ADN vs. BSN for Entry Level Nursing - page 6

The new push is for all nurses to be baccalaureate prepared, eliminating the 2 year associate degree program. Given the current and future nursing shortage, what is your opinion?... Read More

  1. Visit  Tweety profile page
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    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I disagree. That is your definition of a profession. It is not necessary the only or even the most prominent view of a profession. For example, on the other extreme, no MD would consider holding only a bach degree as definitive of their profession.


    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    Points well taken.

    I didn't say I agreed with the position and it's not my definition, but I do stand corrected on one point. Let me say that specific for nursing the criteria for nurses to be considered a profession, the minimum education requirement is the BSN. Obviously it's a definition made by people you hotly disagree with - academia and the ANA.
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  3. Visit  ZASHAGALKA profile page
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    Quote from Tweety
    Points well taken.

    I didn't say I agreed with the position and it's not my definition, but I do stand corrected on one point. Let me say that specific for nursing the criteria for nurses to be considered a profession, the minimum education requirement is the BSN. Obviously it's a definition made by people you hotly disagree with - academia and the ANA.
    Well let me say this, for the ANA to be considered the spokespeople for our PROFESSION, they would have to recruit significantly more than 5% of our numbers. The fact that they cannot recruit more nurses speaks volumes about their advocacy. I routinely say this about the ANA: Consider the source.

    When "they" get to 25%, "they" can come back and talk. Until then, I'm at liberty to ignore "THEIR" definition of a profession because "THEY" are not "US".

    Let's turn the ANA's position on its head. One of the definitions of profession is that a profession has a strong and vibrant professional organization. I didn't come up with this definition, 'they' did (academia in their propaganda to BSN students). It could be argued that, EVEN WITH BSN ENTRY, that we would still not be a profession because we don't have a strong professional organization. In that case, we aren't a profession BECAUSE the ANA is such a failure, only recruiting 5% of nurses. This is the danger with using arbitrary definitions to describe a profession; for those that wish to deny us a place at the table, such definitions are always conveniently subject to being changed. Or in the case of the ANA, it is always subject to change as a motivational tool for shaping behavior to get us to acquire yet one more thing before we can have our carrot.

    And isn't that at key issue in using arbitrary standards to define a profession. Those definitions are not objective measures; they are motivational carrots (first to get us to BSN, then as a rationale to motivate us to join the ANA, and thereafter, to move the standard to MSN). Excuse me if I'm somewhat cynical of such an exercise in semantics. Especially since the true import of such an exercise is to rob us of more than mere semantics; it is power-robbing.

    I would think that, since BSN is still the minority, that a BSN definition of nursing as a profession remains a minority viewpoint. AS I said in my last post, that is your (or the ANA's, as relayed by you) definition; it is not the only definition, nor is it likely the most prominent definition of profession in nursing.

    I'll give you another example, many in academia consider BSN entry as the first step towards a MSN standard for nursing. For THEM, MSN is the definition of nursing as a profession. In that case, BSN is holding us back as a profession. This argument is progressive in nature, but more important, it is pervasive in holding us back as a profession. Why? As long as WE don't consider ourselves professional, then simply put, we aren't.

    BSN is an arbitrary standard. The definition of profession includes the concept of an independent, protected body of knowledge. BSN can describe that, but it is not the only way to describe it.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Mar 1, '07
  4. Visit  ZASHAGALKA profile page
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    There are powerful metamessages at play in this definition of profession.

    BSN proponents vest 'profession' in BSN because it vests their interests. That is a completely arbitrary definition, as I pointed out, subject to continual reinterpretation. But this concept serves a vested interest and not an objective measure.

    I believe this concept is unintentionally antipathetic to nursing as a whole.

    At issue is the concept of vocation vs. profession. Professor Heyes, as discussed on this site, decribes a low paid nurse as a better nurse BECAUSE we are a vocation and not a profession. This arbitrary definition of a profession gives such arguments the lens of credibility. (Professor Heyes and his economics paper, Why a Low Paid Nurse is a Good Nurse, has been discussed in a few places on this site and a quick search should reveal those threads)

    UNTIL we can come to a consensus that we are a profession, we have robbed ourselves of key power roles at our bargaining tables. I assure you that those that sit opposite of us at those tables do not want to consider us a profession. BSN will not make a difference at those negotiations. Once attained, the standard, like the proverbial carrot, will just be moved.

