Lowering the Bar? - page 2

The school I'm going to has always used a 1+1 curriculum this means that to become an RN you have to first go threw an LPN program and get your LPN license. Altogether you have to take 40 credits of... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Dayray, I did all those pre-requisites you discuss EXCEPT become licensed as an LPN. I feel I was as fully qualified as any graduate nurse was to begin orientation and then work. I would not go thru a program that made me work as an LPN first when my goal was to be an RN. That is all I am saying.

    YES, I agree EVERY RN program MUST HAVE MANY hours of clinical rotation and provide a SOUND knowledge base regarding pathophysiology , biological sciences as well as psychology. (and so many other things). But I did not seek to be an LPN and did not want to work as one. Just was my choice and I daresay I turned out to be a pretty good nurse anyhow. :-)
  2. by   Future RN in WA
    I am just starting a BSN program. The community college I attended had an LPN program, but decided to do away with it. Their final class is going on now. They have an AA RN program, but are making people who are done with their prereq's wait for at least 1 year because they don't have enough space. This is the school that I originally wanted to attend. I did all of my prereq work (A&P, chem, nutrition, psych, sociology, english, math, all of it).

    I don't think that just because I am not an LPN first that I won't be a good nurse. I have taken all of the same courses that the LPN"s have taken and the school I will be attending has an intense clinical schedule as well, they don't believe in replacing actual hands on experience with theory. They say we need both!

    I don't think that they (the school you are attending, Dayray) should do away with prereq's. They most definately need some background before they jump into this and they need the clinical experience too!
  3. by   fedupnurse
    Clinical time is extremely important. Part of the problem new grads face when they finish their program is that hospitals are so short staffed that they get a lousy orientation and little back up after orientation is over. I'd take a clinically competent person over a book smart theory person any day of the week, doctor or nurse!!
  4. by   Ortho_RN
    We were talking about this at work the other nite... I don't feel you NEED to be a LPN to be a good RN.. But I do feel that it wouldn't hurt for people to work as a CNA/PCA for a lil, then you really learn to appreciate your job.... It gets you out of the mind set of " I am gonna be a nurse and will not clean or bathe someone" and we have nurses (LPN and RN) on our floor that feel this way now.. I am a RN student working as a PCA, and I think it is wonderful experience... But several people are suprised to hear that I am not going to LPN school then transition to the RN program.. Whats the point?? i know I don't want to be a LPN, so why be one THEN become a RN....
  5. by   mattsmom81
    In a way I really like Colorado's old 1+1 system....kinda neat a student nurse gets awarded a license while working on the next phase.... a built in reward! I worked my way through RN school as a LPN ..... worked very well for me!

    I agree that it's a good idea for nursing students to work as PCT's/ secretaries or something in the facilities to get a feel for theory put into practice. Too many nursing schools today do not seem to be clinically preparing student nurses for the real world, in my experiences over the past 5 years or so.

    And as Fedupnurse said, we who are at the bedside are short staffed and overstretched, and often ill prepared to nurture these underprepared new grads. Unfortunate, but true situation today.

    Good luck to ya! I bet you do great! Your LPN license can ONLY help you I found :roll
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jul 2, '02
  6. by   MollyJ
    I am not a fan of the 1 + 1 approach.

    I've worked with fine LPN's but I do not think either LPN or RN education is served when the goal in the first year is to educate the person to be a LPN (a unique role) and then the next year, the goal is to educate them to be an RN (a unique role with unique responsibilities). Huh?

    This seems more like a school marketing tool than a decision made in the interest of the student or the profession. I think you end up with role confused nurses with a muddy body of knowledge.

    Nursing has given away so much of itself with it's helter-skelter approaches to nursing education, all sanctioned by the NLN in the name of improving access to the profession. Does anyone fully understand how confusing it is to be a would-be consumer of nursing education and to find the "right" nursing program? It is, flatly stated, a mess. Comparisons between programs end up being apples and oranges.

