What I've Decided About my Education

  1. I admit, I would like to have a BSN so that I could say I have a BSN, but I'm not sure that's a good idea. All I want--everything I want--is to be able to get and work shifts, be a BLS and ACLS instructor, and teach CNAs (or their equivalents) and maybe precept new nurses.

    In my state, Louisiana, none of those goals has anything whatsoever to do with having a BSN. BLS and ACLS is through the American Heart Association--has nothing to do with having a BSN--or even being a nurse. Training CNAs is all about the RN license. Has nothing to do with BSN, in fact, LPNs, here, can train CNAs.

    So, why would I spend 15K to do an RN to BSN? Ego? But I already have a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts which I've used the sh.. out of as a writer. For that matter I have two other associate degrees, besides my ADN. So, I'm not uneducated.

    And I'm 53. If I'm ever to be a supervisor, it will be because they like me, not because of my youthful ambitions. A BSN won't matter.

    So, all that money, all the time I could have been doing shifts (or sleeping in-between them), all the time I could have been making some extra cash teaching BLS or ACLS, or going through my Train the Trainer class to be a CNA instructor, all of that will be spent on a degree that actually does not help me get to my terminal targets in nursing.

    And not to mention: When I started in nursing it was all the rage--BSN for entry into nursing! Soon ADNs will be relegated to getting coffee for doctors and BSNs! You better get your BSN while you can! And who was talking this talk? The burgeoning bulge of nursing colleges. In truth--everything is exactly the same 15 years later as it was then--at least for me it is. It is, and has always been, about the license--not the degree.

    Anyway, I welcome any thoughts on this for or against.
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  2. Visit EGspirit profile page

    About EGspirit, RN

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 212; Likes: 348

    29 Comments

  3. by   NutmeggeRN
    For me, it was personal decision. (Made in 1978) My mom is a 3 year diploma grad and we fought bitterly over the type of program. I was fortunate to be able to go to a small private college. My BSN has served me well over the years. It disheartens me to have those who were not afforded that choice, or chose not to take that route, disparage the education I received. I would never talk down to someone who has an ADN. It would never occur to me, ever. But it often seems to be open season on the BSN. "Fluff courses, waste of time, I can run circles around the BSN nurses I know" etc. It is never ending.

    I value the degree I got, it has served me well. I am a proud alumnu of my college (now university). In school nursing, it has put me leaps and bounds above some other nurses financially, as I am paid parallel to the teachers. I was able to pursue my Masters and get compensated for it financially due to the advanced degree. I did not need to do it, I did it for me.

    And that is what we all should do.

    People need to make a choice and live with it, or make changes they can live with.
  4. by   EGspirit
    Quote from NutmeggeRN
    For me, it was personal decision. (Made in 1978) My mom is a 3 year diploma grad and we fought bitterly over the type of program. I was fortunate to be able to go to a small private college. My BSN has served me well over the years. It disheartens me to have those who were not afforded that choice, or chose not to take that route, disparage the education I received. I would never talk down to someone who has an ADN. It would never occur to me, ever. But it often seems to be open season on the BSN. "Fluff courses, waste of time, I can run circles around the BSN nurses I know" etc. It is never ending.

    I value the degree I got, it has served me well. I am a proud alumnu of my college (now university). In school nursing, it has put me leaps and bounds above some other nurses financially, as I am paid parallel to the teachers. I was able to pursue my Masters and get compensated for it financially due to the advanced degree. I did not need to do it, I did it for me.

    And that is what we all should do.

    People need to make a choice and live with it, or make changes they can live with.
    I assure you, I wasn't trying to disparage your degree. I was talking about me and my choice regarding it. Clearly, I'm torn and would like to have a BSN. But at this time in my life, and with the goals I now have as I re-enter nursing, I can't justify the cost or time of it, especially since I'm already educated at the bachelor's level.

    As for working circles around BSNs, that's not me...I work circles around everyone.
  5. by   Orion81RN
    Quote from NutmeggeRN
    For me, it was personal decision. (Made in 1978) My mom is a 3 year diploma grad and we fought bitterly over the type of program. I was fortunate to be able to go to a small private college. My BSN has served me well over the years. It disheartens me to have those who were not afforded that choice, or chose not to take that route, disparage the education I received. I would never talk down to someone who has an ADN. It would never occur to me, ever. But it often seems to be open season on the BSN. "Fluff courses, waste of time, I can run circles around the BSN nurses I know" etc. It is never ending.

