NY State may require nurses to obtain 4-year degrees - page 12

But some worry that an already severe shortage will become worse. New York is mulling over a requirement that would force all RNs to earn a bachelor's degree in order to keep their RN... Read More

  1. by   JMP
    Quote from CNM2B
    Suzy..that is what my screen name means, but I am questioning whether or not it is going to be worth it to go that far with my education or even if it is really what I want to do anymore.

    I'm not really an outside observer because right now I'm just struggling to pay for my education to get my ADN (and it is by no means only a 2 year process here either, for those of you that brought that up). I have every intention of going on to get my BSN but will be unable to do it immediately because of family concerns that are pressuring me to hurry up and get school done and get to work. I will have to go back gradually and probably not for a couple years after I graduate. At this point, the Master's required for midwifery seems a very distant dream.........
    I could not do my BSN when I came into nursing. I was just turning 40 and had too many responsiblities. I finished my three year diploma, while working full time and have been nursing now three years. I am close to finishing my BSN though distance education- and feel since BSN in now entry to practice where I am, it just made sense to do it, as I want to stay in nursing for the next 15 years, and felt I needed the degree.
    All RN's now need the BSN to practice here. RPN's now need to have a two year diploma program to graduate, (canadian equalivant of LPN's),however many hospitals and many acute care areas are still not employing RPN's. At least in my geographic location.
    It is my hope that the "who is a better nurse" argument will finally go away and die...... it needs to. I have realized the oppression over the years that nurses have faced has caused so much in-fighting that it has done us all a great dis-service.
    However, one of the ways to expose the problems is to talk about them openly, see them for what they are, and move past them. I feel the education debate has certainly been well discussed and now we need to see them for what they are....... and move past them.
    For the record, all nurses here in Ontario, degree or not, remain RN's...no one is forced to complete a BSN.
  2. by   Q.
    Quote from Erin RN
    So for those of you that do have your BSN: If the state you are working in implemented a reuqirement that you must have your MSN, not any Masters but your MSN..what kind of reaction would you have? I am just curious.

    Well, I'm currently in school for my MSN so unfortunately my reaction would be, "eh, oh well." Of course that probably wouldn't be typical.

    It's impossible to objectively think about what *if* I wasn't already in school with a year left to graduate, because I've always wanted to go back. When I was in undergrad, I *knew* I wanted to go back but wasn't sure when. So maybe if my state had such a mandate and gave me 10 years to do it, it might be the catalyst to get me to go back. I dunno....
  3. by   JMP
    Quote from Erin RN
    So for those of you that do have your BSN: If the state you are working in implemented a reuqirement that you must have your MSN, not any Masters but your MSN..what kind of reaction would you have? I am just curious.
    It is my intention to do my Masters. It is a personal goal for me, always has been.
    Hard to answer a "what if question". I know that I want to do a MSN, not another type, such as education. I just feel in nursing the MSN is "my" best bet. Hard to imagine the "state" mandating a MSN.....what do you think Erin?

    I am passionate about nursing and education. I love both. I feel fortunate to have the opportunties.
  4. by   studentrn621
    Quote from Erin RN
    So for those of you that do have your BSN: If the state you are working in implemented a reuqirement that you must have your MSN, not any Masters but your MSN..what kind of reaction would you have? I am just curious.
    I'm not sure if I understand your question. A masters is an advanced degree and usually for specialization in a field. For example, you can not have a masters in environmental management and work as a nurse midwife :uhoh21: . A bachelors is usually an entry level degree (giving a general background in a field). Which, I know has been mentioned, is an entry level degree for many careers. I'm confused.
  5. by   Erin RN
    Well actually what I meant is "What if all of a sudden the entry level to being an RN was a Master's level education" I know that many nurses aspire to obtaining their Masters to go into advanced practice but what if a masters level was required to even be a bedside nurse? God knows there is enough education to be had even by the general practicing nurse to fill up 6 years of classes, since obviously further certifications, CEUs and even "other" university classes/ degrees are not considered to be adequate to define the professional nurse in the BSN manadated scenario. What then? There are plenty of professions that require more than the bachelors before one is considered to be a professional..ie: Law, Medicine.

    I undersatnd this is a "what if" however, the manadatory BSN was a "what if" when I was in school.

    I am just trying to have some put this in perspective..ie: This is what it feels like to the ADN/Diploma nurses when this argument comes up over and over. "Yes, we know that you have been an ER nurse for 15 years that you have your CEN, TNCC, PALS and ACLS BUT until you take a few additional general education classes you are neither fully competent nor are you a professional...it is like a slap in the face.

