The BSN degree requirement is here partly due to economic conditions and partly due to credential inflation. Certain regional employment markets have too many nurses and too few nursing jobs
, so a BSN degree requirement greatly reduces the number of applications through which HR staff must sort. Hospitals weren't demanding BSNs when a true nursing shortage actually existed. In my humble opinion, the BSN degree is somewhat of a weed-out tool.
A minimum BSN degree requirement is also a screening tool for healthcare employers. A baccalaureate degree speaks volumes about one's ability to complete college level coursework with a certain degree of difficulty. The baccalaureate degree also tells employers something about a nurse's perseverance since he/she followed through on something for 4+ years.
I also suspect that the BSN requirement is somewhat of a class-based sorting tool since a university education is a traditional marker of middle class status. Only 30 percent of American adults have earned a bachelor's degree of any kind. Although some people are oblivious, prestige is critical to our higher learning system.
Universities (places where we earn BSN degrees) are situated on top of the prestige hierarchy based on public perception, while community colleges and technical schools
(places where we earn ASNs and nursing diplomas) are positioned toward the bottom of the prestige pyramid due to lack of exclusivity. Before anyone gets angry over my post, I have an ASN degree.