    My intent IS NOT to bag on individual students or grads of these varied programs. My intent here is to comment on the lack of cohesiveness in purpose in the design of nursing education programs.
  7. by   Enright
    My BSN program had a ton of clinical experiences , lots of hours, in many different fields. I got Psych, Community Health, Public Health, PICU, long term care...you name it in addition to all the med/surg rotations. That was 15 years ago and I felt very prepared coming out of school.

    I have been amazed at how different my experience was from some of my peers. I've had other BSNs tell me they got "almost no" hands on clinical experience in school. One told me they had a few med/surg rotations, no specialties ...and even in the clinical time they had they just observed. They were told by their school "you'll get experience on the job".

    There is no wonder many people denigrate the BSN preparation. I myself wonder how the standards can vary so widely.
  8. by   oh-agnurse
    I graduared from a BSN program 3 yrs. ago, and felt nervous and a little underprepared, but that was just the "new" jitters. I've worked the med/surg, but am now working cardiac (with open hearts, tele., etc.), and in the ccu. I have worked with several experienced LPNs, but I still would prefer a RN with a 4 yr. degree for the critical thinking. A LPN program here is only a 1 yr. program. Let's face it a lot of skills we all do we could teach my 15 yr. old to do. It is the critical thinking and the skills together that an RN has to work with. I know I'm going to offend a lot of people by saying this, but nursing should have only one entry level---BSN. Other professions have the entry level at the BSN or higher. I don't think other professions will accept nursing as a profession until we do!!
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Oh Agnurse, First *congrats* on your graduation. And, I agree... RN entry level should ideally be BACCALAUREATE..but first, my friend, you have to make it *accessible and available*, to all RN students/potential students!!!! Where I lived when I was getting my nursing ed. (Oklahoma), the CLOSEST BSN program was 100 miles away. SOOO-ooo, was it realistic for me to do this? As a military mom, I think NOT! Don't you think this frustrated me, since I already HAD an Associates Degree? YEP!

    Now, here I am, 5 years later, working thru a University in Oklahoma, online, to earn that BSN I always wanted but had no access to. Til they make it easily accessible for ALL, it is unrealistic to expect RN's to all be baccalaureate nurses, period. And with the current shortage going on, you are not likely to make it happen anytime soon. Even if the individual states in the USA try to make it happen, they will find themselves forced to grandfather ASN/ADN- prepared nurses as RN's so as not to exacerbate the already critical shortage.

    So your ideals, (while there is validity in them), that all RN's should be BSN-entry-level nurses are not offensive to me, but unrealistic and unlikely at this time! Having graduated a BSN program, I can see why one would say entry level should be at that point.....but there are many of us who *are* just as ambitious as you were, and desire to do the same, but lack the access, at least til we are already RN's and can attend an RN-BSN/MSN program that IS accessible, like I am doing.

    Oh and just an aside, if you did not realize, there ARE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS REQUIRED TO ENTER, LET ALONE, GRADUATE, AN ADN/ASN program!!!! TRUST me on THAT! I defy anyone working with me or observing me at my job to say I do not possess these "think on your feet" skills! Can't survive long in labor/delivery (or any area of nursing), without them...so please don't sell associate's degree nurses short IN THIS AREA!

    sorry so long...guess this thread really struck some interesting cords in me! I appreciate all your insights here!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 5, '02
  10. by   oh-agnurse
    I knew I would get blasted with that post! However, time constraints and economic issues were also an obstacle with me, so I looked at diploma programs first, then ADN programs. The wait for clinicals here would have given me a 2 yr. degree in 4yrs. I opted for the BSN. I did not mean to imply that an associates degree nurse does not have critical thinking or the skills: I did feel the LPN needs more critical thinking to back up their skills. I have 4 nurses in my family---LPN, ADN, diploma, and myself, I know they all work hard and are very competent in what they do. I realize now that there are geographical issues as well. In this area there are 4 BSN programs within 1/2 hour form me, and at least 2 within 100 miles, not to mention the several ADN prgrams. I won't apologize for my "ideals", it is just my opinion.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    No one blasted you, unless you consider someone presenting a valid opposing view "blasting". I am sorry it was viewed that way. NOT my intention. I, also, have nursing in my blood, so to speak. Two of my cousins are nurses, one an LPN, one a BSN-RN who worked her way up from CNA-LPN-RN over nearly 20 years. An aunt in MN is a diploma grad in peds nursing for the past 40 years. And my grandmother was a diploma graduate Rn years back..... so I have the ability to draw comparisions, here, too.

