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The Nursing School to Welfare Pipeline

I am sure many people have heard of the social issue/ cause "school to prison pipeline" that many civic groups are trying to eradicate. I am here to draw attention to a similar related problem , the college to welfare pipeline.

Due to an intricate , intimate, and covert relationship between big government politicos, higher education, Bureau of Occupational affairs, and the Federal/ State Department of labor, we have a serious student debt problem in the nursing field that is only going to get worse. Nurses need to wake up and take note of the LPN to RN hoax, and the RN-BSN hoax. These are all well publicized , propaganda driven falsities that are crushing nurses into debt driven higher education requirements. These propaganda driven requirements brainwash nurses into believing that without the extra education, they will not be employed.

And to a certain degree, they are correct, but its important for nurses to see the pitfall, before taking the dive. There is little to no difference in responsibility or pay rate from LPN to RN, and most RNs are taking the lower wage, just to have a job. There is zero difference in job responsibility or pay from RN to BSN, but the dollars spent to get there are substantial. The RN to BSN pipeline is a grotesque narrative that is being sung, for the sole purpose of enriching nursing schools. The NCLEX exam is identical for RNs and BSNs, the scope of practice is identical, and so are all the pay rates. A staff nurse is a staff nurse, is a staff nurse, too.

So why go for your BSN? Its because the hospitals and other various 24/ 7 institutional care providers say so. They have all built a united wall against the ADN RN. We are becoming an extinct species, because no one will hire us. Is the BSN a job guarantee? Of course not. Is any higher education a job guarantee? Nope. Big government politicos want student debt to skyrocket , so that they can fly in and save everyone with free bailouts, loan forgiveness, and thousands of more votes on election day.

May the buyer beware, until that utopia comes to fruition. In the meantime, take a serious look inward into the pitfalls, tricks and traps of higher education in the nursing field. The powers that be want you to keep jumping hurdles , spending more and more money, hoping to get hired, and falling deeper and deeper into debt, during the process. The higher you jump, the more you spend, and the less you earn. For many nurses who fell for these schemes, the financial devastation has been both swift and severe.

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

There is a lot of truth in your post. At one time, nursing was an entry-level occupation. The body of knowledge grew, and schooling became required to be a functional nurse. No argument there. But we've educated ourselves full circle. Now we consider ourselves fit for loftier goals, and minimally trained UAP are providing the actual hands-on care.

I also have no argument about BSN becoming the entry-to-practice standard. But then it needs to be merged with the ADN programs and nurses still need to be taught how to nurse. Advancing beyond BSN should not be possible without a certain level of hands-on experience. How can you be a master of anything without having moved past being a novice?

My last job was at a university and I saw first-hand what an inflated bureaucracy the whole thing is and why it is so hideously expensive. I know why college professors promote socialism: they feed at the top of a socialist food chain so it works for them.

Free college? Student loan forgiveness? That's just buying votes with other people's money and a complete kick up the arse for people who've financed their education responsibly. And that responsibility includes choosing a course of study that leads to gainful employment.

And when I hear someone say "I'm fifty and I'm finally realizing my dream to go to nursing school and I plan to get a master's!" and everyone says "You go, girl! You're never too old!" I just want to scream. Yes, rack up the debt when everyone else is starting to plan for retirement. Deal with ageist employment practices. Enjoy bariatric lifting at your age. Read the new grad posts and ask yourself "Do I really need to do this to myself?"

Okay. End of rant.

DITTO!! I am seeing a surplus of BSN new grads with no jobs, taking unpaid internships, tech jobs at Docs offices, LPN jobs in nursing homes or summer camps, or home care. Same with ADN RN new grads. Some gave up and work in retail or hospitality/ manufacturing while they struggle to have a job. Others are actively collecting welfare. I try not to be one to rain dance on anyone's parade, but when I hear "I think I'll go to nursing school...that's where all the jobs are". ....I furrow my eyebrows, lower my head, and hear that screeching noise of skid marks formed at a 95 mph interstate pile up truck wreck. Then I pretend I did not just hear it. Until more people actively, regularly, and loudly dispel the myth, more people will be devastated by debt. PA is one of the most nurse saturated states in the USA, yet people keep filing for license reciprocity, to the point our State Board has a backlog. AT what point should these state nursing boards just stop handing out licenses? When that happens, the nursing school BS will come to a halt, as it should.

I know somebody who took out student loans to attend one of those proprietary LPN/LVN programs. Fifteen years later, they don't have the license (a story in itself, involving the school), but the student loan debt is still there. The best laid plans of mice and nursing students sometimes lead to massive lifelong bad choices. I now do not believe that anyone should attempt to go into the nursing field unless they have a bona fide job skill/background in something else that they can rely upon if their nursing dream goes up in smoke.

