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The Sad Truth: Version 2.0


I recently wrote an article about my experience on attempting to find a nursing instructor position at a traditional four year university. The school I attended was called into question, because it was unknown to a member of the hiring board.

Specializes in Long Term Care, ER, and Education. Has 7 years experience.

The school I obtained my Masters of Science in Nursing Education from has five traditional brick and mortar institutions with a large online program as well. The university is non-profit and focuses solely on the success of the students. They are not well known amongst most universities in my area. I was told that since this program is unknown to one of the hiring board members that I would have a hard time finding a job in nursing education at this institution and at other universities in the area as well.

The article sparked a level of debate that I did not foresee occurring. However, it brought forth many opinions that were valuable. Some of the comments were very interesting and stimulated thoughts for me that I had never considered. The Sad Truth article is the opinion of one person's experience with a local traditional university.

The idea of being bullied by these individuals was probably a wide stretch. However, I have seven years of great experience working in the emergency room, medical/surgical, psychiatric, long-term care, hospice, and now clinical instruction. In the majority of these settings, the facilities are located in an extremely rural area. The medical/surgical floor was the ICU, Oncology, Pulmonary, Progressive Care, OB, Nursery, Trauma Unit, Detox Unit, and much more.

It is an interesting point that at this particular university several of the instructors are known to just read from the PowerPoints, even in my ADN program I had instructors who did this on a daily basis. These same instructors have several degrees that they obtained at this same institution. There is even one instructor who graduated from their BSN program and then one year later started the Nurse Practitioner program. She was hired to fulfill the instructor role soon after graduating. Academic incest? There are several of these professors at this intuition that obtained their BSN, MSN, and DNP from this university. One commenter talked about academic incest from major online institutions. There must be a difference when it is from a traditional brick and mortar university, kind of like your second cousin I guess.

I am not talking about all universities in the nation. This is one person's experience with a local university. I may have tons of excellent nursing experience. I have a known history of excellency in nursing, and I have worked hard to build a ton of interpersonal relationships with families and patients. I was not even considered for employment simply because I have a degree from an unknown fully accredited institution. I understand that it is up to the universities to set standards and qualifications, but to judge a book by its cover is something that just simply should not happen in the 21st century.

Everyone has an opinion on everything in today's world. There was one commenter who said, "Online programs are considered inferior to brick and mortar programs, because online university faculty, only produce a small amount nursing research, that is worthy of publication in peer reviewed nursing journals. Whereas brick and mortar faculty produce a large amount of nursing research that is worthy of publication."

I am not sure for other brick and mortar institutions, but for this one that I have been dealing with there is pretty much zero amount of research published by the school. This logic is insubstantial as well.

As far as bullying is concerned, one commenter stated, "The fact that they demand a traditional degree may seem unfair, but in order to bully you they need to actually hire you and then treat you badly."

So this logic states that the only way a person can be bullied or intimidated is if you work for someone, with that said "I see no logic in your conclusion." People are bullied every day in all situations by people who think that they are better than someone simply because they hold a higher social status.

In another comment from this healthy debate:

"You wouldn't get hired by the BSN programs in my state mostly because you are not doctoral prepared, MSN in nurse education is sufficient for ASN programs but not for BSN or graduate nursing programs. It's not bullying it's BON and DHE requirements. My sister is a BSN professor now. She knew where she wanted to go in her career and ensured she had the correct educational credentials.

If you don't meet the employer's minimal requirements I fail to see how that is bullying."

In your state, that may be true. In the state that I reside in, more than half of the professors were hired with their MSN. The goal is for them to obtain their terminal degree within the next 5-10 years or they will be let go. I understand that logic my friend, but in my state it simply doesn't fit.

I really enjoy this comment and the logic that ensues, "I really dislike the title of this thread. This is casting a large shadow over an entire industry (online education) from one person's experience. One experience does not a 'truth' make. Oh well, I guess that's the point of online forums. Everyone gives their own experience."

