ASN to BSN Blah blah blah

  1. I received my ASN in 1980 and to be honest, it's never been something I've loved and oftentimes hated. I recently read an article that said something like a goal of 80% BSN by 2020. So does that mean abolishing the ASN/ADN programs? If they don't abolish the ASN, does that mean there will be no BSN's at the bedside? Will you have to have a BSN to work a specialty unit? Instead of incorporating the ASN into the mix there seems to be a need to want to punish us. It's always been a sort of an us and them situation but I think it's even worse now. Will the ASN go the way of the dodo (diploma)?

    I recently left a position as a disease management/health coach working with diabetes and heart disease. I loved that job (one of the very few) but left it to move to the East Coast with my partner who was transferred. I've been jobless for a year and here's the dilemma. Every ad I read on Indeed.com and other job sites, says BSN required and the ASN's have virtually been relegated to the bedside. This makes no sense when you consider another recent article I read reports that BSN's make fewer med errors (baaaaloney). I don't know where that research came from or who expects me to swallow it but I can assure you it ain't happening'. Anyway, I have submitted resumes for which I qualify and have 11 years experience (disease management/health coach), and I don't even get a "thanks for your interest".

    I will be 60 this year and as far as I'm concerned, too old for the bedside gigs. There are back issues and I'm just not going to go there. I want to consider myself retired but then there's the money factor that keeps creeping in. I'm even thinking about taking a job where my license isn't required with a willingness to accept the accompanying pay cut. I don't want to do any of the jobs they say are good for a retiree, like home health because I've done HH before (7 years) and while I loved that (the only other gig I loved), it's stressful on it's own and I'm just not interested.

    Going back to school for a BSN at this age doesn't feel like a good option to me and frankly, I'm not interested in doing that. The impression I get now is that BSN nurses feel they are above the bedside. Do they even teach the fundamentals of nursing in the BSN programs? What does that look like? I remember TPR's, bed making, IV's, labs, the nursing process and how to write a care plan, etc., etc. That class alone was 7 semester hours.

    What are your thoughts and opinions on BSN as the only entry level into practice? Abolish the ASN/ADN programs? Rationale.
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    About Tommy5677

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 74; Likes: 152
    from NH , US

    14 Comments

  3. by   VerticalHorizon
    I don't know why you think its a competition or rivalry between ASN and BSN graduates. Yes many hospitals are trying to move towards BSN majority nurses for Magnet status and other reasons. You seem to have a strong disdain for BSN nurses and feel they have a false sense of superiority but everything you have written makes you seem like the one with the superiority complex.
    A BSN graduate takes every class an ASN does and several more, so yes they still teach how to make a bed, start IVs and the nursing process in BSN programs. On top of everything an ASN program covers, the BSN also has classes on management, community nursing and leadership among other things. This is why to get into upper level nursing professions and management a BSN and higher is usually required.
  4. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Tommy5677
    Going back to school for a BSN at this age doesn't feel like a good option to me and frankly, I'm not interested in doing that. The impression I get now is that BSN nurses feel they are above the bedside. Do they even teach the fundamentals of nursing in the BSN programs? What does that look like? I remember TPR's, bed making, IV's, labs, the nursing process and how to write a care plan, etc., etc. That class alone was 7 semester hours.
    Have you actually spoken and interacted with BSN nurses? Most acute care settings on the east coast are requiring BSNs just for bedside care, if a nurse wants to do management they better have an MSN. I work with some BSN nurses and some ADN nurses (that are required by the hospital to have their BSN completed by a certain date AND the hospital will pay for it)- I honestly don't care what degree they have.

    You show so much disdain for BSN nurses without evening understanding what the education is. I find it so insulting you are even questioning whether or not BSN nurses take fundamentals of nursing. Yes, we do. We do the careplans, beside care, etc. JUST like ADN/ASN nurses.

