Professionalism and Credentials - page 7

OK, just some thoughts here so early in the morning (after work...) I've been thinking on how we can improve the image of nursing and a couple of thoughts come to mind. First, what do people... Read More

  1. by   nicola
    Just for hoots and giggles I asked my boyfriend what a nurse does. Mind you, we've been together for over 3.5 years and he knows d@mn well what I do. His answer disappointed me and ticked me off - boiled down to "technician". He could name every skill - injections, wound care, meds passing, IV starting and hanging... But had no clue about trouble shooting, spotting reactions, teaching, advocating (with docs, families, insurance companies...) and all the myriad THINKING AND REASONING things we do so often - regardless of our degree.

    My point is that I really feel that unless we as nurses are able to teach the public what we REALLY do, we arent' going to get anywhere. I've been an RN for a little over 5 years now and spent the first 3 years teaching my mother how to utilize my knowledge. Sigh!

    I'm convinced that while education and experience are the most important thing, we'll never advance as a profession until we change public perception!
  2. by   askater
    I feel education will only benefit me. And I'm not necessarily talking BSN vs. ASN. I'm sadden hospitals don't look at our education much.

    Technology is changing fast. There's constantly new medications. There's always something to learn. And yes all the extra article's I've read and self-education will help me. Help me grow to be a better nurse.

    I don't know if I'll ever go for my MSN. But after my kid's grow I plan on taking more classes.
  3. by   V SPN
    Just a thought. re. KARRN3 post.

    Does anyone but me think the that it is because the license to practice nursing comes solely out of the Dept. of EDUCATION, not the Dept of HEALTH (At least in NYS) that these issues about degrees over experience, who really knows what, and who is qualified to teach who arise?

    I think that, to some extent, the Dept of ED. is 'working' for the educational/industrial complex.

    Or am I just completely off the wall?

    Any thoughts?
  4. by   CIY629
    I have been reading all of the comments about this subject. What's really bothering me is that WHO CARES about what type of "degree" a nurse holds. The only thing that matters is that we all remember that we are here for the benefit of our patients. I am only 23 but I have wanted to be a nurse since I was in elementary. I have spent my fair share of time in the hospital with various relatives who were very ill. I never once cared about what type of degree the nurses had. The only thing that matters is that they know what they are doing and that is all I cared about. I am currently a LPN/ADN nursing student and I don't think I would have it any other way. I thought about a BSN program but for me it was realistically out of my reach at the time. I have worked along side BSN students and nurses and since we are all human and have dif experiences we can all learn from each other. Also I live in Flint, MI and many of our nurses are ADN and there is really no major dif (a few more $) between ADN and BSN. I graduate in May 02 and I plan to work for a year then go back for my BSN but that is because I want to you.
  5. by   mcl4
    Neither makes you are better bedside nurse than the other. However, the compensation issue is valid. Compare nurses to teachers for a minute. A teacher with an Associates degree still has the certification to teach, they can teach all of the same courses as a teacher, and they might be as good as of a teacher (or better) than a teacher who has a bachelors degree. However similiar their skills are, the bachelor's degree teacher gets paid more. why? as a compensation for further education. Compensation for education occurs in almost every other profession, but not in nursing. That does not make sense to me.


    Which state has teachers with associate degrees?
  6. by   mcl4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by CIY629
    [B]I have been reading all of the comments about this subject. What's really bothering me is that WHO CARES about what type of "degree" a nurse holds. The only thing that matters is that we all remember that we are here for the benefit of our patients. I am only 23 but I have wanted to be a nurse since I was in elementary. I have spent my fair share of time in the hospital with various relatives who were very ill. I never once cared about what type of degree the nurses had. The only thing that matters is that they know what they are doing and that is all I cared about


    I tend to agree with your message.
    For the first time that I can remember, we have wonderful staffing. This has truly influence patient care and I'm happy with all the new coworkers that recently graduated and started on the floor. The reason they are adjusting so well to the floor is partially due to reasonable staffing.
  7. by   V SPN
    I think the people who care about what sheepskins one has, are the colleges and universities. Part of the reason is it is how they insure they have a market. If they require MSN to teach, then they know they will have some number of customers. If all that is required to teach is X years of nursing experience, they loose potential customers

    I'm not knocking further education, but when it is done at the expense of qualification due to experience I become suspicious. We need merit/experience recognition certificates.