    Let me repeat something I said, there is sufficient expertise in nursing today to consider it a profession. If the argument is that only a bach degree will confer the credibility for US to consider ourselves a profession, then I'm dubious that there is power in such thinking, or in such credentials. If we can't consider ourselves a profession now, then every attempt to attain that brass ring will ultimately prove illusory. Think about it in terms of 'bait and switch'.

    By any objective measure, nursing IS a profession. Internal debates aside, nursing needs to embrace this fact. I consider it a grave disservice to disenfranchise nursing from professional status for the purpose of motivating an internal debate or for the purposes of vesting some of our stakeholders at the expense of the profession as a whole. It is a short-sighted argument. The only reason such arguments hold a flicker of resonance is because we are so disunified as a profession. The problem is that these very types of arguments only serve to entrench that disunity. That is a much greater danger to our 'professional' status than any arbitrary and shifting measure of educational standards.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Mar 1, '07
  5. Visit  Tweety profile page
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    Good points Timothy.


    You're right the "governing body" is a joke.

    However, I don't think the only requirement they are seeking to enter into a profession is the bachelor's degree. Your forgetting about having a language of our own separate from doctors....you're favorite....the Nursing Diagnosis.

    I also don't think they sit around thinking "let see what we can do to divide nurses further".

    But I agree, they should call Nursing a "profession" and drop it. The idea of defining nursing as a profession, simply started to get us our of the umbrella of the "medical field", hand-maidens to doctors, and into a separate profession. We've come a long way. Nurses teach nurses, nurses manage nurses, not doctors. It's better.
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 2, '07
  6. Visit  RNsRWe profile page
    1
    Quote from Jami_Jared
    I do not lack understanding of what ASN-RN schools are or what they do. Two year colleges are not part of a state university system in any state that is why they are called community college, technical institutions...they have a different name for a reason. Universities are held with higher regard nation wide for every degree not just in nursing that is why it costs more to attend there and people recieve well - rounded degrees. We should not put BSN's down for having higher education!!
    Apparently, you DO lack the understanding of which I spoke. The community colleges in NYS, which you dismiss out of hand without knowing much or anything about the programming, are very much a part of the State University system. Known as SUNY, two-year colleges within NYS are recognized as having a much higher value than you obviously place on them, as all of the credits received there transfer to the 4-year school's programs, just as if they were earned at that school instead. Community colleges in this State have long been viewed as conveniently located (and hence, better priced) avenues for receiving the college credits that would later be applied to the more distant universities in the same system. Several of the community colleges, I'm aware, have changed their names to reflect the inclusion in the system, they are known as SUNY schools as opposed to "community colleges" which bear something of a stigma (obviously; look at your dismissal of them).

    There is nothing "technical" about these schools. There ARE vocational schools, there are technical schools; neither of those types of schools meet the criteria of our SUNY 2-year colleges.

    The credits I received in my nursing education are 100% applied at the closest university (the only one to which I looked for possible continuation of degree). They are not "lesser". They are not inferior by any stretch. They are valued for what they are: appropriately-conferred academic credits.

    I have no idea how it is done in States that neighbor yours. But your dismissal of ALL State college programs shows that either you don't know of which you speak before you speak, or don't wish to because it doesn't support your argument.