    Again, I am NOT against furthering ones education however I am against someone dictating to me that I have to have a specific degree to do what I have been doing for the last 13 years. Over the years I have taken a multitude of classes, CEUs certifications and the like to remain on top of "my game" does this count for mothing?? To me the least professional nurses are those that graduate with either the BSN or the ADN and never pursue any of these.


    Are we truly not seen as professionals? I don't know. I think many of us within our own ranks do not see us as professionals and that is somewhat of the problem. Do you honestly think that by all of us obtaining the BSN that is going to change? "Okay guys, the last ADN/diploma nurse graduated with a BSN..now nurses are professionals"..I don't see it. Again , in my opinion much of this misguided perception has to do with the overwhelming majority of nurses being female and the fact that a huge number of people see us as "caretakers" rather than what we truly are.

    Yes..I will be furthering my education and no, I will probably not do the BSN..still can't decide what degree would benefit me professionally and personally the most..however, once I obtain it I will not look down on the ADN / Diploma nurses..that is the part that makes me so angry. Now think I will agree to disagree..I'm done. Currently I am a RN and a knowledgable one at that..I will continue to expand upon my knowledge and further my career in whatever arena I choose.I consider myself a professional and that is all that really matters to me.. Erin
  6. by   PeninsulaRN
    I've also always planned to go back for advanced education and so I think that may be the impetus to push me to go back sooner. Not an altogether bad thing.

    I understand that many of you are bristling at the idea that your education is "not good enough", but I don't think anyone is saying that. Its not that you aren't professional, competent nurses, its just that having an entry level BSN can only increase solidarity among nurses. With that, maybe together we can advocate for positive changes in the profession rather than argue with each other.

    Or perhaps not.
  7. by   studentrn621
    Quote from Erin RN
    Well actually what I meant is "What if all of a sudden the entry level to being an RN was a Master's level education" I know that many nurses aspire to obtaining their Masters to go into advanced practice but what if a masters level was required to even be a bedside nurse? God knows there is enough education to be had even by the general practicing nurse to fill up 6 years of classes, since obviously further certifications, CEUs and even "other" university classes/ degrees are not considered to be adequate to define the professional nurse in the BSN manadated scenario. What then? There are plenty of professions that require more than the bachelors before one is considered to be a professional..ie: Law, Medicine.

    I undersatnd this is a "what if" however, the manadatory BSN was a "what if" when I was in school.

    I am just trying to have some put this in perspective..ie: This is what it feels like to the ADN/Diploma nurses when this argument comes up over and over. "Yes, we know that you have been an ER nurse for 15 years that you have your CEN, TNCC, PALS and ACLS BUT until you take a few additional general education classes you are neither fully competent nor are you a professional...it is like a slap in the face.

    Again, I am NOT against furthering ones education however I am against someone dictating to me that I have to have a specific degree to do what I have been doing for the last 13 years. Over the years I have taken a multitude of classes, CEUs certifications and the like to remain on top of "my game" does this count for mothing?? To me the least professional nurses are those that graduate with either the BSN or the ADN and never pursue any of these.


    Are we truly not seen as professionals? I don't know. I think many of us within our own ranks do not see us as professionals and that is somewhat of the problem. Do you honestly think that by all of us obtaining the BSN that is going to change? "Okay guys, the last ADN/diploma nurse graduated with a BSN..now nurses are professionals"..I don't see it. Again , in my opinion much of this misguided perception has to do with the overwhelming majority of nurses being female and the fact that a huge number of people see us as "caretakers" rather than what we truly are.

    Yes..I will be furthering my education and no, I will probably not do the BSN..still can't decide what degree would benefit me professionally and personally the most..however, once I obtain it I will not look down on the ADN / Diploma nurses..that is the part that makes me so angry. Now think I will agree to disagree..I'm done. Currently I am a RN and a knowledgable one at that..I will continue to expand upon my knowledge and further my career in whatever arena I choose.I consider myself a professional and that is all that really matters to me.. Erin
    I completely understand your point. I just wish that ADN/diploma nurses did not take this as a personal attack. I would never say that you were not a professional. It's just that, from what I have learned, nursing seems to be growing and changing in so many ways. It just seemed to me the next step would be for the bachelor's to be standard. Not taking away from anything that you or anyone else has already achieved in years of experience. Do I think that having a bachelor's alone will make us professionals? No, that's definitely an individual thing. It's just that the less division we have the better.
  8. by   Q.
    Quote from studentrn621
    I completely understand your point. I just wish that ADN/diploma nurses did not take this as a personal attack. I would never say that you were not a professional.

    I agree. The whole BSN mandate is, in my mind, larger than any one individual nurse and it's not about any one individual nurse. It's about our profession as a whole and about consistent standards.

