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Benefits of a BSN?

First Year   (1,133 Views 12 Comments)
by Sheika34 Sheika34, BSN (Member)

605 Visitors; 17 Posts

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Hi! So I am a new grad student. & I have a controversial and unpopular opinion/question?

I graduated from a BSN program & I have started my first nursing job. But I feel like I'm having a hard time transitioning from nursing student to "hello, a certified RN". Anyways, I just feel as tho since I put in all this time and money in a BSN program I should know how to do more than I do.

I just feel like I have experienced nothing, besides giving meds and starting the occasional IV, during my clinicals in school.

Now that I am on the med-surge floor, I feel like the nurses who have taken the accelerated programs have had more clinical experience.

My main question is.. Does any new grad or a nurse in general felt like their BSN program prepared them more for taking the NCLEX than actually working on the floor?? Or is it that I may just be the only one thinking that to justify my struggle? (It's ok, please tell if I am)

while it has been easier for me to get a job and such, I want to feel like I'm worth it to my patients and right now I don't. I keep going back to my time in school & wondering was their some type of clinical experience that I missed?? & while a BSN program did provide me with a chance to explore different specialties, I felt like i missed something as far as clinical experiences.

& Disclaimer: never have I thought that since I was in a BSN program that that would make me better than anyone. But I did assume that a BSN program would give you more in depth experience because you are in school over a longer period of time. I just wanted to state this just in case I conveyed the wrong message.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

712 Likes; 2 Followers; 28,846 Visitors; 4,073 Posts

ADNs and BSNs are equally unskilled as new graduates. In general, a higher degree offers more opportunity for advancement when the time comes, though.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience.

210 Likes; 1 Follower; 28,993 Visitors; 4,113 Posts

The trend in nursing over the past few decades has been towards a more theoretical education. The hospitals have had to pick up the slack when hiring knowledgeable but underskilled new grads.

It is not just you. Most of us learn by doing, and our first job is like a final, all-clinical year of school.

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10 Likes; 3,446 Visitors; 235 Posts

I felt like my nursing program spent more time trying to get us to pass the NCLEX then they were about giving us actual hands on experience.

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NightNerd has 5 years experience and works as a Bedside Nurse.

122 Likes; 15,243 Visitors; 728 Posts

Most of what I know, I feel like I learned on the job. Not that nursing school wasn't valuable, obviously, but there's not much opportunity to repeat and really cement your skills and critical thinking. I am about to finish my BSN after starting as an accredited ADN, and the classes I took to earn my BSN were almost entirely theory and non-bedside subjects. Useful for career advancement and certainly interesting, but work experience has still been my best teacher.

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232 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,230 Visitors; 36,400 Posts

The trend in nursing over the past few decades has been towards a more theoretical education. The hospitals have had to pick up the slack when hiring knowledgeable but underskilled new grads.

It is not just you. Most of us learn by doing, and our first job is like a final, all-clinical year of school.

I like that analogy: "a final, all-clinical year of school."

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NightNerd has 5 years experience and works as a Bedside Nurse.

122 Likes; 15,243 Visitors; 728 Posts

Most of what I know, I feel like I learned on the job. Not that nursing school wasn't valuable, obviously, but there's not much opportunity to repeat and really cement your skills and critical thinking. I am about to finish my BSN after starting as an accredited ADN, and the classes I took to earn my BSN were almost entirely theory and non-bedside subjects. Useful for career advancement and certainly interesting, but work experience has still been my best teacher.

*accelerated, not accredited (although I guess it was that too)

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traumaRUs has 25 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

505 Likes; 14 Followers; 127 Articles; 184,981 Visitors; 20,508 Posts

Moved to First Year after Licensure

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47 Likes; 2 Followers; 102,783 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

Nursing schools used to teach people how to be nurses, and students graduated prepared to enter practice. Apparently, that's gone the way of the dodo bird, and school now is focused on passing the NCLEX. It's not just your program.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

242 Likes; 5 Followers; 57,549 Visitors; 12,974 Posts

Most people who are brand new to any profession feel that way to some extent. It simply takes more than a couple of years of courses (including clinicals) to prepare someone completely for a complex profession. School is one very important step in the process -- but so is a couple of years of actual practice.

Most of the people who don't feel a bit like an imposter at the beginning of their careers are simply too ignorant to realize how much they don't know. They are the dangerous ones.

Just focus on safety and quality -- and have faith that you will continue to learn more over time and eventually start feeling more comfortable with being an actual RN. It usually takes 6 - 12 months for those feelings of comfort to appear.

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4 Likes; 3,599 Visitors; 129 Posts

Thank you all for this thread! I just graduated from a BSN program and I feel underprepared for work. We wrote so many papers and did so many group projects when we could have spent more time in clinical settings or learned more about procedures and skills. I was thinking that the problem was that I went straight to a BSN program where the instructors continually encouraged us to continue on to be nurse practitioners. But perhaps the de-emphasis on clinical skills is happening at all levels of nursing education? This has really bothered me throughout my program as I am a hands-on kind of guy (a kinesthetic learner). No wonder so many places won't hire new grads.

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Ashley_SF has 4 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

1 Like; 957 Visitors; 40 Posts

Most people who are brand new to any profession feel that way to some extent. It simply takes more than a couple of years of courses (including clinicals) to prepare someone completely for a complex profession. School is one very important step in the process -- but so is a couple of years of actual practice.

Most of the people who don't feel a bit like an imposter at the beginning of their careers are simply too ignorant to realize how much they don't know. They are the dangerous ones.

Just focus on safety and quality -- and have faith that you will continue to learn more over time and eventually start feeling more comfortable with being an actual RN. It usually takes 6 - 12 months for those feelings of comfort to appear.

I second this!

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