Future of Nursing - page 3

I went back to school to earn my BSN. We have recently been talking about the future of nursing and where we are headed as a profession. One of the topics that was discussed was BSN prepared nurses... Read More

  1. by   KC CHICK
    Well, in that respect schmrck, I think it was mentioned previously that PT's raised their entry level to Masters degree to "improve" their profession. I don't think it worked for them. My mom is a PT....went to Kansas State University and the Mayo clinic in Minnesota for training. She became frustrated w/the profession a few years ago and is semi-retired now.
    She is currently in an LPN program and does PT & Massage Therapy on a part-time basis. She has told me many times that she's glad I went into nursing because "in nursing, there are so many more opportunities than what she had as a Physical Therapist". She has also stated how impressed she is by all the knowledge that LPN's, and RN's, learn in their programs.

    I don't think "BSN only" is a fix for the needed respect of the profession of nursing. I'm not sure what is.
    Last edit by KC CHICK on Oct 14, '01
  2. by   frustratedRN
    This isn't about patient care, it isn't about whether you are an ADN or a diploma nurse, this isn't about whose a better nurse,

    ~yes it is. if you asking if we should "raise the standards" to a BSN then you are insinuating that ADN and diploma are substandard. at least thats how i am understanding it.

    It's about wanting the best for our profession.

    ~i am saying then ...NO, its not the best for our profession at a time when we are in such turmoil. NO

    and i do not believe for a minute that a higher education will give us a stronger voice OR add respect to the profession. maybe im just not getting it.
    tell me how
  3. by   kaycee
    I just wanted to add, not all diploma nurses are OLD! Sorry I just had a birthday and I'm a little sensitive.
  4. by   frustratedRN
    i guess its taken for granted that the diploma schools arent a big source of new nurses these days. lol
    never meant to imply you were old !

    happy birthday
  5. by   kaycee
    Frustrated, I was just kidding , I really wasn't offended. I'm actually a diploma nurse with an AD in Science. Back in the early 70's they were experimenting with 3 yr programs. I went to a diploma school associated with a local college. We took all the same credits as staight diploma students plus college credits for an AD degree.
    Anyway I'll throw in my two cents on this subject. I understand where schmrock was coming from with the original post. I think if I were encouraging someone to go into nursing right now I would suggest a BSN program if they had the time and the money. Only because there are more opportunities out there if you have a 4 yr degree.
    But I also agree this is certainly not the time to make it the only way to go considering the shortage.
    As far as the general public gaining more respect if all nurses were BSN I don't think that is true. Most people that find out I'm a nurse in conversation, or my patients, never ask what type of degree I have. They really don't care as long as there is someone there to take care of them. We don't display anything on our name badge other then RN and that's all the general public cares about.
    It has also been historically shown that hospitals ignore and don't pay more for BSN so I don't think that if all RN's were BSN's it would increase respect and pay. We as RN's no matter what our educational background need to stick together and become united for that. That unfortunately has been shown historically not to happen either. I don't know what the answer is. I have always been outspoken at my job and do everything in my power to correct wrongs done to my profession, but I find when it comes down to it very few complainers are willing to open their mouths when the opportunity exists. I wish I knew how to change this. I look forward to the new nurses coming in to put their feet down and demand things that nurses in the past have just toleratd because it was always that way. If having 4 yr degrees helps then I'm all for it. Just don't tell me at my age and after 26yrs of experience that I'm obsolete. I'm open for suggestions and will be the first in line if I can help make a difference.
    Well enough ramblings from this OLD RN. LOL
    Have a great day!
  6. by   JennieBSN

    Okay.....well, what about those of us that aren't really sure???

    I have a BSN, let me state that right off, b/c folks will surely want to know that info for this thread...

    Anyhoo....part of me says no, because there is a shortage, and it's gonna get a whole lot worse as the baby boomers age (sorry boomers...don't mean to make ya feel like a bunch of crusty critters... ). Plus, as others have stated, lots of people flat out can't AFFORD a 4 year degree nor do they have the time. BSN minimum would take a lot of potential great nurses out of the picture on the basis of funds/time alone. That sucks.

    Part of me says yes, because I honestly do think the public would hold nursing and nurses in higher regard if the minimum was a BSN. However, that theory has a lot of holes.

