Quote from Isabel-ANP-BC
Nursing is the only profession which does not require a Bachelors for entry level. We still call ASN and diploma nurses professionals. Requiring the BSN would bring entry level nursing up to the level of other entry level professionals.
BSNs should not be required for nurses who are already licensed and practicing or required for those nurses already in school. Schools should continue to offer diploma programs and ASN programs. I do, however, support the proposed requirement that going forward ASN or diploma nurses be required to earn a BSN within a certain amount of time after passing the boards. Some proposals say 2 years, some say 5 years, some say 10 years. 5 years would be my preference as middle ground between 2 years, which is too soon for some people and their pocketbooks and 10 years, which keeps nurses out of formal education for a long time and makes it harder to go back, especially for those nurses who didn't like school to begin with or found it hard to write papers, take tests, etc. BSN educated nurses are taught to function in a wider range of settings than diploma and ASN prepared nurses. They are also taught more critical thinking, including how to read research and implement appropriate changes in caring for patients, managing staff, etc. Diploma and ASN nursing programs do not teach to that level. In an increasingly complicated health system, with multiple treatment options and ethical issues, diploma and ASN educated nurses fall short in these areas.
For the record, I got my RN license after an ASN program then went back for the BSN. Now I have an MSN and am working on my DNP. I didn't choose to go back to school because I love school (although it's not exactly like I was being tortured by going back). I chose to go back because I think it's important that RNs be educated and have critical thinking skills and are apply to take care of patients in a variety of settings. I also believe that nursing as a profession needs to standardize entry level practice requirements in such a way as to meet or exceed expectations of other professions.
I obtained my RN through an ADN program, and then bridged to a BSN program at a state university. The ADN program provided the foundation of my nurse training and is where I learned to think critically as a nurse providing direct patient care. The BSN program I bridged in to provided learning experiences, some of which I found very valuable, but while the BSN program supplemented my ADN training, the courses in public health nursing, advanced health assessment, nursing research, leadership, nursing theory, community health practicum, and preceptorship in a new specialty, along with college statistics, and a few extra humanities courses, did not provide me with such enhanced critical thinking abilities or other nursing abilities as to render my ADN training inferior to my BSN training, or to evidence my ADN training as insufficient to meet the needs of patients I would be providing patient care to.
As an added note, in the final semesters of my BSN program, I heard students who had gone through the whole BSN program say that they had received hardly any clinical training.
The ability to think critically and to deliver intelligent, good quality nursing care, does not begin with a BSN. Why would it? There is such a quality as innate human intelligence, and the ability to learn. Life experience is also an important factor. My experience is that the majority of the BSN courses I took were valuable, and contributed to my becoming a better nurse than if I had not taken them, but had I not taken the BSN courses my ADN training had prepared me quite sufficiently to think critically as a nurse and to provide good quality nursing care.