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BSN CA license question??

California   (3,889 Views 17 Comments)
by EDnurse2009 EDnurse2009 (Member) Member

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Hi. I am new here and I have a question for anyone who might be able to answer it. I am currently 6 months into an accelerated BSN program in CA. My program in two years long and my school has recently changed the program so that we can sit for the NCLEX after our first year. Then we can continue the next year to finish our BSN while we are working as an RN. Many students are choosing not to go this route because they say that the BSN degree will never be shown on their RN license and that there is no way to change it after they receive their degree. Does anyone know if this is true? Seems a little ridiculous to me, that you would not be able to update your license to list that you have a BSN. It is tempting for me to sit for my NCLEX as soon as I can and begin working in the field. Please let me know if anyone can answer this, it is a major point of debate in my program.

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Your friends need to ask an RN to show them her/his license. No mention of education is printed on the license. It only gives type (RN, LVN), number, name, and address. Everybody is fretting over nothing.

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Most states require candidates who sit for NCLEX to have already graduated from an approved school of nursing. It is my understanding that CA is the exception in that some students are allowed to take NCLEX once they have completed the basic RN portion of their schooling, and then complete the courses needed for a Bachelor's Degree after becoming licensed. The downside is that other states may not recognize your RN license if you choose to do this. In order to be eligible for licensure in other states, you would have to re-take and pass NCLEX again after completing your degree.

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It is not a matter of having your license reflect your degree. caliotter3 is correct that your license does not reflect the degree you have earned.

The issue is that you would be taking NCLEX BEFORE you actually graduate and earn a degree. While that is permissible in CA in certain circumstances, it is not allowed in other states. In order to be eligible for licensure in any other state, you would have to re-take and pass NCLEX AGAIN, once you graduate from your program.

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It is not a matter of having your license reflect your degree. caliotter3 is correct that your license does not reflect the degree you have earned.

The issue is that you would be taking NCLEX BEFORE you actually graduate and earn a degree. While that is permissible in CA in certain circumstances, it is not allowed in other states. In order to be eligible for licensure in any other state, you would have to re-take and pass NCLEX AGAIN, once you graduate from your program.

I believe you are correct.

Also if you take the NCLEX as a non-grade you will not be able to work in other states, if you do it as a grad then most other states will accept your licence.

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Since this is a point of major debate, why don't you and your classmates bring these questions to the attention of your instructors? A major portion of our classroom instruction time in my program, consisted of our instructors talking about the nuts and bolts of it all.

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cali,

That's a great suggestion! I don't mean to sound like the old curmudgeon that I am, but it amazes me some of the basic things that many new grads don't know, like how to hunt for a job, how to dress and behave professionally, where to find information about licensing, etc. We had a "leadership" class our senior year that was about practical issues in nursing and covered topics such as these.

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Jolie

We had a special class for all this stuff too. Also questions were discussed throughout the program. Our instructors were always open to answering our questions, and nobody was belittled for asking questions. The best part of our leadership class was the required field trip to go to a disciplinary hearing of the BRN. One of our faculty sat on the disciplinary board for years. Boy, did she open our eyes! Not all students have such an experience or a resource like this nurse. Her input was some of the best instruction I got during my entire program.

I also like to ask questions on this board or just surf it to learn. I know that there is always a knowledgeable person who will give me some good insight about anything.

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I think I know where the confusion lies: it isn't that your license can't be changed to reflect the BSN, it's that it will have a NONGRADUATE notation on it, and as others have said, you can't get rid of that unless you take the NCLEX again, after graduation.

My understanding, however (I don't know anyone personally who has done this), is that if you have a bachelor's degree in another subject, you CAN get a regular license before you graduate your program--if you're like most ABSN students, around here anyway, you do.

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i think i know where the confusion lies: it isn't that your license can't be changed to reflect the bsn, it's that it will have a nongraduate notation on it, and as others have said, you can't get rid of that unless you take the nclex again, after graduation.

my understanding, however (i don't know anyone personally who has done this), is that if you have a bachelor's degree in another subject, you can get a regular license before you graduate your program--if you're like most absn students, around here anyway, you do.

i would strongly encourage the op to direct this question to the ca bon, or the director of the nursing program she is attending.

i don't believe that the highlighted statements above are accurate. the issue with the non-graduate license has nothing to do with having a bachelor's degree in another subject. the issue is that the licensee does not hold any degree in nursing, making the candidate ineligible for rn licensure in any state other than ca. furthermore, nursing licenses do not indicate one's degree, only their licensure as an rn.

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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Our license in Florida only has our credentials as an RN. No indication whether we are BSN's or ADNs.

Good luck!

I find it so strange that a progressive state such as California allows non-graduates to take NCLEX, several of whom are later going to fail nursing school. Interesting.

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Yes, definitely approach the board of nursing for accurate information. I agree (as I stated) that the license doesn't say anything about what kind of degree you have, it just says "nongraduate". This is the information we've gotten from our division of nursing, but only the Board can give you answers you know are accurate.

Edit to add: My understanding is that people with a bachelor's degree in another major can get a graduate's license, and that's why all the MEPN nurses can and in many cases are expected to sit for the NCLEX before completing a degree. Surely all those students aren't getting non-graduate licenses?

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