BSN minimum requirement - page 9

It is my firm belief that the minimum requirement for nursing should be a BSN. We want to be accepted as a profession, yet we allow 2 year programs to dominate the field. Now I went to a 2 year... Read More

  1. by   bigjay
    I keep throwing gas on this fire, but here we go anyway.

    Fact: In the current climate of nursing there is little monetary incentive for getting a degree over a diploma. A degree is more expensive and starts you at the same level of pay a year later.

    Fact: Employers can hire either a degree nurse or diploma/ADN nurse and have them do the same job.

    Fact: In most professions more education = more pay. Why? The more education usually the higher the degree of responsibility the higher the starting salary.

    So let's see what we have here. The lowest educational level for an RN is an ADN which is two years. Therefore employers can theoretically set their minimum salaries for someone who's done a two year program because that is the minimum you need to do that job. Since they can simply say "They're an RN, you're an RN, I'll pay you the same" there is little someone with a higher level of education can do to argue for a higher starting salary.

    Now let's say you up the base educational requirement to a BScN. You now have a workforce that can say they need a degree to do their job. This is a much more unified argument to raise the minimum standard as a four year education is the MINIMUM educational standard. The employer can no longer say "well I'll pay you as I would anyone else who studied for two years to do their job". Because there's a HIGHER standard. Nursing is a profession that has a high degree of responsibility, accountability and autonomy. At the present time I don't think our wages reflect that. Raising the educational bar is one way to promote that change.

    Again if this ever occured, the job doesn't change. Preparedness doesn't change necessarily. But the minimum standard does. We might be able to promote unity within the profession a bit more if we all started from the same background. Maybe not. Anyway, just my two cents.

    Cheers,
    J-P
  2. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by bigjay:
    I keep throwing gas on this fire, but here we go anyway.

    Fact: In the current climate of nursing there is little monetary incentive for getting a degree over a diploma. A degree is more expensive and starts you at the same level of pay a year later.

    Fact: Employers can hire either a degree nurse or diploma/ADN nurse and have them do the same job.

    Fact: In most professions more education = more pay. Why? The more education usually the higher the degree of responsibility the higher the starting salary.

    So let's see what we have here. The lowest educational level for an RN is an ADN which is two years. Therefore employers can theoretically set their minimum salaries for someone who's done a two year program because that is the minimum you need to do that job. Since they can simply say "They're an RN, you're an RN, I'll pay you the same" there is little someone with a higher level of education can do to argue for a higher starting salary.

    Now let's say you up the base educational requirement to a BScN. You now have a workforce that can say they need a degree to do their job. This is a much more unified argument to raise the minimum standard as a four year education is the MINIMUM educational standard. The employer can no longer say "well I'll pay you as I would anyone else who studied for two years to do their job". Because there's a HIGHER standard. Nursing is a profession that has a high degree of responsibility, accountability and autonomy. At the present time I don't think our wages reflect that. Raising the educational bar is one way to promote that change.

    Again if this ever occured, the job doesn't change. Preparedness doesn't change necessarily. But the minimum standard does. We might be able to promote unity within the profession a bit more if we all started from the same background. Maybe not. Anyway, just my two cents.

    Cheers,
    J-P
    Hi bigjay. You have been touting an interesting proposal here. I especially agree with your last paragraph. As you pointed out, at this time ALL nurses depending on their respective state practice acts can potentially have access to any level of responsibility they desire irregardless of their educational background. There are some state practice acts that allow LPNs, who I might add were responsible for teaching most of what I know about bedside care, to be DONs of LTC facilities. The state in which I work does not necessarily require for a DON or nursing VP of a hospital or other area which provides nursing services to have a BSN or MSN.
    In other words, there is no distinction for the level of responsibility with the level of nursing education except in nursing education itself in which there is a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities with educational backgrounds. I will point out that there are nurses, LPNs, diplomas, and ADNs, who have college and university degrees in other areas that feel that they are just as qualified as someone who has all her/his degrees in nursing.
    In this particular instance of level of accountability and responsibility for the level of education, I also feel the best solution is to one-size it. I don't think a two or three-tiered nursing educational system works to OUR advantage because we infight alot over our nursing education and we receive a great deal of help with this infighting from external entities such as the AMA and AHA.
    However, I will write that I will be surprised that much if anything will be done to standardize nursing education because of the bedside worker shortage. I'm on the verge of believing that nursing has missed its opportunity to strengthen itself. Consumer demand and the quest for continued excess profits reign supreme.

