BSN minimum requirement

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    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.
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    Great post L Burns!I agree with you.However,in New Brunswick Canada where I am ,the BN requirement to nurse has adversely effected the health care system too.The standards must be raised for us to be taken seriously as a profession.The BN became a requirement in 2000.In this short a time we are already seeing major problems.One is that the new grads are totally unprepared to nurse as their clinical is minimal and misguided.First,I think the present university programs would have to revamp and combine the two rather than delete the "training"aspect.Problem number two is a majority of these graduates come out and view floor nursing as a "notch" on their resume belts.They are taught to believe that RN is second rate and that you suffer for a couple years before getting a "real job"(That is a quote!)The third and final problem I will introduce is the "grandfather clause".RN's were assured when the diploma program was wiped out that they would in no way be persecueted for not having a degree.Unfortunately our veterans in nursing have become demoralized as a new BN will get a teaching position over a 20 year+ RN simply because a degree is had.As well,my class in 1989 had 100 graduates and I was one of 10 below age 30.We have lost that whole population who really want to be a nurse that cannot entertain the cost of university.I am presently enrolled in my post RN/BN and I must say I am glad I did it this way as I have been fortunate to relay my 12 years experience in class and critical thinking vs the nursing process can be compared and discussed.I am really enjoying this process.(Although I wish I would have started sooner)Because a Masters degree is required to teach now I am looking at another 8 years parttime before I can even submit my resume to do this.Just somethings to think about!Thanks for the post!
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    I have worked in healthcare for 4 years while attending a AD program. Let me say--I don't know how it is where you are, but here our AD grads come out with a broader knowledge base than any of the 3-yes 3 BSN programs in our immediate area. Our program required us to do lots of critical thinking--much more than the BSN does. Not to mention you tend to get an older, often more mature, and wiser person in an AD program compared to some BSN programs. Don't get me wrong, I'm already working on BSN--and for those of you who went right to college knowing your hearts desire was to be an RN, and have 'what it takes' and can critically think - alot of people can't- I am not bashing you. I'm just saying our program required us to do teaching projects about legislation and political action, critical thinking exercises out the wazoo--and with the nursing shortage if the states required everyone to have a BSN before practicing we would have to shut down hospitals because the units couldn't function without nurses, and those wonderful souls who have been holding the profession together for the last twenty years while 'progression' has totally changed the role of the nurse- some for good some for bad--couldn't honestly be expected to function in that way. There is current legislation to promote LPN programs because our current shortage won't peak until 2003, and then there will be a short decline, but in 10-15 it will reach an all time high, because all those nurses with twenty some years service now are going to get tired of putting up with all the new grads who come in and think they know more than a diploma grad from 1974--and they are going to retire. I learned more working with a diploma RN, an LPN and an LPN-RN thru an AD program with a combined total of 57 years experience than any book could ever teach--AD or BSN!!! In fact most of the coordinators I have talked to say that the AD program was much harder than getting their BSN and even MSN because so much is independent!!

    Just to say, lets promote the profession and education--but we would be stupid to cut our noses off to spite our faces.
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    LBurns,
    I think you may be onto something here, but it will take quite a political upheaval to facilitate this transition. I think higher education is especially necessary for the advancement of the profession from a political standpoint. There seems to be great potential in the nursing profession for growth.
    DDoolan


    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.
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    Well this is a debate thats been going on for the twenty years I've been in healthcare. While, I do agree that BSN RNs are prepared "on paper" and in "research modalities," not all of us want that. I was an LPN to RN ADN grad and have pursued my education in other ways. I am an ACLS instructor, pre-hospital educator. I also am a provider for BLS, ENPC, BTLS, PALS and have gotten the CEN certification. So, while I do think college education has its place, personally I'm not too worried about lost opportunities. Good luck...judi
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    It also depends upon the structure of the BSN program. Mine was patterned off of a 3 year hospital school of nursing in the area that used to use the college for their A&P, micro & nutrition courses. When the hospital closed, the college took it over [and, as I understand, most of the faculty came with it].

