80% of BSN by 2020: Is This Really Benefiting Nursing?

  1. Donna Buchalter says:

    I am not in nursing but I did work very interactively with a team of nurses when I managed the newborn hearing screen program. Nurses are incredible. I learned a lot by watching your video and feel you expressed yourself very well and made many good points. Keep up the great work by advocating for your profession!

  2. Jennifer Foster says:

    Good for you! Could not agree more.

  3. Cindy says:

    I am a35year ADN. I have done M/S , oncology, neuro, ortho, DM Ed-certified-, PCCN, and charge nurse for my unit. Now I am forced to get my BSN to keep my job. My hospital reinburses $1500 per year which covers 1 1/2 classes. I will get no raise because I am already at the top of the pay scale. This requirement is for our attempt at Magnet. It has been a great frustration for me since I have other things I would like to be doing. I no longer participate in committees or councils because if this . I see no benefit to me or my unit with my BSN but it does sap my time money and heart.

  4. Kim Edwards, ADN, RN says:

    I agree with this 100%. As a ADN for 20 years, I have seen a lot of nurses getting their BSN and I am amazed that some were even able to pass basic English!! Just one example was a nurse manager, with a BSN, who sent out an email that was one long, continuous, drawn out paragraph.

    A BSN requires a higher level of education that includes courses not even related to nursing. Some of the best nurses I’ve worked with are LVN’s and ADN’s with strong clinical experience. And, some of the worst were the BSN’s with NO clinical experience. When a nurse working in patient care has never placed a Foley catheter, it’s a scary day! We HAD to be competent in those areas before we could graduate!!

    So, my question is, why doesn’t experience amount to anything anymore?

  5. Linda kuenster says:

    I am an ADN nurse since 1973..I did a “ladder concept” program (don’t think they exist anymore)…LPN-RN..our hospital is pushing the BSN..they do pay tuition…not reimburse but pay as u go…downside. .u have to apply+be accepted. ..limited are accepted..the others do it on their own…no pay raise here. .they do pay $2/hr for certifcation…when I got my RNC.back in 2002 (I think),they paid $4…when others got certified, the pay dropped to $2,but those of us already certified had $2 added to their base+certif. pay was $2…I plan to retire next year (following major shoulder surgery to use up “extended illness sick hours”)..I am a night shift RNC in the NICU here in AZ…I love my babies, the gals I work with are family..some I have worked with since the 1990’s…a BSN does not make u a better nurse. .a coworker has to take…get this…comprehensive American history! !!!!…thank u for sharing……Hugs from AZ!!!!Keep up the great work…

  6. Ann says:

    I am a diploma nurse, graduated in 1980. The medical community that I live and used to work in require the BSN. I would never recoup the money invested to achieve a few letters after my name that do not impact my nursing or leadership abilities. I lack 5 classes to complete my BSN. I can speak with knowledge, I am the same nurse.

  7. Michele Slabodnick says:

    I was an LPN for 12 years and graduated from an ADN program in 1985. I finally decided to get my BSN from Ohio State but the Math requirements were beyond my reach. So, here I am with all but one nursing course to finish and I can not graduate because I live out of state and what they require is only obtainable on campus. Here is the sad part. Even if I manage to get into another program, I will be retiring in 2 years and the pay increase for BSN is not worth the frustration it is causing. I like bedside nursing. I do not aspire to go into management. I think that young people going into nursing now should get their BSN and beyond. But, don’t push those of us who have been at the bedside 25, 30 and 40 years to go back now. We are needed where we are.

  8. Darla says:

    I too couldn’t agree more! I am a 54 year old ADN RN. There is no tuition reimbursement where I work – so that means if I do go back to school – I pay for my schooling out of pocket and will be paying back student loans on my retirement pay or retire at the age of 60.
    I don’t believe my retirement is going to cover my student loans and when we are moving into an era where we need more nurses not fewer retirement doesn’t even remotely make sense.
    I live in rural Wisconsin and am surrounded by Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) that are barely staying afloat – so compensating RNs for their degrees is completely out of the question.
    Then there is the practical side of things. Meaning – the skill at the bedside. I cannot tell you how many times I mentored a BSN who had never started an IV in clinicals – so we were starting at the very basics of nursing. Again, in a CAH facility where you MUST wear many, many hats all in the same shift you need nurses that are trained in bedside care.
    Do I think there is a place for BSN trained nursing? Absolutely! Do I think we should be phasing out ADNs. Absolutely not.

  9. Debbie says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I have been an ADN nurse for many years. I work on a med/surg/oncology unit. I am certified in oncology and medical surgical nursing. I am forced to go back to school to be able to continue to work in this field. I do not believe this will make me a better nurse, nor will I get compensated for the advanced degree.. The benefit I will get is to keep my job.. I am doing it, but very frustrated .

