Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

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by Rasmussen College Rasmussen College (Trusted Brand)

Specializes in Career-Focused Programs.

In most lines of work, there’s one clear path to getting your foot in the door. But nursing is unique in that it offers multiple paths to entry-level positions. Whether you’ve earned a diploma, an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, you know there is more than one way to become an RN.

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WCSU1987

WCSU1987

944 Posts

Rose_Queen said:
I don't like the whole push to force nurses back into school to complete a BSN later in life. In fact, many in my facility have decided that they will retire early rather than return to school if the facility indeed follows through with the no BSN = no job on 1/1/2020.

If the push for the BSN continues, then the US needs to do it similar to Canada: grandfather in those already licensed or in school, but as of a certain date, the BSN program is the only option. Might help with the projected nursing surplus as well- more school, less people viewing it as a quick path to a decent paycheck. Might also result in better workplaces for nurses as well- fewer nurses competing for jobs, ability to vote with our feet and still find a good job.

I agree. Grandfather everyone in by 2022. After that be like Canada/Europe mandate to be a RN have a four year degree or accelerated bachelors or higher degeee. In addition, make LPN/RPN programs a two year diploma program. That the program allows you to bridge enter into a BSN program as a third year student.

Have any nurse with an associates be allowed to keep their degree and only have the option to work in LTC/Rehab/Outpatient facilities/Doctor offices. BSNs can work anywhere and in hospitals after 2022.

Make community college free!

whichone'spink

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience. 1,473 Posts

TheCommuter said:

The wave of nursing's future is away from the bedside. I will attempt to ride that wave for as long as possible, thank you very much!

And that does require at the very least a BSN. Maybe even a higher degree soon. I'm enrolled in a DNP program in something absolutely non-clinical (informatics); although a graduate or doctorate degree is not required now for certain non-bedside jobs, I'm just staying ahead of the game because it will happen sooner or later.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience. 5,047 Posts

Heathermaizey said:
One of the differences she told us is that my critical care class this semester is actually a 2 semester class in a BSN program. So, they get more time to go a little more in depth into the disease processes as ours is compressed into one semester.

See my BSN program had ZERO critical care class. It had Geriatric, Family, and Public Health nursing classes, plus theory, informatics, research, and managment classes.

Congrats on the job offer!!

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,599 Posts

TheCommuter said:
Jobs in acute care are seriously overrated. Everyone (and their mommas) can have those acute care hospital jobs. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy non-hospital jobs that involve less stress, more money, and optimal working conditions.

The wave of nursing's future is away from the bedside. I will attempt to ride that wave for as long as possible, thank you very much!

However, there are some of us that have tried working outside of the hospital when we were eventually told we were no longer good enough to do the job that we had been doing for over a decade and weren't happy with what was available.

Going into LTC was a $8/hr paycut for me and the stress was 10x worse than at the hospitals that I have worked in the past (it took crappy staffing to a whole new level). Home care was a $10/hr cut and although it was definitely very low stress, I'm left broke and bored.

I had a work from home job doing quality review third party for health insurance companies that I actually liked and was okay with the paycut...and then ObamaCare came about and the company tanked 2 weeks into my maternity leave. Wanting to be with my daughter and keep her out of daycare before she started school left a 9-5 office job out of the picture. The shifts in the hospital worked best for what I wanted (2 12/hr shifts on the weekend) and was something I had done for years and actually liked (most of the time). 15 years into my career as a nurse I'm finishing my RN so that I can go back and have already started looking into where I should apply in the next few months to complete the BSN because the nurses that I have done my clinicals with are either BSNs or ADNs currently enrolled in a BSN program because they had been told that if they wanted to stay employed there in the next few years that they would need to get it.

I'm sure there are many people that want nothing to do with acute care. I was only stating what I have noticed for those of us who do want to work in that area. I started out in a hospital and years later found out I would have to go through a bunch of school I had not planned on in order to stay there.

Not_A_Hat_Person

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience. 2,900 Posts

TheCommuter said:
Jobs in acute care are seriously overrated. Everyone (and their mommas) can have those acute care hospital jobs. Meanwhile, the rest of us can enjoy non-hospital jobs that involve less stress, more money, and optimal working conditions.

The wave of nursing's future is away from the bedside. I will attempt to ride that wave for as long as possible, thank you very much!

