Instead of BSN in 10, How About Common Sense Now
by, 07-13-2011 at 07:23 PM (298 Views)
Many hospitals in our area are starting to require their most experienced and skilled nurses to go back to school and get a BSN. This ridiculous trend has been spurred by the flawed and biased research of Linda Aiken, a University of Pennsylvania professor whose research claims that hospitals staffed with more BSN nurses experience fewer deaths. Ms. Aiken probably hasn't worked on a nursing floor in a long time because the nursing managers and supervisors I spoke to are saying the opposite; that many BSN educated nurses are ill-prepared as critical thinkers and as clinicians in general. Yet, just like the unthinking masses in the 70s all ran out to buy pet rocks because someone said it was the in-thing, hospital managers are blindly following along because they think it is the in-thing to do.
Now let me enlighten the public about nursing education. We all are required to pass the same state licensing exam and we all successfully completed programs that were accredited to enable us to take that exam. The only difference between a graduate of a hospital based nursing program and a graduate of a BSN program is that the BSN students usually write more research papers. Oh, there is one more difference. While hospital based nursing school students are required to do their fair share of research projects, they spend much more time in the hospital learning how to be nurses while the BSN students are spending the bulk of their time writing papers for university professors who probably use it as a way to get out of actually having to teach something. It seems that most of those in favor of the BSN for entry in the nursing profession are affiliated with academia. And it is academia that stands to benefit the most from such a change.
When a nurse goes back to earn a BSN, there are no new clinical skills taught. RN to BSN programs have no clinical component at all. In other words, it does not make one a better nurse. Critical thinking skills are developed through experience and by working with more experienced clinicians, not by writing papers. To tell a nurse with 25 or more years of experience who has specialty certifications in areas such as ICU, trauma and the ER that they must go back to school and spend thousands of dollars to have a professor tell them to write papers is pure asinine thinking. I don't blame those nurses for threatening to leave the profession. I want to urge the public to avoid hospitals who are threatening to terminate nurses who don't earn a BSN. If those nurses leave the profession, the risk of having a greater number of inexperienced clinicians at those hospitals will increase which will be a real threat to the public. I think it's great if a nurse chooses to go back for a BSN. But to force competent, experienced nurses to go into to debt for something that won't make them a better nurse is about as dumb as the pet rock craze of the 70s.