    Moral of the story.... don't be so quick to judge ADN or BSN programs... I have seen idiots who graduated from both.
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    This is the same issue that has been around for my whole 20 yr nursing career and still as usual most people are missing the point. I don't know of anywhere that says more education makes you a better nurse. I too got my ADN first and then went on for my BSN. I don't think my BSN made me a better nurse, but it DID allow me to experience areas in nursing that the ADN program did not, ie leadership, community nursing, research.
    I do believe that before nursing ever becomes a recognized profession, it must develop these standards. Look at most all professions and you see not only entry level education requirements but most require graduate level degrees.
    Just to add fuel to the fire, think of this, I believe that most ADN, diploma, BSN nurses are far superior clinical nurses than the Ph.D prepared nurse, then why is the Ph.D nurse the Nursing School Clinic instructor.
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    LBurns, I got just one wuestion for you. Are you a "better" nurse now because of your BSN program, because of the fulltime clinical experience you got in your day job, or is it becuase you were able to to apply the stuff you covered in class last night to your clinical challenge on the floor today?

    Just wondering.
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    Hey, LBurns, you're definitely boldly going... I am, like you, a diploma [instead of ADN] who did the BSN completion and MSN route.
    I came out of my BSN and MSN very proud of my basic preparation but thinking, "Wow! Why do we do this? Why do we create these levels of entry? This second hand citizenship? This immediate and never ending reason for divisiveness within our profession?" I abhor the "class wars" that emanate from the different levels of preparation. You can see them fought here ALL OF THE TIME. Like you, I also had similar thoughts about how well my BSN rounded my preparation and really added some depth to my great technical nursing; loved the research; felt the liberal arts prep promoted good critical thinking, too. Overall I echo everything you said in your post. I do believe that BSN should be the level of entry for those reasons but mostly because it allows an individual nurse to easily walk forward from the bedside into other roles when (or if) she tires of the role that the ADN/diploma program so aptly prepares their students for.

    But you know what? The nursing education AND health care consumer speaks. They want the ADN. They are willing to bet that any aspirations they may suffer will happen down the road and they'll deal with it then. Hospitals hire ADN's and will continue to and ADN's experience decent mobility up into middle management positions. This impact of consumerism baffles me. I would like to believe that if I knew then (when I was choosing my diploma program) what I knew now, that I would choose the most clinically strong BSN program that I could find. But read these boards. Nurses are interested in an expedient education, a means to an end. Not many of them seek professional career preparation. This is not bad or good, it simply is. This actual, factual prevailing attitude means that we are light years I believe from seeing nursing education move solely into the Baccalaureate realm.

    I still cling to my beliefs and know where I would direct any one who asked me to for a professional nursing education. But hear the voices here. I believe here we hear the voices of the common nurse, much more so than we would at an ANA convention. Much of the "extra" impact the BSN offers is not wanted or required or appreciated by nurses. Since those of us who went through the progression process are not likely to (nor should we) report that before the BSN progression we did malpractice, but now we do superlative practice, the impact of the BSN completion is truly hard to quantify. We might report that we see situations in a broader sense and maybe we just have an expanded vocabulary with with to describe it. Can you sense the cynical smile of the non-BSN prepared as they read that? I think I love nursing more than ever since completing my degrees, but to concretely quantify what the BSN completion added to my practice is very difficult. If we can't quantify it in a way that those who don't have it will want it [sufficient to make in the level of entry], what do you think will happen? Pretty much what does happen. We muddle along with class wars flaring up here and there, taking some casualties and not much gets resolved. (But, oh, the _cost_!)

    Great thread. Stimulating thoughts. Keep on keepin' on.
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    I AM GONNA KEEP THIS REAL SIMPLE........................WE ALL TAKE THE SAME STATE BOARD EXAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH SAID.


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