    I value the degree I got, it has served me well. I am a proud alumnu of my college (now university). In school nursing, it has put me leaps and bounds above some other nurses financially, as I am paid parallel to the teachers. I was able to pursue my Masters and get compensated for it financially due to the advanced degree. I did not need to do it, I did it for me.

    And that is what we all should do.

    People need to make a choice and live with it, or make changes they can live with.
    OP has a history of simply stirring the pot for the sake of it. OP you already posted a thread regarding this issue not too long ago. We know your thoughts. We've shared ours. ADN vs BSN has been discussed ad nauseam here. Are we really starting this again?
  6. by   FolksBtrippin
    Sounds like you don't need a BSN. Where I live, you really do.
  7. by   pro-student
    Sometime it's just the cost of doing business. When you're a manager, you might have some say in hiring nurses without a BSN but to get there, you have to play by the rules. Maybe it is all just fluff or maybe those who actually have a BSN are in a better position to evaluate that. Maybe it has nothing to do with academics and is just an indicator of commitment to the profession and continuing your nursing education.

    I will point out, since it's "everything you want" that people without BSNs get and work shifts, teach ACLS, teach CNAs, and, yes, even precept new RNs. It's not impossible. Only you can make the decision about what trade offs you're willing to make (e.g. - relocate to an area where you can accomplishing your goal sans BSN or return to school...again). Best of luck!
  8. by   EGspirit
    Quote from Orion81RN
    OP has a history of simply stirring the pot for the sake of it. OP you already posted a thread regarding this issue not too long ago. We know your thoughts. We've shared ours. ADN vs BSN has been discussed ad nauseam here. Are we really starting this again?
    What do you care? And I haven't discussed this before--I couldn't have. The idea just came to me.
  9. by   EGspirit
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    Sounds like you don't need a BSN. Where I live, you really do.
    Why is that? Is it the hospitals or the competition for jobs?
    Last edit by EGspirit on Dec 14, '17
  10. by   EGspirit
    Quote from pro-student
    Sometime it's just the cost of doing business. When you're a manager, you might have some say in hiring nurses without a BSN but to get there, you have to play by the rules. Maybe it is all just fluff or maybe those who actually have a BSN are in a better position to evaluate that. Maybe it has nothing to do with academics and is just an indicator of commitment to the profession and continuing your nursing education.

    I will point out, since it's "everything you want" that people without BSNs get and work shifts, teach ACLS, teach CNAs, and, yes, even precept new RNs. It's not impossible. Only you can make the decision about what trade offs you're willing to make (e.g. - relocate to an area where you can accomplishing your goal sans BSN or return to school...again). Best of luck!
    Granted, there are certainly some goals in nursing that cannot be done without a BSN. It is unlikely that one would become a nursing manager (supervisor, maybe, but not a manager), without a BSN. And you can't get an MSN without a BSN, so teaching at a college would be out. As for a BSN being fluff, I never said that.

    But as for commitment to the profession, I don't buy that. Because if we measure commitment to the profession by any other yardstick than competence, compassion, and work ethic, then we are fooling ourselves. An RN is an associate degree position. Actually, it's not even that. It's a diploma-level position, but there are very few diploma schools anymore, so not too many diploma nurses are still around.

    A BSN has never been necessary--never. It's kind of a red herring. In truth, and I can say this because I have a bachelors in Liberal Arts with a concentration in psychology, and because I have three associate degrees besides that, I can tell you for a fact, having gone through nursing school that it legitimately should be a master's program. No associate degree in the universe compares with trying to get a nursing associate degree. It should be, if it were honest, that people need a bachelor's to get into nursing school, and then the two years of nursing school would be a master's degree.

    But if they did that--we'd have no registered nurses, or not enough of them, that's for sure.

    So, I personally think the BSN is a waste of time. But, the nursing industry does not think that, or operate that way, so what I personally think is not that important. But I won't listen to this idea that a BSN represents a more professional nurse. An RN license makes a professional nurse. It doesn't even matter what the ANA thinks, or what colleges try to sell, all that matters is what a state board of nursing thinks, and that only matters if you live in that state. So, what Louisiana thinks about nursing is all I care about.