    Sorry you are so bitter about finding a job, but you can either accept you need a BSN and DO something about it or just complain about it. There are some very affordable online RN-BSN programs. This is something that should have been investigated before moving. Most places these days don't bother with a "thanks for applying" and you're being weeded out by a computer, so it's nothing personal.
  5. by   NickiLaughs
    I was an LVN, before my RN and went straight for my BSN whole on a new grad RN IVU program because of how competitive jobs are and I knew I'd want options down the road. I'd say 50 % of the nurses at bedside of most places I work have a BSN, and most of the ones who don't are currently working on their BSN. One ER required a BSN for bedside. In my area a BSN is the minimum to do most anything beyond a nursing home. I'm sorry you are frustrated but it will be a challenge to find positions away from the bedside without it.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I've progressed through my nursing career in a stair-step educational pattern: LVN '06, ASN '10, BSN '15, and currently enrolled in a MSN program.

    I'm not going to lie...I completed the BSN degree because I wanted to open the doors to opportunities away from the bedside. Slinging bedpans and performing hands-on procedural skills is not my forte.

    I salute those who truly enjoy hands-on patient care, but it isn't for me.
  7. by   Tommy5677
    My disdain isn't for BSN nurses. It's for nursing leadership. If we want BSN as the only entry level into practice, why not eliminate the ASN programs altogether, just like they did with the diploma programs, who in my opinion turned out the best clinical nurses ever? I became a nurse right around the time of the push to get rid of them and they could run circles around most of us, including the BSN's. I believe it was a huge mistake. I guess my bitterness stems around the way it's being done. As I said, I would rather retire and work retail than return to the bedside and at 60, I'm not getting a BSN. According to you my 35 years of experience means nothing just because I don't have the BSN. It's a ridiculous assertion. So in reality, the nursing profession is losing a good one. As a disease manager working a 6 hour day, I was doing full time work just like the other nurses and I was getting frequent kudos from upper management because my "patients" would call or write to them to tell them how I was changing their lives (without any prompting from me). I personally and singlehandedly developed the Asthma and COPD programs, something normally left to a BSN prepared nurse, so it isn't like we're not capable. As for question the teaching of fundamentals, I was being sarcastic. Soon, I'll get over the fact that I'm just done with it all. Amazing how we cling to such things, isn't it?
  8. by   elkpark
    Quote from Tommy5677
    My disdain isn't for BSN nurses. It's for nursing leadership. If we want BSN as the only entry level into practice, why not eliminate the ASN programs altogether, just like they did with the diploma programs, who in my opinion turned out the best clinical nurses ever? I became a nurse right around the time of the push to get rid of them and they could run circles around most of us, including the BSN's. I believe it was a huge mistake. I guess my bitterness stems around the way it's being done. As I said, I would rather retire and work retail than return to the bedside and at 60, I'm not getting a BSN. According to you my 35 years of experience means nothing just because I don't have the BSN. It's a ridiculous assertion. So in reality, the nursing profession is losing a good one. As a disease manager working a 6 hour day, I was doing full time work just like the other nurses and I was getting frequent kudos from upper management because my "patients" would call or write to them to tell them how I was changing their lives (without any prompting from me). I personally and singlehandedly developed the Asthma and COPD programs, something normally left to a BSN prepared nurse, so it isn't like we're not capable. As for question the teaching of fundamentals, I was being sarcastic. Soon, I'll get over the fact that I'm just done with it all. Amazing how we cling to such things, isn't it?
    Diploma programs have not been "eliminated." There are many states that no longer have a single diploma program, but there are other states that have plenty. There are four just in my city, that are graduating people every year that get licensed and get jobs.

    Associate's degree nursing programs will never be eliminated because that decision is not up to TPTB in nursing; the state legislatures ultimately control the BONs and the rules and regs of nursing practice, inc. entry to practice, and the community colleges are extremely popular with the state legislatures and have a lot of support. Also, TPTB in nursing have been unsuccessful so far in convincing the state leges (or the majority of the US public) that a baccalaureate degree in nursing is really necessary.

