ANA rec BSN vs ASN - page 9

I've been thinking about this lately; When we were in school, the head of program was very passionate about nurses joining the ANA-something like less than 5% of all nurses are members, and if we all... Read More

  1. by   BGSRN
    I have gone from LPN to ADN to BSN and at each level I felt that I was an important member of the health care team. Patients need nurses and there is certainly room for everyone. I do have an issue with using UAP's in place of nurses but I think there is a real need for what was once called "nurses aides".


    I disagree with the ANA's proclamation about BSN's being the end all. I am also part of the MNA (Mass Nurses Asso) which withdrew from the ANA a few years ago - a good move IMO!
  2. by   fab4fan
    Quote from RetiredMSN
    goingCoastal, as an ANA member, I feel I need to respond to your statements about ANA not doing anything for the nurses. The reality is that the few nurses who do finally join simply do not take an active role in the organization, for whatever reason, leaving the actual work of the organization to a few who are really concerned. It's a typical female-dominated occupational problem: lots of complaining, little to no cooperation, too much back-biting and criticism...in it for what they can get out of it, not for what they can contribute. If nurses would see that, no, the ANA & their SNA are not perfect, but it is the best going for us now, and join in the work of improving the profession, whether union or not, then you would see changes made. But not the way things are now. I would say to the inactive members as well..."lead or get out of the way."
    And I would have to say that as a former ANA member and officer when my employer was represented by my SNA, we got bupkis. I went to meeting after meeting, spent a lot of time with our SNA rep., and it was for nothing. When mgmt. violated our contract, the SNA basically threw its hands up and said, "What can we do?"

    So, lots of $$ out of my paycheck to pay dues to ANA & SNA, zero representation, and the pleasure of reading in AJN that I am not a professional nurse because I don't have a BSN.

    If that's the best they can do, I'd rather slog through on my own. I join the professional organizations that represent my specialty, but ANA is not getting dime one from me again. They are far more concerned with expanding the role of advanced practice nurses.

    Perhaps more nurses would be inclined to join if they felt there was at least a little something in return, or at the very least, not be made to feel as if their nursing care is inferior because they are diploma/ADN grads. I don't need to pay $$$ to be insulted; I can do that on my own free, thank you.
    Last edit by fab4fan on Jun 21, '05 : Reason: spelling error
  3. by   chickdude1
    All right, guys--here's my experience.

    When my ADN boss (and she was my CNA instructor) first found out that I had been accepted to the ND (nurse doctorate) program, her first reaction was "Oh, you're the guys who want to get rid of us."

    Now, I don't give a hoot about WHAT degree you have--it's about WHO you are! There are several LPN's that I'm planning on hiring as my personal nurses when I make my first million (but don't hold your breath, guys....unfortunately), and there's people who hold masters and doctorates that I wouldn't let touch me with a TEN FOOT POLE!!!

    I also think that the ANA's very public opinion is "cutting off its nose to spite its face." Hello.....did they NOT hear the words "nursing shortage??"

    My two cents.....

    NURSES--whatever your level of education--YOU ROCK!!!!

    Chickdude1

    Quote from TypicalFish
    I've been thinking about this lately; When we were in school, the head of program was very passionate about nurses joining the ANA-something like less than 5% of all nurses are members, and if we all joined "what a voice we would have" in politics and policy. I do plan to get to a BSN-eventually, maybe-but I am 42 with three teens and their college looming-so who knows? I really agree with this-we need to use our numbers for power. I understand that raising the level of education might raise the overall respect and pay-but most patients don't know what degree you have-they judge you by your care and outcomes. But, I also keep thinking-"Why should I support a group who basically thinks that that I am too underqualified and undereducated to be a good nurse?" Because all rhetoric about being pro-nurse aside, that's what they mean..

    What do you think?
  4. by   zenman
    Quote from ELKMNin06
    1.) For the entry level into practice: I do believe that more education makes you a better a critical thinker but do I think that a BSN over an ADN makes you a better nurse? well i dont know, i think that that depends on the individual. Im a HUGE supporter of education BUT I do not necc. think that a pathophys class here and a prof roles and issue class there neccesarily makes you a better nurse per se....
    In your first sentence you mention critical thinking skills yet in your last sentence, you showed a lack of applying such skills. Sigh.
  5. by   RetiredMSN
    i'm going to have to disagree with the nonproductive sexist view "it's a typical female-dominated occupational problem: lots of complaining, little to no cooperation, too much back-biting and criticism....."

