have these skills. It was only when I got my Master's that I began to understand why this stuff is important. Right now they're presenting this information to you and it's new and confusing, and let's face it...often boring. But once you enter a Master's program they teach you how to really use this information. You wouldn't want someone coming out with this awesome piece of research scribbled on the back of a cookie wrapper do you? It has to be presented in a logical, standard and conventional way so that it can be compared to other research and theories. If you don't like APA format then simply buy PERRLA as it transforms your scratch into perfect APA format in about 2 seconds.

    I'm not sure where you got your BSN but at the University where I got mine we were required to study statistics, research and genetics...all pretty heavy classes. The only fluff was nursing theory which I agree should be removed from the program as I believe it to me superfluous and outdated. I was a diploma nurse originally and have continued to grow professionally by going back to school and getting several certifications. I'm glad I did the BSN as it's opened many doors for me as will my Master's.

    You are learning how to write endless papers because when the day comes that you actually get involved in a real piece of research they want to make sure it's taken seriously and it good enough to be published. You don't go from zero to hero in a second. All these skills take time to mature, and I've seen some sorry and embarrassing attempts at essay writing in my time and these students would not have been at the required level to present data had they been asked to unless they had gone through a BSN program that taught them how to critically critique papers and write them. The BSN is an intermediate to higher study. That's where, if you so desire, you are let loose to make real changes in nursing, but you can't do that unless you understand the whole picture and how to put all those pieces together. You're short changing yourself and your patients by disregarding further education.
    Last edit by Rocknurse on Oct 12
  8. by   RNNPICU
    OP:
    It is frustrating to go back to school and take other classes that you do not think are important. I do not agree. The classes you are taking are ofr a Bachelor's degree. Your ADN gave you the knowledge to practice as an RN. As a direct care nurse, you can use the information from other classes to make changes on your unit.
    Many things get changed because a direct care nurse recognized a change in practice or safety needs to happen. You will need togather the information, gather the data, find the evidence based information and present the findings. Learning how to succinctly present information to leadership is important.

    When I completed my Master's degree it was in a non-nursing field, and before my BSN, we had to take two classes outside of our division, and two classes outside the deparment. These classes had to be at the Master's level, and the goal was to broaden horizons, see other specializations, and gain different knowledge. My first BA was in History and a language. We had to take 1 Science class, 1 Math class (Pre-Calc and above), 1 English/Writing class, 2 Social Science classes (History was in Art and Humanities section), in addition to all of the History requirements as well as language requirements. All students complained about the courses outside of the major. A friend of mine was a Chemistry major, and was beyond frustrated that she had to take two classes in the Arts and Humanities, however, she ended up taking a course in the Classics and LOVED it.
  9. by   elkpark
    Quote from Susie2310
    Another thing: The last time I checked, 26 states do not require ANY Continuing Education Units for license renewal. Some states require 30 Units in a 2 year period. Why is this never a topic of conversation? Why do nursing leaders not jump on this? There is a huge variance in Continuing Education requirements statewide and this must surely affect the quality of patient care.
    Continuing education requirements are, IMO, a red herring. My father was a physician and, back when I was in high school, long before I ever imagined I'd end up in healthcare, our state instituted a requirement for continuing ed hours for physicians for license renewal. My father thought this was a stupid idea and I recall debating that with him at the time, making the same point -- isn't it obvious that requiring continuing education will ensure that practitioners stay current and fresh with their knowledge? His explanation to me at the time was this: The physicians who are active, interested, committed to professional growth, are already doing more continuing ed than the state requires. The people who don't care aren't going to magically start caring just because the state requires some number of hours. They will find the "path of least resistance" to meet the hours requirement, and there will be companies and individuals who will be happy to step forward to make money off enabling them to do that, but it's not going to make them any better practitioners, or more interested in personal/professional growth.

    Years later, as an RN (a CNS, actually), I was living and working in a state which instituted a new requirement for continuing ed hours for nurses for licensure renewal. It didn't affect me because I was already doing more hours than the state required just because I wanted to and felt it was a professional responsibility. However, I remembered the long-ago conversations with my father and was interested in seeing how this would work out in the state. What I saw was that all the hospitals in my area immediately instituted a system of monthly nursing continuing ed programs (the state requirement was 24 hours of education for two-year license renewal, so one hour a month met the minimum requirement), free, offered multiple times on multiple shifts so it was easy for everyone to attend. My service was tasked with providing a few of the presentations, so I was a presenter for a few of the inservices, and I also attended a few others because they were topics that interested me. What I observed was many nurses showing up, sitting in the back of the room, literally reading a magazine (this was pre-"everybody has the internet in their hands at all times") or chatting with their friends throughout, clearly making no effort whatsoever to even pretend to be paying attention to the presentation -- and, at the end, they got their certificate for their hour of continuing ed, and they would have 24 hours by the time their licenses were due for renewal. Was that exercise contributing to their professional growth? Was that making them better, more knowledgeable nurses? Of course not.