    I guess I'm leaning more towards the 'no' side, then, honestly. I work in a hospital that still has a diploma program. I work with mostly diploma and ADN nurses. I love them, they are great. I think they bring a lot to the profession in the realm of experience, which is what any profession worth its salt needs to help 'mature' their young.

    Plus, let me add....yes, I value my degree. I worked hard for it. BUT...and this is a BIG but....my PARENTS had a big part in pretty much FORCING me to go to college. If it wasn't considered such a big hoo-rah to have a college degree, to tell you the honest to God truth, I'd have probably gotten my ADN. However, in my family, not having a college degree is a big no-no, so I got my BSN.

    Okay, running out of the room to avoid the flames...that's my story and I'm sticking to it...
  7. by   canoehead
    I took the ADN and then worked and got my BSN, this was in Canada.

    The ADN was the course that taught me how to be a nurse and they emphasized critical thinking, looking for the cause and effect of illnesses and treatments. The information, and the way they taught it gave me a good base, and prepared me for learning throughout my career. But, I don't think that I was a great nurse when I got out, there just wasn't enough time to cover everything.

    So I worked for a year and then went into the BSN. About 50 % was ********, (nursing courses were famous for their emphasis on theory without relating it to real life) Lots of courses that really didn't have a lot to do with bedside nursing, and not much to do with anything else. (sociology, chemistry, statistics) They NEVER observed me working on the floor, NEVER observed me with a client. I could suck as a nurse, they wouldn't know. But I can write a mean paper. Got published twice during my degree program.

    My conclusion is that the BSN really was worthwhile, at most, 50% of the time. And that 100% of the time they did not have evaluations in place that actually told them if you would be a decent nurse. And they did not mention the "critical thinking" business once. (I was waiting for it)

    I think that the minimum education for nursing should be a 4 year degree taught in the ADN style with emphasis on bedside nursing and professional advocacy. I also think that there should be 1 year courses for nurses that choose to specialize in a particular field, again lots of emphasis on clinical, and some on political and professional action.

  8. by   Mooshie
    This is the first time i have done anything like this and i thought i would like to add my two cents worth to the discussion. As I'm not from the States I'm not really sure how your nursing training is conducted but i can give you some insight into how we do things down under.

    There are only two ways you can be trained as a nurse here therefore the professional standards are somewhat regulated. You can either go to TAFE, complete 12months and end up with an enrolled nurse (EN) qualification or you can go to University for 3 years and earn your Bachelors degree. Registered Nurses (RN) are paid more and have much more responsibility than EN's.

    The main difference between the two is that EN's aren't able to administer medications (witout being accredited) and they don't go throught the same professional development program that Uni Grads do. They are however an invaluable resource in the hospital, especially with what i understand to be a worldwide shortage of nurses.

    I went through the Bachelors program because i wanted a nursing career. The problem in Australia is that the entrance level for the degree is quite low. This is where i see the first problem lies in raising nursing to professional status. If the course was harder to get into then people wouldn't see it as a second or last resort course.

    I hope i have understood the topic and that this helps with the discussion

  9. by   maryb
    I originally had an ADN degree, went back for a BSN. I did this for myself! not for any professional reasons. I received no increase in pay or anything for obtaining the BSN. I knew this when I went back, but it was something that I wanted to do because of an interest in nursing research.
    That said, I don't think "raising the minimum standard" will ever make a hill of beans when it comes to professional recognition. I have never had a patient ask me about my educational level other than to inquire if I am a nurse or not, and I also can't recall an employer inquiring about my level of education or caring which degree I had. I've never seen an ad for bedside nursing in which the employer required a BSN prepared nurse.
    I see the problem as more one of what the body of nursing is made up of (I'll probably need a bomb shelter after saying this). Many of us are single parents, older, and very involved with lives that don't have anything to do with our jobs/careers. In many more "respected" professions, the majority start out young, when they have the ability to focus completely on the career, and advancing. They put in time and effort making and maintaining standards for their professions.
    In nursing, many professionals have kids/homes/lives when they first start out, and cannot put that kind of focus on the profession. Is this a fault? NO! However, it is a reality. And it results in a very few deciding the standards.
    It's a difference in focus to me, not a problem with our educational preparation. And, in my current work, I have contact with many VERY busy physicians who still make time to perform research, write articles, etc., to advance the knowledge of the profession. I personally know 3 nurses who have written anything of the kind, and I know 100s of nurses.
    I think we need to spend more time focusing on the activities that will bring more professional recognition, and quit worrying about education. As mothers/fathers/wives/husbands, it's difficult to find any "spare" time for writing/research, but I think more of us need to do it (myself included). My best time is 5a-6a No one else is awake, and I have some quiet time to spend drinking coffee. Maybe I should start spending that time focusing on the nursing profession and what I can do to advance it.
  10. by   CATHYW
    Nilepoc, I think you've got it right. And, to those who think this is a can of worms, why is that? Is it that we feel threatened that somebody might "one up" us, or that we might risk losing our leadership position or job? When programs are grandfathered, those with knowledge and experience continue to carry on. Those who are simply comfortable, but not necessarily knowledgeable (read: complacent), are more at risk of being demoted, reassigned, or encouraged to look elsewhere for employment. I believe that is only right. Unless those in a position to make decisions are absolutely ignorant of the fact that a degree (in ANY field) does not confer expertise, they should not put new grads in any position of leadership, until they learn the clinical ropes, by actively providing primary care for patients, not supervising those who do. How can one correctly supervise a job that they are not skilled in, themselves?

