first, let me say that i am not trying to drum up a debate between adn vs. bsn, etc. we have other threads for that. i just wanted to make everyone aware of what is going on and being proposed in ny state. i think we should all band together and make our voices heard. while i am planning on going on to get my bsn eventually, things happen and while i am planning on leaving ny state after i graduate, again things happen. i think it is important that we stand up for ourselves (those of us that feel this is wrong).
report: may 2004state nursing board proposes 'advancement of the profession' initiative
by nancy j. webber
the new york state board for nursing (sbfn) recently agreed to recommend to the state board of regents that registered nurses with diploma or associate degrees be required to attain bachelor's degrees in nursing within 10 years of their licensure.
the requirement would apply only to rns and nursing students who enter practice after the measure is enacted - all currently practicing rns and nursing students would be exempted.
the "advancement of the profession" initiative was passed unanimously by the sbfn at its december 2003 meeting. the proposal has not yet been presented to the board of regents and there is no specific time frame for this to happen.
"we are gathering information at this stage," said darlene mccown, chair of the sbfn. "we want to make sure that all new york rns understand this proposal and how it will affect nurses in the future. we want the whole profession to benefit."
some frequently asked questions about the sbfn proposal:
is this the same as previous proposals to require rns to have bachelor's degrees in order to enter nursing practice?
no. individuals would still be able to earn associate or diploma degrees as their basic professional nursing education. once licensed, they would be fully qualified rns. this plan preserves both associate degree and baccalaureate nursing education.
would this create two levels of nurses?
no. all licensed rns would be able to practice the full scope of rn practice. but a bachelor's degree does have some advantages. currently, rns with bachelor's in nursing degrees are able to advance to higher levels of responsibility within their own facilities, apply for federal positions, and work in certain specialties such as public health.
what would happen to rns who are ad graduates and do not complete a bachelor's degree within the time frame?
this aspect of the proposal is still under discussion. one idea is that their rn licenses would be considered to be "inactive," meaning they could not practice as rns until they had attained their bachelor's degrees. this would not involve any disciplinary action. an rn with an inactive license could apply for an lpn license during this period.
why is this proposal being made at this time?
the sbfn points to a statewide survey released last year, which revealed more than 60% of new york registered nurses entering the workforce are educated at the ad level. this is in sharp contrast to the recommendation by the national advisory council on nurse education and practice that at least two thirds of the nurse workforce should have baccalaureate or higher degrees by the year 2010. this recommendation was made because of the increasing complexity of health care and nursing practice.
how would a nurse with an associate degree afford a bachelor's degree?
to earn bachelor's degrees within 10 years, it's estimated that an rn would have to take about two courses a year. the sbfn expects that there would be an increase in rn-to-bsn "completion" programs to meet this need. there are efforts underway to make these programs easily accessible for rns across the state. public funds might be available (such as the federal nurse reinvestment act) and employers would be motivated to sponsor courses to make sure rns working for them will maintain active rn licenses.
the "two-step" path to a bachelor's degree is fairly common. the sed survey found that 21% of rns with associate degrees had advanced to bachelor's degrees and 9% went on to master's degrees. about 30% of the state's rns now hold associate degrees as their highest nursing degree. of these, more than 35% are considering advancing their education.
what will the next step be?
the proposal is being discussed with many groups, such as the nysna board of directors, nursing specialty organizations, and nursing schools. the nysna board of directors supports the concept of this proposal as a way of strengthening the profession through additional education.
"this plan has been put out for discussion, and it offers an innovative and creative approach for consideration," said karen ballard, nysna's director of special projects.
more information about this proposal is available at the nysna web site (www.nysna.org
) or by contacting ballard at 800-724-nyrn, ext. 242. if you have questions or would like to express your opinion on the plan, you also may write to the nys education department, office of the professions, state board for nursing, 89 washington ave., albany, ny 12234 or e-mail email@example.com