It appears that many tender spots have been revealed throughout the various postings within this issue. A number of the individuals have posted replies emphasizing the need for BSN's within this field while others have posted diametrically opposing viewpoints.
First, to elaborate on the BSN viewpoint. Nurses with advanced degrees are essential to our profession. No matter whether this fact is liked or disliked it is true. Advanced degrees are invaluable in developing credibility throughout the complete health field regardless of specialty. One example of this fact can be found within the field of the physician. Is a general MD viewed with the same regard as that of the individual who furthers his or her education through the learning of a specialty? Where would the medical field be today if the MD halted his or her formal education (not solely the learning of extra skill factors such as ACLS or ATLS) once a degree is earned? This same viewpoint needs to be used when looking at the nursing profession.
It is true that all nurses need not hold a baccalaureatte degree. If a nurse who gives bedside care has reached his or her personal plateau of professional development at that level then he or she does not need to obtain a BSN. A BSN degree does not prepare an individual to enter the nursing profession and be successful at solely this level of care. Instead, the bacalaureatte degree better prepares an individual to enter into our profession with an advanced level of expertise in various facets such as; leadership and managment as well as various advanced diagnostic skills. While it is a fact that ADN's have held leadership positions throughout the history of nursing, a number of them had to learn their skills from previous managers, mentors or "from the seat of their pants". A formal education on the essentials of leadership, such as that obtained with a BSN degree, prior to being thrown into a leadership position ensures a higher rate of success for his or her new position.
In closing, I strongly agree that we need health professionals with various levels of education throughout the entire medical field. Not everyone can or should be a doctor, not everyone can or should have a BSN, and not everyone can or should be in the health care profession. We each have our own personal and professional dreams, aspirations, goals and palteaus that we need to reach. Upon reaching each of these is when we need to re-evaluate our goals to see who we are, what we are doing, and where we are headed to truly be content with our level of success or to strive for even higher goals within our lives.