    sorry if i offended you tweety. but, as a female, this is something i observed with many years of working in a female-dominated profession. it's a well-known fact that nurses are their own worst enemy when it comes to improving the profession and image. we eat our own...how many new nurses really stay in the profession after beginning work on a tough division in a health facility, or a demanding home care agency?...and simply have never been able to pull together as one professional organization to advance our causes.
    in my state, a very few really concerned hard workers go far above and beyond the call of duty to be sure we are represented and our voices heard when important health care legislation is pending. and it is difficult to find people who will serve in important positions on any level. the rest simply are not interested, or only find fault and nit pick. it is discouraging to hear nurses complaining constantly about their working conditions, yet they are not willing to pay anything to belong to their professional organization where they could make a difference. if more would join, then dues would go down. as a retired person, i am trying to back out of working in the sna, but shortage of volunteers just keeps us oldies in there for a little longer!
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from retiredmsn
    sorry if i offended you tweety. but, as a female, this is something i observed with many years of working in a female-dominated profession. it's a well-known fact that nurses are their own worst enemy when it comes to improving the profession and image. we eat our own...how many new nurses really stay in the profession after beginning work on a tough division in a health facility, or a demanding home care agency?...and simply have never been able to pull together as one professional organization to advance our causes.
    in my state, a very few really concerned hard workers go far above and beyond the call of duty to be sure we are represented and our voices heard when important health care legislation is pending. and it is difficult to find people who will serve in important positions on any level. the rest simply are not interested, or only find fault and nit pick. it is discouraging to hear nurses complaining constantly about their working conditions, yet they are not willing to pay anything to belong to their professional organization where they could make a difference. if more would join, then dues would go down. as a retired person, i am trying to back out of working in the sna, but shortage of volunteers just keeps us oldies in there for a little longer!

    i'm in no way offended. our life experiecnes are different, so i only respectfully disagree with your "well known facts". because that's not my reality that those problems you mention above are because it's a female dominated profression.

    i see all of that on a daily basis, but don't use it to judge the entire nursing profression, because fortunately that's not all it is for me. for me i see nurses taking care of another another, supporting one another, helping each other out when the do do hits the fan, educating one another, taking new grads under their wing and educating them.

    yeah, if there was "constant" backbiting and negativity, i'm not sure i could cope and would leave. my reality it isn't.

    as a male who has worked both male and female dominated professions i see things differently than you and that's o.k. doctors eat their young, teachers eat their young, egineers eat their young, army officers eat their young, ceo's eat their young, donald trump eats his young for breakfast lunch and dinner. i guess young people are tasty, but that nurses eat their young (and i don't believe this) because they are females, i disagree with.

    anway. agreeing to disagree, granted i'm not older and retired, just middle aged with 14 years experience.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 28, '05
  7. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from retiredmsn
    i'm going to have to disagree with the nonproductive sexist view "it's a typical female-dominated occupational problem: lots of complaining, little to no cooperation, too much back-biting and criticism....."

    sorry if i offended you tweety. but, as a female, this is something i observed with many years of working in a female-dominated profession. it's a well-known fact that nurses are their own worst enemy when it comes to improving the profession and image. we eat our own...how many new nurses really stay in the profession after beginning work on a tough division in a health facility, or a demanding home care agency?...and simply have never been able to pull together as one professional organization to advance our causes.
    in my state, a very few really concerned hard workers go far above and beyond the call of duty to be sure we are represented and our voices heard when important health care legislation is pending. and it is difficult to find people who will serve in important positions on any level. the rest simply are not interested, or only find fault and nit pick. it is discouraging to hear nurses complaining constantly about their working conditions, yet they are not willing to pay anything to belong to their professional organization where they could make a difference. if more would join, then dues would go down. as a retired person, i am trying to back out of working in the sna, but shortage of volunteers just keeps us oldies in there for a little longer!
    have you read s. gordon's most recent book, "nursing against the odds"? there is some evidence to support your position but i agree with ms. gordon, it is not so much that we eat our young but that we have always been in such a subservient position to those that are viewed as holding the power, the physicians and the administrators. we appear afraid of advancing our own position, in fear of offending someone higher up, be it a nurse administrator, a physician, an administrator. we will rarely offend because we do not receive the support of our peers, let alone others. we hold ourselves to be the protectors of our patients but frequently will not 'rock the boat' if it means angering physicians. this is not saying that some do not 'rock the boat', the majority do not. we fight among ourselves over how many entry levels should be or what constitutes good nursing practice or even what defines nursing practice. i am reminded of what i read concerning physicians when they quantified their education systems and practice. the only difference is they succeeded in a much shorter time period. we just seem to go on and on.

    grannynurse
  8. by   GrnHonu99
    Quote from Tweety
    Donald Trump eats his young for breakfast lunch and dinner. I guess young people are tasty, but that nurses eat their young (and I don't believe this) because they are females, I disagree with.
    lol...im hoping to not get eaten....
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from ELKMNin06
    lol...im hoping to not get eaten....
    Just nip back and you'll be fine. A key nursing skill, in my opinion, is learning to be assertive.

    To doctors. To administrators. To peers if necessary.

    Nursing has alot to offer, but the day when nurses were 'be invisible and virtuous', meek but eventual 'inheritors of the Earth', is gone. Nursing is the eyes and ears of medicine, and in our technical world, where lives and quality of life can be saved with rapid intervention, meekness is not a good quality.

    And I did read S. Gordon's Nursing Against the Odds I highly recommend it. She spent two pages out of 400 saying she sorta, kinda agreed with the BSN-only thing, but strongly hinted several times that the debate itself undermined the 'profession'.

