Education the cause of divisiveness? - page 2

Reading the posts on the general discussion board relating to the low down on education for the RN is certainly disturbing...I won't be posting on that thread again and many of you knew well enough... Read More

  1. by   llg
    Quote from orrnlori
    And llg, I agree that the ADN programs have become much more than 2 years. The very very least you can do most two year programs in is about 2 1/2 years taking a suicide load of classes. But is the answer to cut back at the ADN level or extend at the BSN level? And what about the question of the same number of nursing hours in each degree?

    Good question ... but I don't think it is a matter of hours. It's a matter of focus and emphasis. The ADN could focus on the basic "staff nurse" level skills with minimal content related to leadership, management, research, education, etc. The BSN would include the basic "staff nurse" level skill AND ALSO include the leadership, management, research, and education content necessary for more advanced roles. The BSN would, of course, also include more liberal arts content in keeping with the goal of most colleges to produce a generally well-rounded graduate with a broad, general knowledge of the world and an educated mind.

    This was the original intent ... with the bachelor's degree aiming for a broad education consistent with traditional concepts of university education and leadership ... and the associate's degree more geared toward technical preparation for a specific, entry-level or mid-level job. We lost that focus as employers ignored the educational background of job applicants and community colleges started to add more and more content to raise the level of their graduates.

    By the way ... I will have to leave this discussion over the weekend because I use my computer at work. Please don't be offended if I don't participate again until Monday.

  2. by   athomas91
    I cannot refer to all programs... what i can tell you is that my program was in my opinion was very difficult didactically and clinically...our instructors were only allowed to instruct part-time as they were required to work in whatever part of nursing they instructed in order to stay current (which i feel is VITAL)...our final semester - we had to seek out an area of interest, secure a preceptor and work his/her hours (120 hrs)
    i was required to know how to read ekg's...i was required to know all the vital cardiac drugs (generic and brand), i was required to know acls protocols.

    this said program has dropped it's standards considerably from what i have heard due to the shortage. they are letting those slip by who should not be allowed to slip by, they are letting some in the programs who have no right being there. and therein i believe lies the problem..and likely why you are seeing a lower "grade" of nurses all around.

    and i agree w/ the thought that there should be some type of uniformity to programs...i mean there has to be somewhat in order to be accredited...but is there enough uniformity that the same caliber of nurses are being put through?
  3. by   orrnlori
    Well the problem I would think with changing BSN classes to more management, leadership, etc.-oriented without increasing the actual nursing hours would be that you'd be turning out nurses who might be able to manage but not nurse. And no manager is effective unless they know what nurses really do. So I don't know about that. I know that at our flagship university the time it takes just to get through the university studies requirement is 2 1/2 years if you carry 12+ hours per semester, and that's for everybody no matter what your major is. So that leaves 1 1/2 years to the nursing core, which as I stated was the same for the AAS. So then the issue becomes should it be a 5 year degree rather than a 4 year degree or does it make more sense to delete some of the standard university requirements and replace them with more nursing, which is what I'd like to see happen but make the nursing classes tougher.

    I think the consistency issue is really more pertinent and will become more so as people begin to look to the internet for their continuing education. I have looked at RN-BSN programs from all over the country, probably somewhere around 30+. And in every instance there is NO consistency in core requirements. Like another poster stated you get to where your total hours to complete gets well into the number of hours to be half way through a master's degree. In talking to schools, they are very rigid and will not even consider a student not completing core requirements or making substitutions before entering the BSN, which sometimes leads one to 50 or more hours on top of 90 existing hours they may have from their AAS. I don't necessarily blame the nursing program departments for this as much as the administration of the school.

    I keep hearing that the students who are coming out of nursing programs are not high quality people. But that seems difficult to understand based on several factors, the largest factor is the difficulty of the actual nursing programs themselves. I've never yet encountered a single nurse who didn't think that nursing school was pure hell. Also they have to get through the famous "weed out" classes before they can even make application to the nursing programs. How can they be less intelligent, capable, motivated than their predecessors?
  4. by   OC_An Khe
    Whatever field of endeavor you are in that has more then one methodolgy of education for entrance to that feild you will have controversy. It is the nature of the beast.
    Remeber no one really learns Nusing in school. Nursing is learned through out your working carreer. It is a life long endeavor.
  5. by   Havin' A Party!
    In my view, the principal advantage of the BSN over the ADN is that it's broader in its coverage of non-technical subjects (humanities, etc.). And also that, because it takes a bit longer to complete, will likely yield an older, perhaps more mature graduate.

    However let's not forget that many new entrants to nursing may have even broader / more comprehensive degrees (sometimes multiple degrees are involved) and work / life experiences than the typical BSN student.

    Seems a little ludicrous to look at these folks as anything less than extremely capable, and thus should be welcomed with open arms.

    To me just about any bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree coupled with an ADN is a powerful combination.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    Gosh - I always promise myself that I won't get pulled into these ADN vs BSN discussions, but something one poster said piqued my interest. Outside influences are going to push nursing to the forefront of news coverage and to some extent, already have. Most people in the US know there is a nursing shortage and know that it might affect the care they or their families receive. I think that ANY RN who is conscientious, caring and intelligent is a joy to work with. That said, I also am in the process of upgrading my education. Why? Because in this day and age, you can't rest on your laurels. You must always strive to go farther and progress. Maybe its getting ACLS or PALS, maybe becoming a SANE nurse, or maybe its getting your BSN, MSN or PhD. Whatever we decide as individuals to do for ourselves should be applauded. Our country thrives on diversity. (Judi steps off podium)
  7. by   orrnlori
    Thank you Larry, that is my point entirely. It is unfortunate that universities and colleges who design programs don't take this sort of common sense into account when looking at a potential candidate to a BSN program and why I am so excited that there are several MSN programs that DO get the concept.

    The origin of this post was that there should be a higher threshold to entry level nursing but IMHO it is the education system that places barriers to this in the form of rigid systems in core requirements and extraneous electives that keep many people from obtaining higher degrees. Although education is becoming more flexible with various delivery systems like streaming video, blackboard, etc., they are still shutting out very competent existing nurses by throwing up more and more hurdles. This hurts us all. With the cost of education spiralling upward every year, not being flexible in education is shutting out all the theories espoused about the need for nurses to have more nursing education. I completely agree we need more education, I just believe that flexibilty and common sense needs to be thrown into the equation.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Lori - I agree that flexibility is so important. I'm finishing the University of Phoenix online ADN to BSN program in May. It has been very flexible. Good luck.
  9. by   orrnlori
    I have known several nurses who obtained their BSN and MSN through U of P. This is the kind of flexibility I'm talking about. I'm familiar with their program. U of P is a cost issue for some folks but again, it is looking at further educating nurses using a practical approach.

    Something I would like to see is a step education system, where colleges that offer ADN degrees have a systematic base program that then becomes the step on which all BSN programs add onto without having to go back and pick up 4-8+ (12-24+ credits) additional classes before one can progress to the BSN content. Since ADN programs are becoming more and more laboreous in their requirements, this should really be a matter of planning at its basic level. But ADN programs can't do it without some consistency from the universities, which right now doesn't exist.