So what we are saying here is that one person cannot speak the truth? What kind of logic is that? I must have hit a sensitive spot for this person. The goal of debate is for us to voice our opinions. Some bring great truths and reason in their words, others bring a sword because they are unhappy with how the words make them feel, I am a little guilty of this at times as well. I guess the title of my article should have been "The Sad Experience of One Person's Debate on How They Obtained Their Degree from an Institution That We Do Not Know, Therefore We Will Not Consider Them for Employment, Even Though They May be More Qualified. The End"

This article remake has been fun. We are all adults and able to discuss and debate on an online forum. The Sad Truth article was written from my heart. The commenters were rough at times, but I am a big boy and I wear my big boy pants! Do not worry fellow commenters, I have plans to pursue a terminal degree from a more traditional local university to help guide me into future employment in higher education without the stigma of "What school is that?", "Such and Such University", and as Jimmy Fallon would say, "Ew!"

I agree your first article created healthy debate, it is one of those threads that evolved and was interesting to read. As far as alternative titles I suggest, 'Is education from an unknown online universitiy a barrier to employment in nursing academia?'

Edited by dishes

mclennan, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCM, PHN. Has 8 years experience.

Dude. Maybe you blew the interview.

Maybe they just had better qualified candidates.

Maybe they just didn't like you.

Maybe it was your online degree.

You didn't get the job.

We get that you need to process this, and welcome your need to vent, but now you're analyzing your analysis and being defensive. Some people just don't get the job! It happens.

It is time to let it go. The time you're spending dissecting and deconstructing what happened could be better spent on your admission applications, researching programs, signing up for information sessions, and sharpening your stats skills, you're going to need them for that big fancy terminal degree you're gonna pursue! :)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I was one of the respondents who posted extensively in the OP's first piece on online nursing degrees. I'll repeat one of my responses for the sake of brevity.

OP, you have been a tremendously good sport to withstand all of the criticism you've received up to this point. It is invigorating to encounter a poster who can disagree without being downright disagreeable, even in the face of much criticism.

My advice is to hang in there because you have much to offer.


Specializes in Long Term Care, ER, and Education. Has 7 years experience.

It is all fun and games. The hopes is to stimulate debate that is fun and informative. We have already established that my writing is poor for future reference. :up: I did not even apply for the position at the school. I was close to one of the hiring board members and was told that the school would not hire me even if I applied. I have moved on from this experience and learned a tremendous amount about the snobbery that exists in some schools. It is interesting to note that my degree would allow me to lead a very lucrative career in hospital or long term care management, but it is not good enough to teach future nursing students at a local university. I have moved on, I promise. It is just an insight to my experience.

You've moved on? You've started a second thread to complain about responses you received on the first thread and to reiterate your belief that this experience constitutes "bullying." And all this is over a job you hadn't even applied for? I agree with mclennan -- it's (past) time to let this go and start focusing on something else. Best wishes!


Specializes in nursing education.

Here's another honest question: your MSN coursework was online, but did you have in-person practicum hours in a classroom/clinical setting? If so, did you highlight that experience in your CV, resume, and interview? A B&M hiring committee might look at such a degree from an online school and think that your education might not be applicable to their setting if the majority of their courses are in-person.

Also, McLennan made some very good points. The hiring process can be very subjective. The person doing the hiring might have been in a bad mood or just didn't like the color you were wearing or you remind her of her one niece that she doesn't get along with. Fair? Of course not. But it happens.


Specializes in Long Term Care, ER, and Education. Has 7 years experience.

There is a small part of me that has not moved on. I guess it is just another obstacle in this thing we call life. I enjoy writing, even though I am bad at it! These articles are my thoughts and are an interesting way of expressing myself. Thank you for your comments!

Let me just throw this in there. It happens at all levels, not just with advanced degrees.

There were many of us fortunate to be able to work as acute care lpn's in very small, rural facilities. Spent many, many years perfecting what was a really fine practice. Great evaluations. Cultivating practice with families, patients, at every stage of their lives. This is small, small town. The facility a holding area for more acute care.

Then one day, the nurse snobs come along and the jobs are gone in a instant. And, not so surprisingly a real sigh and head shake on why we all just can't "get over it" already.