    Additionally, I see no one in this discussion "putting down" BSNs "for having higher education". I do see, time and time again, BSNs putting down ADNs for their "lesser" education. You yourself have done it so many times I lost count long ago. Never have I said that BSNs should not be valued for having higher degrees. Yet you equate having a higher DEGREE with having so much higher a value in bedside nursing, dismissing altogether the value of the ADN. Who is putting down who here?
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Mar 1, '07
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  7. Visit  lauralassie profile page
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    The ANA is a mess, red tape, legilation that is usless, a lot of people that think they are important. Mean while, nurses are drowning in an overloaded, law suit burdened system that leaves nurses out to hang while they get perks that none of us will ever see as bed side nurses. I wish they could walk a month in our shoes.
  8. Visit  VIXEN007 profile page
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    What happens to people who have a BS in another field and opted for the ADN or AS because it was the only option available due to the extremely long waiting lists for BSN slots? Is it okay to go for the ADN or AS with a BS in another subject and then earn a second Bachelor's (BSN) later?
  9. Visit  RN34TX profile page
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    Quote from VIXEN007
    What happens to people who have a BS in another field and opted for the ADN or AS because it was the only option available due to the extremely long waiting lists for BSN slots? Is it okay to go for the ADN or AS with a BS in another subject and then earn a second Bachelor's (BSN) later?
    It's most definitely ok as BSN minimum entry most likely would not happen in any of our lifetimes, so that's not an issue. Nothing is going to happen to people with a Bachelors in another field and this is the way it should be, IMHO.
    ADN nursing is here to stay for at least a very long time (past my retirement I would predict), regardless of what degrees ADN nurses hold in other fields.

    Having said that, I have to chime in here because I see comments like this a lot and it bothers me to see comments about people having bachelors degrees in other fields who have an associates degree in nursing and the idea that the two combined degrees are the equivalent of a BSN.

    As an ADN grad myself who is currently a BSN student, I have to say that having an ADN along with a bachelors in journalism, English literature, biology, or what have you is most definitely not the equivalent of having a BSN.

    There is more to a BSN than extra general ed. classes compared to an ADN and the idea that a liberal arts bachelors degree substitutes for a BSN basically reduces a BSN to extra science, psych, or humanities courses which of course is way off base.

    If a bachelors in another field really was the equivalent to a BSN as long as you have an ADN, I would most definitely have pursued a degree in a field other than nursing after my ADN because I'm way burned out on studying any more nursing subjects at this point.
  10. Visit  LUXOR21 profile page
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    Diploma hospital based programs are closing in my area (PA). I currently work at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and have been told in 2 years the hospital will only hire BSN prepared nurses. Well since I want to work here I am now waiting on acceptance to a BSN program. I was also told BSN nurses make more money. I'll have to check into that.
  11. Visit  ZASHAGALKA profile page
    1
    Quote from LUXOR21
    Diploma hospital based programs are closing in my area (PA). I currently work at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and have been told in 2 years the hospital will only hire BSN prepared nurses. Well since I want to work here I am now waiting on acceptance to a BSN program. I was also told BSN nurses make more money. I'll have to check into that.
    Wrong on both accounts. 60% of RNs are ADN RNs. Hospitals are not about to move to 'BSN only'. For one thing, it is a mistake to think that hospitals even WANT this distinction. The major argument in favor of BSN entry is more pay and respect. Where exactly, would that come from? Our employers. Do you think they have a vested interest in forwarding that goal?

    As a result, salaries are about the same for ADN and BSN. Look, if hospitals REALLY wanted more BSN employees, they'd simply pay for it. The fact that they do not speaks volumes.

    If you are waiting for BSN to be mandated from the outside of nursing, keep waiting another 40 yrs. In fact, the reason WHY BSN hasn't already BEEN mandated is lobbying pressure to gov't from corporate interests, such as hospitals, that do NOT want this distinction.

    Ask N. Dakota why it repealed BSN entry. I suspect that if you look at campaign contributions, you'd find a pervasive lobbying effort that was in play.

    Your employers might WANT BSN nurses, but they certainly do NOT want to pay for it. As a result, they WILL studiously avoid pressures that would make BSN cost more money - for THEM.

    Many hospitals have indeed begun to advertise, "BSN-preferred". That is far different from 'required'. By using this method, they can yield more BSN applicants for positions WITHOUT the requirement that would require more pay. When you see 'bsn preferred', read between the lines, "We PREFER BSNs but only if they are willing to work in the same salary ranges and under the same working conditions as our ADNs." Yes, I fully agree that hospitals DO prefer this option.

    The supposition that BSN will ultimately lead to better salaries and respect is putting the cart before the horse. If you want a move to BSN, then better salary and more respect needs to be a direct result of attaining BSN, not some far away idea. Indeed, hospitals are banking on the difference between those two concepts: BSN first, and THEN we'll discuss what that means in terms of salary and respect. That is a losing proposition for nurses, whether it leads to more BSNs, or not.