    I get mailings at home periodically now, from a company that specializes in doing this, a magazine of "self-study" continuing education for nurses that I can use to pay a fee, complete the ridiculously simple "post-tests" (which are obviously written so that people can complete them without even reading the articles, or just casually skimming them) and get the number of continuing hours I need to renew my license in my state. It is simply an exercise in selling CE hours. They make money, nurses get their continuing ed hours, the BON apparently doesn't really care, and everyone's happy. Does that actually make anyone a more knowledgeable, competent clinician? Of course not. As my father noted decades ago, people who care are already making an effort; people who don't will find the cheapest, easiest way to meet the requirements. The requirements don't change anything (except that a lot more organizations are making money from selling CE hours, of course).

    As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
  10. by   ldrnicuguy
    I think there are also two disparate pieces to this: 1) requirement/recommendation that currently licensed non-BSN prepared RNs get their BSN and 2) BSN as a requirement for NCLEX examination. I am fully in favor of #2, let's just set a date and go for it. #1 is a bit more nuanced and probably serves less benefit to the profession in the long run. Part of this discussion is focused on the individual nurses who may or may not be interested in going back to school. That is a short-sighted view of the situation. One of the hallmarks of a profession is a single defined educational entry point. For years, the argument has been that the NCLEX is the entry point and the education doesn't matter, but I disagree. Just as other professions have defined and elevated their requirements to better cope with the increasing demand for knowledge within their specialty area, nursing must also adapt. It is not enough to be a good clinician, we have to able to better understand and integrate evidence beyond what is simply passed down as best practice from a professional organization. The non-nursing courses that exist in good BSN programs (believe me, there are plenty of crap ones out there) also better prepare us to handle social, cultural, political, etc issues that impact healthcare. I am looking far beyond the individual nurse level (there are fantastic diploma prepared nurses and terrible doctorate prepared nurses) to the aggregate level and at that point the evidence supports additional required entry level education for nurses.
  11. by   Libby1987
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  12. by   JKL33
    Quote from Rocknurse
    While you are busy passing meds your higher ups are making decisions that changes processes within your facility because they have these skills.
    Please. You must be joking. Shall I become indignant or simply fall out of my chair with laughter.

    This is one of those times where I would love to be at liberty to describe in detail some of the mind-bogglingly-devoid-of-intelligence "process improvements" I've seen in recent years - the worst of which have directly led to patient harm. Directly. No exaggeraton. Suffice it to say that I myself do not agree that intelligence, ethics, or skills are required in order to become a quasi-"leader" nor that any of those things are what separate the "higher ups" from the "med passer."
  13. by   JKL33
    Quote from ldrnicuguy
    I think there are also two disparate pieces to this: 1) requirement/recommendation that currently licensed non-BSN prepared RNs get their BSN and 2) BSN as a requirement for NCLEX examination. I am fully in favor of #2, let's just set a date and go for it. #1 is a bit more nuanced and probably serves less benefit to the profession in the long run. Part of this discussion is focused on the individual nurses who may or may not be interested in going back to school. That is a short-sighted view of the situation. One of the hallmarks of a profession is a single defined educational entry point. For years, the argument has been that the NCLEX is the entry point and the education doesn't matter, but I disagree. Just as other professions have defined and elevated their requirements to better cope with the increasing demand for knowledge within their specialty area, nursing must also adapt. It is not enough to be a good clinician, we have to able to better understand and integrate evidence beyond what is simply passed down as best practice from a professional organization. The non-nursing courses that exist in good BSN programs (believe me, there are plenty of crap ones out there) also better prepare us to handle social, cultural, political, etc issues that impact healthcare. I am looking far beyond the individual nurse level (there are fantastic diploma prepared nurses and terrible doctorate prepared nurses) to the aggregate level and at that point the evidence supports additional required entry level education for nurses.
    Okay, this I can agree with a bit more. My question to you, though, would be: Is it your belief and opinion that healthcare administrators and nursing administrators are prepared to step up and treat BSN-prepared "med passers" like professionals? I'm all-in 100% in favor of requiring professional degrees (so long as those degrees represent a course of study that produces advanced bedside skill as well as a well-rounded educational experience) - but then, continuing to treat bedside nurses as menial "workers"/"human capital"/basically thorns in administration's side isn't really going to fly. And honestly, I don't think anyone is prepared to do any better.

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