A lesson in people who try to fix things that are not broken.

In your case, OP, universities want their own alumni to teach their courses. It's like an exclusive club that unfortunately not everyone can join.

Sorry that this has happened to you. Have you thought about going back to your alumnus and seeing if you can obtain a teaching position there?

Best wishes going forward, and your underlying message resonates with any number of us---from the diploma prepared nurse beyond. It is a hard thing to describe, but I got your point.

passionflower, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB, Women’s health, Educator, Leadership. Has 29 years experience.

This is good! Cue the lights and bring my popcorn. I love a fiery debate. Go get 'em canwil!

Debate or not, unless one has encountered this, it is hard to describe.

The closest I can come to it is that say you are a BSN, and work in a general med/surg unit. You work hard, do what you can, etc. One day there is a change in management. That person comes along and says "starting next week, unless you have a master's degree, you will no longer have a job as my staffing plan is different, innovative, and what I want."

Then 3/4 of your fellow nurses are gone. But, alas, you "should" be able to handle 8 patients on your own, no? (

Back on topic. There's lots of ways that the powers that be manipulate staff in order to suit their monetary needs. This is such a newer theme. The patient is not the focus, even though they all have to act like they are--

I swear if a nurse said "I love my job so much that I will work for min. wage" that then someone's educational status would not even be an issue.

Educational Institutions are different in that they are mostly private, can and do exclusify their staffing, and can. Well, in all reality, facilities do that as well......

CrunchRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

I have enjoyed your article and the debate. The same people always seem to get their panties in a wad over the superiority of the perfect terminal degree and how we should all obtain this or we are unmotivated unskilled peons. Bless their hearts.

xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

I thought the original thread was a good read. It provided another experience of frustration that a fellow nurse had. It might have impacted other nurses to change their minds about a particular school to "attend" or change their ideas of where they will end up once they graduate. I know of plenty of schools that hire BSNs to teach ADN & LPN programs.

We all know that there are schools out there who have the "highest of standards" when it comes to staff. However their football players get away with rape or a student dies, the family gets paid off and all is forgiven by the community. :sarcastic: I trust most higher education institutions as far as I can throw their buildings. They are just another business looking to make a profit. I will attend to better myself, shoot I will even teach, but I won't let them bring me down or make me feel like I am less because my ACCREDITED college does not meet their standards. Their loss not mine. :yes:

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

*shaking head* OP seems intelligent & motivated - wonder why she wants to dive into "academentia" *shudder*.

Srsly, workplace education (professional development) is where it is at! Our jobs are more challenging, diverse, creative - and remunerative - than our poor academic colleagues trapped in a never-ending cycle of faculty committees. Of course, our jobs tend to disappear with astonishing regularity whenever a bean counter needs to squeeze the budget.... but heck, no job is perfect.

Hmmm - maybe someday, when I'm in my dotage, strapped to my assisted-living Segway I'll be ready to drone on about nursing theory to a gaggle of disinterested students . . . nah, what am I thinking.

fawnmarie, ASN

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 19 years experience.

I agree with The Commuter. You are a good sport, and I like your sense of humor. I enjoyed both articles, and I think you have a bright future as a nursing educator ahead!


Has 30 years experience.

Seems you've been bullied for writing an article that stung more than a few overinflated egos. Not everyone has the options of a B&M 4-year+ degree. You hit home on a lot of points; perhaps a little too close to home for some. Keep the good work!

I can understand why you're sharing your experience. I see that you are pointing out the fact that it shouldn't matter where you get your degree, as long as you have the credentials, you shouldn't be shot down before you apply. You are pointing out that your credentials match up and/or exceed those who've graduated from traditional universities, based on your experience. That is your opinion and you are entitled to that, as well as everyone else. What I don't understand, is the fact that a person would be so negatively invested in your post, that he or she would share their opinion & comment on both posts to tell you that you need to move on. I feel that is contradicting of them. But of course, all entitled the their own. Glad to know I'm not the only one sensing the tension.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Version 2.0 wasn't necessary. Version 1.0 completely covered the issue.

Moving on.