A Different Approach to the ADN vs. BSN Debate - page 7
Over and over again, we read the same things on these threads. Pay BSN's more at the bedside, and mandate a BSN for all entry level nurses. There is widespread assumption that a BSN mandate would... Read More
Mar 9, '07Quote from SpaceshuttleRNI don't know who said that patients don't have as much for or confidence in ADN RNs. There's just an assumption that many people have that nursing can't be THAT difficult or demanding if you "only" need a two-year degree.First of all when it comes to the idea of patients not having as much respect for or confidence in ADN RNs as they have for BSN RNs, let me ask you this," Do you walk around with your degree listed on your name tag? "
And why are they promoting all of these accelerated BSN and direct-entry MSN programs? Because a whole set of potential nurses weren't considering nursing because they already have a bachelor's degrees and going back to school for an associate's degree in order to practice nursing feels like going backwards.
You get the respect and confidence that you deserve based on what you project through your actions. Your name on a degree does not prove you can function, only that you managed to pass a course based on book knowledge. Getting a BSN doesn't make you a good nurse anymore than recognizing numbers makes you an expert mathmatician.
Mar 9, '07In Wyoming there is one University and it is in the South Eastern part of the state. There are 7 ADN programs scattered throughout the state. Many nursing students are non-traditional in the ADN programs and would not be able to relocate to attend the University so would not have found Nursing to be an option if the ADN programs were not there.
In 2005 there were a total of 213 new nurse graduate students from in State that sat for Boards (for Wyoming License) and out of that 213, 40 were from the BSN program. I think there would definitely be a hardship in the already stressed work place if the remaining 173 had not had the opportunity to attend an ADN program.
At my place of employment RN jobs are always open. There is a shortage now that cannot be filled and last June alone there were 13 new grads hired from both ADN and BSN programs. I know my hospital would be in a real pickle if the ADN's had not been available for hire. The University BSN program already has a waiting list so it would not have been able to accommodate the overflow of applications. The 7 ADN programs have on average >120 applications each year and each accepts from 24-48 students each year.
ragsLast edit by rags on Mar 9, '07
Mar 9, '07Quote: MOST teachers DO need a college degree to be qualified to teach. That doesn't mean they are better. It's just a reality in the job market. Can you see where someone might dismiss the knowledge and skill of nurse when a kindergarten teacher seems to have more education? Notice I say seems. I'm talking about people who are looking from the outside.
Well around here a teacher could get a degree in ANYTHING they choose then teach. That's scarry in my book. Someone with a bachelors in mountian management could be your childs teacher.
Mar 9, '07Quote from tarshamarie123Where I am, a teaching credential is also required on top of the bachelor's. That's a year-long program full-time. Some local places when desparate will hire someone who is enrolled in a part-time credential program. To teach secondary level, the teacher must also have a related degree or have taken relevant coursework and passed the appropriate single subject test. Perhaps less than ideal, but there are requirements beyond any college degree. Maybe it's different in your state.Well around here a teacher could get a degree in ANYTHING they choose then teach. That's scarry in my book. Someone with a bachelors in mountian management could be your childs teacher.
But back to nursing... I think it's scary that current nursing education tends to only introduce nursing students to nursing and the wide variety of health conditions they might come across and the rest is learned "on the job." Even still on orientation, the new grad is immediately asked to use their "nursing judgement" in assessing patient status and in critically reviewing physician orders - even though judgement is honed through experience and many just don't have THAT much of that kind of clinical experience.
Mar 9, '07Jjjoy, I agree with you. My father is a teacher and he had to have a Bachelor's Degree in education, which included what we would consider "clinicals" while he served his time as a student teacher. Then he had to become certified to teach in this state and, after he moved, he had to become certified to teach in that state as well. I wonder if it does vary in the different states, but I know ours is very strict as is the one he is currently teaching in.
Anyway, I also agree with your second statement as well. Perhaps I will feel more prepared after my second year, but being a first-year student, I feel nervous about the idea of putting LPN after my name in June - it's just not that far away and I feel I still have so much more to learn. I don't have any solutions though or know how things could be done differently, but I do wish I felt more prepared. This is in no way a reflection of the type of education I am getting either, I am lucky to be in one of the best programs in the state and am learning a ton, I just know that there are still vast amounts of knowledge out there yet for me to explore.
Mar 9, '07This is a hard debate, but I think the OP's questions are very important. First off, I am an ADN RN and yes, I am starting my BSN classes this month. Not because I don't think I'm a good nurse, but because I want to someday teach and I need my degrees for that.
I believe wholeheartedly that a nurse (ADN or BSN) improves his/her practice by education but not necessarily by advanced degree. I would prefer an ADN RN who goes out of his/her way to keep up to date on practice, looks for important CEUs, certifications etc, that directly impact the nurses' work at the bedside, rather than a BSN grad who does the minimum required of his/her facility and that's it.
I agree that it would be very difficult to mandate a BSN for entry-level nursing. It would put a severe burden on areas, such as those mentioned above, that do not have local university settings. Areas that are typically underserved would remain so, and that problem would worsen.
It would put a severe burden on 2nd career students who are entering nursing in their late 30's and 40's, as well. When one has a family and a full-time job to contend with, there is much to be considered. Would I have decided to become a nurse (starting back to school at age 36) had I been required to do a 4 year degree? Probably not. The money simply wasn't there for that kind of commitment and I had 4 kids at home. That would have been one less nurse in the work force, and I'm sure the same applies to many others.
Perhaps one day, when most RNs ARE BSNs, it could be mandated, but I just don't see how we can do it now and keep the working nurse force we have (let alone address the working conditions and shortages).
