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What I've Decided About my Education

Nurses   (2,092 Views | 29 Replies)
by EGspirit EGspirit (Member)

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You are reading page 2 of What I've Decided About my Education. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

231 Posts; 2,984 Profile Views

Sure you can find work as a diploma nurse in CT, but only as long as you want to work in a rinky-dink little community hospital or a dialysis clinic. If that's your goal have at it. If you want to work in critical care in any of the major hospitals like Yale, Hartford, St Francis or Middlesex, you won't get a foot in the door without a BSN. You just won't. It depends what your goals are. Me personally, I've preferred to work in a surgical ICU in one of the major hospitals so that I can progress to my soon to be new role of acute NP in critical care. I couldn't do that with a diploma because I wouldn't have been considered for my grad program which required a BSN and two years critical care experience. You can choose to follow whichever path you want, but if your goal is acute care in the North East you have to get your BSN. That's just the way it is. The door is closing.

I've cared for patients on multiple vasoactive drips, IABPs, therapeutic hypothermia, VADs and CRRT and immediately recovered them from open heart surgery....you really should have a degree for that, as well as a certification. It's not the same role as someone working in a long term care facility. It's highly skilled specialist role. Those kind of nursing jobs are a whole other animal. Yes they need, and require, a BSN at the minimum. It may not be mandated by the state but good luck getting a foot in the door if that's the path you choose.

I worked ICU for 5 years, as well as cardiology. I worked in a Cardiac ICU in Arizona, was IABP certified, transplant patients, etc. To say "you should have a degree for that" is just not true. There's nothing in the BSN programs that includes advanced technical skills required in the ICU, and you don't get certified until you've already been doing those things. So, you present a specious argument for a BSN.

But I do agree you have to have a BSN to do what you want to do, which is to become an NP. And so, I realize you have to defend your position, and you have to believe your path in nursing is a superior path, because you are investing a lot in it, and you're probably very smart. However, it is a mistake to compare areas of nursing as if one is better than the other. A competent intelligent dialysis nurse is as essential to a renal patient as a competent ICU nurse is to an ICU patient.

A lot of times people lose sight of what the nursing profession really is, and what it's about. The profession is caring--not diagnosing and prescribing treatments, not teaching people how to computer chart, not helping lawyers rifle through medical records in a law suit. Nurses are used for those things, but that's not the profession. Some lawyers become FBI agents, but the profession of law is about doing legal services for clients. Likewise, the profession of nursing is about caring for people who can't care for themselves so as to help them get better, or to ease their sufferings if they can't get better. And also to educate people on health issues or teach nursing itself.

Doctors are applied scientists who diagnose and treat. That's not nursing. But, a lot of people get into nursing with mental reservations and purposes of evasion, so to speak. They only do bedside nursing as a way to get to something they consider "higher."

So, I know that I won't always be able to work at the bedside, but for as long as I can, I want to, and then I can hopefully transition into teaching, but I want to teach at the lowest level where it makes the most difference (CNA, Patient care tech, nurse extenders, etc.).

You got to do what you got to do. And so do I. I don't think value judgments help anything. You see, because for as lowly as you see me, I see you that way but for the opposite reasons. I see actual nursing, bedside nursing, as the highest calling a human being can serve as a profession. Anything else is lesser.

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1 Follower; 1,777 Posts; 14,100 Profile Views

Get your BSN!!! I got mine a few years ago on-line and it was an exercise in trivial group projects and nonsense. However, it more than paid for itself in higher wages and opportunities. I'm going into my last semester to get my DNP. I'm 56. We ain't dead yet!!!

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432 Posts; 32,267 Profile Views

My thought is, if you really don't want or think you need the BSN, don't waste your money. I have a BSN, but it's gotten me nowhere. The position I work I would have only needed an RN license or even an LPN license.

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419 Posts; 5,429 Profile Views

Sure you can find work as a diploma nurse in CT, but only as long as you want to work in a rinky-dink little community hospital or a dialysis clinic. If that's your goal have at it. If you want to work in critical care in any of the major hospitals like Yale, Hartford, St Francis or Middlesex, you won't get a foot in the door without a BSN. You just won't. It depends what your goals are. Me personally, I've preferred to work in a surgical ICU in one of the major hospitals so that I can progress to my soon to be new role of acute NP in critical care. I couldn't do that with a diploma because I wouldn't have been considered for my grad program which required a BSN and two years critical care experience. You can choose to follow whichever path you want, but if your goal is acute care in the North East you have to get your BSN. That's just the way it is. The door is closing.