    To practice as a Doctor of Medicine, you must work in a hospital. In this country you can become a Doctor of Nursing without ever actually working as a nurse. This is nuts!

    My nephew is becoming a pilot. Before he can even register for various courses he has to have various amounts of flight time under various conditions. Thus a pilots license implies theoretical knowledge actually applied to storms, night landings, engine failures, etc.

    Somewhere here I read a post about a NP program that requires a year of paid hospital nursing. I think something like this is the way to go.

    The ignoring of nurses with years of experience by the educational system is an abomination.

    I think In-depth knowledge obtained through experience is valid. Perhaps it is more valid than knowledge obtained solely academically. And I'm speaking as someone who really likes school.

    When a BSN means X years of working experience in addtion to two more years of school, there might be a larger percived difference between the ADN and BSN. As it stands now it is truly an academic excerise.

    In short, If my child is in the hospital and I'm given a choice between a new MSN grad without any experience, and a ADN with four years of experience, I'll take the ADN.
    Last edit by V SPN on Nov 20, '01
  8. by   nicola
    I've said it before. I'll say it again... There is no way to measure experience and expertise. I happen to have a BSN, but that's because it gives me more flexibility in the areas open to me. (The home/community agencies I've worked for only accept BSN's.) I also think the BSN makes me a better rounded individual and has taught me more than one way to think about things. I loved Brandee's statement that her music background helps her with auscultation and percussing. I can't tell you how long it took me to get those things down!

    I think that nursing is an art as well as a science. We have to be able to synthisize the information we recieve and put the puzzle pieces together. The more experience we have in different areas, the better able we are to do that. Is my origional degree wasted? Nope! I'm bilingual, so can speak to our latino population in their native tongue and give better care. I function comfortably in different cultures because of my sociology back ground. I'm able to think through problems because of the logic and programming classes I took. These arent' directly nursing related, but they've helped me immeasurably!

    Having said all that, I'd give my left arm for the 10+ years of experience in clinical areas that some of you have. One of the things I love most about this BB is when some one says "I ran into such and such a situation. What do you think?" I read the responses and think, "Oh! I didn't think of that! It makes sense in light of..." and I learn.

    I think that we need the education to further ourselves as a profession and to make others value us more. Most of all, we need to quit bickering!
  9. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by CIY629
    WHO CARES about what type of "degree" a nurse holds. The only thing that matters is that we all remember that we are here for the benefit of our patients.
    While I understand your point, the fact is that the public cares what type of degree a nurse holds. We all know that there are nurses of all levels of education that are the best at what they do, whether LPN, ADN, or BSN.

    But --

    My point in starting this thread was that education and credentials are very important in our society. Like it or not, nurses with BSNs are going to be looked upon as being more professional and competent as a whole. Now, you can rant and rave against this point of view all you want. You can rant and rave against how much our society values money and how we should all do things for others out of the goodness of our hearts ... but when your electricity gets turned off it won't do you any good. All the yelling about how "I'm a professional no matter what my degree" doesn't do you any good in a society that values education and credentials. If we want to start getting a voice in our future, if we want to be taken seriously as a group, and if we want to attract younger, newer nurses, we have to appear professional in the eyes of society. One step in that direction is the BSN.

    Quite a few weeks back in another thread, someone posted a survey done by the ANA, or other such group. (I wish I could find it myself, but it's lost in the ether. If anyone can find it and post it, I would really appreciate it...) The survey showed that a large majority of the public felt that nurses should have a bachelor's degree at the very least -- many wanted nurses with a Master's. An interesting point, I think.

