What's REALLY with the hospitals using Magnet as a cover for wanting BSN only nurses?

  1. I'm in an associate degree RN program. I have a previous BA in Psychology and just finished up my last two classes online to also get my BS in Business Administration. I have worked for over a year as a PCA at a local hospital and also work as a supplemental instruction leader to help incoming nursing students do better in their first and second quarters. Yet all the nursing recruiters at the hospitals I'm looking at say that without a BSN, none of that will matter and my odds of getting hired are slim to none since I am competing with 4 well respected BSN programs.When asked why, all the hospitals said it is a requirement for Magnet status. From what I can tell, the requirements in terms of degrees for Magnet status are:

    1. The CNO must have at a minimum, a master's degree at the time of application. If the master's degree is not in nursing then either a baccalaureate degree or doctoral degree must be in nursing.
    2. Effective 1/1/2011 - 75% Nurse Managers must have a degree in nursing (baccalaureate or graduate degree)
    3. Effective 1/1/2013 - 100% Nurse Managers must have a degree in nursing (baccalaureate or graduate degree)
    4. Effective 1/1/2013 - 100% of nurse leaders must have a degree in nursing (baccalaureate or graduate degree)

    By the AANC's definition, most nurses don't fall under any of these cateogories. A nurse leader is a nurse with line authority over multiple units that have RNs working clinically and those nurse leaders who are positioned on the organizational chart between the nurse manager and the CNO. A nurse manager is Registered Nurse with 24 hour/7day accountability for the overall supervision of all Registered Nurses and other healthcare providers in an inpatient or outpatient area. The Nurse Manager is typically responsible for recruitment and retention, performance review, and professional development; involved in the budget formulation and quality outcomes; and helps to plan for, organize and lead the delivery of nursing care for a designated patient care area.

    There are NO requirements or recommendations stated for the vast majority of nurses - the ones doing the bedside care on a daily basis. So why are all the local hospitals hiding behind Magnet as their reason for only wanting to hire BSN nurses when that's not true at all?? I do plan to get my BSN and my MSN, but I need experience first and nobody will apparently hire me when I graduate! I also cannot afford a RN-BSN program without a job that will help me pay for it (all these hospitals offer tuition reimbursement for RN-BSN programs) because I am fresh out of undergraduate loans.

    So what's the deal and what do us associate degree nurses do!?
  2. Visit foreverLaur profile page

    About foreverLaur

    Joined: Oct '07; Posts: 1,327; Likes: 425
    Clinical Research Coordinator, Oncology; from US


  3. by   Double-Helix
    Another criteria is quality development and professional advancement of nursing staff. Many hospitals see BSNs as a form of professional advancement.

    The other issue is that if your nurse managers and nurse leaders must have BSNs, but most of your staff has ADNs, it seriously limits the choices for promotion and advancement within your own staff. Since another Magnet criteria is low turnover, internal promotions are a good way to ensure lower turnover.
  4. by   foreverLaur
    Well I have no problem at all with requiring a nurse to complete a RN-BSN within a certain period of time, especially if the hospital offers tuition reimbursement. I think encouraging and fostering furthering education is wonderful. So are hospitals going straight for the BSN instead of hire the ADN nurses too and having them complete a RN-BSN program to save $$$?

    I plan to complete my RN-BSN within 2 years of finishing my ADN and hopefully sooner. I would have no problem signing my life away to do so if someone would hire me!
  5. by   ProfRN4
    Let me start off by saying that I teach in an AD program (and my original degree was an Associates). I feel I need to say this so I am not coming across as anti-AD (because I definitely do see it's value).

    They are not hiding behind this. In the past this has been a cyclical thing, answering to the supply and demand of employment for nurses. When employers can be choosy, they will be. If you could buy a bigger house for less money, wouldn't you? If you could do the same job for more money, wouldn't you?

    Unfortunately, I don't think this will ever fully revert back to the old ways (where AD is just as good, as far as the employers are concerned). This is because of the economy, and because of Magnet. As you probably know this has been a bone of contention for 40+ years (entry level for RN). Since Magnet represents nursing excellence, they are going to push for the higher entry level.

    What is an AD nurse to do? Many AD programs are on board with forming partnerships with BS programs. Where I work, students are being admitted to BS joint-completion programs while in the AD courses. Basically this means (to their future employer) that they are already in a BS program. Their classes are transferrable (b/c of the agreement with the senior college) and they may even be taking some of the higher level courses while taking the AD prerequisites. Unfortunately, just saying "I'm going back for my BS" is not cutting it anymore. For those who graduated within the last year, they NEEDED to enroll in BS level courses to prove to their employer that they are committed to doing this.

