Am I contractually obligated to get my BSN?

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I signed a 2 year contract as a new grad at a local hospital. At the time this hospital had Magnet status and the contract required me to attain a BSN within two years of hire. One year into my contract the hospital looses Magnet status and sent an email out to employees that they will unfortunately no longer be seeking magnet status. When I signed the contract I did so under the guise that the hospital would remain a magnet hospital. I have 2 semesters left for my BSN, am I still obligated to complete within the time frame?

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

I am not a legal expert, but I can provide some general information that may be helpful. However, for advice tailored to your specific situation, it's recommended to consult with a legal professional.

In employment contracts, changes in the terms and conditions can sometimes be affected by significant events, such as the loss of Magnet status by the hospital. However, whether this change releases you from the obligation to complete your BSN within the original timeframe depends on your employment contract's specific language and clauses.

Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Carefully go through the terms of your employment contract. Look for any clauses related to educational requirements, changes in hospital status, or any conditions that might affect your obligations.
  • Contact your human resources department and discuss your concerns. Inquire about the impact of the hospital losing Magnet status on your contractual obligations, specifically regarding the BSN requirement.
  • Consider seeking legal advice if you are unsure or your concerns are not adequately addressed. An employment attorney can review your contract, assess the situation, and provide guidance on your rights and obligations.

It is important to keep an open line of communication with your employer. You should explain your situation and concerns and express your willingness to fulfill your obligations if the circumstances allow. Understanding your employer's perspective and their potential flexibility is crucial. It won't benefit you to be in an adversarial position with your employer.

Keep a record of any relevant communications, including emails, changes in hospital status announcements, and discussions with HR. Documentation may be valuable if you need to address the issue formally.

If you don't complete your BSN, you are hurting yourself, not your employer. For your professional growth, consider completing your BSN degree. Your career options will be greatly increased by completing your degree.

Best wishes in your decision about how to proceed.

Nurse Beth


In my lay opinion, in the absence of wording tying the BSN requirement to the facility's intent to maintain Magnet status, it is likely enforceable.  Whethher they plan on enforcing it is best directed to human resources.  If the facility intends to enforce it consulting a labor attorney might be be benificial.

Best wishes.

Specializes in Occupational Health.

Contact HR and find out

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Nursing, Trauma Nursing.

I am not an attorney, so I cannot give you legal advice. If I were you, I would first contact your HR department to see if they intend to enforce the BSN requirement. If they do intend to enforce it and you are unable to meet the requirement, you may need to contact a labor law attorney who could advise you on your options. I would encourage you to complete your BSN if you are able. Having a BSN makes you more marketable if you choose to apply elsewhere and also gives you a leg up if you are pursuing a promotion into management. Best wishes.

Specializes in Critical Care.

If it is in your contract I would finish it and get your BSN as they might fire you if you don't.  Besides you are so close and having a BSN gives you more options beyond the bedside.  While it usually doesn't pay more it has become an expectation and will provide more opportunities.  Plus it can become a stepping stone to becoming an NP if you desire.  There are not many options for RN-NP so that is another good reason to get it.

I really don't see any good reason not to finish when you are so close!  Even if they let you skip the BSN since they cancelled the Magnet status you would only be shooting yourself in the foot.  Just my opinion.