  3. by   buck227
    Every experience I have had with a new grad BSN nurse has been negative. They just don't recieve the clinical instruction needed to be competent. As a Hospital Diploma graduate (3yr program) I recieved the clinical and theory background that allowed me to enter the critical care environment with little problem. The BSN has been pushed by big universities soley as a means to produce revenue. And since they have control over the advanced practice areas, they are able to require the BSN to attain advanced privilages. This is not in the best interest of quality patient care. It is just politics and big buisness. An LPN is better prepared to care for patients clinically than a BSN grad. College programs are easier than diploma programs, and allow those who would normally fail a hospital program to slip through.

    If you fail a course in a diploma program, you are out for a straight year. You are allowed to retake the course one more time the next year and if you fail again, you are out. In a BSN program, you simply just take the course again the next semester. I could go on and on.

    I am glad that those of you who went the BSN route feel proud, you should, but stop demeaning those of us who have the superior clinical training because you have 12 more hours of humanities, and 24 hours more of electives in subjects that you probably can't recall. Putting RN,BSN after your name makes you look arrogant. If you just put BSN, we know that you have your RN too.

    SO NAH!

    :-P


    Originally posted by Lburns:
    It is my firm belief that the minimum requirement for nursing should be a BSN. We want to be accepted as a profession, yet we allow 2 year programs to dominate the field. Now I went to a 2 year program and will be finishing my BSN this semester. My school did a great job preparing me for "tasks" of nursing, but oh, it is so much more than that. Many other countries have moved or are moving towards 4yr degree minimums and the US needs to stay atop in this competative field. The nursing shortage will not always be here and it is to your advantage to get your degree now. The 2 yr programs will make a great footstep in the years to come, but the 4yr degree will become the RNs of the future. As nurses move into the 21st century we need to pull together to demonstrate our power as a profession, the only way to do this is to have strong, educated nurses in not just bedside tasks but critically thinking, politics, research and community health. Think about it, comments welcome.
  4. by   ShannonB25
    Buck227,
    I'm sorry but your post made my jaw hit the floor. I cannot believe the negative biases you hold toward BSN nurses. This is ridiculous. You stated that "if you fail a course in a diploma program, you are out for a straight year. You are allowed to retake the course one more time the next year and if you fail again, you are out. In a BSN program, you simply just take the course again the next semester." I can assure you that this is NOT the case at my school nor is it the case at any BSN program to which I am familiar.
    You also assert that "College programs are easier than diploma programs, and allow those who would normally fail a hospital program to slip through." I would be very interested in seeing the research that supports this very broad statement. I won't hold my breath though, as I am quite sure that it does not exist.
    Unlike you I will not make any sweeping generalizations regarding diploma prepared nurses (first of all because I have nothing but the upmost respect for diploma prepared nurses, and secondly because you are NOT every diploma prepared nurse...get the picture??) I will say that in my opinion, with regard to BSN nurses and their competencies as well as their programs, you are either grossly misinformed or sadly disillusioned.
    Shannon

    ------------------
    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  5. by   buck227
    If you fail your boards, you probably were a BSN student. So what you are saying is that you simply put RN before BSN to signify that you passed your boards? Why would you be practicing as a nurse if you didn't pass your boards?

    Originally posted by Level2Trauma:
    You are very mistaken! Just because someone has a BSN doesn't mean they are a RN. You have to pass the state board exam before you can place RN ehind your name. However, if you fail the state board you still can place BSN behind your name because you have a bachelors' degree in nursing. So, RN BSN means simply that you are a registered nurse with a bachelors' degree in nursing. I thought someone as smart as you would know that. GUESS I WAS WRONG!!!
  6. by   letmeletme
    I went into Nursing because I discovered that I truly loved taking care of people. I only have my ADN and that's enough for me. I don't think that BSN people are any better than me. I know what kind of person I am so I don't feel threatened. I think it is important for all of us to remember that we are NURSES! If you want to further your education, that is wonderful. But, I don't think it is fair to expect everyone else to want that. I do want to further my education but it won't be for a BSN if I do. I love what I do. Yes, I don't particularly like the cleaning up of poop, vomit and other bodily discharges but I knew going into this field that I would have to. We need to unite as professionals despite our differences in education.
  7. by   buck227
    Shannon,
    Your jaw should hit the floor. I have been practicing for 5 years and I have repeatedly had to assist BSN grads with basic nursing tasks. I am not writing this for sake of attack. I am stateing a fact from my clinical experience. There is a real problem with the training given to students in the BSN programs. It is unfair to the students and it is unfair to patients. And when someone comes out with the statement that all nurses should be required to go through a program which I have found through experience to have produced sub-standard nurses, then I find it my duty to speak up. If you think that A BSN college program better prepares you to care for patients than a in-hospital program, then you are fooling yourself.

    Do you realize that an LPN program (1 year program) provides more clinical hours than a BSN or ADN program. It is highway robbery in the educational sense propagated by the politically powerful universities.