    A question for BSN proponents: Is there an advantage to moving to BSN entry IF there is no corresponding increase in salary or respect? Deep within this fundamental question is another question: HOW do we move to BSN entry in a way that DOES lead to higher salary and respect? It's not a matter of if such a move could lead to those ideal goals, but how. How, i suspect, involves making that higher pay and respect the result of individual conversion and acquisition of BSN along the way and NOT by putting forward some far off, lofty goal of such a move. That means demanding more from your employers than merely, 'BSN-preferred'. It means you hold them accountable to that preference by demanding that they put their money where their mouth is.

    If you apply for a 'bsn-preferred' position, you SHOULD be asking by what means they support that preference. What exactly are the differences in salary and position? Be specific: how much MORE starting salary is this BSN-preferred position over and above what you would pay an ADN in the same tier of experience? What benefits, besides salary, accrue to BSN candidates over ADN candidates? (Don't take 'more management opportunity' as an answer. That does NOT answer this question for bedside nurses. If that answer is given, it should be immediately followed up by, "Yes, but what advantages do you extend to the BEDSIDE NURSE for BSN?") It's a valid question: IF you actually DO prefer BSN, by what methods do you do so? Talk is cheap.

    I'll make a deal with you BSN proponents. You begin to actually bargain your BSN degree to your employers, so that they actually provide an incentive (as opposed to mere desire) for BSN, and I'll go back to school. Make the market place recognize a significant difference, and I'll pursue that difference. That's fair.

    Upwards of 40% of RNs are at least BSN now. You don't NEED 100% participation to bargain for this, you are already a sufficiently vested 'minority'. If those of you that are already BSN raised your voices collectively, the market would be required to listen.

    On the other hand, if we stumble towards BSN, without raising a voice to the differences, why should the market CARE about such differences? The fact that such a difference isn't routinely offered to 40% of the workforce speaks volumes about how 100% of a future workforce will be treated.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Mar 12, '07
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  12. Visit  jjjoy profile page
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    Quote from RNsRWe
    I have no idea how it is done in States that neighbor yours. But your dismissal of ALL State college programs shows that either you don't know of which you speak before you speak, or don't wish to because it doesn't support your argument
    I didn't see the comment being referred to here as including a "dismissal of ALL state college programs."

    Community colleges may offer coursework that is fully transferrable to and of equal quality to a university (some CC's surpass uni's in quality of courses), but they are not universities. They do not offer all of the coursework required to earn a bachelor's degree. That is why you have to transfer from the CC (apply and be accepted to the uni) in order to earn a bachelor's degree. Thus, the poster you are referring is not incorrect to state that "two year colleges are not part of a state university system."
  13. Visit  jjjoy profile page
    0
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    If you apply for a 'bsn-preferred' position, you SHOULD be asking by what means they support that preference. What exactly are the differences in salary and position? Be specific: how much MORE starting salary is this BSN-preferred position over and above what you would pay an ADN in the same tier of experience? What benefits, besides salary, accrue to BSN candidates over ADN candidates? (Don't take 'more management opportunity' as an answer. That does NOT answer this question for bedside nurses. If that answer is given, it should be immediately followed up by, "Yes, but what advantages do you extend to the BEDSIDE NURSE for BSN?") It's a valid question: IF you actually DO prefer BSN, by what methods do you do so? Talk is cheap.
    You make a good point here.
  14. Visit  caroladybelle profile page
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    Actually Tim, Hospital at UPenn (which includes CHOP) I believe has pushed for an all BSN or higher nursing staff. If it isn't already, I would be surprised. I also do not know whether ADN/Diplomas that had been long standing employees were "parented" in. It was a big controversy when I left my assignment at HUPenn.

    On the unit that I worked, the staff ate new nurses, med students and interns with a vengence. But notably throughout the facility, nurses did hold "greater" nursing power than in many places...certainly more than your standard "customer service" oriented community facility.

    However, three of the best facilities at which I have been, it has been made clear that a nurse is valued for her skills and knowledge, and degree differences were not an issue. All three ranked higher in the national ratings of hospitals. One was Johns Hopkins. And in those, there was substantially less "nurse eating" going on. Probably it paid better, but thestaff did not seem to note degree differences despite BSN being on the name tag.


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