Janice, you are not naive, not in the slightest.
Unfortunately, I am not sure it can ever truely be set aside until there is only one avenue to go down to become a nurse.
We are all very passionate about patient care (atleast I hope), and equally passionate about our educational choices. We all went into our respective programs because we believed it was the best route to go. We all took the same test, yes, but we are not the same.
I try my hardest not to get defensive, and not to call out sides. But I will be honest and say that when someone claims that they are more clinically prepared than I am, when in my mind and opinion tells me that with two years less of formal education, that can not be so. However, most of what I have learned about nursing has been in the past year, and the coming year. That is two years. I had nursing classes my first and second years of school, as freshmen and sophomores we did head to toe assessments, blood pressures, temps, bed making, pan placements, Historical Nursing, and a lot of nursing informatics. The then spent last year, and senior year doing extensive 24 hour per week clinicals. We already have the skills, now we are just to refine them. Have we learned everything? Not at all! Learning is a lifetime process.
I look at an ADN nurse as my nursing equal, because all of the nursing skills and classes that I have taken can easily be done in 2 years instead of 4. No, I do not think that the Western Lit class that I had to take will help my bedside manner, My African Music study will not make me a better nurse. None of the classes that I have taken (besides my nursing classes) will make me a better nurse from a skill and theory stand point.
I chose to go for my BSN because a four-year college degree was important to me. I wanted to expand my knowledge base, and learn more about my world, and what it offers beyond my profession. I wanted to learn about Art, multicultural music, I wanted to be able to speak french, read latin, and write music scores.
Do all of these new found things that i can do make me a better nurse? Heck NO! I well rounded person? Possibly.
ADNs who have as many clinical hours, and the experience I do are just as good as I am. I do not believe they are better, more prepared clinically, or more advanced in their clinical skills that I am, or atleast will be. But, i do not think that I am better for it either. We are just different. Our reasoning may be different, and our routes to get there many be different, but we ALL wanted ONE thing, to be a nurse, by the best route we believed in.
Life is too short to always try to be better than our peers. We are all nurses, with the same focus, and love for taking care of people. Proper care can't be achieved if we are spending, even just a little bit of our energy trying to keep our different educational levels in different planes. We ARE ALL NURSES. We both help bring life into the world, we both hold hands in death. So what if I am a BSN, sure im proud, but I didnt choose this career to be able to write extra letters after my name, I only wanted to be a nurse.
Isn't THAT, being a great nurse, what we are all after?
No Janice dear, you are not naive, are you wise. The class discrimination is only holding us back. None are better than another, as long as we all apply ourselves, have a big and open heart, and are willing to be taught, and to teach.