Re: What are the educational pathways to becoming a Registered Nurse?

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    Can someone help me understand why On the job training and advancement is not more usable or acceptable in the nursing field?
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I'm not 100% sure what you're asking here. But since you're in the ADN vs. BSN forum, I'll presume your talking about degree taking precident over experience.

    There is a wall sometimes depending upon where you live that all the experience and on the job training won't get you the job without the degree. In some areas I've seen ADNs get jobs in management and even directorship level. Here it doesn't matter how many years experience or what your skills are, without a BSN you won't get a management job. I wanted to become the educator for my unit. I have 15 years experience and was a few courses away from the BSN and was in the process of getting it. I thought my experience and the fact that I was getting my BSN would get me the job. Wrong. I was denied without the degree.
  4. 0
    On the job training and experience are hard to quantify and verify. A person can have 10 years of experience and learn little from that experience -- making the same mistakes that they made in year 3 and practicing with the same level of sophistication. With people's lives on the line, employers (and the public) want RN's to be formally educated and have the proper credentials to assure that the nurse has at least gotten the minimal education appropriate for the job. Would you want someone doing brain surgery on someone you loved who said, "No, I never went to school to learn this, but I've seen it a lot of times and I think I can do a pretty good job." No, you would want someone with formal education and proper credentials.

    Also, higher level jobs require knowledge and skills that are not a part of lower level jobs. So, as you are getting experience in a lower level job, you are developing expertise in the skills of that lower level job -- NOT developing skills that are not needed in that job but may be needed for the higher level job. For example, just because you are great at the lower level job (digging a ditch) doesn't mean you know much about the higher level job (designing an irrigation system.)

    That is why there are educational standards for jobs that involve taking responsibility for the health and safety of other people.
  5. 0
    Quote from llg
    On the job training and experience are hard to quantify and verify. A person can have 10 years of experience and learn little from that experience -- making the same mistakes that they made in year 3 and practicing with the same level of sophistication. With people's lives on the line, employers (and the public) want RN's to be formally educated and have the proper credentials to assure that the nurse has at least gotten the minimal education appropriate for the job. Would you want someone doing brain surgery on someone you loved who said, "No, I never went to school to learn this, but I've seen it a lot of times and I think I can do a pretty good job." No, you would want someone with formal education and proper credentials.

    Also, higher level jobs require knowledge and skills that are not a part of lower level jobs. So, as you are getting experience in a lower level job, you are developing expertise in the skills of that lower level job -- NOT developing skills that are not needed in that job but may be needed for the higher level job. For example, just because you are great at the lower level job (digging a ditch) doesn't mean you know much about the higher level job (designing an irrigation system.)

    That is why there are educational standards for jobs that involve taking responsibility for the health and safety of other people.
    I wouldnt want someone with "proper" credentials to do the Job either. Had they just conpleted school and not had any actual application or previous "experience". I can understand the inability to measure experience, however I also feel there is much in the nursing field that I would comfortably accept someone doing what they have gained OJT experience and training versus. "formal" do what we say education. I havent gone to Nursing school so I obviously dont have all the answers and I know that the education does fall into the catagory of "experience" and hands on to some degree, but I am (from my perspective) trying to understand why there isnt more OJT advancement opportunity. This would apply from CNA on so I hope that it is appropriate discussion for this thread.
  6. 0
    Quote from marvelous_truth
    I wouldnt want someone with "proper" credentials to do the Job either. Had they just conpleted school and not had any actual application or previous "experience".
    A proper educational experience includes BOTH "book learning" and "hands on" practical experience. Granted, there are always going to be some people who manage to graduate with a degree who do not perform well on the job and other people who are able to learn a great deal of the book learning part without actually going to school. However, policy decisions can not be made based on the abilitly of a few exceptional people. Policy makers must consider the educational needs of the great mass of people -- and most people require a formal training program to master the types of skills that nurses do and take the responsibility for others' welfare.

    Also, a decent employer will provide a preceptored experience for a new graduate to help them adapt their book learning to clinical practice. The same is not true in reverse. Employers generally provide little general education as part of their orientation programs. So someone who has not gotten a good academic foundation for nursing in a school program are not likely to get that piece on the job.

    You may be the exceptional person who can learn well without a formal program. If that's the case, you should have no trouble succeeding in school and earning the credentials that will open the career advancement doors that interest you. But it unrealistic to think the public will grant you the priveleges of practicing as a professional without obtaining the proper credentials. Perhaps you can find a program that will allow you to "test out" of some of the pre-requisite courses. A lot of schools have opportunities for exceptional students to test out of freshman level classes to speed up their progress in school.
    Last edit by llg on Aug 12, '07
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    "You may be the exceptional person who can learn well without a formal program."

    I dont know about that, I am just trying to understand why the sytem works the way it does, and perhaps how it should but I havent quite gained that comprehension or perspective fully yet, although you make some great points.

    Thanks for the input.