    I am fine with the fact that there are BSN programs, I am not fine with the fact that BSN graduates feel like they are better prepared. It just isn't so.

    I have a 4 year degree in another feild. I then recieved my RN by going through a diploma program (3 years). I have 7 years of school but I am treated different in the eyes of many in the profession because I don't have a BSN.

    Can we still be freinds?

    :-)
    Originally posted by ShannonB25:
    Buck227,
    I'm sorry but your post made my jaw hit the floor. I cannot believe the negative biases you hold toward BSN nurses. This is ridiculous. You stated that "if you fail a course in a diploma program, you are out for a straight year. You are allowed to retake the course one more time the next year and if you fail again, you are out. In a BSN program, you simply just take the course again the next semester." I can assure you that this is NOT the case at my school nor is it the case at any BSN program to which I am familiar.
    You also assert that "College programs are easier than diploma programs, and allow those who would normally fail a hospital program to slip through." I would be very interested in seeing the research that supports this very broad statement. I won't hold my breath though, as I am quite sure that it does not exist.
    Unlike you I will not make any sweeping generalizations regarding diploma prepared nurses (first of all because I have nothing but the upmost respect for diploma prepared nurses, and secondly because you are NOT every diploma prepared nurse...get the picture??) I will say that in my opinion, with regard to BSN nurses and their competencies as well as their programs, you are either grossly misinformed or sadly disillusioned.
    Shannon

  8. by   ShannonB25
    I appreciate your reply. Again, I don't know if it is merely the schools in your area or what, but my BSN program actually provides MORE clinical hours than most of the ADN and certainly more than the LPN programs in my state. I realize that there are differences in the amount of clinical time that individuals receive, and that unfortunately that is not always an ideal amount of time. I am simply saying that for many of us that is not the case. While you are certainly entitled to base your opinion on your experiences, you should understand that I can only do the same based on my own. I assure you that I do not look down upon any nurse, regardless of education. As a matter of fact, some of the best nurses that I have had the priveledge of working with during clinicals have been LPN's! As for the depth of their training, I am not up for disputing the variances in programs between an ADN or BSN vs an LPN. The programs are different with different areas of emphasis, period. To ascertain that the LPN program is somehow superior to that of a BSN is, in my opinion, incorrect. Neither is superior, they are merely different.
    For the record, yes we can be friends I appreciate empassioned individuals, I just wish that you would please consider that we are not ALL like the new grads that you have described. Perhaps you could suggest a change in your local program if this indeed the case in your area? Have a good night.
    Respectfully,
    Shannon

    ------------------
    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it."-Johan Ruskin
  9. by   bigjay
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by buck227:
    [B]Every experience I have had with a new grad BSN nurse has been negative.

    Me: EVERY one? I find that a bit hard to believe.

    buck: They just don't recieve the clinical instruction needed to be competent. As a Hospital Diploma graduate (3yr program) I recieved the clinical and theory background that allowed me to enter the critical care environment with little problem. The BSN has been pushed by big universities soley as a means to produce revenue. And since they have control over the advanced practice areas, they are able to require the BSN to attain advanced privilages. This is not in the best interest of quality patient care. It is just politics and big buisness.

    Me: Did they assassainate JFK too? How exactly do big universities control advanced practice areas and promote BScNs? Being a BScN myself I'd like to know how to get in on that...

    buck: An LPN is better prepared to care for patients clinically than a BSN grad. College programs are easier than diploma programs, and allow those who would normally fail a hospital program to slip through.

    Me: You're gonna have to supply some facts on that. Unless you've been through or done an in-depth study on all three programs that's a bit of a biased generalization...

    buck: If you fail a course in a diploma program, you are out for a straight year. You are allowed to retake the course one more time the next year and if you fail again, you are out. In a BSN program, you simply just take the course again the next semester. I could go on and on.

    Me: Please do. And include some proof.

    buck: I am glad that those of you who went the BSN route feel proud, you should, but stop demeaning those of us who have the superior clinical training because you have 12 more hours of humanities, and 24 hours more of electives in subjects that you probably can't recall.

    Me: Whose demeaning those of you with "superior clinical training"? The incompetent BScN grads you seem to run into all the time?


    buck: Putting RN,BSN after your name makes you look arrogant. If you just put BSN, we know that you have your RN too.

    Me: I earned those letters, thank you. I'll use them if I want. If it makes me look arrogant, oh well.

    buck: SO NAH!

    :-P


    Me: I'm sorry to stoop to sarcasm but please... this is the attitude that makes our profession unable to do anything. I see it time and time again whenever a discussion about education comes up.

    The argument of "more clinical is better" is a little off the mark in my opinion. I have forty some odd years of working ahead of me. I only had four years of school. To me education is more about teaching you how to think than how to do. A trained monkey could pass out meds. A nurse (BScN/ADN/LPN) knows to look at what they are giving, what the effects are, etc. School teaches you the why and how behind the task.

