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BSN needed for travel nurses

Travel   (4,695 Views | 13 Replies)

gizmopacurn has 10 years experience and specializes in Post Anesthesia, Pre-Op.

2,721 Profile Views; 25 Posts

I am going to be doing some travel nursing in about 5 years. I have an ADN right now and was wondering if any of you experienced travelers have seen any requirements for BSN needed instead of ADN. I have been thinking of getting my RN-BSN but not sure if I have it in me to go back to school. I will be retiring in 5 years at age 55 and than want to spend about 3 -5 years traveling. Any input from anyone would be appreciated.

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Bluebolt has 6 years experience.

2 Followers; 1 Article; 560 Posts; 26,838 Profile Views

Only a few times have I seen that a BSN is a must and no compromise. Although you'll usually see BSN preferred, so get it if you want to be competitive for the best locations. The offer I got to Hawaii was BSN only.

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3 Followers; 1 Article; 5,460 Posts; 46,110 Profile Views

I've seen an occasional "BSN preferred" but no requirement yet. I wouldn't be surprised if I've missed a hospital requiring it. Yet I don't think it is a problem for travelers for a few more years at a minimum. BSN prepared nurses have been rising sharply in the last few years and is variously thought to be between 55 and 61%. That is high enough that in some areas, hospitals are attempting to mandate it for their staff (who at least have to be working towards getting a BSN). Yet requiring it doesn't yet make sense for contingent staffing in my opinion. Experience generally rules for hiring travelers, and it would be a strange manager indeed that decides a BSN with one year of experience should be given preference over an ADN with 10 years of experience for a three month assignment. The manager would be ruling out 40 percent of all applicants, and those with perhaps the higher bell curve of experience.

So I suspect that until perhaps 75% or more of practicing nurses are BSN prepared, in the environment of a nursing shortage (there is a real underlying nursing shortage that is partially masked right now) and there being many more travel assignments than travelers, it will not be a problem for some time. Even many years from now, there will be enough hospitals demanding travelers who will not have yet bought into the BSN thing. The vast majority of hospitals are not big city magnet hospitals.

If I can step on my soapbox for a minute, as an ADN prepared nurse, I object to a BSN requirement. Yes, I've read the research about hospitals having better outcomes with a higher percentage of BSN nurses. Yet I can't help thinking that there must be some other variables that haven't been adjusted. Experience years of nurses at those hospitals for example, or training background. Many of the hospitals with higher percentages of BSN prepared nurses are magnet/teaching hospitals that may have better standards and supervision than other hospitals.

If you count the prerequisites required for my ADN program, I have right around three and a half years of coursework. That's right, a BSN is just one semester longer! It is difficult for me to believe one semester makes that much difference. The whole thing is kind of crazy. If I had explored my options more thoroughly before I entered nursing school, I could have picked up an MSN in the same time it took me to get my ADN in a different program with my prior degree.

That said, more education is never wrong. You might as well grab a BSN while you are a staff nurse if your hospital subsidizes it. It might give you an opening into a managerial position as well which may be interesting enough to delay your retirement.

I would like to work where I live, but in the last couple of years, the only local hospitals I would consider working at (if they actually had open jobs) are now requiring a BSN (or perhaps requiring it in a certain number of years after starting - I've never asked). So I've actually explored getting a BSN myself. I believe I could do it in about a month at a school like Western Governors that allows unlimited classes per semester. Still, I'm resisting that because it really won't make a difference in my current path of traveling. Yet it would be a fun challenge on some of the extended periods of time off I've been doing in recent years.

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3 Followers; 1 Article; 5,460 Posts; 46,110 Profile Views

Only a few times have I seen that a BSN is a must and no compromise. Although you'll usually see BSN preferred, so get it if you want to be competitive for the best locations. The offer I got to Hawaii was BSN only.

Sure, that makes sense. Such hospitals see so many profiles that they can afford to be picky. Still, you have to wonder about such hiring strategies that may rule out better candidates.

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91 Posts; 1,802 Profile Views

BSN requirements are increasing. The hospital I work at now (currently staff, but leaving for travel position and traveled for 5 years) requires BSN. This requirement is for staff and travelers. Previously the "strongly preferred," now it is required. If your want to work in tough markets, start working on your BSN. It doesn't take but a class or two a semester. And it can be easily done online...even while traveling. I got mine when I was a traveler. Never had a problem.

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wanderlust99 has 10 years experience and specializes in ICU/PACU.

793 Posts; 13,672 Profile Views

I've worked at a couple hospitals that require BSN for staff but ignore the rule for travelers. One even hired a traveler on as staff without her BSN because they wanted her so much. So I think there is some work around in certain situations. But in 5 years, this could change, who knows.

I have my BSN, but I would think in places like the ICU or on certain floors, that certifications would prove more competency for us travelers. But not many hospitals have asked me about my certifications. I've never been asked if I have my BSN, but I suppose it's on my profile.

Ned, I think the WGU degree is a good idea. What if you tire of traveling?

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3 Followers; 1 Article; 5,460 Posts; 46,110 Profile Views

Ned, I think the WGU degree is a good idea. What if you tire of traveling?

What!? Tired. Of. Traveling?

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gizmopacurn has 10 years experience and specializes in Post Anesthesia, Pre-Op.

25 Posts; 2,721 Profile Views

Tx Bluebolt, That is what I'm thinking. I kinda want to be picky and choose specific places that I want to travel to and I am worried that in the future it will be a requirement for BSN even though right now it is more of a preference. I might as well get started on the BSN and be done with it then I won't have to worry about my future.

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ICUman has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

1,688 Posts; 54,781 Profile Views

The offer I got to Hawaii was BSN only.

Does anybody know if Hawaii still holds this standard for their travel nurses?

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bayportsunny has 22 years experience and specializes in L&D.

5 Posts; 325 Profile Views

I am 55 and there is no way that I will saddle myself with $15,000 of tuition debt for a BSN. I have not encountered any travel position that requires it...I have also never had any problem getting the job. If you are 50 and plan on retiring in 5 years, I feel that investment will not pay off. Just my humble opinion!

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Argo has 10 years experience and specializes in Peri-Op.

1,221 Posts; 15,264 Profile Views

Every job i have been submitted to as a traveler i have been offered the job. I have also not been turned away from staff jobs, management or director jobs. My last director offer was a year ago, I turned it down to keep travelling. I might go back to school when my last child is gone from home but until then I'm good with my little adn. Experience trumps education but experience plus education is always good. I still know diploma nurses that travel without issue too.

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69 Posts; 2,218 Profile Views

I am a ADN Nurse and just completed a 6 mo contract in Hilo last November. I also had several offers to choose from.

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