I've cared for patients on multiple vasoactive drips, IABPs, therapeutic hypothermia, VADs and CRRT and immediately recovered them from open heart surgery....you really should have a degree for that, as well as a certification. It's not the same role as someone working in a long term care facility. It's highly skilled specialist role. Those kind of nursing jobs are a whole other animal. Yes they need, and require, a BSN at the minimum. It may not be mandated by the state but good luck getting a foot in the door if that's the path you choose.

By all means, feel free to argue that nurses should get a BSN to keep themselves marketable. Get one to move on to a more advanced degree, play the game, or move into management. Get one for the extra courses in informatics and statistics (which are admittedly useful subjects but make up a minor part of the degree's extra coursework) , or even community health and leadership courses if that's what floats your boat. All valid reasons.

But don't go telling people that a BSN will make you a better critical care bedside nurse, because that's just not true. I've yet to see advanced pathophysiology or advanced A&P make their way into BSN programs or RN-to-BSN programs. Heck, the critical care course (and clinical hours) I received in my diploma program far exceeded the critical care education offered at most of the the local 4 year BSN programs. I've worked in multiple states alongside ADNs, BSNs, diploma RNs, and MSNs in critical care performing all of the therapies you listed, and at the bedside you cannot tell the difference unless your read the letters on their badge.

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

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I assure you, I wasn't trying to disparage your degree. I was talking about me and my choice regarding it. Clearly, I'm torn and would like to have a BSN. But at this time in my life, and with the goals I now have as I re-enter nursing, I can't justify the cost or time of it, especially since I'm already educated at the bachelor's level.

As for working circles around BSNs, that's not me...I work circles around everyone. ;)

Sorry not you in particular, I meant in general. Quite often, to me, it seems like open season on us.

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42pines specializes in Occupational Health; Adult ICU.

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Simple: The ADN, by and large is kaput for most.

Note that I say for most. If you're an elder care nurse away from a hospital you are likely fine. But the ADN is, more and more, as time goes by an "embarrassment." Now you'll say that's preposterous and I'll agree-yet it's factual. Just last Wednesday NY State Senate Bill senate Bill S6768 was unanimously passed by the state Senate and the bill is on the governor's desk. This bill "Relates to requiring that all RNs either have or obtain a bachelor's degree within 10 years of initial licensure." I have been unable to find the verbiage and I'm not sure if, once signed, I would not be allowed to practice in NY or whether there is a grandfather clause. But if this is not the death knell for the ADN, I don't know what would be.

I'm in complete agreement that for many, if not most, it would NOT offer a great return. However in my book any learning is good learning and frankly I support the transition if only because ADN degrees cram three years of work into two.

I found myself unemployed some months ago. On three separate occasions head-hunters have said these words: "Oh, you have an ADN; I'm sorry but my client requires a BSN." I've reached the practical end of my road, I need an BSN.

Like you I too have multiple degrees but that does not help. My BS in Chemistry is some help in nursing but not a lot--it's not a BSN. My BS in Safety Studies helps me greatly in my sub-specialty (Occ Health RN) but it is still not a BSN.

I suggest that you are making a mountain out of a molehill." No need for $15k and here's how: Go to WGU (Western Governor's University) and apply. (No need to pay look for a waiver). Send transcripts and get then analyzed. You will likely have ~86 transfer credits. If possible or necessary max out transferable credits through StraighterLine which is a partner of WGU such as (in my case) Sociology and Intro to Stats. You can push through SL by paying less than $200/course.

Once you have max'ed your transferable credits plow through WGU in one 6 month term. Costs are less than $4k, quite a difference from your quoted $15k. Your age is totally immaterial, I'm 68 and this is what I will do even though I face major impediments that you do not. (If interested see the earlier post I made about WGU today).

Is the BSN requirement much ado about nothing? It's no longer worth analyzing, or even thinking about, it's perception that matters and not your perception-it's other people's perception. The norm HAS become BSN, like it or not

Edited by 42pines
to correct spelling error

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231 Posts; 2,984 Profile Views

Simple: The ADN, by and large is kaput for most.

