ADN vs. BSN for Entry Level Nursing - page 7

by pattycakebaby

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


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    I attend a University in NC that has a 4 year and 2 year nursing program. They are really pushing the ASN program to go as far as offering an ASN to MSN track this year. It is ASN to MSN in 24 months. So my thinking is I can work with an ASN while I finish the MSN track. The MSN track seems to be a lot of theory and major emphasis on community nursing and education. So, if you toss out management opportunities, educators, etc, what makes a BSN any better than an ASN in the realm of patient care?

    I apologize if I'm asking questions already answered. I'm new to the site and midway through my 1st semester of clinicals and Nursing Fundamentals. Thanks!
  2. 0
    Quote from Jami_Jared
    Professional by definition has meant holding a Bachelors! It doesn't mean that nurses; LPN, ASN, ADN can't act like a professional. But having a "Professional" degree constitutes attending a university or 4 year college.


    This is true. By definition Nursing has not yet reached the status of a "profession". People always take this to mean that people think they don't behave professionally.

    The professional designation has nothing to do with behavior, but other definitions, one of which is, as you say, it's members hold a Baccalaurreate degree.
    Last edit by Tweety on Feb 28, '07
  3. 0
    Quote from zilla704
    I attend a University in NC that has a 4 year and 2 year nursing program. They are really pushing the ASN program to go as far as offering an ASN to MSN track this year. It is ASN to MSN in 24 months. So my thinking is I can work with an ASN while I finish the MSN track. The MSN track seems to be a lot of theory and major emphasis on community nursing and education. So, if you toss out management opportunities, educators, etc, what makes a BSN any better than an ASN in the realm of patient care?

    I apologize if I'm asking questions already answered. I'm new to the site and midway through my 1st semester of clinicals and Nursing Fundamentals. Thanks!

    I precept both ADNs and BSNs new grads, and from my experience, and I understand it might be different regionally, there isn't much difference in entry level bedside practice and knowledge. Both are pretty green and need an equal amount of orientation. Some are better than others, but it's not degree related, but personality related in my experience.

    I have heard people say that BSNs don't get as much clinical time as ADNs and the BSN were more paperwork and management focused and performed more poorly in the clinical setting after graduation. This is definately not true around here.
    Last edit by Tweety on Feb 28, '07
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    Quote from Tweety
    This is true. By definition Nursing has not yet reached the status of a "profession". People always take this to mean that people think they don't behave professionally.

    The professional designation has nothing to do with behavior, but other definitions, one of which is, as you say, it's members hold a Baccalaurreate degree.
    I disagree. That is your definition of a profession. It is not necessarily 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.

    I will say this, a common definition of a profession is that it contains a unique body of knowledge and a protection against practice by those that do not prove themselves to have attained that body of knowledge. In that respect, nursing certainly qualifies.

    To me, this argument, that BSN is needed to qualify as a profession is a non-starter. In effect, it gives those at our power tables that don't hold nursing as a profession ammunition. The ammunition is NOT a lack of a bach degree, but a lack of consensus, among ourselves, of our true power.

    If WE don't consider ourselves to be a profession, who will? More to the point, if we don't consider ourselves as professional, how will a piece of paper change that? The underlying assertion is that that piece of paper grants us our own credibility to claim professional status. But there is sufficient qualities in nursing now to claim that status. If we can't do so now, I'm dubious that a piece of paper will change matters much.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Mar 1, '07
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    I must MUST chime in with my little bitty two cents, for all it is worth. I am an ADN grad. My clinicals were great, I learned soo much, but I was in part responsible for that. I was very agressive in pursuing learning opportunites, got as much hands on clinical experience as possible. I feel very prepared to take on my job, (which I have, as a rehab nurse, and I am loving it!)
    I will be working, albeit slowly, towards my BSN. I have classmates who graduated with me and are awesome new nurses. There are also a couple I would not let wipe my behind. I think grouping all nurses into categories is counter-productive. The nurse is the one who decides how much to take out of the education, and to go after the knowledge, or wait around to be spoon fed. I have seen BSN nurses who seem lost, and LPN's who know more than I do, and sometimes more than the BSN charge nurse. And of course, I have seen it the other way around. This profession, (and it is one, I refuse to argue that point!) is difficult. But just like any other, it is what the individual brings to the table that makes the difference. This arguement is not truly solvable, because both sides are right. In the meantime, I will continue with my education, and continue practicing as what the title shows, A REGISTERED NURSE. I take pride in my education, I learn something new every day at my career, and I am happy with the route I chose.
    Just my little 2 pennies for the day.
    KristyBRN
  6. 0
    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.
  7. 0
    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
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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
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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
  10. 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
    kabfighter likes this.


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