    Having said that, I am an old diploma grad -- but we were told repeatedly in my diploma program in the early 1980s that we should plan on returning to school to complete a BSN, because the BSN was the future of nursing and the day was going to come, sooner rather than later, when having "only" a diploma would hamper our careers. Are you really saying that you just "recently" became aware of all of this? This has been discussed, and argued, and written about in nursing for decades now. It may not be fair, it may not be right, but it is what it is. Your choice (the choice of all of us "oldtimers") is to "adapt or die," as the saying goes (or, in the case of nursing, get out of nursing; fortunately, we don't have to literally die ). Plenty of us went back to school years ago and didn't wait to hit a professional dead end.

    Your posts remind me somewhat of the potential nursing students who post here, saying that their great-aunt told them not to bother with a BSN, an ADN is plenty, because she had only an ADN and worked her way up to DON at her local hospital. Well, yeah, 30 years ago, you used to be able to do that. But times have changed. We either change with them, or we get left behind.

    I'm about your age, and I'm certainly sympathetic to your situation. But that doesn't change anything. There are plenty of BSN completion programs, online and/or reasonably priced, that are designed for working RNs and make it as easy and painless as possible to get the degree. I did one years ago. Many other nurses I've known have done them. You could do one, or you can be unhappy about having v. limited professional opportunities going forward. But, if it were me, I would not want to end a long, successful career in nursing on that note.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  9. by   AceOfHearts<3
    As I stated, I don't care what degree someone has- my hospital is one of the few in my area that still accepts ADN and diploma nurses. Some nurses have BSN on their name badge, I didn't care enough to put it on mine (and I'm one of just a handful on my unit that has a BSN, but many are working towards it). If a nurse does his/her job I don't care where she or he went to school or what type of program it was. I also didn't say I agree with discounting all the experience. I know an excellent nurse who really doesn't want to go back to school and has years with my hospital, but will be let go eventually if she doesn't get her BSN (on the hospital's dime) and that royally sucks. It's just the way it is on the east coast and I don't see it changing anytime soon- especially since most hospitals are pushing for all BSN nurses. Good luck!
  10. by   featherzRN
    I graduated in the late 80's with an ASN and went back in 2013 to a very inexpensive BSN completion program. Didn't take long, didn't cost much -- and now every hospital in my podunk town wants a BSN to work bedside and all points upward. It was worth it for me!
  11. by   Tommy5677
    No. Given the situation nurses should absolutely get the BSN. I am a huge proponent of community colleges and the ADN. I received an ASN from one of the few universities offering it at the time. That university of course, has eliminated the ASN program and now offers nursing degrees to the doctoral level. I think the best and cheapest way to do it is to get the ASN, take the exam and then immediately do the RN to BSN thing online. If I was 30 years younger I would seriously consider it. Thanks for at least partially understanding.
  12. by   ED Nurse, RN
    Research has proven that nurses holding higher degrees, such as a BSN or more, provide better care to patients, have better pt outcomes, and reduce mortality rates. Upenn did the study on the reduction of mortality rates and there is a great study by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation on BSN prepared nurses giving better care at the bedside.

    With this being said, I sympathize with you. My hospital is moving forward with the 80% by 20 but is considering allowing people in your position, to continue on if over 55 without the degree.
  13. by   Tommy5677
    Thanks for at least acknowledging my concern. As for better outcomes I would need to see the research from multiple entities independent of any school of nursing. If a nursing Dept at a university did the research it's biased and invalid. As I said I'm for getting a BSN but starting with an ADN at the community college level and get the BSN online. When I did the ADN it was still possible to get the whole thing in 2years. Not sure about that anymore. Can you imagine the money savings by doing it that way? ADN to BSN.
  14. by   elkpark
    Quote from Tommy5677
    Thanks for at least acknowledging my concern. As for better outcomes I would need to see the research from multiple entities independent of any school of nursing. If a nursing Dept at a university did the research it's biased and invalid.
    Umm, nearly all nursing research, regardless of topic, gets done by researchers who are affiliated with a university nursing program. That's who does most nursing research, and that's who has the institutional support necessary, including funding and IRBs, to get big, meaningful research studies done. There is never going to be any research on this topic "from multiple entities independent of any school of nursing," because that's just not a practical notion (and how convenient for you that that then allows you to completely discount and disregard any research on the topic that does get done). Feel free to design and implement your own study, though -- maybe you can prove all the others wrong ...

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