    As for initials. I have every right to write my name with R.N., B.sc. I don't, because it's kind of rube-ish to put bachelor's degree initials after a name, but I could. When nurses put BSN after their RN, in my opinion, it does the "profession" a disservice because it implies a greater capability as a nurse, but it only means a greater capability in non-nursing functions.

    But these are just my personal opinions, and I know they don't mean anything beyond that, but I have this keyboard, and we are having this conversation, so I thought I would type it out. I don't mean any offense.
  11. by   Rocknurse
    You have to do you, I guess. While the BSN is a red herring to you, it most certainly isn't to me. In my state it's imperative to have it if you want to get anywhere or work in pretty much any acute hospital. I wouldn't have my job without a BSN and no one can now get hired in my last two departments without a BSN. In critical care in my state it's standard/required to hire BSN nurses. ADNs that apply simply aren't considered. Having a BSN, as well as a CCRN certification, has opened many doors to the point where any job application I send is replied to within 24 hours. I get calls back because of it. My last two jobs I was offered right at the end of the interview. Having a BSN shows ambition and upward mobility. The game of nursing is just that...a game...and you have to play it if you want to go on the ride. You can choose not to but the ride won't stop or even slow down for you. In my area (critical care and informatics) I wouldn't be able to get where I am without a BSN, and I most definitely wouldn't have gotten into grad school. One of my old charge nurses, who was the smartest person I ever worked for, was turned down for promotions and raises just because her master's was in public health and not nursing. It simply didn't count because it was not a nursing degree. Just some food for thought to anyone who might think that a parallel degree is sufficient in the world of nursing. Unless it's nursing it doesn't matter.
  12. by   EGspirit
    Quote from Rocknurse
    You have to do you, I guess. While the BSN is a red herring to you, it most certainly isn't to me. In my state it's imperative to have it if you want to get anywhere or work in pretty much any acute hospital. I wouldn't have my job without a BSN and no one can now get hired in my last two departments without a BSN. In critical care in my state it's standard/required to hire BSN nurses. ADNs that apply simply aren't considered. Having a BSN, as well as a CCRN certification, has opened many doors to the point where any job application I send is replied to within 24 hours. I get calls back because of it. My last two jobs I was offered right at the end of the interview. Having a BSN shows ambition and upward mobility. The game of nursing is just that...a game...and you have to play it if you want to go on the ride. You can choose not to but the ride won't stop or even slow down for you. In my area (critical care and informatics) I wouldn't be able to get where I am without a BSN, and I most definitely wouldn't have gotten into grad school. One of my old charge nurses, who was the smartest person I ever worked for, was turned down for promotions and raises just because her master's was in public health and not nursing. It simply didn't count because it was not a nursing degree. Just some food for thought to anyone who might think that a parallel degree is sufficient in the world of nursing. Unless it's nursing it doesn't matter.
    Oh, no, believe me, I know that a bachelor's degree in anything but nursing is useless for the most part in the nursing field. And I'm not sure how it is in the Northeast. Your profile says you're from CT, so, I guess it's different there than in the south or west--or middle for that matter. And, of course, it's all about supply and demand. But, nursing is not a bachelor's degree field. It's just not.

    But you know, neither is being a MacDonald's manager, but they want people with bachelor's degrees--it's supply and demand. Who wouldn't want bachelor's degree employees if can get them? If there's a glut of them, then you can mandate it.

    But even in CT, you can be an RN with a diploma. Heck, in CT, you can earn an associates through Excelsior's external degree program and get your RN. In fact, CT, as I have just been reading about at their website, is one of the easier states to be an RN. But! how many hospitals are there in CT? That's the question.

    There are about 30. In Louisiana, there are about 100. So, that's why the BSN matters in CT--not because CT cares about it, but it's supply and demand. No state requires a BSN.

    There is one thing the BSN does better than anything else, and there's really no way around this, it is the only path away from the bedside. But when the bullet hits the bone, so to speak, and hear me because this is true: nurses are needed for the bedside. They aren't needed anywhere else. They are used elsewhere, but they are only needed at the bedside--or to teach other nurses so they can be used at the bedside.

