Should BSN be required entry level for practicing nurses?

  1. I am very interested in this subject, and also curious how NP's will reply. The answer in my own mind is clear. Should the nursing shortage be a factor in making a decision such as this? What do you think? How do you think a transition to a Baccalaureate requirement could be implemented in the US?
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    About N2000

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 11


  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    No problem from me IF all currently in school, on waiting lists, or licensed are grandfathered in, AND there are sufficient BSN programs with scholarships to provide the nurses we need. Now there are not enough slots as it is in my state.


    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 13, 2000).]
  4. by   N2000
    I definitely agree concerning those already in school and licensed being grandfathered in. In terms of there being sufficient BSN programs with scholarships to provide the nurses we need--will that ever happen? Does the difficulty in making a change like this justify simply maintaining the status quo?
    Current range of training options results in a vast range of level of performance in areas beyond the basic task-oriented skill performance. With technological advancements and shortened hospital stays clearly to continue the transition to higher demand for nurses in non-hospital settings, should non-baccalaureate programs even be considered to be adequate?
    Acceptance of nurses as professionals is hampered both by nurses themselves and in the eyes of others; the current range of entry level options is one factor in that perception. The professions of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Speech Therapy, Medical Social Work to name a few ALL require a bacclaureate education or beyond for entry into practice. CNA's, LVN's, RN's, and-gulp-NP's do not(in CA).
    When nursing included a greater proportion of time spent on patient tasks as bathing, changing linen, and assisting with meals, a higher level of academic achievement may have yielded little benefit. In nursing today, as these types of tasks are delegated to CNA's. LVN's are often delegated tasks as passing meds, drawing blood, and doing treatments. Is it reasonable to continue to train new RN's without the benefit of higher academic education as so little of what we do remains purely task-oriented? The need for the nurse to have good critical thinking skills based on a solid educational background to adequately meet the expanded role into which nursing is growing is key.
    An alternative approach to requiring all current programs require BSN's would be to identify different levels of RN's and the roles in which they could participate. A stratification process as this could easily create dissention and rivalry among nurses, much in the same way the NP sometimes faces challenges from other nurses. This option would also continue to undermine our acceptance and performance as a profession.
    There are no easy answers; but that does not justify doing nothing.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I think requiring a BSN is ideal. NOW however the hospitals want as few licensed nurses as they can get away with. Many do not even hire CNAs who at least have 150 hours of training. I had one who wrote the diastolic BP on top and could not count a pulse over 80. The VS were recorded as pulse-80, BP 60/110! The heart rate was > 100.
    This discussion has been going on since I entered nursing in the sixties. WHAT CAN WE DO?
    If I knew I might work for it but first we need the universities. In our state the University of California has ELIMINATED the undergraduate nursing programs it previously had. Sorry, I give up. (for now)
    PS I prefer a Nurse Practitioner for my personal health care. She works with an excellent group of physicians so I feel in good hands if it is beyond her scope.


    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 18, 2000).]
  6. by   Jason-ACNP
    I too feel that the BSN should be the entry level into nursing. I read an editorial recently (written by a FNP with a MNSc)stating that the problems with nursing can be traced back to one underlying factor, which is the nursing "profession" has not remained steadfast in their conviction to abolish diploma and ADN programs. As a result, nursing continues to believe it is a profession when in actuality, it is nothing more than a dead-end "vocational" job. Consequently, nursing will never attract the best and the brighest, but instead settle for "junior college material" or "grade 13 grads".
    I know many diploma and assoicate degree nurses who provide excellent care. Additionally, I feel that nursing provides more opportunities than any other career I can think of. However, I certainly see her point. Unless the best and the brighest have already chosen to pursue a career as an advanced practice nurse, I couldn't imagine why a highly intelligent and motivated person would choose nursing as a career. The concept of "It's a calling" or "They may just want to care for people" may be sweet, but lets be realistic. Healthcare has evolved into a highly profitable buisness where the bottom line is the allmighty dollar. Most kids today (and adults as well) associate nursing with bed pans, bed baths, and other menial tasks. It is perceived as a laborious "JOB" (vs.a career) that does not stimulate the brain, unless you call a migraine headache stimulation. Thus, those persons who could help to promote nursing into a more positive light are going into "more respective" fields. If one of these "scholars" strays from their group (and chooses nursing), then it is usually for the sole purpose of pursuing a career as a CRNA or NP.
    Just one more thing. What about the media? This is an issue I have yet to see addressed. Do you really feel that Hollywood has done much to promote nursing? Television shows such as ER or Gideon's Crossing hardly ever, (IF EVER) show nursing in a positive light. In fact, I can't help but think that they strive to promote the negativity of nursing. Am I wrong? Maybe I am. But those shows really seem to expound nurses as being handmaidens who are mindless recorders of vital signs. Futhermore, they are really good at the menial tasks. "Let a nurse do that" (a menial task), (as if they don't have enough to do in reality). God forbid an MD getting there gloved hands into vomit or feces!!! Not in Hollywood!!!! These shows also seem to potray family members as being condescending towards nurses. If I'm wrong, please let me know. But the reason I state this is because these shows are very popular, and thus I feel that the public develops their perception of nurses based on these shows, and then carry it with them into hospitals later on. Again, why would a highly intelligent person pursue a four year degree to be belittled, unless they had the insight to a brighter future through advanced practice?
  7. by   Ciejoe
    I would like to see the day when the BSN is the required entry level into nursing. However, realistically, I have my doubts that this will ever happen.

