Professionalism and Credentials - page 8

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   WashYaHands
    I am the person who posted the Harris poll results on another thread. Although I do not wish to personally debate this topic (I see both sides of the issue), I thought I would post it again since it was brought up.


    Harris Poll reveals Americans fear effects of nursing shortage on quality of health care
    Study also shows public trusts information provided by nurses as much as doctors

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - As a national nursing shortage builds, more than half of Americans believe the quality of health care is affected "a great deal" by a shortage of nurses, according to a new Harris Poll released today.

    The nursing shortage is posing an increasing threat to the quality of care in hospitals and health organizations, and this poll reflects the general public's concern. Only four percent of respondents said the quality of health care that people in the country receive was not affected "at all" by a nursing shortage.

    Sigma Theta Tau International, an honor society of nursing, and NurseWeek Publishing Inc., publishers of NurseWeek and HealthWeek, a nursing and health care trade publication, commissioned the poll, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates, Inc. More than 1,000 people were surveyed in this public opinion poll, conducted in June. The groups collaborated to conduct the poll to gauge attitudes about the nursing profession.

    Despite 2.5 million registered nurses in the United States, a shortage exists in nurses with needed specialties, skills and experience. Nurses are in particular demand if they demonstrate a high level of skills in the operating room, recovery room, emergency room or pediatrics. Hospital recruitment efforts to reverse the shortage include big sign-on bonuses, salary increases and tuition reimbursement plans.

    Other poll results include:
    1) An overwhelming majority of the public (92 percent) said they trust information about health care provided by registered nurses, ranking nurses even with physicians.
    2) 85 percent of the Americans said they would be pleased if their son or daughter became a registered nurse.
    3) 76 percent of the public thinks nurses should have four years of education or more past high school to perform the duties of their job.
    4) When asked about specific duties of registered nurses, 91 percent of the public recognized they monitor patient care, but only 14 percent recognized that nurses prescribe medications.


    1) Public's trust of nurses
    An overwhelming majority of the public (92 percent) said they trust information about health care provided by registered nurses, ranking nurses even with physicians. Nurses ranked higher than teachers (62 percent) or journalists (51percent). Only two percent of respondents said they didn't trust health care information "at all" provided by doctors or registered nurses.

    2) Nursing as a career
    Americans on average would be considerably more pleased if their son or daughter said they wanted to become a registered nurse than a journalist or a lawyer, and much more pleased if they wanted to become a registered nurse than a police officer. Nursing ranked roughly the same as teaching. On a scale of one (very displeased) to 10 (very pleased), respondents were asked to rate how they would feel about their son or daughter choosing a certain profession.

    3) Education levels for nursing
    When asked about the education of nurses, nearly one-half of the public said nurses should have four years of education beyond high school. Three out of ten Americans think nurses should have five to 10 years of education beyond high school.

    The education level of nurses continues to be a hot topic, as diverse nursing groups across the country seek to make the baccalaureate degree the standard entry point into practice. Nurses now only need an associate degree for RN licensure. Entry-level BSN enrollment has fallen 6.6 percent from a year ago, dropping for the fourth year in a row, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

    By the year 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects there will be 596,000 registered nurses with a BSN, with a need for 854,000 baccalaureate nurses. Nurses with five or more years of education (Master's or Doctorate degree) are projected at 175,000, with a need for 377,000 in the health care system. Projections for 2010 and 2020 continue to drop off significantly in each degree area.

    4) Nursing's role in health care
    When asked about specific duties of registered nurses, the public recognized that nurses monitor care and provide counseling to patients, but were less aware that nurses diagnose, treat and prescribe medicines, which are duties of advanced practice nurses. Responses were as follows:

    91% said nurses monitor the condition of patients
    69% said nurses provide counseling to patients
    34% said nurses diagnose health conditions
    23% said nurses decide on treatments for patients
    14% said nurses prescribe medications

    http://www.nursingsociety.org
    http://www.nurseweek.com
  2. by   KatWright
    Remember there is no Eutopia.

    Personally, I find that there is nothing wrong with the ADN programs, and everyone has the right to choose their own educational path. If there are 1 million nurses, then there are 1 million INDIVIDUALS with family concerns, money concerns, and a zillion other things that go into the decision making process. I was 17 and paying my own way. And at 17, 22 months sounds long enough, not to mention 4 years !?! I would be sooooo old when I finished the BSN program!!

