This trend is alive and well in the hospital where I work, too, though there are a lot of veteran nurses on my MICU. It's like you said: the new nurses coming in aspire to NP, etc. I think it has to do with the perspective the new nurses have. I am relatively new, myself, so I have watched it, and maybe my experience is similar to others' (though I do not want to be an NP, myself.) When I started my pre-reqs for my ASN, it was still a viable option to just have an associate's degree, though of course the move toward BSNs was already starting. By the time I finished my ASN, several years later because it was almost impossible to get into the prerequisite classes because they were so in demand, it was clear that a bachelor's degree was going to be a necessary next step. I went ahead and got mine, but by the time I finished that, (this past Spring), it started to look like the only way to open up any career options for one's future--whether near or far future, mind you--would be to get a master's degree. It's like the goal posts keep being moved. This trend is a little discouraging to me as someone who came to this career as a second career later in life. Still, bedside nursing, I am sure I needn't tell you, is so taxing, physically and emotionally.