Is it my imagination or would all Registered Nurses benefit from increased level of entry education to minimum Bachelors Degree?
Sep 8, '99
This is an old, old issue. This issue has been beat to death for the last 25 years with no conclusion. There are good things to be said about all the current nursing education programs. I can say this: I'm eternally tired of hearing about it. But I have found that stupid nurses have been allowed to graduate from EVERY nursing program. Yes, he/she may have passed boards and had good grades, but poor attitude abounds and most in that situation can't nurse their way out of a paper bag! It's not the program - it's the person!
Sep 9, '99
I agree with the previous idea, that it is the person and not the program. I am a graduate of a two year ADN, a two year BSN, and finishing MSN. Nursing entails caring and knowing. A person who is interested in learning will read and research problems. A person who cares will watch their patients. Both ADN and BSN grads participate in these functions at various levels. The BSN expanded on the ADN with critical thinking, chemistry, pathophisiology but these were covered faster and in an abbreviated fasion in the ADN. Nurses relearn on the job and remember what they use. A nurse who cares about their patients will notice changes and report them.New nurses from either background may not recognize signs of trouble, but it is the one who does an assessment and notifies a doctor that helps the patient. After gaining experience clinically grads from both levels function at the same jobs, and the ones who are interested in learning and understanding more will do so. A BSN who stops reading after getting a job is not a better nurse that an ADN that is committed to quality practice. There is no lack of resources for learning. Employers must have some objective criteria to evaluate new nurses, and if nurses were only required to analyze and not care the degree may mean more. I believe that there are both affective and cognitive components to nursing, and that the cognitive must be supported by the affective or practice is compromised.Therefore establishing an exclusive academic requirement may be restricting practice for some capable persons.
Sep 17, '99
I agree it is the individual that is responsible to learn and that is missing in a lot of people - nurses and others. I graduated from a Diploma program in the 60's and finally went on to get degrees in non-nursing fields. I left nursing 20 years ago because there was no future that I could see financially. The biggest complaint I had was that other RN's who never went to school or even learned new nursing procedures were paid the same as me and if raises were awarded all nurses were given the same percentage no matter what. Performance reviews were generally "pass" or "fail" but no one ever "failed". I am enrolled in a refresher course required by my current residence state to reinstate my lapsed license for a variety of reasons. After the first class, I see not much has changed. I guess that explains the shortage of nurses and nurses leaving for other careers. kmc
Sep 17, '99
I believe entry level RN's should be at the BSN level. I graduated from a 2yr. AS program and went back to get my BSN and now my MS. Critical thinking, which you don't get in the 2 yr.programs, is an important aspect especailly in today's healthcare system. There is more to nursing than being a technical nurse. Yes, the issue has been around for years which only weakens our profession credibility. The decision needs to be made NOW. Allow the RN's without a BSN degree practice more on the lines of a technical nurse. Higher education is vital in giving our profession the credibility it so deserves.
Sep 19, '99
I agree that this topic is getting tiresome!
From the hospital/organization point of view, it is also (at times)meaningless. Why? There are no lines of demarcation between the position requirements of a 4 year and non-4 year graduate BY THE BOARDS OF NURSING AND THE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. There is only one licensing examination. In many areas, the majority of registered nurses (up to 90-95%) are 2 and 3 year graduates.
I recently attended a meeting which included representatives of various programs. The discussion degenerated into the same old arguments. Why was depressing? I attended a meeting 15 years ago and the same thing happened.
To continue this debate has, for me, reached the point of professional embarrassment.
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