    Where does Algebra fall into the job tasks?
  8. 0
    Quote from marvelous_truth
    Where does Algebra fall into the job tasks?
    Well, if you take a look at the nursing student forum and see all the discussions about med calculations you'll quickly see why algebra is so important. I suppose you can possibly figure out the med calcs without it, but it makes so much more sense if you have the algebra background.

    Plus, many schools require chemistry in some form (at least high school level, often college level) and algebra is key to being able to solve chemistry problems.
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    While I agree that formal education plays an important role, I do think that experience should also factor in. What better way to build up tension between co-workers than to have inexperienced staff come in at higher levels with higer pay?

    Why not have RNs start out with in the LPN role with equitable pay? If they are successful, then they can be promoted to the RN role. Successful LPNs wouldn't be able to go for such a promotion until they became an RN, but RNs wouldn't pass LPNs in responsibility until they had proven in real life practice that their clinical skills were up to snuff. There might be some competition between nurses if there are limited RN roles to be promoted to, but that could serve to really show who's motivated to take on the added roles and responsibilities of the RN.

    As it is, newbie RNs start with only the most basic of skills and often have an LPN, who isn't even paid as much as the newbie, showing them the ropes and checking their work. Or a newbie RN is supervising experienced LPNs and having to ask them how to do things.

    The same with BSNs. It's one thing if there are two otherwise equally qualified applicants for a management position and one has a BSN and the other not. Sure, go with the BSN. But if it's between a inexperienced BSN and an experienced RN, I don't see that the BSN would have a greater chance of success in the position. Experience working as a RN would seem be the FIRST requirement and AFTER THAT, more formal education would be the next requirement. If there just aren't enough qualified candidates, why necessarily put the one with formal education but no experience ahead of the person without the formal education? After all, couldn't you send the experienced one back to school? Why should one have more confidence in the BSN's ability to quickly prove their clinical skills in a real world setting than in the experienced ADNs ability to learn and apply higher-level thinking skills? (llg, this is what I interpretted you to be saying. I'm curious of your opinion.)

    Is the average BSN program THAT much more MANAGEMENT-oriented? Mine wasn't. After all, our program also had to include all of the regular RN requirements as well as gen ed and upper division electives for the bachelor's. So why isn't any bachelor's degree in addition to the RN license enough for supervisory positions?

    On the other hand, if there are nurse manager positions that don't need strong clinical skills and isn't going to ever have to jump into the fray and practice hands on nursing care, then that's a whole other situation. In that case, why limit the position to licensed nurses? Just anyone with relevant health care experience and a bachelors' degree in any field.

    Just thoughts and questions!
    Last edit by jjjoy on Aug 16, '07
    marvelous_truth likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from jjjoy
    While I agree that formal education plays an important role, I do think that experience should also factor in. What better way to build up tension between co-workers than to have inexperienced staff come in at higher levels with higer pay?

    Why not have RNs start out with in the LPN role with equitable pay? If they are successful, then they can be promoted to the RN role. Successful LPNs wouldn't be able to go for such a promotion until they became an RN, but RNs wouldn't pass LPNs in responsibility until they had proven in real life practice that their clinical skills were up to snuff. There might be some competition between nurses if there are limited RN roles to be promoted to, but that could serve to really show who's motivated to take on the added roles and responsibilities of the RN.

    As it is, newbie RNs start with only the most basic of skills and often have an LPN, who isn't even paid as much as the newbie, showing them the ropes and checking their work. Or a newbie RN is supervising experienced LPNs and having to ask them how to do things.

    The same with BSNs. It's one thing if there are two otherwise equally qualified applicants for a management position and one has a BSN and the other not. Sure, go with the BSN. But if it's between a inexperienced BSN and an experienced RN, I don't see that the BSN would have a greater chance of success in the position. Experience working as a RN would seem be the FIRST requirement and AFTER THAT, more formal education would be the next requirement. If there just aren't enough qualified candidates, why necessarily put the one with formal education but no experience ahead of the person without the formal education? After all, couldn't you send the experienced one back to school? Why should one have more confidence in the BSN's ability to quickly prove their clinical skills in a real world setting than in the experienced ADNs ability to learn and apply higher-level thinking skills? (llg, this is what I interpretted you to be saying. I'm curious of your opinion.)

    Is the average BSN program THAT much more MANAGEMENT-oriented? Mine wasn't. After all, our program also had to include all of the regular RN requirements as well as gen ed and upper division electives for the bachelor's. So why isn't any bachelor's degree in addition to the RN license enough for supervisory positions?

    On the other hand, if there are nurse manager positions that don't need strong clinical skills and isn't going to ever have to jump into the fray and practice hands on nursing care, then that's a whole other situation. In that case, why limit the position to licensed nurses? Just anyone with relevant health care experience and a bachelors' degree in any field.

    Just thoughts and questions!
    Thank you, from my position that would make toooo much sense!


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