2 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

I know somebody who took out student loans to attend one of those proprietary LPN/LVN programs. Fifteen years later, they don't have the license (a story in itself, involving the school), but the student loan debt is still there. The best laid plans of mice and nursing students sometimes lead to massive lifelong bad choices. I now do not believe that anyone should attempt to go into the nursing field unless they have a bona fide job skill/background in something else that they can rely upon if their nursing dream goes up in smoke.

I was a second career RN, and had no idea that I was basically walking face first into a slow detonating time bomb. Not only was there no shortage 20 years ago, we have the opposite today, except now, the BSN hoax is alive and well. If that is going to become the industry entry level standard that TriciaJ pointed out above, they should immediately close all 2 year RN programs. Like. Right. Now. The rate of welfare is so high here, the state is now paying for the welfare to work program to send people to nursing school. How's that for bad apples?

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse.

3 minutes ago, panurse9999 said:

I was a second career RN, and had no idea that I was basically walking face first into a slow detonating time bomb. Not only was there no shortage 20 years ago, we have the opposite today, except now, the BSN hoax is alive and well. If that is going to become the industry entry level standard that TriciaJ pointed out above, they should immediately close all 2 year RN programs. Like. Right. Now. The rate of welfare is so high here, the state is now paying for the welfare to work program to send people to nursing school. How's that for bad apples?

I'm confused a little- can you clarify something please? You wrote that there was no shortage 20 years ago and there's the opposite today. Is there a really good job market for nurses where you are?

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

43 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

Free college? Student loan forgiveness? That's just buying votes with other people's money and a complete kick up the arse for people who've financed their education responsibly. And that responsibility includes choosing a course of study that leads to gainful employment.

I agree. If someone chooses to take on massive amounts of debt going to nursing school, especially when people--especially nurses currently in the trenches--keep warning them that the job market for new nurses is less than stellar, then why should I and other taxpayers be responsible for footing their bill?

I don't blame the schools because no one is forcing them to attend their programs, no matter how overpriced some may be. The responsibility for deciding what school to enroll in rests solely on the shoulders of the student.

16 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

I'm confused a little- can you clarify something please? You wrote that there was no shortage 20 years ago and there's the opposite today. Is there a really good job market for nurses where you are?

There was no shortage 20 years ago, but at that time, 2 year RNs were employable. We now have a nursing surplus. As of now, there is an overwhelming number of licensed nurses exceeding the available jobs, to the point it has driven wages backwards. Add in the BSN hoax, and what we have is a job market that has now eliminated 80% of its available pool of nurses.

4 minutes ago, Meriwhen said:

I don't blame the schools because no one is forcing them to attend their programs, no matter how overpriced some may be.

I absolutely blame any nurse who gets involved in this scheme at any level. The Code of Ethics applies to all of us, not just the line workers.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Many of these schools were DEFRAUDING students, lying about accreditation, etc. It absolutely is the schools' fault in these situations.

4 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I absolutely blame any nurse who gets involved in this scheme at any level. The Code of Ethics applies to all of us, not just the line workers.

I see both sides to the issue. But it is true, that we all have an ethical responsibility. The fat cats at the top of higher education, to to put the brakes on the 2 year RN programs, the accelerated RN schools, and even nursing school programs as a whole. The year over year new grad dump of thousands of new nurses is destroying the profession in PA.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB.

10 minutes ago, Meriwhen said:

I don't blame the schools because no one is forcing them to attend their programs, no matter how overpriced some may be. The responsibility for deciding what school to enroll in rests solely on the shoulders of the student.

Really? You don't blame "schools" that deliberately lie about their credentials, their graduates' NCLEX pass rates and ability to get hired after graduation, and who prey on immigrants and other vulnerable groups who, by definition, have little familiarity with higher education and who get lured in with false promises? I sure do.

1 minute ago, LibraSunCNM said:

Really? You don't blame "schools" that deliberately lie about their credentials, their graduates' NCLEX pass rates and ability to get hired after graduation, and who prey on immigrants and other vulnerable groups who, by definition, have little familiarity with higher education and who get lured in with false promises? I sure do.

I find it ironic that the State of PA limits licenses for MDs to assure that there are never too many. This way, massive salaries continue. But they fail to do this for other licensed professions, such as nursing, law, cosmetology, and others. SO what winds up happening is that Higher Education is permissibly defrauding everyone who enters these programs, knowing for a fact that the chance of landing a job within 3 months of graduation is zero to none, without connections.

They were saying BSN was going to be new entry level nursing back when I was in high school. Several years later, still the same. LPN/LVN, ADN, etc schools still exist. However, I will say some facilities use LPN/LVN in lieu of CNAs so they can have better coverage in case of emergency or call out.

I personally don't care what someone's educational level is as long as they're providing quality care to patients.

I also want to add the surplus depends on your state because there are states with severe shortages. I do agree with needing experience before moving on to NP status. There are people who are moving through the educational levels while never experiencing actual nursing outside of clinicals. That's a problem, especially if nursing building upon experience with the different levels of education.