    I have been an ADN RN for more than 25 years BUT I am 3 semesters away from completing the ADN to MSN program and boy do I wish everyone had the desire, opportunity, personal need, time, money and employee/family/friend support, etc, etc, etc, to do it.

    After I graduated from the ADN program I vowed NEVER to step in a classroom. (never say never)

    I LOVE IT, I love the classes, I love learning, I love the hard work, I love writing papers I have learned that there is so much more out there..... I think quite often I (we?) have a little tunnel vision and only see what is around us, forgetting that there is a HUGH health care world.

    Am I a better nurse because of the education? I don't know, kind of, sort of, maybe, possibly, could be, although, I haven't learned any new technical skills, unless you count a mean powerpoint presentation set to music AND I know how to make a brochure :-), plus I know more about APA format than I EVER wanted to.

    Most of the people that I work with thought that I was working on a second masters. Our name tags only say RN

    I don't have a crystal ball, I haven't a clue what the future will bring, but I want smart, talented nurses taking care of my family, does that mean an ADN, BSN, MSN, who knows?

    But I really am afraid that if we place a minimum of an MSN, as one person suggested, I'd be lucky if I had a nursing assistant under the direction of THE RN somewhere in the state, taking care the people that I care about.

    The next few years should be interesting.
    Kat
  3. by   Julie, RN
    Matt-
    "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. "...
    "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."

    Good points to ponder......
    Another point would be that b/c nursing has ADN programs it attracts a different sub-group than say degree's that require higher standards. This ties also ties into how we present ourselves (my discussion on professionalism and how we dress).
    Many higher degree professions would not even think of coming to a meeting in jeans, but we do it everyday. Again, we have a different mentality than higher degree professions. I don't think requiring a BSN would worsen/cause a nursing shortage. If people really want something in life-they will go after it no matter what. I would also like to see more MSN's at the bedside. I myself am in the process of applying to grad school, but I love bedside nursing. I would love to stay at the bedside after graduating, but be offered a higher salary.
    Another idea, we could restructure and call ADN's nursing assistants. Just like MD's have physician assistants.

    Just my analysis.....
    Julie M.,RN
  4. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by mcl4
    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.
    Nothing is wrong with ADN nurses -- I'm one myself, remember. An ADN certainly can be a better nurse than one with a BSN, just as an office executive with a Bachelor's degree can be better at his or her job than one with an MBA. But I'm willing to wager that the MBA gets more money and more respect from the public at large.

    Personally, I don't feel a lack of respect. However when talking about public perception, I think the general populace feels that nurses and nursing don't get respect -- we certainly don't get the money. By insisting on a higher education level we can raise the public perception. I write it again: The fact that we hold lives in our hands is reason enough to demand higher education as a baseline. I think the Harris poll is revealing in that half the population thinks that nurses should have a four-year degree.

    The posts I've been reading seem to indicate that most nurses see themselves as task-oriented technicians, and that a higher degree is usless. That's fine, I guess, but then let's stop hanging on to the idea that we're more than that. If we're really about patient advocacy, if we really do need to know pharmacology, physiology, psychology, and have cracker-jack critical-thinking skills, let's demand higher education. It's odd ... nurses seem to be so frightened of demanding more.
  5. by   mcl4
    Originally posted by mattcastens


    Nothing is wrong with ADN nurses -- I'm one myself, remember. An ADN certainly can be a better nurse than one with a BSN, just as an office executive with a Bachelor's degree can be better at his or her job than one with an MBA. But I'm willing to wager that the MBA gets more money and more respect from the public at large.


    Patients do not know the level of education of many nurses and frankly their concern is that a nurses are able to give safe care. Having a MBA doesn't gurantee this and some nurses with a higher level of education have a difficult time applying what they have learned. Many times a nurse's gut instinct makes a difference in the care of their patients which is something you don't learn from a book. Matt, if I could clearly see the difference between a nurse with a BSN or an ADN, I would agree with you.
    The nurse I respect the most on my floor has an ADN. Her organization skills as well as the quality of patient care she gives has earned my respect. She recently moved into a supervisor role and has improved conditions on our floor.


    Personally, I don't feel a lack of respect. However when talking about public perception, I think the general populace feels that nurses and nursing don't get respect -- we certainly don't get the money. By insisting on a higher education level we can raise the public perception. I write it again: The fact that we hold lives in our hands is reason enough to demand higher education as a baseline. I think the Harris poll is revealing in that half the population thinks that nurses should have a four-year degree.