Unfortunately, at least where I live, most non-bedside jobs require acute care experience, and hospitals will only hire BSNs.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience. 8,427 Posts

WCSU1987 said:
I agree. Grandfather everyone in by 2022. After that be like Canada/Europe mandate to be a RN have a four year degree or accelerated bachelors or higher degeee. In addition, make LPN/RPN programs a two year diploma program. That the program allows you to bridge enter into a BSN program as a third year student.

Have any nurse with an associates be allowed to keep their degree and only have the option to work in LTC/Rehab/Outpatient facilities/Doctor offices. BSNs can work anywhere and in hospitals after 2022.

Make community college free!

I didn't mean to like this-entirely.

I think with the more experienced ADNs should have full reign on where they work-they have the competency that would rival a new BSN prepared nurse

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience. 12,646 Posts

LadyFree28 said:
I didn't mean to like this-entirely.

I think with the more experienced ADNs should have full reign on where they work-they have the competency that would rival a new BSN prepared nurse

Darn tootin'.

Wile E Coyote, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical care. 471 Posts

I've also questioned the interpretation of the data the IOM made which led them to 80 by 20.

As already noted above, the mortality was skewed by the skill mix of the nurses in the study (lots of diploma or adn experience before bsn) and the type of hospital that tends to draw higher bsn prepared nurses. We already know teaching hospitals enjoy better pt outcomes, and also attract higher percentages of bsn nurses by nature. Therefore, I'm not aware of evidence that the researchers controlled for the independent variables experience and hospital makeup.

peacockblue

peacockblue

293 Posts

Had to get the BSN to be a school nurse in my state. Waste of time and money. The CSN classes were worthwhile because they taught me special Ed stuff and 504 stuff. But the BSN was worthless.

DreamerMW

DreamerMW

71 Posts

I'm in a BSN program at a local university. The extra courses teach nothing but useless, fluffy nursing theories that in no way will make me a better clinician. Our class always says that a BSN stands for BS+nursing classes

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience. 8,058 Posts

While I get Rasmussen's desire to sell their $47,000 RN to BSN program, it is a bit ironic that one of the supposed advantages of a BSN is a better understanding of statistics and research, and yet they mangle statistics to try and sell their program.

While I'd love to believe that bachelor's was undeniably worth the extra money compared to an ASN, there is no current evidence to support that. The Aiken research the article refers to on the effect of BSN staff proportions on outcomes compared BSN nurses to nurses who graduated from various types of programs going as far back as the 70's. If non-BSN programs have not changed significantly going back to the 70's then this would be an accurate comparison of current ADN and BSN programs, but of course that's not the case. Either due to state mandates or competitive necessity, more and more ADN programs have been required to adopt the curriculum of their partnering BSN program, so while Aiken's research makes for an interesting historical look at the difference between these programs that no longer exists, it's of little relevance to the newer generation of ADN programs.

As for the ability to find a job, Rasmussen refers to the language used in job postings, which often has nothing to do with who they will actually hire. The last two facilities I've worked at had "BSN required" job postings, yet we hired more than half ADNs. A more accurate measurement would be actual job placement, which the BLS studies regularly and the last data from them I'm aware of showed only a 4% decrease in the likelihood of an ADN grad having a job in nursing at 6 months compared to a BSN.

ED Nurse, RN

ED Nurse, RN

Specializes in Emergency Medicine. Has 9 years experience. 369 Posts

Penn, which in my opinion sets the bar in the healthcare spectrum, has done a research study that directly correlates a decrease in mortality when the nurse is BSN prepared. Robert Wood Johnson has done a study on better patient outcomes with a BSN prepared nurse at the bedside.

I work for a very large healthcare system, our "mother" hospital only hires BSN prepared and that is one of the reasons they consistently rank at the top of best hospitals. They also encourage research from nurses at the bedside- because that is what will make huge impacts in the medical community. Nurses publishing this research will NOT be taken seriously in the medical community without a degree to back them. How can we "sit" at the big boy table and be taken seriously as clinicians if we as a profession don't continue to evolve through education and commit to the success educated nurses bring to our profession? We could make so many changes and impact patient outcomes so much more if we push for furthering our education. Where is the standard? Every other medical profession has a "line in the sand" so to say, about what at minimum is required to succeed- and those minimums are more than a bachelors degree. I think setting a BSN standard, is the very least we could commit to as a profession.

My hospital will also pay 100% for a nurse to obtain a BSN. It's foolish to not take advantage of that. However, it's no ones responsibility but ones own, to pay for education if you wish to better yourself and advance in your profession.