    I was simply implying that while it may be ideal to have entry level for all RN's be BSN degree, it is not feasible at this time. I see your point in how RNs would be valued and viewed as professionals if all were BSN-educated. I agree with you! I only wish all of us had the access you did to such programs!

    I am sorry if you took my post as an attack...it was simply another viewpoint, not meant as a "blast", as you put it. And I don't believe prior LPN's have "more critical thinking skills" than a straight-RN does. I believe that alot of this is intrinsic in personality types or is taught well before one attends NURSING SCHOOL. I also believe these skills are honed in life experiences. I had plenty to draw on having been in the military for 10 years prior to going to school again. Surely we can agree: there are RN's with severly lacking "critical thinking skills" and LPNs who run circles around them in this area. And the trends can be reversed...depending on the individual. I think you will run the gamut person by person, so sweeping statements cannot be applied in this area, in my opinion.

    Anyhow, be that as it may, my final sentence did state I appreciated all viewpoints here, and yours was no exception Peace to you. stone
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 6, '02
  12. by   mark_LD_RN
    i totally agree that there should be one entry level ,and that being the BSN. I don't think being made to become an lpn first would have made be a better nurse. it is not so much the program that makes the nurse as it is the person that makes the nurse. I attended a very diffucult BSN program, which required more clinical time than any of the local ,lpn or adn programs, it was expensive and hard but worth it. But still no matter what program you go through you will still need experience. I do not see eliminating the lpn first requirement as lowering the bar. as long as there is an adequate clincal component.
    I worked as a nurse tech for a while before graduateing out of money needs. One of the local adn programs has instituted a cna prerequist to the rn program it has failed miserably. if i wanted to be a cna i would have worked as one.
    nothing against cna's or lpn's but i did not want to be either of them. I have many friends who are and they are very good at it,it just is not for me.
  13. by   Dayray
    Thank you all for your responses. Allot of different view points lol.
    I think one thing we can all agree on is that nursing programs and the various roles LPN's RN's and BSN's very greatly from area to area.

    I also agree that nursing needs to change some things in order to viewed as a profession. I think before we start saying that a person should be a BSN to work as a nurse we first should make some sort of standard for BSN. In my part of the country ADN's and BSN's receive the exact same amount of nursing credits the only difference being that BSN's have to get a year or so more credits in things like music 101, history 101 and stat's.

    Perhaps in other areas there are classes that some how encourage more critical thinking at the BSN level but not here. I don't really think you can teach someone to think critically. You can give them the basic information they need to draw conclusions (i.e. the heart pumps blood, therefore a critical thinker relizes that if it stops beating the blood stops moveing) but how do you teach someone to think?

    I keep hearing people referring to LPN as a unique role but as I have said before in my area LPN's function very similarly to RN's.

    I also think it would be great if we could educate the public on what a nurse actually is. People seem a little confused I've heard so many strange things from non-medical people. Some think we are doctors with a little less school, others think we are waiters and waitresses and others seem to think we walked in off the street and got hired without any training at all.

    I am glad I made this post but I think what we can learn form this is that there is no way we can answer this question. Look at all the different types of programs mentioned in this thread. I don't think its fair to compare anyone to another. From state to state laws and curriculums very so much, not to mention differences in quality of instructors or the varying roles of nursing.

    Thank you all for your input. I'm going to start a new thread lets talk about what "The nursing program" should be like.