    Also, the public looks toward those with advanced education with more respect. It doesn't mean that they necessarily think that the educated person is better, just that they have advanced themselves through education. For example, a GP vs. a "specialist." We all know that is like comparing apples and oranges, but on the other hand, it might be somewhat like comparing an ADN to a BSN, or a NP.

    As always, these are just my thoughts-not intended to inflame or enrage anyone. Remember, we all are in this profession together!
  11. by   kaycee
    Just wanted to say, I think there has been very intelligent ideas expressed here. Everyone has the same goal, just different ways to get there.
    There has been no flaming just good old fashion discussion and sharing. Bravo!
  12. by   nightingale
    yes.. Bravo on the ideas and sapport form the group...

    My opinion and from which side of the fence I stand on.....

    First an ADN, 2 year program on the 5 year plan. I worked my but off and was VERY proud of the hard work I put in. I went to an excellent and demanding program.

    Just finished by BSN on the 3 year plan. I am VERY proud of the hard work I put in and think it was VERY worthwhile. Did it make me better at the bedside? Skills were not additionally learned but the theoretical knowledge improved my assessment base of knowledge.

    I agree this is a difficult time to demand more of the nurse profession. To earn the minimum requirements for taking the boards we still have to pass that grueling NCLEX exam.

    I know of many nurses who would have not made it through a four year program. There are many non-traditional students who walk through the doors of nursing college. Not only the time factor, but quite frankly, community college was much less expensive to take on.

    I strongly agree... we need a united voice... I stand proud to be called a nurse. I know we are the butt (excuse the punn) of a lot of jokes... I do not tolerate them or allow them to be laughed at when I am staning around.

    How can we unite? Yes, one way is to organize or unionize. We do have the ANA, but we all know how low the participation is with that.

    What other solutions could we come up with? Any ideas???

  13. by   kimtab
    A Bachelor's Degree doesn't automatically confer respect and recognition upon you in your chosen field- be it Nursing or anything else. However, since it's hard to get a job stocking the dairy aisle at the supermarket anymore without a Degree on your resume, I do believe Nursing will eventually head that way as many other professions have. I don't think it will make any difference in the pay or the working conditions or how nurses are perceived by the public. I do think it will cut a large number of potential Nurses out of the pool though.

    I would be one of them. I am going back to school for my ADN. I already have one Bachelor's Degree, but even so- the extra credits involved in a BSN would make it impossible to me to complete. I am a single Mom and I work Full-time to support my family. No time for Anthropology I'm afraid Based on the posts I read here, people like myself are a significant percentage of people entering Nursing. Nursing seems to have an attraction for older, non-traditional students starting second careers.

    I do hope to complete my BSN some day. I want to be a CNM and thus will have to complete the BSN and MSN. Will I be able to do it? Don't know. Right now I am thankful that I can get the education that I need, that is directly pertinent to my chosen profession, in a 2-year ADN degree.

    As far how useful that extra education really is...I have to say that I learned a lot in college as far as communicating, critical thinking skills, etc. But I have learned far more in my years in the working world. For my money, experience is still the best teacher.