BSN Obsolete?

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    I am an RN with an ADN. I have been researching my education options. CRNA school requires a BSN (or for some schools a BS). Except for applying to CRNA school I can't see any reason to get a BSN. There are numerous ADN to MSN programs out there that never award a BSN as part of their program including NP, CNS and nurse educator options. Most of these programs are 5 semesters and offered in various delivery methods including on-line. The vast majority of RN to BSN programs I have looked into are at least 4 semesters (though there are exceptions).
    So if one can attain and ADN-RN in four 16 week semesters for a total cost of around $6000 as we can here in Wisconsin, then earn an online MSN in 4 or 5 semesters what is the motivation to get a BSN?
    I can think of some very good reasons to get a BSN.
    1. Your goal is to apply to CRNA school.
    2. You already have a BS in another field an go to a one year accelerated BSN program.
    3. You are just out of high school and need to whole "college experience".
    4. You live in an area where the local community college has a long waiting list and relocation for school is not an option.
    5. You get a full ride scholarship to a university with a BSN program. What am I missing? What other reasons are there to get BSN?
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Uhm, the extensive science and nursing classes might be a factor. I don't necessarily want my anesthetist to have gotten her degree as quickly and easily as possible. I'd like to know that she understands what's behind the meds she's giving.
  5. 0
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Uhm, the extensive science and nursing classes might be a factor. I don't necessarily want my anesthetist to have gotten her degree as quickly and easily as possible. I'd like to know that she understands what's behind the meds she's giving.
    *** Yes, applying to CRNA school is reason number one on the list of reasons to get a BSN.
    That said I am not convinced that having a BSN indicates that an experienced nurse (as all those who apply to CRNA school must be) understands medication better than an experienced nurse with an ADN or even an MSN but no BSN.
  6. 0
    So you don't believe that advanced pharmacology courses contribute to a deeper understanding of ADME? And that anesthetists, who study lots and lots of pharm, know more about meds than, say, you or me?
  7. 0
    Quote from Suesquatch
    So you don't believe that advanced pharmacology courses contribute to a deeper understanding of ADME? And that anesthetists, who study lots and lots of pharm, know more about meds than, say, you or me?
    *** Of course I do, nothing I have said so far would give anyone any reason to believe I don't.
    Holding a BSN is no guarantee that one has taken advanced pharm courses. A quick search will reveal that RN to MSN NP programs include advanced pharm classes.
    This statement you made:
    "And that anesthetists, who study lots and lots of pharm, know more about meds than, say, you or me?"

    I find a strange thing to say as I have never indicated that I think CRNAs are lacking in pharm knowledge. Because I work with CRNAs all the time I know they know way more than I do about medications.
    My question to you is why are you diverting away from the subject of the OP?
  8. 0
    One of the advantages of nursing as a career is that it offers so many disparate paths and options. If you (the OP), as someone focused on getting into CRNA school, don't see any value for yourself, personally, in getting a BSN, that's fine. I only completed a BSN years ago so that I could apply to graduate school (I am an old diploma graduate, and received a much better nursing education in my hospital-based diploma program (admittedly, a very good diploma program, which not all of them were) than I did in the BSN completion program I attended, or the ADN and BSN programs I've taught in since then).

    However, neither your personal experience nor mine can be generalized to the entire nursing population. The vast majority of nurses never attend graduate school; for many diploma and ADN graduates, completing a BSN expands their professional options/choices in ways that are valuable and meaningful to them. There are many reasons why individuals choose to enter nursing through a university-based BSN program rather than an Associate's degree program (please note that I'm not saying one (either) is better than the other -- just that different people have many different reasons for choosing one or the other. Please, God, let's not start another ADN-vs.-BSN debate!!). Many nurses (I've known some personally) choose to return to school and complete a BSN not because it will necessarily make a measurable difference in their careers, but just for the personal satisfaction of earning a baccalaureate degree.

    Not only do I not feel that the BSN is "obsolete," I believe it will continue to grow in significance as nursing (and healthcare in general) continues to grow more high-tech, complicated, and demanding. If any nursing degree is going to become "obsolete," I would expect it to eventually be the ADN. I have v. serious concerns about how current BSN programs are organized and implemented, but that can be changed -- IMHO (and experience), we are getting closer and closer to the point where it's just not going to be feasible anymore to provide basic nursing preparation within the scope/limits of an Associate's degree.
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    For me it's is to get those "BSN preferred or required" positions away from the bedside as I age in nursing. I like to teach and with a BSN I can now teach ADN clinical groups, as well as LPNs, work in management (something I would never do), or any number of non-bedside nursing where my BSN would give me the edge.

    If I thought I could physically handle bedside nursing at the age of 70 (which unless I marry rich or win the lottery, giving my current mortgage, etc. is what I'm going to have to do)(it's already getting tough because my plantar fascitis refuses to heal and my feet and killing me daily. LOL) and if I thought I would be fulfilled with that I would not bother with the BSN.

    In many parts of the country the ADN can get your far and it is indeed a non-issue in making good money and getting good positions. Many value experience over degree, if you know the right person and are in the right place at the right time. I can certainly understand that some people would come to the conclusion that the BSN is obsolete, especially when there are ADN to MSN programs outh there.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 22, '07
  10. 0
    Quote from Tweety
    For me it's is to get those "BSN preferred or required" positions away from the bedside as I age in nursing. I like to teach and with a BSN I can now teach ADN clinical groups, as well as LPNs, work in management (something I would never do), or any number of non-bedside nursing where my BSN would give me the edge.
    *** DO you think that a nurse with an MSN would be at a disadvantage over the BSN qualified nurse in those positions? Given than an ADN nurse can obtain MSN with roughly the same amount of effort (at least it seems that way to me reading the requirements from the various programs) as a BSN.
  11. 0
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** DO you think that a nurse with an MSN would be at a disadvantage over the BSN qualified nurse in those positions? Given than an ADN nurse can obtain MSN with roughly the same amount of effort (at least it seems that way to me reading the requirements from the various programs) as a BSN.
    The advantage of going the ADN to MSN route is that you can start taking masters levels courses like assessment, patho. and research and not have to take them at a BSN level and then repeat at an MSN level. Having the MSN wouldn't be a disadvatage in fact in nursing education it's required to go into the classroom. BSNs can teach the clinical groups but not the lectures in the classroom or online.

    If I were an employer and there was a BSN-preferred job, I would not necessarily give preference tot he MSN, but also look at the experience.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 22, '07
  12. 1
    As Tweety said, there are more non-bedside career options for BSN prepared nurses. At least that's true in my area. I have a non-bedside job now, and I got it because a.) I'm almost done with my BSN and b.) I have 12 yrs experience as a nurse.

    I don't think the BSN will be obsolete as long as the ANA is pushing for it to be the entry point for nursing practice.

    I have gone from CNA to LPN to ASN, and will finish my BSN, and then MSN. I have to say with each step I have taken, better job opportunities have opened up. I have also appreciated the educational value obtained from each level. That doesn't take away from the real life experience I've obtained, but I wouldn't have gotten some of that experience if I hadn't increased my ed. level.
    MNmom3boys likes this.


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