Personally, I'd like to see nurses of ALL degrees band together and stand up for better working conditions, fair pay and ratios and respect for the work we do. After we can ALL stand up together, then maybe we can talk about the details.
My 2 cents.
Mar 9, '07Quote from EmerNurse:yeahthat:Personally, I'd like to see nurses of ALL degrees band together and stand up for better working conditions, fair pay and ratios and respect for the work we do. After we can ALL stand up together, then maybe we can talk about the details.
My 2 cents.
Mar 9, '07I chose to get my ADN, the difference in classes between ADN and BSN was a chemistry and 12 hours of humanities, and I did not think that would better prepare me to be a nurse. (oh yeah, there was one hour micro lab credit difference too) We all take the same test. Since ADN's are "educated" enough to take the same licensure exam as BSN's, maybe they should make the BSN's exam longer and harder since they are better "educated". Because someone has 12-15 extra credit hours does not mean they are more educated.
I have worked in nephrology for the past 10 years, and have met nurses in this field from ADN's to Masters. All of them said they did not get Nephrology training in college, outside of a snippet about ESRD and basic A & P. You learn the most about your specialty after you get out of school.
I have actually had home health BSN prepared nurses tell my patients to drink more water, sending bananas and oranges to treatment with them as snacks, ect. I also had a resident at the hospital pumping 1000cc of saline/hr into one of my patients. She looked like a balloon, and the resident said she thought she was dehydrated. I think it is a safe bet to to assume that resident had more hours of education than most BSN's. Its not about which degree you have, its about critical thinking skills and IQ.
Mar 9, '07The following is cut and paste from a few previous posts of mine:
I think it bears repeating that almost no one is saying that ASNs aren't good RNs or even that BSNs are better nurses. The question is about the often arbitrary educational requirements to be qualified to apply for certain jobs.
It's true you learn a lot on the job but you still need some kind of basic foundation and screening out process. The question is how much foundation is enough foundation? What criteria must be met to allow someone to hold the title of "nurse" or "practical nurse" or "registered nurse"? The criteria can and do change over time, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Mar 9, '07Quote from hemorn1I wouldn't mind this at all. Give the BSN's a test that is reflected of their extra courses in reasearch, management theory, etc. Then there would be a distinction.I chose to get my ADN, the difference in classes between ADN and BSN was a chemistry and 12 hours of humanities, and I did not think that would better prepare me to be a nurse. (oh yeah, there was one hour micro lab credit difference too) We all take the same test. Since ADN's are "educated" enough to take the same licensure exam as BSN's, maybe they should make the BSN's exam longer and harder since they are better "educated". Because someone has 12-15 extra credit hours does not mean they are more educated.
The difference between most ADN and BSNs is not a matter of 12-15 credit hours. If it is again, as I've been saying, ADNs should be outraged. But since it's not true, I'm not outraged.
Mar 10, '07Quote from FullTimeTravelerLazy because someone chose an ADN program? Theses are the kind of statements that add to the divisiveness in the profession and drag it down.1st, mandatory BSNs would stop the generalization of ADNs and BSNs all as RNs. 2nd, although many have argued that ADNs are just as good as BSNs, no one can argue that they're better degrees, where as God knows how many nurses have argued that BSNs are a superior form of education. I never argued that there aren't extremely intelligent ADNs. But to simply get an ADN when you have the choice of getting a BSN b/c it will essentially get you the same job is just plain lazy. The problem lies in this good enough attitude. We're in the medical field. We should be striving for excellence, not the idea that "I'm just as good as the next person".Last edit by PANurseRN1 on Mar 10, '07
Mar 10, '07I am currently enrolled in an ADN program and will graduate in May. I have already applied for the BSN program. I must say after researching some of this in our Nursing Issues class, that there is a difference in ADN nurses and BSN nurses. The education preparation is different. When I first started school people would comment that ADN prepared students had a higher board passing rate than BSN prepared nursing students. I looked over our board newsletter and that was correct at that time. Now our Missouri board has changed the way the boards are being written. They now focus more on management and prioritizing care than they do diseases process. So prior to this change our ADN School had 98% board pass rates. After this change occurred our board rate decreased. This is when our school integrated managing and other BSN responsibilities in our ADN classes along with adding the Nursing Issue class I am currently in. NO these classes are not going to bring us up to a BSN prepared level, however it does give you some insight into the differences in the two degrees. I will say that nursing school is extremely hard, no matter what degree level it is. For us ADN graduate nurses there does appear to be a difference in the degree areas. ADN prepared nurses traditional do have a lot of bedside skills and BSN seem to get a lot of management tools.
I recently was able to get in some clinical time at a hospital that has a different delivery model than most hospitals I have been exposed to. They allow nurses to be placed in various positions based on education and experience. So an ADN nurse can work on the floor or they can do a role that this hospital has as Clinical Care Coordinator. Then the BSN prepared nurses can do any of these positions and it opens them to nurse managers and Patient Care Coordinators. When I asked the DON to explain this decision to me she stated "The CCC has clinical responsibilities and an ADN nurse is prepared to handle that potion. The PCC is more managing the patients and education, which is a BSN prepared nurse role. The PCC is much like a case manger that follows a patient while they are in the hospital and coordinates care with the doctor and other healthcare staff. Yes, the CCC is higher ranking as far as the hierarchy goes, but the responsibilities are very different".
After she explained this to me it helped me see the difference between these two areas of educational levels. I just thought I would share some information with you about my experience in these areas. I see both sides, but why would we ever want to mandate BSN nurses! I am not sure I understand that. Let's work to make administration recognize these differences and utilize the educational preparation each group has by increasing wages and creating positions that utilize BSN educational background!!! Food for thought!