I have openly spoke out against the BSN push which is being driven by those who live in the fantasy world of academia and for the most part haven't touched real patients in many years. While I've always said I think it's great for nurses to be encouraged and to choose on their own to further their education, to be told by an employer to earn a BSN within 3 years under the veiled threat of termination if they don't is not encouragement. Many hospitals in the area are telling their most experienced nurses; many who are in their 40s and 50s who have over 20+ yrs of experience along with specialty certifications that demonstrate proficiency and excellence in areas such as trauma and ICU and who also have called upon to mentor new nurses, that they mus now earn BSNs. Many of these nurses realize that to go into debt for $20,000-$30,000 at that time in their lives for something that has absolutely no bearing on patient care is ludicrous. Many know that the loan may not be paid off by the time they are ready to retire and have said they would leave the profession if they are forced to do this. These are the most experienced nurses that you and I would want to have taking care of us or our loved ones should hospital treatment be necessary. Losing these nurses would be a detriment to the profession and a danger to general public because the risk of being cared for by inexperienced nurses will be greatly increased. Reports of this as a result of the BSN push are already starting to come in.
So why the big BSN push now? This may provide a clue:“200 college and university campuses have closed during the last 10 years due to decreasing enrollments as baby boomers aged" (Nursing Spectrum, Jan. 9, 2012).* It seems that four year colleges and universities fear a loss of revenue and professors and academic elitists fear losing their lofty positions and because there are more nurses than any other healthcare professional, they feel that requiring nurses to run back to school is the best way to solve their dilemma. Mind you, they don't care if new nurses can't find jobs or if existing nurses lose their jobs; they only care about their own status.
In looking the curriculum of RN-BSN programs, I found they consist of courses such as: Professional Ethics, Leadership in Nursing, Research Methods and Currents Issues in Nursing.* All of these courses are incorporated in some way in every accredited nursing program and to have to pay thousands of dollars to have to take them in a BSN program especially since they have nothing to do with improved patient care is a sham. There is nothing in these programs that has nay bearing on patient care. Si if the BSN push is not about money, why won't they let nurses earn BSNs the same way they earn CEUs such as studying articles in Nursing Spectrum and Advance then taking the competency tests. Reason is the four year colleges and universities won't make money that way.
These academic elitists say requiring nurses to earn BSNs will elevate the profession. This is a sham as well as them saying requiring nurses to obtain BSNs is for the good of the patients. This has to be the one of biggest examples of self-serving phony altruism I have ever heard of. All experienced doctors and nurses will tell you that the ability to think critically in clinical situations come from experience and has nothing to do with the type of nursing program one graduated from.
Magnet Status is the other excuse being used for the BSN push. As one nurse who wishes to remain anonymous put it; “Nothing more than a money making scheme for the ANA, hospitals pay the ANA thousands of dollars for a fake seal of approval.” (Jan.16, 2009, Nursingjobs.org.). . For the most part, many nurses believe Magnet Status is merely a marketing tactic meant to manipulate the uninformed general public into feeling better about one hospital versus another and that no better care is provided than at any other hospital. Besides a marketing tactic, there's another reason for hospitals wanting to attain magnet recognition. Hospitals receive a large stipend from the federal government for reaching and maintaining magnet status (Nicmousseau,Nurse.com, Dec. 12, 2012). While some hospitals do try to provide superior patient care, each should be judged by its own merits and not a paid-for recognition.
I have contacted the media as well as politicians and will do everything to let the public know what the BSN and Magnet Status pushes are really about. I have also recommended that people may want to avoid hospitals that are requiring their nurses to earn BSNs because the risk of having an inexperienced is greater.
Furthering one's education should be an individual choice and not that of venal, self-serving academic elitists. One of the stations said they may be interested in this story. They asked me if other nurses affected by the BSN push would be willing to speak out. Let me know through this forum and we can get in touch. Whether we graduated from a Diploma, Associates or Bachelor’s Program we all completed the same coursework from an accredited program in order to sit for the state licensing exam. We all took an oath to do no harm and to do our best to care fro those who need us. We are the most numerous of all healthcare professionals. Let's all come together now and demand the respect we deserve.