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 think about having a baccelaureate be the entry-level for nursing? (I ask this as an associate degree nurse, who's going to be going for my BSN, so bear with me.) I realize that this has been an ongoing debate for decades
, but hear me out. Nurses are constantly looking to get paid more (as we should be), and demanding more respect (as we should be). However, I good-naturedly ask, why should we be expecting those things if the entry-level education requirement is the same as an auto mechanic or a dental hygenist? Granted, we hold people's health (and many times lives) in our hands -- but shouldn't that be even more
reason to demand a higher base education? True, with the nursing shortage the way it is, it's not necessarily a practical idea; but perhaps there's a way to grandfather in the existing ADN and diploma nurses and make a transition to the BSN requirement over a few years?
Second, it seems to me that many nurses (at least one's that I work with) are reluctant to get specialty certified in their fields (CCRN, CEN, etc.). Why? Sure, time is frequently a factor (especially if you have kids), but the reason I hear most is that there's no financial
incentive from hospitals. So? What better way to reinforce that "a nurse is not
a nurse" philosophy that to get specialty certified. Also what better way to impress upon patients, physicians, and the public that we're well educated and masters of our art than to get certification? Doctors love to get certified and credentialed because it increases patient confidence and garners collegue respect. Would it not do the same for nurses? The financial incentive (if you really
need one), is that if the public see us as specialists, there will be more public support for paying
us as specialists and professionals.
Just my $00.02 worth. Now I'm going to bed...
Nov 9, '01
How about BSN programs being a 5-yr curriculum with the last year strictly a residency? The BSN program could also be altered to include more core nursing. As far as a science back ground, I had 3 semesters of chemistry, 2 semesters of A&P, microbiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and basic biology. I think pre-science courses are required for nursing no matter what degree you get? As for NCLEX scores, they are like SAT's and GRE's and don't make a nurse a "better" nurse b/c of a particular score (some people are good test takers and some are not). I also like the canadian idea of requiring additional college classes to specialize.
Last edit by Julie, RN on Nov 9, '01