    Don't get me wrong, and please re-read my post: I would get a BSN, but given my personal goals in nursing, I can't afford it, neither in time or money. It won't get me anywhere I want to go that I can't already get to. That's all I'm saying. And I could ultimately be wrong.
  13. by   Rocknurse
    Sure you can find work as a diploma nurse in CT, but only as long as you want to work in a rinky-dink little community hospital or a dialysis clinic. If that's your goal have at it. If you want to work in critical care in any of the major hospitals like Yale, Hartford, St Francis or Middlesex, you won't get a foot in the door without a BSN. You just won't. It depends what your goals are. Me personally, I've preferred to work in a surgical ICU in one of the major hospitals so that I can progress to my soon to be new role of acute NP in critical care. I couldn't do that with a diploma because I wouldn't have been considered for my grad program which required a BSN and two years critical care experience. You can choose to follow whichever path you want, but if your goal is acute care in the North East you have to get your BSN. That's just the way it is. The door is closing.

    I've cared for patients on multiple vasoactive drips, IABPs, therapeutic hypothermia, VADs and CRRT and immediately recovered them from open heart surgery....you really should have a degree for that, as well as a certification. It's not the same role as someone working in a long term care facility. It's highly skilled specialist role. Those kind of nursing jobs are a whole other animal. Yes they need, and require, a BSN at the minimum. It may not be mandated by the state but good luck getting a foot in the door if that's the path you choose.
  14. by   EGspirit
    Quote from Rocknurse
    Sure you can find work as a diploma nurse in CT, but only as long as you want to work in a rinky-dink little community hospital or a dialysis clinic. If that's your goal have at it. If you want to work in critical care in any of the major hospitals like Yale, Hartford, St Francis or Middlesex, you won't get a foot in the door without a BSN. You just won't. It depends what your goals are. Me personally, I've preferred to work in a surgical ICU in one of the major hospitals so that I can progress to my soon to be new role of acute NP in critical care. I couldn't do that with a diploma because I wouldn't have been considered for my grad program which required a BSN and two years critical care experience. You can choose to follow whichever path you want, but if your goal is acute care in the North East you have to get your BSN. That's just the way it is. The door is closing.

    I've cared for patients on multiple vasoactive drips, IABPs, therapeutic hypothermia, VADs and CRRT and immediately recovered them from open heart surgery....you really should have a degree for that, as well as a certification. It's not the same role as someone working in a long term care facility. It's highly skilled specialist role. Those kind of nursing jobs are a whole other animal. Yes they need, and require, a BSN at the minimum. It may not be mandated by the state but good luck getting a foot in the door if that's the path you choose.
    I worked ICU for 5 years, as well as cardiology. I worked in a Cardiac ICU in Arizona, was IABP certified, transplant patients, etc. To say "you should have a degree for that" is just not true. There's nothing in the BSN programs that includes advanced technical skills required in the ICU, and you don't get certified until you've already been doing those things. So, you present a specious argument for a BSN.

    But I do agree you have to have a BSN to do what you want to do, which is to become an NP. And so, I realize you have to defend your position, and you have to believe your path in nursing is a superior path, because you are investing a lot in it, and you're probably very smart. However, it is a mistake to compare areas of nursing as if one is better than the other. A competent intelligent dialysis nurse is as essential to a renal patient as a competent ICU nurse is to an ICU patient.

    A lot of times people lose sight of what the nursing profession really is, and what it's about. The profession is caring--not diagnosing and prescribing treatments, not teaching people how to computer chart, not helping lawyers rifle through medical records in a law suit. Nurses are used for those things, but that's not the profession. Some lawyers become FBI agents, but the profession of law is about doing legal services for clients. Likewise, the profession of nursing is about caring for people who can't care for themselves so as to help them get better, or to ease their sufferings if they can't get better. And also to educate people on health issues or teach nursing itself.

    Doctors are applied scientists who diagnose and treat. That's not nursing. But, a lot of people get into nursing with mental reservations and purposes of evasion, so to speak. They only do bedside nursing as a way to get to something they consider "higher."

    So, I know that I won't always be able to work at the bedside, but for as long as I can, I want to, and then I can hopefully transition into teaching, but I want to teach at the lowest level where it makes the most difference (CNA, Patient care tech, nurse extenders, etc.).

    You got to do what you got to do. And so do I. I don't think value judgments help anything. You see, because for as lowly as you see me, I see you that way but for the opposite reasons. I see actual nursing, bedside nursing, as the highest calling a human being can serve as a profession. Anything else is lesser.

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