:roflmao:

...sorry. You were saying?

Note that I say for most. If you're an elder care nurse away from a hospital you are likely fine. But the ADN is, more and more, as time goes by an "embarrassment." Now you'll say that's preposterous and I'll agree-yet it's factual. Just last Wednesday NY State Senate Bill senate Bill S6768 was unanimously passed by the state Senate and the bill is on the governor's desk. This bill "Relates to requiring that all RNs either have or obtain a bachelor's degree within 10 years of initial licensure." I have been unable to find the verbiage and I'm not sure if, once signed, I would not be allowed to practice in NY or whether there is a grandfather clause. But if this is not the death knell for the ADN, I don't know what would be.

It won't pass or it won't be enforced, and it has nothing to do with anything except if you want nurses in this country, you're going to have to let them be nurses with an ADN. There are so many colleges now selling degrees, that I'm sure they are desperate to push their agenda and lobby state lawmakers, but in the end, requiring people to have a bachelor's to be a nurse will mean a nursing shortage so bad, they will go back to using LPNs in ICU to get around the RN rule. You just don't get it: people with bachelor's degrees don't want to work at the bedside, and that's all nurses are needed for (with the exception of teaching other nurses).

I'm in complete agreement that for many, if not most, it would NOT offer a great return. However in my book any learning is good learning and frankly I support the transition if only because ADN degrees cram three years of work into two.

Not all learning is good learning. Learning has to serve a purpose, and it's weighed against the cost of gaining that learning. That's why we don't build a super-collider that wraps around the planet. We'd learn more--but it's not worth it.

I found myself unemployed some months ago. On three separate occasions head-hunters have said these words: "Oh, you have an ADN; I'm sorry but my client requires a BSN." I've reached the practical end of my road, I need an BSN.

Head hunters? Well, I guess it depends on where you're at. But I won't argue a BSN is more attractive to an employer--so long as they can still get you at the ADN rate or maybe a buck more an hour. If I owned a hospital, I'd say, "MSN's only need apply." So long as I could get them at the ADN rate or a buck more.

Like you I too have multiple degrees but that does not help. My BS in Chemistry is some help in nursing but not a lot--it's not a BSN. My BS in Safety Studies helps me greatly in my sub-specialty (Occ Health RN) but it is still not a BSN.

That's right. It's not. But, it still looks good on an application. It still fills in that block of education. But again, I'm not anti-BSN. If I get with some company that will pay 50% of my tuition, I'll probably get a BSN. I mean, it certainly doesn't hurt a nurse.

That said, the BSN has really hurt nursing. Because nurses have bought into it, colleges (over 700 offering RN-BSN programs) have sprung up. They sell hard, they lobby hard, and nurses feel like they have to play catch up to doctors, so they fall for it, and it's a big ruse. We are not medical doctors, and there seems to be this sense of shame associated with that--but that's our fault. We live in a narcissistic selfie society, so we have completely forgotten the glory of what nursing really is. Nurses would be better off, you know, with B.Sc's in biology with an emphasis on Anatomy and physiology. Get that, then get into nursing school and get a MSN at the end of it. But again, we'd have no nurses.

I suggest that you are making a mountain out of a molehill." No need for $15k and here's how: Go to WGU (Western Governor's University) and apply. (No need to pay look for a waiver). Send transcripts and get then analyzed. You will likely have ~86 transfer credits. If possible or necessary max out transferable credits through StraighterLine which is a partner of WGU such as (in my case) Sociology and Intro to Stats. You can push through SL by paying less than $200/course.

Once you have max'ed your transferable credits plow through WGU in one 6 month term. Costs are less than $4k, quite a difference from your quoted $15k. Your age is totally immaterial, I'm 68 and this is what I will do even though I face major impediments that you do not. (If interested see the earlier post I made about WGU today).

So...you're selling WGU? I should have caught that. :up:

Is the BSN requirement much ado about nothing? It's no longer worth analyzing, or even thinking about, it's perception that matters and not your perception-it's other people's perception. The norm HAS become BSN, like it or not

Do you get paid per posting or what?