    I ask another question: if it really doesn't matter what degree you have to be a nurse, why have them at all? Why not treat it as a technical trade? We could start off as Apprentice nurses, move our way up to Journeyman status and finish of as Master Nurses. That would make nursing even easier to get into than it is now with the Associate programs. Maybe this would attract more nurses.
  10. by   CIY629
    Well I wasn't trying to sound harsh but my family members have had ADN, BSN, MSN, and NP nurses. My opinion is that while it may be true that BSN are more marketable than ADN does this necessarily mean that the BSN is the best choice. Ok so suppose they decide that a BSN is the minimum ed requirement for all nurses. Then we will certainly have a MAJOR shortage of nurses. I probably could have went to a university and enrolled in a BSN program which I would have like to do but I had family circumstances that would've made it impossible to stay away from home. Yes, I am glad that there are 2 year com. college nursing programs that will allow me to stay home and take care of sick relatives yet help me advance my career. I do know that in the past year of this program I have had to work my butt off I do not find it to be easy but I want to be a nurse and eventually when I am able financially after I graduate from the ADN program I will go back for my BSN. We all have to be realistic here college is not for everyone and that is that. We should stop and think about that. The medical profession could/might be missing out on some wonderful nurses all because they may lack the money or time to start off their education in a BSN program.
  11. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by CIY629
    We all have to be realistic here college is not for everyone and that is that. We should stop and think about that. The medical profession could/might be missing out on some wonderful nurses all because they may lack the money or time to start off their education in a BSN program.
    Yet again, I think the point is being missed. What if we said that society was missing out on great physicians because "college isn't for everyone"? No, college isn't for everyone -- but maybe we should be worried about putting our lives in the hands of someone who didn't feel that college was for them.

    A lot of talk seems to be centered around the fact that there is a nursing shortage. I ask ... if all of a sudden people could become RNs after six months of schooling, would that end the nursing shortage? Of course not. The fact that a four year degree might be required does not keep anyone out of nursing. It certainly doesn't keep people out of more prestigious and higher paying fields like computers and business. In fact, in those fields, more and more people are getting higher degrees.

    What keeps people out of nursing is a lack of respect and a lack of adequate financial compensation. Respect comes from many sources, but a major part of gaining the respect we deserve is by stepping up to the plate and demanding that our nurses have the best d@mn education possible. In the eyes of society, that means having at least a Bachelor's degree. Once the degree issue is settled, we can start demanding higher compensation -- along the lines of other fields where a degree is required for entry.

    No matter how we look at it, the nursing shortage isn't going to be solved immediately. At this point it could be decades. Making the requirements for entry easier aren't going to solve the problem.
  12. by   mcl4
    [
    What keeps people out of nursing is a lack of respect and a lack of adequate financial compensation. Respect comes from many sources, but a major part of gaining the respect we deserve is by stepping up to the plate and demanding that our nurses have the best d@mn education possible. In the eyes of society, that means having at least a Bachelor's degree. Once the degree issue is settled, we can start demanding higher compensation -- along the lines of other fields where a degree is required for entry.

    No matter how we look at it, the nursing shortage isn't going to be solved immediately. At this point it could be decades. Making the requirements for entry easier aren't going to solve the problem. [/B][/QUOTE]


    I'm not feeling this lack of respect. Perhaps the problem is yours alone.

    Changing the requirements will make the nursing shortage worst.
    Not the way to go in my opinion.
  13. by   mcl4
    Quite a few weeks back in another thread, someone posted a survey done by the ANA, or other such group. (I wish I could find it myself, but it's lost in the ether. If anyone can find it and post it, I would really appreciate it...) The survey showed that a large majority of the public felt that nurses should have a bachelor's degree at the very least -- many wanted nurses with a Master's. An interesting point, I think.

    I ask another question: if it really doesn't matter what degree you have to be a nurse, why have them at all? Why not treat it as a technical trade? We could start off as Apprentice nurses, move our way up to Journeyman status and finish of as Master Nurses. That would make nursing even easier to get into than it is now with the Associate programs. Maybe this would attract more nurses. [/B][/QUOTE]


    I remember a previous thread mentioning one patient believe that most nurses had a four year degree. I didn't see a survey and I question if one even exist that reflects what you stated in the above paragraph.


    Matt, what is so wrong with ADN nurses? They attend an intense program that prepares them to work in many areas of nursing.
    Like all nurses, they gain more knowledge through their experience.

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Professionalism and Credentials