    Several years ago I had to attend a hospital based meeting. I can't remember the specifics, but it was probably as a requirement for school. (I was there to observe and learn.) I was shocked and disappointed to see that nursing was the most underrepresented group at the table. While other factions within the hospital had baccalaureate and masters prepared representatives, nursing was represented on the associate level. To be honest, I was embarrassed.

    Personally, I feel that there is nothing that can replace a good education.I wish more nurses felt the need to continue their education-to keep raising the bar higher. In short, nurses need to inspire this growth within each other.

  8. by   barbiegirl1
    As A student with a bachelor's degree in psychology, who has just been accepted into the ADN degree at my local community college, I have taken offense to some of these postings. Unfortunately I am new to this site too and I hate to start on a bad note, but if you notice, it is mostly those with advanced degrees in nursing that feel first of all that a BSN should be the entry level requirement, and second of all that the ADN program belittles "THEIR" profession into a mere "vocation for junior college material and grade 13 graduates." I am offended at all of this. First of all, I have wanted to be a nurse since I can remember. And if any of you remeber school, remember that, and how about doing it with children and a family?? Remember that? It cost a lot of money not to mention time. I feel greatful to be able to get my ADN at a school I can afford and then have my employer help with tuition costs later on for my BSN. Meanwhile I will be gaining valuable experience. Obviously I am also "university---grade 16 material" since I do have a bachelor's degree and a 3.6+ average.

    I do agree with you that the shows like ER put nurses down by saying things like, "a nurse can do that" so maybe it is them that need to be educated on how valuable a nurse, no matter how high up the education scale she has climbed so far. From the ADN nurses I know, we are all planning on furthering our education. But that is hard to do with the cost of education. Trying to raise a family, own a home, and go to school is a lot to bite off. Most of you must understand this.

    Just like now that I am 30 years old, it is a lot easier for me to say that they should raise the driving age to 18 or hell why not 21?? It won't affect ME!!!!!!!! But at one time, it would have.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I am not intending to offend anyone. I have enjoyed reading all of your posts and they are very informative.

    Tracy ADN=RN student 2002
  9. by   2ndCareerRN
    This thread is just another variation on the us (BSN) vs. them (ADN/Diploma). How will the nursing profession ever be taken seriously when they can't even act professional among themselves. How is adopting an elitest attitude towards the level of education going to help anyone in the profession? Does my being a BSN prepared nurse magically make me a better nurse than all of the ADN/Diploma nurses? When the SHTF, I do not care whether the nurses working with me has spent an extra 2 years in school or not, all I care about is that they can do their job, and do it right. I have seen several BSN prepared nurses fail miserably. Why is that? I do not know, but could it be because they have been told thay are Sierra Hotel college grads and many decide they know all that they need to know. The last 2 that came down the pike lasted about a month after orientation in the ER, seems they felt they were taught everything they needed to know while in their 4 year program. Well, they learned differently. Why do managers feel they can hire new grads into fast paced, critical environments because they have a BSN? A few letters behind your name does not make you an experienced nurse!!

    IMO, the only reason a BSN is required is if the person has aspirations of obtaining a higher degree, or plans on moving into management. If not for one of these reasons it may be a waste of time and money for them!
    I do not see nursing, as it is now, changing for a very long time, and as such there is no reason to make the BSN an entry requirement.

    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on May 14, '02
  10. by   fergus51
    It is already becoming the minimum in 3 or 4 provinces in Canada, with Diploma nurses being grandfathered in. Our BSN is only one year longer than our Diploma program so it wasn't a huge change anyways (we don't have any ADN programs here). I think it will be a positive thing in the end because a lot of people questionned why we deserved a better pay scale when "we didn't even have to have a 'real' degree". It is an ignorant attitude, I agree, but it's there. And in a system funded by the people's taxes we can't ignore their ignorant perceptions...
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 14, '02
  11. by   NurseAngie
    Originally posted by Jason-ACNP
    Consequently, nursing will never attract the best and the brighest, but instead settle for "junior college material" or "grade 13 grads".

    Well, that's certainly an interesting comment.
  12. by   mark_LD_RN
    well i personally believe BSN should be the entry level for nursing, not that it necessarily makes you a better nurse. but that it is one of the requirements to becoming a true profession. BSN as a whole do not think they are superior as some claim they do. As far as hiring BSN into critical areas at my hospital if you have a BSN they will hire you as a new grad into critical areas such as L&D,ER And ICU. that is because the BSN programs here have a critical care component were we do rotations in each of theses areas plus a 200 hour preceptorship requirement. this is not meant to put down nurses with out BSN. But look at the direction nursing is headed and what is being done in other developed countries. Canada and Europe are headed for BSN requirement. In my area their is little difference in length of time it takes to get BSN or ADN. ADN programs here are 3 yrs the 2 bsn programs are 3.5 and 4 yrs. the bsn programs here have more clinical hours. I just do not see the benefit of going to the ADN programs. Even though I teach at a local ADN program, this is my opinion, and i am sticking to it.
    Last edit by mark_LD_RN on Jul 13, '02
  13. by   NurseAngie
    Originally posted by mark_LD_RN
    Even though I teach at a look ADN program this is my opinion, and i am sticking to it. [/B]

    ???? you teach at a "look ADN program"???

    Last edit by NurseAngie on Jul 13, '02
  14. by   mark_LD_RN
    yes,i do. do you?

    guess you never made a typo in your life!
    Last edit by mark_LD_RN on Jul 13, '02