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MikeyT-c-IV has 13 years experience and specializes in Vascular Access.

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I did not need to do it, I did it for me.

This is why I school.

I finished my associate degree in 2005, went back part time for the BSN in 2013, and finished in 2016. I found myself looking at different positions and some required a BSN. It was at this point I decided I wanted to "future proof" my career. After completing my BSN I decided, since I'm still in the zone, I'll just continue on and get a MSN. I LOVE my job but I know I can't do it for the rest of my career. I get bored and need to learn different things. Now that I'm almost done with my MSN I've considered earning an MBA for a degree outside of nursing. Heck, it's only about 13 more classes.

I have no idea where my nursing career will go in the next 20-25 years. I do not want to be overlooked for a position that interests me because I do not have the degree in place. I've quite enjoyed school as I have learned so much outside of my own little world. I'll be done with my MSN next summer and I am so proud of my accomplishments. I come from a family with no college education and the same is true of my wife, who is also a RN.

I am fortunate to work for a hospital that fully supports nursing education. We are allowed $5,000 a year in tuition reimbursement. Non-nursing employees are only allowed $2,500 a year. So basically, I've earned my BSN and soon my MSN for free. I only owe time to my company for that money. No big deal.

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231 Posts; 2,984 Profile Views

This is why I school.

I finished my associate degree in 2005, went back part time for the BSN in 2013, and finished in 2016. I found myself looking at different positions and some required a BSN. It was at this point I decided I wanted to "future proof" my career. After completing my BSN I decided, since I'm still in the zone, I'll just continue on and get a MSN. I LOVE my job but I know I can't do it for the rest of my career. I get bored and need to learn different things. Now that I'm almost done with my MSN I've considered earning an MBA for a degree outside of nursing. Heck, it's only about 13 more classes.

I have no idea where my nursing career will go in the next 20-25 years. I do not want to be overlooked for a position that interests me because I do not have the degree in place. I've quite enjoyed school as I have learned so much outside of my own little world. I'll be done with my MSN next summer and I am so proud of my accomplishments. I come from a family with no college education and the same is true of my wife, who is also a RN.

I am fortunate to work for a hospital that fully supports nursing education. We are allowed $5,000 a year in tuition reimbursement. Non-nursing employees are only allowed $2,500 a year. So basically, I've earned my BSN and soon my MSN for free. I only owe time to my company for that money. No big deal.

That sounds like a sweet deal. But it's like you mention the next 20-25 years. Well, I'm 53. I've got, what? 12 years before I can draw social security. Even if I live and work until I'm 70, that's only another 17 years max. And I'm all for it, and you make a strong case for "future-proofing" but there has to be something, some reason I lay out the money and time. Maybe I'll just get bored. I'll work 4 days a week, but I'll be bored on my 3 days off and wish I was in an online class. That could be it. Or maybe it will be something else where if I have the degree, I can bank some extra cash--like teaching online or something. That's fine. But I have to see the reason for it.

You have two paths, let's say, and you can't tell which one to walk down, because both lead in different directions and require different things from you. One could take Robert Frost's advice and choose the road less traveled on. But still, there has to be some motivator. I'm not going to be in "management" I'm not that kind of person, and I've been to those meetings and they appall me. I'm not going to even try to move in that direction. But there could be some educational thing I could do if I had an advanced degree in nursing. I'll just have to wait and see before I shell out thousands of dollars which frankly, could go toward a down payment on a better house or some such thing. You know?

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Rocknurse is a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Critical Care and ED.

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By all means, feel free to argue that nurses should get a BSN to keep themselves marketable. Get one to move on to a more advanced degree, play the game, or move into management. Get one for the extra courses in informatics and statistics (which are admittedly useful subjects but make up a minor part of the degree's extra coursework) , or even community health and leadership courses if that's what floats your boat. All valid reasons.

But don't go telling people that a BSN will make you a better critical care bedside nurse, because that's just not true. I've yet to see advanced pathophysiology or advanced A&P make their way into BSN programs or RN-to-BSN programs. Heck, the critical care course (and clinical hours) I received in my diploma program far exceeded the critical care education offered at most of the the local 4 year BSN programs. I've worked in multiple states alongside ADNs, BSNs, diploma RNs, and MSNs in critical care performing all of the therapies you listed, and at the bedside you cannot tell the difference unless your read the letters on their badge.