Edited to add: We're discussing nursing, I get that. However, bear in mind this phenomena is happening in just about every career field. The economy isn't doing as good as we're being led to believe but that's another subject for another thread.

Edited by NurseBlaq

3 minutes ago, NurseBlaq said:

They were saying BSN was going to be new entry level nursing back when I was in high school. Several years later, still the same. LPN/LVN, ADN, etc schools still exist. However, I will say some facilities use LPN/LVN in lieu of CNAs so they can have better coverage in case of emergency or call out.

I personally don't care what someone's educational level is as long as they're providing quality care to patients.

I also want to add the surplus depends on your state because there are states with severe shortages. I do agree with needing experience before moving on to NP status. There are people who are moving through the educational levels while never experiencing actual nursing outside of clinicals. That's a problem, especially if nursing building upon experience with the different levels of education.

Edited to add: We're discussing nursing, I get that. However, bear in mind this phenomena is happening in just about every career field. The economy isn't doing as good as we're being led to believe but that's another subject for another thread.

very true. I have seen lawyers appointed or elected to be judges, who have never tried a case, or even represented a client, but had the right connections. I have also seen LPNs who have opted away from LTC, who are now working in a hospital as an aide for $13.00/ hr. I have also seen CRNPs unable to find any work, and take jobs as a staff RN/ LPN just to have income.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

1 hour ago, LibraSunCNM said:

Really? You don't blame "schools" that deliberately lie about their credentials, their graduates' NCLEX pass rates and ability to get hired after graduation, and who prey on immigrants and other vulnerable groups who, by definition, have little familiarity with higher education and who get lured in with false promises? I sure do.

I blame the schools that lie, misrepresent, over-charge, etc.. But that is not all schools. Some schools do not do those things. I don't blame all schools just because some schools are bad -- just as I don't blame all people because some people made poor choices.

I disagree with SOME of what is being said on this thread. 21 years ago I graduated and there was definitely an RN shortage. Hospitals were giving sign-on bonuses and as new grads we were all offered acute jobs in many specialties. I was given a weekend at a nice hotel just for coming in for an interview. I know this varies throughout the country.

Also, if you are talking about bedside hospital jobs, then I see how doing RN-BSN program may not be worth the investment for everyone. However, for those that want to work outside of the hospital (public health, school health, etc.) a BSN is usually necessary.

I do agree that some schools are predatory but students have to do their part and research their job prospects, the market in their area and know what they're getting into with student debt.

11 minutes ago, Golden_RN said:

I disagree with SOME of what is being said on this thread. 21 years ago I graduated and there was definitely an RN shortage. Hospitals were giving sign-on bonuses and as new grads we were all offered acute jobs in many specialties. I was given a weekend at a nice hotel just for coming in for an interview. I know this varies throughout the country.

Also, if you are talking about bedside hospital jobs, then I see how doing RN-BSN program may not be worth the investment for everyone. However, for those that want to work outside of the hospital (public health, school health, etc.) a BSN is usually necessary.

I do agree that some schools are predatory but students have to do their part and research their job prospects, the market in their area and know what they're getting into with student debt.

Hospitals and nursing homes were doing the same thing then, that they continue to do to this day. ADVERTISE jobs with sign on bonuses, but if you could find me even one nurse who actually collected the bonus, I would be surprised. This is part of the false propaganda that is continuing to brainwash people into thinking there is a shortage of nurses. I see these straight up fake ads all the time.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU.

Most for profit schools prey on individuals from lower income backgrounds making seductive claims of "You'll always have a job! Come get an ADN for $50,000!" just so they can cash in the pell grant money and get these folks trapped in loans for the rest of their lives. I agree that students must become more savy with higher education but there is a LOT of bad advice out there. For example, when I was in high school I was able to do an LPN program through the vocational school, at 18 y/o I was a licensed nurse. I was told however since I did that instead of going straight to college I was an "idiot" and would not "amount to anything" (true words spoken to me from a guidance counselor) and that I should instead go to college to pursue a degree in music (I played in an orchestra) . Flash forward and I graduated from a community college ADN program with no student debt and have always been gainfully employed and financially independent.

My point is that had I listened to the advice given to me I would have spent thousands of dollars on a music degree that more likely than not would have left me unemployed and owing a lot of money. My path certainly isn't the path for everyone but it shows just how snowed we've all been by the philosophy of "You have to have a 4 year degree to be anyone." Schools must be held accountable for what they are telling prospective students.

Just now, panurse9999 said:

Hospitals and nursing homes were doing the same thing then, that they continue to do to this day. ADVERTISE jobs with sign on bonuses, but if you could find me even one nurse who actually collected the bonus, I would be surprised. This is part of the false propaganda that is continuing to brainwash people into thinking there is a shortage of nurses. I see these straight up fake ads all the time.

It was not propaganda. I collected a weekend at a nice hotel from one employer and a sign-on bonus at another.

I do not see hospitals in my area advertise this now. I'm in CA.

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