    If I have offended by my comments, that is unfortunate. I just tire of name-calling and generalizations and felt the need to directly address them. Plus it's my fourth night shift in a row and I'm in a mood....

    Cheers,
    J-P


  10. by   bigjay
    Sorry to go on again but the wheels are still turning...

    Thinking about some of the comments that have flown around this discussion about needing to help the "unprepared" new grads, be they BScN, ADN, LPN, M+M...

    What's wrong with that?

    I would hope that when I start on a floor people will help me. I help my less experienced colleagues when they have questions or need a hand with something. In turn my more experienced colleagues help me with clinical issues I haven't had a lot of experience with. And in turn, I help my experienced colleagues with things they have less experience with (computers is a big one...).

    Shouldn't we be helping each other and appreciating our differences? Rather than bickering about our different educational backgrounds shouldn't we use each others strengths?

    Can't we all just get along!....

    Alright, enough babbling. Man I need sleep...

    Cheers,
    J-P
  11. by   cmggriff
    Well, There are some really well thought out posts in this thread. And there are some that seem to be instant reactions to thoughts or ideas that have somehow opened old wounds. Still, at least no one has armed themselves and begun killing those who have insulted or injured.
    I have a BA in English and an AD in nursing. I once thought that requiring a BSN for entry would be good for me by lowering the potential candidates for nursing. This would make my skills rarer and more valuable. But now I am worried. I have seen what the government is capable of doing to alleviate or prevent a perceived crisis. If something is not done soon to increase the supply of RN's, I am afraid Congress may come up with some "temporary" remedy such as reducing the requirements. There is a crisis. We are not the cause, but I think we need to be the solution.
    Some of the posts here show very incisive critical thinking, creative problem solving and strong desires to improve both individuals and the profession of Nursing. Some have not been so pleasant. So, I propose
    that we who feel we have identified the problems and/or the solutions, get together politically and work out some compromise or agreement. If we do not take matters into our own hands, those that do may not treat us as well as we been treating one another on this board.
  12. by   MollyJ
    Originally posted by Charles S. Smith, RN, MS:
    ...But, given the emergence of serious crises in healthcare financing, our overall economy, the latest statistics on the nursing shortage, the looming prospect that there will not be enough nurses to take care of you and me when we need care, and the restlessness of the current RN force, all beg the question "are we missing something here?". My view is that we are indeed missing something. We now have the challenge to create what the professional nursing ROLE must look like for the future. The timing has never been better and the impetus for change has never been as compelling. I appreciate your continued dialogue..

    best regards
    chas
    I am intrigued. What would a re-shaping of the role look like? My presence in a public high school has shown me that one of the blessings and dilemmas of nursing is that our role is somewhat analagous to the teacher. I takes a lot of teachers to do the job. It probably takes a certain level of education to do the job well. Delegating the actual day to day task of educating to paras would surely, I believe, reduce the quality of the end product. I believe similar analogies occur in nursing. And yet the sheer numbers of us needed by the public and health care industry mean that we have unique problems. I think because there are so many of us, we will never aspire to having the status in the world that you have when your skills are relatively rare and indemand. We only need one CEO, a few brain surgeons, one DON and those "rare, highly prized" roles get more status. So how do we re-shape this role? What would that look like? Are we talking the designation of the technical vs the professional nurse? Give me more.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  13. by   jtfreel
    Nursing will never be accepted as a "true profession" (in my opinion) as long as the health care system needs a practice group to do the dirty work-regardless of the education level of the members of that practice group.

    Example: Who picks up when the Pharmacy, Respiratory therapy, Phlebotomy, Business Office, Physical Therapy and housekeeping are closed or otherwise unavailable? When this is the practice, who benefits-financially? (Hint: if you want to really see who has the clout, follow the money trail: if one department is doing another's work WITHOUT receiving the financial benefits-you have found the organization's official grunts.)

    What does all of this have to do with educational levels: plenty. Keep it stirred up and you keep the practice group diverted from the obvious.

    Recommendation. Follow the medical practice model. Entry level is the general practitioner. A physician who chooses to specialize receives additional educational and training.

    In study after study, all graduates who pass the NCLEX are licensed to practice in beginning professional roles. Regardless of personal opinions, graduates from all schools are performing as equals on this examination. In some states ADN graduate score averages are slightly higher than BSN, in other states the BSN is slightly higher.

    In employer surveys, it has been reported time and time again that there is no statistical difference between the performance of these 2 groups from the employers point of veiw.

    It is time for this to stop. If we do not consider ourselves a profession, no one else ever will. If we do consider ourselves a profession, it makes no difference what anyone else thinks.


close