Is BSN entry to practice....

  1. Is BSN entry to practice a proactive measure to keep foreign trained nurses out of Canada?

    I am seeing two sides here.

    You have the angels in the sky press release version. This is the version where some nursing prof., whom hasn't had to deal in bedside nursing in over a decade, extolling the virtues of Baccalaureate prepared nurses. In her/his speeching you will hear "critical thinkers" mentioned at least a dozen times. I have personally met a Nursing professor who snubs Diploma nurses. The irony is that most of these older battle axes started in a hospital diploma program and later "upgraded" to BSN. The upgrade was not for personal gain, academic enlightenment, or because they were bored. It was for a chance to get into a management position.

    Then there is the version I am seeing unfold as I progress thru nursing school.

    This is the part where Canadians are not so different from our southern neighbours. Our supreme arrogance, looking down on the world like we are so much superior to them. Canada is so damned short of nurses. So what is our magical solution? 1) Make it even harder to recruit foreign nurses and 2) Kick Cdn Dilploma Prepared nurses in the jewels. Manitoba is the last place where DNs are trained and here is where they stay. The rest of Canada does not want them because of a legislated Superiority Complex.

    I uphold DN's worthiness for many reasons. First, my mom is a DN and she is way smarter than some of the BN's I have worked with, not to mention her work ethic surpasses some of these "superior bred" BSNs. Second, I never stop hearing how the hospital nurses prefer diploma students b/c of their early ingraining of clinical skills.

    Canadians, if Canada does not want you, look down. By "down" I mean south of our borders. A LOT of american hospitals pay the full tuition for RN-BSN.

    What is it that the CNA is so afraid of with Diploma Nurses???
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    The CNA is working on something called the 2020 Nursing Initiative to revamp Cdn. nursing education.

    Their leader spoke at various LPN conventions this year via the wonders of the web. In his "chat" he spoke of how he forsaw the PN diploma as the entry to hospital nursing by the year 2020, with the BScN, etc, being achieved after initial PN registration. He talked of a two year step ladder approach, right up to year 10 of education for the PhD nurse.

    Now, some of this makes sense. But it does no favours to any nurse in the Canadian job market today. LPNs working in acute care today are being expected to pick up more and more of the skills and responsibilities of the RN. Right now many of us are operating past the level of diploma/hospital trained nurses of the 1980s. And at below the starting wage for new grad RNs.

    Capital Health has spent a fortune travelling to the Phillipines, Australia, New Zealand and other countries to recruit RNs. Have they offered any education assistance to their PNs to upgrade to BScN or their diploma RNs to upgrade to BScN. Hell no. No foreign travel for management that way.

    They should be focussing on upgrading their existing staff instead of importing nurses with no Canadian experience and having to pay relocation costs. What it will cost to relocate one overseas nurse would pretty much pay for a year at university for an existing nurse.

    I really want to see if CNA will have the cojones to follow through with this. I think it will be a case of very sour grapes for some very new grads from the universities.
  4. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Very good questions. I'm a diploma nurse, and I'll die a diploma nurse. (Incidentally I trained in Manitoba!) I too got the "critical thinking" song and dance until I was ready to hurl... and it was when the diploma school was trying to justify rejecting my application. I asked them if they thought I needed critical thinking skills to care for my son, who had open-heart surgery at the age of 2 days, then 3 1/2 years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for a malignant blood disorder, then a liver transplant to overcome the side effects of his disease and its treatment, which then cause him to stroke and require intensive care for 7 weeks and ongoing rehab... That was met with stone-faced silence. I graduated three years later.

    There are many arguments about why nurses should be degree prepared. They all are rooted in the "professional" definition. "How can someone be considered a professional if they don't have a degree? Other health care professionals have degrees, PT,OT, Speech needs a Masters, blah blah blah." There are nursing faculty members here who slam nursing unions as promulgating a blue-collar perception of nursing. But I don't see the CNA, the provincial 'colleges', the nursing school faculty out there pushing for safe working conditions, adequate wages and benefits. Hmmm hmmm... don't the faculty members themselves belong to a union? Doesn't that then make them blue collar ghetto dwellers too? Years ago I did a side-by-side comparison of the actual education received by students in the U of M program and the Red River program, and guess what! The Red River program actually provided significantly more hours of instruction and clinical practice than the U of M, even though the program was half as long in calendar months. The Manitoba Nurses' Union published my study.

    I work with a large number of relatively new nursing 'professionals'. Is it professional to embark on a career path without fully understanding what will be required of you? Is it professional to then refuse to work nights, weekends or holidays, having gone into the career knowing that it's a we-never-close job? Is it professional to take a full time position in a very short-staffed unit then go casual because you didn't get your vacation in the summer? Is it professional to feel so superior and smug about yourself because you have BScN after your name that you won't listen to the voice of experience telling you your patient is going to crump... and then stand there wringing your hands when it happens and you don't have a clue what to do? If you put all the nurses that work in my unit together in a room and observed them providing care, you would not be able to tell anyone which ones have degrees and which ones don't, unless you use their age as a clue.