    As far as employment, I know it's tough. But I also know two things (from my former students' experiences: a) there are jobs, just not necessarily what a new grad envisioned doing (ie, community based and outpatient). And b) the top students in the class are getting hopsital jobs. You have to do everything you possibly can to make yourself stand out from the rest of your class. This includes more than having a 4.0 (community service, student nurse association involvement, etc). I know some people look at all that as bogus, but I saw first hand what the "go-getters" in my last class got, and it was well worth their hard work.
  6. by   foreverLaur
    Like I said in my first post, I have worked for over a year as a PCA at a local hospital and also work as a supplemental instruction leader to help incoming nursing students do better in their first and second quarters. The nurse recuiters here say that is all irrelevant without a BSN or being in a RN-BSN program. My school does partner with a RN-BSN program, but you cannot apply or be admitted until you pass the NCLEX.

    I opted for the ADN instead of the BSN because I wanted to focus on bedside nursing and my ADN program has the same science coursework as the BSN program in the area and more clinical hours. The professors are often the exact same and use the same tests and books. So I'm getting the same education (outside of the extensive nursing theory/research/informatics/leadership) for way less $$. At the time, I wasn't thinking ahead, and didn't want to "bother" with the nursing theory/research/informatics/leadership classes because in my BA degree, I took a lot of those classes with the BSN students already (they were just under a different course header, but we had the class together). WHOOPS.
  7. by   Laurie52
    As more and more health care disciplines require advanced degrees, nursing will have to keep with this trend to be credible. Most of the pharmacists where I work are pharmD and additionally require a year of internship. Entry level to be a physical therapist is masters level and in some settings doctorate.

    If nursing wants to maintain parity with other health care disciplines, it must require the same level of education.

    Please don't attack me for this. These are not my opinions. It is just the handwriting on the wall.
  8. by   foreverLaur
    I know. Education is the #1 thing right now. They would take a new DNP graduate over a Nurse Practitioner without a masters and 30 years experience it seems. It's unfortunate, but true. I WILL get my BSN and MSN (or DNP) as quickly as I can. I have no problem with that.

    I have a problem with the fact that no hospitals will hire a nurse without a BSN and not all of us can afford to get there on our own...
  9. by   RNperdiem
    Degree inflation is a fact of life these days.
  10. by   NENE RN
    I will attend my last clinical for my ADN tomorrow. I have worked the last 3.5 years as a tech. My original plan was to get my BSN what stopped me $$$$$. Most of the people that I know currently completing their BSNs parents helped with their education so it was easier for them. My plans are to complete my BSN in the next 18 months. OU RN-BSN here I come. I agree with a previous poster that many CC have partnerships with universities/colleges but students muse be vigilant on verifying that the school is accrediated. OCU(Ohio Christian College) is a new school that is attached to my current CC but is not listed on the OBN. They also have partnerships with OSU, OU and two others. I am taking some courses through Columbus State that fulfill required courses for OU because of course I HAVE to pay for it.

    Now as for people being hired. I think there is half and half. The hospital system that I work for has its own BSN program. BSN graduates are hired from there and ADN students are hired from local colleges. Right now I am applying for all and any RN jobs within the system. People I know that have been hired knew someone..mom/aunt a director or manager, or of course they have worked at the hospital as a tech/pca. Right now I am praying that I pass the NCLEX and find a job. I do know that I can only work up until I pass the boards which will be another 4 to 6 weeks.
  11. by   MissBrahmsRN
    i personally am not a fan of the Magnet facilities. i've spent a decent amount of time in both Magnet-certified & not and frankly they are pretty much the same: both obsessed with the bottom line rather than quality patient care, both chronically understaffed, both underhire, Magnet is just another useless organization with a bunch of rules that usually just overly complicate things. i will probably get the BSN but frankly it's not worth much, the only classes i lack are management classes which are completely useless to me as i have no plans EVER to manage.

    so basically i will get the cheapest BSN out there and have the dumb piece of paper, god forbid i spent my classroom time on things that will actually help the bedside nurse like cardiophysiology or something like that...
  12. by   foreverLaur
    I have talked to over a dozen nurses who originally completed an ADN program and later when back and did a RN-BSN. They have ALL said it was a complete waste of time and money. The new requirement being BSN only certainly isn't because we'll be better nurses because of it!
  13. by   klone
    FWIW, I work at a Magnet facility (one of only a handful that has received it 3 times in a row) and while they encourage advancing one's education, it's not a requirement. I have an ADN, and many of my coworkers have ADNs as well.

    Now, they will only hire BSN NEW GRADS (that's a requirement for their residency program) but they regularly hire ADN nurses with experience.
  14. by   foreverLaur
    Which unfortunately does me no good - an ADN student with (obviously) zero RN experience, a BA in Health Psychology, a BS in Business Administration, and (when I graduate) 2.5 years experience as a PCA.