    Honestly, if nursing required a Master's as entry level then that would be something I would have to accept. Much like medicine, social work, or pharmacy - in order to "be" one of those things I have to do the requirements.
  9. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Susy K
    Honestly, if nursing required a Master's as entry level then that would be something I would have to accept. Much like medicine, social work, or pharmacy - in order to "be" one of those things I have to do the requirements.
    The problem is that many of us wouldn't and won't just "accept" it. For me, the price that I paid in education is barely acceptable for the current benefits and trials that I have as a bedside Nurse...and I don't intend to leave the bedside.

    If I had to attend a 4 year school (which in my area of the Country entailed about 6 times the tuition money, was not NLN approved, and had a much lower NCLEX pass rate), Nursing would not be "worth" the price. There are days now, that it is worth the price that I "paid" to be a nurse.

    There are too many new grads these days that even with their BSNs are leaving the profession within one to two years. Obviously, many of them feel similarly.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I still want to know what you propose to do with LPN's, those of you who are for the BSN-level requirement? Establishing one level- entry at BSN would mean you need to phase out and discontinue LPN nursing, period---or you risk losing solidarity. That is what we are basing this argument on right--solidarity? Keeping it all even/level at entry and in the process, gaining respect as professionals who ALL have professional degrees? So what of LPNs who do NOT have "professional degrees" ? I have yet to hear anyone address this issue. Anyone????

    And a question to our Canadian nurses: do you feel your all-BSN requirement for nursing has increased solidarity there among nurses and do you feel the public, as well as other healthcare professionals, respect for nursing AS a profession due to this requirement? Has this been what it's cracked up to be for you RN's? I am curious.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 10, '04
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Canada I know has let LPN's stay LPN's (or equivalent)...they are their own 'profession' with their own practice act and standards.

    I know this topic always brings on the argument 'grandfather the LPN's to RN too'.<sigh> It never ends.

    I DO have so say however that I believe a different training standard exists between the LPN and RN programs and I can't support grandfathering LPN's in the same way I would diploma and AD nurses....should we mandate a BSN by say 2010.

    LPN's IMO should be their own advocates, govern their own profession apart from RN's...so they can lobby for and effect their own interests.

    I attended 'RN school' and passed boards (one of the best scores in my state BTW)thus should never have that title questioned through the academic snobbery of some BSN proponents. To tell me I 'should' feel obligated to return to college and essentially complete/repeat 3-4 yrs to maintain what I already have EARNED is ludicrous and obnoxious, IMO.

    I can't understand why someone would think THAT is OK.
  12. by   Q.
    Quote from caroladybelle
    The problem is that many of us wouldn't and won't just "accept" it. For me, the price that I paid in education is barely acceptable for the current benefits and trials that I have as a bedside Nurse...and I don't intend to leave the bedside.
    Sure, but the question was hypothetical and, hypothetically, *I* would accept it.

    As to the price you paid in education being worth the return in benefits, pay, etc. I hear you, which is precisely why I won't become a CNM. To me, the income between a CNM and an OB has too much of a gap for it to be "worth" it to me.

    And those are the decisions we make. We weigh the requirements to be "this" over the return and we decide.
  13. by   Erin RN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I still want to know what you propose to do with LPN's, those of you who are for the BSN-level requirement? Establishing one level- entry at BSN would mean you need to phase out and discontinue LPN nursing, period---or you risk losing solidarity. That is what we are basing this argument on right--solidarity? Keeping it all even/level at entry and in the process, gaining respect as professionals who ALL have professional degrees? So what of LPNs who do NOT have "professional degrees" ? I have yet to hear anyone address this issue. Anyone????

    And a question to our Canadian nurses: do you feel your all-BSN requirement for nursing has increased solidarity there among nurses and do you feel the public, as well as other healthcare professionals, respect for nursing AS a profession due to this requirement? Has this been what it's cracked up to be for you RN's? I am curious.

    This is from the Canadian nurses forum:

    I also went straight to the US after grad and it was a great experience. I got my critical care program done for free and with pay . I worked in critical care immediantly and gained a ton of experience. When I came back to canada I had over 10 job offers.
    I would encourage all new grads to go and get the experience and all the extra qualifications that canadian hospitals refuse to pay for.

    In the US nurses are very well respected by all professions, the culture shock when I returned to cnada was bad. It took along time to break alot of doctors out of the habit of being disrespectful. The families are a perfect horror here after the US. In the US patients and families were deeply respectful. Here in canada nurses are not valued so expect a real shock when you come back. The other thing about working in the US is your nursing collegues are respectful too..they do not believe in eating their young there.
    When I came back I couldn't believe the attitude of senior nurses...thats another thing..no unions..so nobody calling you junior.
    I look back at my US experience as the best thing I ever did.



    There are many comments such as this posted..It does not appear that having an all BSN RN workforce has benefitted them professionally, now does it..

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