    I don't know what the solution is, but I do agree that if they are ever going to insist that all nurses have degrees, then tuition reimbursement and living cost subsidies will have to be part of the deal.
  5. by   SN2bExpAt
    Are the foreign nurses that Capital Health is recruiting Baccalauraeate prepared? If not, that is one glaring hypocrisy.

    Or is it that the RNs brought from overseas being settled into Canada as LVN/LPNs?

    This is the same "better than you" attitude I see the Canadian Medical community taking towards Aussie trained doctors. Canada is willing to accept OZ docs into family or pediatrics, but slam the door in their faces if they want to practice a specialized field (cardiology, neurology, nephrology, et al). I guess the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada do not want their cash cow niches being taken up by equal quality trained Aussies.

    Is that what the CNA is afraid of? The availability, the choice of where nursing grads wish to practice is pretty open right now due to our shortage. This is an attractive selling point getting people to consider nursing as a career. If nursing positions, especially the "higher regarded" ones (ICU, Cardiology/Coronary, ER) are getting eaten up by foreigners, this makes it harder for canadian grads to secure a position they want in their senior practicum and eventual career.

    Please tell me I am wrong. If keeping the status quo of Canadians in the upper echelons is the driving force behind the miles of red tape foreign nurses have to jump thru, then we are petty indeed. When the care of Canada's sick and needy take a backseat to nursing politics, it makes me a little ashamed that I am represented by these inferiority complex driven nurse "leaders".
  6. by   suzanne4
    RNs being brought in from overseas are working as nursing assts and nothing more until they take and pass their licensing exams. They are not being brought into work in the LPN role, same way that they cannot do that in the US either.

    If a country requires the BSN for the nurse to practice where they trained as beginning level, then that is what they need to work in your country. Example: the Philippines only licenses those that have obtained the BSN there, the others that go any other route cannot practice there and cannot practice in the US either if they do not have a visa that will permit them to.

    I am also a Diploma grad, have several other degrees, and will keep it like that for nursing. No reason for me to go any further in nursing at this point, already have a Master's degree but not in nursing. And I have never been not able to get a job and do what I want.
  7. by   RGN1
    Not all Canadian provinces require BSN......yet. I don't have BSN - trained the good old fashioned way - but I have a job offer in Canada. They were much more interested in my 11 years experience than in the letters after my name!

    I hope it stays that way!
  8. by   dayshiftnurse
    to suzanne4:i don't think your statements are 100% correct regarding a foreign nurse not being allowed to work here if they do not already hold a bsn degree. i called the college of nurses in ontario about this issue very specifically since i have a friend who holds the equivalent of a diploma from another country and wants to come and work here.first of all, the woman i spoke to was quite tight-lipped and acted as though i was asking her questions off the record--was not happy to give out ANY information at all and was non-committal with the little info she did give me.

    i found this to be completely inappropriate, the college is suppose to be a transparent body to help and protect the public...nurses are members of the public and if we need information regarding entry to practice, we shouldn't have to pull teeth.anyway, what she did tell me very specifically is NOT EVERY FOREIGN NURSE IS SUBJECT TO THE BSN REQUIREMENT--i asked her to clarify this for me several times. and she said, it "would not be fair to turn away a nurse from another country with lots of experience, just because they didin't have a bsn" and that "their expereince would be taken into consideration for the assessment, and they may be able to endorse even without the bsn and take upgrading courses" or something like that. and she would give absolutely no information on their policy of accepting rn-bsn programs from other jurisdictions beyong the short list that they recommend (ie., ryerson, etc..)

    i actually wasn't too happy about this since i know a lot of people right here in toronto have lots and lots of expereince as practical nurses and cannot go onto the rn level without pretty much starting all over again in school.

    i personally don't think foreign nurses should get any special consideration over nurses already citiizens here, that seems backwards to me. also the bridging programs specifically created for foreign nurses, alot of money and resouces go into those programs while nursing spots and schools have shrunk or schools been closed down for people here. (ie., all the high school rpn programs were dismanted a few years back--would have been very easy for the school system to maintain those programs and then maybe provide an extra 6 months of college training to bridge those students to the diploma rpn level--this was a very efficient, low-cost way of training bright young nurses) also no briding programs for psw's either, who have excellent patient care skills.

    and i think that the college needs to be very upfront about what their policies are for endorsement, and not hide facts from the nursing body. we pay alot of money to be members and deserve fair and equal access to information.i just feel that canadian nurses or would-be nurses here are getting the short end of the deal.

    i agree with the previous writer, that the amount of money they waste on recruiting in foreign country could be spent more wisely training nurses here at much lower cost and more equitable. why isn't the college of ontario addressing that serious issue? why being so elitist about nursing profession. doesn't seem right to me.
    Last edit by dayshiftnurse on Dec 31, '07

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