    The posts I've been reading seem to indicate that most nurses see themselves as task-oriented technicians, and that a higher degree is usless. That's fine, I guess, but then let's stop hanging on to the idea that we're more than that. If we're really about patient advocacy, if we really do need to know pharmacology, physiology, psychology, and have cracker-jack critical-thinking skills, let's demand higher education. It's odd ... nurses seem to be so frightened of demanding more.




    The nurses at the hospital you work at took the sweet contract deal that ensured them of not going on strike, but having their wages match the ones that might go on strike or did go on strike. Your hospital was the first to settle knowing that their wages would match others hospital nurses that went on strike. I did not see North Memorial nurses tactics when negotiating their recent contract as helping the future of nursing. I don't put the nurses at North Memorial as demanding more respect from the public, improving nursing wages and work conditions.

    Finally, I have read most of the messages and I do not see them reflecting that nurses feel their job has been task orientated. I have not read nurses stating that higher degrees are useless, but there are different ways of obtaining a nursing license and a degree does not guarantee the best nurse.
  6. by   Teshiee


    What is the problem? I agree with both sides getting a higher education is great. But I like to know who are the ones who cares what credential a nurse has? Everytime I go on the floor to my patients they never ask me what degree I held. It does not make you a better nurse. Experience does! Having a higher degree makes you well rounded but I am failing to see what does that have to with being professional. There are some lousy ADN and BSN nurses I dont think their degree had a thing to do with it.

    If they decided to make all nurses BSN we would have no nurses unless they revamp the system to allow them in the workforce faster. Then you have to consider the average RN she is not a teenager. For some women it is a second career. Nursing should be looked upon as a profession not just having some initials behind your name but the beauty of choosing a higher education or remain learning new ideas you are still a nurse no matter what. Nurses need to come as one stop this seperatist attitude that is the problem right there. I respect all nurses regardless of what their initials I feel we are all sisters wanting the same thing. Let it be optional. PHd nurse are not better than an ADN nurse each on has something unique and special to add to their expertise so please STOP THE DRAMA!!!
  7. by   KC CHICK
    Julie, RN....seeing as how I'm now labeled as being in a certain "sub-group", let me tell you that I carry myself w/dignity and professionalism that demands respect. I went into the ADN program because it was the best option for me....not because I'm low rent or low class as you are definately implying in your post. You should be more sensitive to others in your responses in the future.....BSN or not, attitudes like this are not becoming to a lady.
    I also dress in professional attire for meetings (no jeans) and feel that my ADN program demanded a lot from me. They held high standards that not everyone could meet. They definately didn't pass everyone that walked through the door. For example, my clinical group during my freshman semester started with 7 students......2 of us passed.

    BTW, I'm not someone's assistant......I'm a REGISTERED NURSE. I am perfectly capable of making decisions regarding patient care on my own, thank you very much.
    Last edit by KC CHICK on Nov 21, '01
  8. by   nurs4kids
    KC,
    Girl, don't waste your breath..or fingers. You know, I know, as do most BSN/MSN's that the degree/diploma does not make the nurse. Let it go. They can blame the ADN's all day long for the nursing problems, but it just ain't so (yes, I learnT that grammar in my adn program). I guess the "no blue jean 301" class was another of those enhancements that we missed. Funny thing though, I see MSN's/BSN's wearing jeans to meetings just as often as I see ADN's. They had MORE English courses than was required by lowly ADN's, but ON THIS BB, I see just as many grammar/spelling errors by BSN/MSN as I do ADN/LPN. They were SUPPOSED to have had more classes in teaching how to deal with different cultures/socioeconomical groups, yet I believe it was one of THEM who made the comment above about our "sub-group" . Perhaps the thought is that it's the HOURS of education that matters, not the capability to APPLY education (Julie's post case in point). Julie is obviously beyond reality with her "sub-group" analogy, seeing that the government will pay for the "sub-groupies" to go to school AND pay room and board, so it would be in their best interest to go to school LONGER. For the "upper sub-groupies" like myself and you, well we just have to struggle to put food on the table, clothes on our backs, roof over our heads; all while working our "sub-group" job at the local fast food resturaunt <note obvious sarcasm>, so we settle for what we can get. This analogy was ridiculous! #1 WHO in the public SEES nurses in a meeting??? #2 Just because someone dresses professional, doesn't automatically give them the air of professionalism <again, note above post by Julie for prime example>. The diploma, the clothes, NOR the ARROGANCE will move nursing into the professional realm. Nurses becoming united and taking a stand is the ONLY thing that will benefit nursing. Not likely to happen based on the separation drawn from the "upper group" on this thread.