    I'm a strong advocate for ADN nurses. There simply isn't a practice difference, or if there is, the advantage at the bedside goes to ADN programs because they are more geared for hands on education. However, can I be sold on the argument that the BSN route is preferable in the abstract? Possibly. BUT. Not as long as the rationale only comes from BSNs that complain that my expertise and experience holds them back from mulitidisciplinary respect. That argument is bupkiss and insulting. I will defend my degree and my rightful place in our profession against such arrogance every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Let the BSNs be 'technical' nurses if they want it - I AM A PROFESSIONAL.

    BTW, living in a large college town - College Station, TX --- TX A&M, Whoop! And having graduated w/ a Biology degree, my aggie ring means tons more than some initials after my name, especially when the vast majority of my 'mulitidisciplinary' peers couldn't tell the difference between BSN and CCRN, etc. on my nametag anyway. But many of the docs, etc. that I work with graduated from A&M - my ring they recognize. (So, I can see the bach degree argument has merits - but at the same time, I can see that it's not because there's a real difference between education paths but a perceived difference.)

    Unfortunately, I've rarely seen the argument presented in terms of perceived differences. It's normally presented something like: 'Us BSNs are so much better educated, we could really move nursing along without the baggage of those undereducated ADNs'

    The problem with the BSN-only philosophy is:

    1. The feasability of shifting the scarce resources of instructors from the ADN programs to BSN programs would require SUBSTANTIAL funding - both to increase salaries of instructors and to provide facility space for expanding the BSN programs. There is simply no source for that funding (Hundreds of Millions to Tens of Billions of $$).

    2. The cost of any such shift would be borne largely by students. There is a reason why only 30% of RNs chose the BSN route. It is not only expensive, it requires a traditional educational path that just isn't convenient to 'unconventional' students. Making a transition will make nursing degrees much more expensive and will consolidate programs, making them much less convenient. That will drastically affect interest and recruitment.

    3. A bach degree standard in nursing will make nursing more and more a 'gateway' program to med schools et.al. That will take the scarce resources of nursing school space and dent the number of actual, bedside nurses even more.

    4. A BSN-only degree would require salaries to sky-rocket because the number of actual nurses produced each year would fall without more and more incentive. an 80,000 entry to nursing sounds nice, but there is a give an take to everything. What happened when nursing went from a 20,000/yr job to a 45,000/yr job? We went to flex-up/flex-down staffing that sends us home the second a bed empties, and begs us back the second it's full. We went to staffing at the maximum ratios at all times. Educational budgets went down. Clinical Specialists (nurses hired soley to support the bedside nurse) have virtually been eliminated. Nursing has changed. The scarcity provides us with bigger bucks, but there is a cost to everything. My point - What will be the cost of an 80,000 entry to nursing? At 45,000/yr, we've morphed into an occupation that's driving our peers out in droves. I'd love to make 80,000/yr without massive amounts of overtime, but at what cost? I'm operating at the margins on any given shift NOW.

    5. Because the difficulties in transition make it almost impossible in the near term to change to BSN-only, the debate as currently formulated does nothing but breed intra-disciplinary dispute. The actual result of BSN-only proposals is to make organizing more difficult. I don't belong to the ANA PRECISELY because they shout every chance they get that I don't belong in their league without a BSN. That's fine, just don't complain about a 5% enrollment of actual nurses (and that with the majority of the 5% being required to join).

    BSN-only has only been tried once: in N.Dakota. And they repealed it.

    If you want to move towards BSN as the standard, the starting point of actually moving the debate is demanding a real pay differential for BSNs. A buck an hour isn't worth my time. 5 bucks? I've often said that, if BSNs made 5 bucks more an hour than me, it wouldn't have been a biology degree I sought after my ADN. . . The problem is that TPTB know that moving towards a BSN staff means moving closer to 80 grand then 45. They will fight it - that's exactly why there isn't a difference in salaries now. (some places might require or encourage BSN now and without incurring much higher costs, but only because they are operating in a void. If EVERYBODY did . . .)

    Sorry about the long post.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Jun 28, '05
  10. by   Tweety
    Timothy, excellent post and very valid concerns.

    I think the figure today is more in the 40% range of graduates are BSNs, and the number of graduates from both schools has risen over time.

    The concerns that BSN don't get the hands on, as you indicate, has largely been dealt with and BSN's clinical hours match ADNs.

    What's the difference then? $1.00/hr (or for me a 4% raise). Hardly worth the millions it would take to convert.

    I like the idea that our local community college has. They recently added an NLN approved RN to BSN program that they strongly encourage their students to continue in for two more years after their get their ADN. Other RNs can join the RN to BSN program too. Right now they offer both - first the ADN and then the RN to BSN, and it's a community college price. The RN to BSN program I'm in now has the same thing, all students graduate with an ADN and those who choose continue on to the RN to BSN component, and others like myself join in too. They used to only offer diplomas. I think slowly but surely ADN schools should be encouraged to add the ADN to RN component in your program........slowly.

    Right now we need more schools, period. No need to drop the ADN component just yet. But it's a nice goal still, in my opinion. But it's gonna take decades of committment.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 28, '05

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