You misquote me. I never said a BSN made you a better bedside nurse but I do believe that the BSN should be the entry level to nursing. There should definitely be more science classes in the syllabus but it was intended to broaden one's horizon and experiences by including a wide range of subjects. I did do statistics and informatics and I'm glad I did because I use those skills every day. Nursing is changing so much and we simply have to keep up with other professions. I went to a good program and learned a lot so I don't believe you can lose anything by getting the BSN. Sometimes you can't appreciate what it gives you until several years later. I'm glad I did it or I wouldn't be where I am now.

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1 Follower; 1,777 Posts; 14,100 Profile Views

I don't think a BSN does anything to improve the skills of a nurse getting it. We learn our profession by helping patients in a clinical setting for the most part. We are unlike other college students pursuing a degree. Usually students must take prerequisite classes & some more "core" classes to earn a bachelors and then they take the higher level classes that deal with their actual major. If we choose we can get an Associates Degree in a year or so (that about how long it took me) and take all the classes needed to get a job as a nurse. I think the BSN is designed to make us "better rounded" degreed professionals. I also think it is basically a waste of time from any practical perspective. I had a friend getting his BSN at the same time I was and he stated "why don't they just have us write a check & get the piece of paper"? I agree!!! I didn't get the thing to make myself a better anything. I did it because my employer would pay for most of it and I would get a raise and open doors of opportunity for myself. Purely self-serving reasons which have worked out well for me. If you don't think its worth your time don't do it but I'd do it again as its really just minimal busy work on-line from my experience.

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231 Posts; 2,984 Profile Views

I just read a great article about getting a BSN. It's posted here at AllNurses, and here's the link:

https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-student/is-the-bsn-1069173.html

What's interesting about this article, and many of the comments attached to it is how nothing has changed in the last 12 years. Way back when, in 2004, when I graduated, the exact same thing could be said about the BSN. The exact same things were being said about. And today, everything is still the same.

What that means is all the dire predictions that the ADN was on its way out, that states would start calling ADNs technical nurses and BSNs professional nurses, none of that ever materialized. And it won't. And here's why:

Bedside nursing IS ALL THAT MATTERS. Anything else done in a hospital can be done without being a nurse (physicians aside). A Director of Nursing does not have to be a nurse. They usually are, but they could be an MPH, or MBA, or both. The only thing a NURSE is needed for is to care for patients directly. And people with bachelors degrees are not going to do that--they will if they have to, but they are looking to better deal that as soon as they can. Why? Because you don't get an undergrad degree so you can do direct patient care. It's not necessary. It's never been necessary. And what is necessary always wins.

It is necessary to have RNs as opposed to just replacing them all with LPNs, because to replace them all with LPNs means you'd have to give extra training to the LPNs, and by the time you've done that--you essentially have an ADN RN.

Schools will continue to sell RN-BSN programs. Hospitals that are attractive enough to pick and choose may mandate BSN nurses--but ultimately it won't work. Some states may be foolish enough for a time to try to mandate BSNs, but it won't work, and they'll switch back.

The modern medical model works like this:

physician diagnoses and treats. RNs provide patient care. Physcians have assistants (NPs PAs, Allied health professionals). RNs have assistants (LPNs, CNAs, Food Service, housekeeping). This model is unbreakable. No matter how you try to get around it, it's unbreakable.

States mandate education levels to protect the public. And the diploma RN is safe enough for the public. We'd still have them, but hospitals have gotten out of the business of that, and turned it over to the junior colleges. That's the only reason RNs even have associate degrees.

There is one way this could change. There is one way the BSN could become the entry level degree for an RN, and that's if our country or states start paying for 4 years of college the way they do for public school up to the high school level. And I doubt that will ever happen, why? Because society doesn't need a bunch of bachelor's prepared people. Very few jobs actually need that. Lots of jobs require it, want it, but they really don't need it. It's usually just a way of weeding out applicants.

Oh, and I forgot; in case you hadn't noticed; nursing is working just fine with what it is and who nurses are. Nursing is not broken because nurses aren't BSN prepared. It works just fine, from Cardiac ICU to home health. :yes:

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