    I'm willing to bet my entire profession on one thing, it'll never happen. Just as soon as diploma and ADN nurses are called "nursing assistants", you will have a mass exodus from nursing. If you think the nurse patient ratios are bad now, ROFLMAO..just wait and see.

    <shaking head in amazement> Some people have NO clue. You can send a dog to 100 English classes...but ya just can't make him talk. I'm willing to bet Ms Judgemental came from a "sub-culture" otherwise, she'd have never made that comment. An obvious need to raise herself above SOMEONE. lol..not this girl.
    Last edit by nurs4kids on Nov 21, '01
  9. by   KC CHICK
    nurse4kids, "I love you, man"!!!!!
    You totally rule.

    Anne (member of ADN 'sub-group')
  10. by   donmurray
    "Low rent, low class slobs" Unite! Let's form a union!
  11. by   askater
    I love getting more rounded...both by reading and experience.

    In time we'll need more year's education. As fast as technologies advancing .

    I've had patient's ask about my education background. But than again I work on a stepdown unit. I sit there for 1/2 hour after pulling a patients femoral sheath....I guess we have to talk about something.

    Most are surprised there's 2 year R.N. program's. I remember when I spoke with a community college counselor...I didn't realize I had the option of a ADN or BSN. And I definitately didn't realize I'd get paid equivalant for a 2 as a 4 year degree.

    Now working with fellow nurses....I honestly couldn't tell you who is a ADN or a BSN nurse. From the time I'm at work we're RUNNING and I don't have time to converse with nurses....now patients with sheath removal that's another story
  12. by   Mijourney
    Hi. The dialogue. It's wonderful. Unfortunately, I continue to see where some of us have mastered weighing down the issue of moving nursing forward with the superiority and shortage issue. That is a perfect diversion, because it cleverly takes us away from where I feel we really need to focus.

    The degree itself is really not the issue. It's what a certain type of degree may do for nursing and the public as a whole. That's called looking at the big picture. Nurses, in case any of us haven't been paying attention, we're already in a shortage. The healthcare system is already in crisis. The shortage will be worsening despite the fact we have different nursing programs available and we haven't gotten our demands met for improved pay and working conditions. We have well over 2 million nurses in the US and many more worldwide. Many of us don't work in nursing anymore. I don't see how revamping our nursing education in some form will hamper or compromise our situation any more than it already is. We already have posters under other topics discussing the recruitment of nurses from other countries. That's happening in spite of the fact we have all these nursing programs available in the states. I've seen very few posters make the valid point that the combination of professionalism, experience, and credentials can turn a good nurse into a great nurse or give a great nurse a major edge and place him or her at a more competitive advantage with insurance companies, the government, doctors, administrators, etc. Like education, experience all by itself does not make a person.

    Someone asked who cares if nurses get more education and credentialing? The AHA and the AMA, that's who. They don't want to see sacrifices of any of their pet projects (it's called pork in the political arena) going to the likes of nurses even though many individual doctors and health care executives support nurses. It's to their advantage to see that nursing stays in a certain position. Yes, the colleges and universities have a vested interest like the hospitals and public do, but I believe it's really out of their hands at this point. Changes are happening so quickly. Many of us nurses have been misled in my opinion into thinking that since we're in the mist of a crises or that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse that it's almost sacriledge to consider what nursing's next move should be educational wise.

    I'm afraid that ten or 15 years down the road, when I'm retired, I'll be in the position of saying I told you so.

    Finally, I want to write that I'm proud of every single nurse and CNA on this bb who is doing his or her level best on the job. The practice, science, and art of nursing is challenging to say the least. I still feel that nursing needs to start going for it soon so that we will be prepared for the future as the population ages, technology advances, the economy and changes, and the worldwide health care manpower shortage intensifies.
  13. by   KC CHICK
    donmurray, you're always a hoot. Thanks for not letting us take ourselves too seriously.

    Anne

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