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 beforehand not to do so. It seems that those who are expressing the most anger are ADN-prepared RN's...sure, I can see it from their perspective as I was initially involved in preparing RN's at this level. But, my question is, when will we decide on the entry level to practice issue for the RN? It was proposed in the 50's by the ANA and remains unresolved. What can be done to speed up this process or should we all just let it go due to the nursing shortage? With as much anger as I have read throughout that thread, I wonder how this would not affect patient care? If someone has these issues and works side-by-side with RN's who are diploma, ADN or BSN-prepared and has not resolved their thoughts and feelings...how do they keep that hidden? Until this is resolved, the professional RN will continue to struggle to define his/her role and feelings of powerlessness.
One of the problems seems to me to be that so many ADN programs keep adding requirements to the point where they approximate a BSN program. That fuels the fires of discords because it decreases the difference between the academic degrees. The original intent of the ADN degree was to prepare a basic, beginner-level nurse for the bedside in 2 years -- no higher expectation and no more requirements.
However, as ADN requirements and expectations have increased, it is no wonder that their graduates are angry when they are not considered to have an education equal to that of the BSN's. I think the anger is sometimes being directed at the wrong people -- the BSN's. That anger should be directed at the ADN program administrators and faculty who keep lengthening their programs and trying to establish a set of unrealistic expectations for their students and graduates.
I don't think the different level are the main problem -- it is that the different levels have been blurred. If the levels were kept distinct, with clear sets of requirements and expectations of each level, there would be far fewer problems.
Last edit by llg on Mar 5, '04