  10. keji says:

    I think nurses who complain about this are not seeing beyond their noses. The field of healthcare that we work in is so much bigger than nursing and other disciplines in the field are improving on education. Almost everybody else requires at least a post graduate degree at an entry level (pharmacy, M.D. and all the therapists). Only in nursing can you start with a two year degree. This is doing nothing to earn us the respect that we deserve in the industry or in our society. I believe this goal of 80 percent BSN by 2020 is a very good thing for the future of our beloved profession. The field of healthcare is changing rapidly, and if nurses don’t start keeping up, we are gonna be floormat. The nursing shortage is not a valid excuse to not support this goal. There have always been a nursing shortage and there will continue to be one. Doctors are not using the doctor shortage as a reason not to advance their profession. We shouldn’t either. Education is expensive, but it is expensive for everybody. A new doctor these days graduate with something like $200000 in student loans. Nurses should embrace this goal. It is the right thing for our profession.

    • Iolanthe says:

      Keji…. What EXACTLY do u get in ur BSN program that i didnt in my ASN? My program was 3 years long FULL time, thats one year prereqs including summer term n 5 semesters of nursing. So ur last year of BSN is what? A couple of leadership, one research, n more things like history, math, another english n a few electives. NOT ONE nursing class needed to actually practice, academically or clinically than i got in my ADN. I also had to take micro, pharmacology and nutrition BEFORE i was admitted to the program not during or part of a BSN. And has been mentioned by others if i was a critically ill pt id take ADN ER or ICU nurse wth a few years experience over BSN nurse wth one or none because truth is that degree is awesomebif u plan to continue ur education into MSN or PhD but is nothing more than a moneymaker for colleges. Nurses are expected to learn in their area of nursing continually after they start working via CEUs, specialty certs and certs like ACLS, TNCC, etc based on specialty, hospital classes based on new equipment n procedures that are used. But noone can convince me that u learn any of that xtra knowledge in a BSN program as it relates to bedside nursing. Period

  11. Emily says:

    I agree a nurse is a nurse. Nurses should be united, however, this is not the only thing that divides nurses. Nurses “eating their young” also divides nurses. I feel experienced “seasoned” nurses whether they are ADN or BSN should definitely be given their props and they should also embrace new nurses and to be honored many do not. Going back to school really depends on your life circumstances. For me, I was able to go because I was a veteran and able to get my BSN the first time around. I do agree with the video.

    • jamie mintz says:

      I have been an ADN for a long time and I have about 15 more years to work and feel that I have no choice but to go back to school. I started out as an LPN. I remember those days and how we were treated. It was not very good. I am fortune and blessed they are giving us a good incentive to go back to school. Not only am I going to graduate this summer with my BSN, I am going to keep going for my MSN. Because now the rumor is they are going to try and have the BSNs eventually on the ADN level. Who knows? After my MSN I am done and NOT going back to school!

  12. Emily says:

    *I meant to say to be honest*

  13. A says:

    I am one class away from my BSN. Practicing as an ADN, I can honestly say, I have gained nothing except another $18k in student loan debt and a $1/HR raise. Wow $1/hr!!! So after 18,000 hours of working (more like 28,000 hours after taxes) I will finally break even. Needless to say I am getting into the stock market and real estate because I need another source of income. Thanks IOM, you just created more of a nursing deficit because now I will be working less as a nurse and more in a career where I’ll make more money to pay off my nursing loans. $1/HR…. You have got to be kidding me… I should have left nursing before I put myself $18k more in debt.

  14. Kate Jensen says:

    I graduated in 1972 from a 3 year hospital based program and they were pushing us then , telling us in a few years it would be required to have your BSN. Easier said than done if you get married. Today the cost maybe prohibited and as the article points for what maybe $1 an hour more. Continuing education at the hospital was much more appropriate and a lot cheaper. If you do not have a union and allow the corporate owned administrator to make the rules on this…you could get screwed. You might loose your $1 per hour those that do not have the BSN are going to be possible targets for pay cuts and termination.
    No I never got the BSN…working 1 maybe 2 days a month made up for that $1. Just staying 15 to 20 minutes over (was never planned, as you know) accomplished the same thing.

  15. Erika says:

    If you go back to school and get nothing out of it than you went back to school for the wrong reasons. If you are getting a degree to satisfy a requirement or get more money I doubt your head is in the right place in the decision to do this.

    This argument is about the push in elevating practice and whether you do that as an engaged ADN or as a a BSN doesn’t matter but most programs that ignore evidence based practice models is more the problem. When you are looking for a BSN or MSN program you should find a school that is engaged in EBP. This is where I see the differences….not in the degrees. Nurses who stay current and care about patient safety are what the IOM is trying to foster. In my opinion this is not the only way to do this, by requiring a BSN but it’s how the field is attempting to do it. In terms of evidence, hospitals with higher concentrations of BSNs are linked to decreased mortality rates – but whether this speaks to individual engagement or degrees isn’t clear but it is how the IOM interprets the data.

  16. Joanne McTamney says:

    I agree with you, and I gave these same arguments when I was working. I am now retired I was a ADN. I would put my education and experience up against any degree. I watched my daughter with as Associate degree go back to get her BSN. The courses were more about social studies, pointing out the differences in people. No kidding, really? I don’t think these courses would have made me a better nurse. What that degree did do is make her more mobile. ( She is now a Nurse Navigator for Cancer patients).I know at this point of your career you think you will not want to do anything else but patient care. I know I did, and so did she, but for some, many, you get to the point where your body is giving out long before you are at retirement age. Burnout is another factor. That was where I found myself. There was an emotional toll I paid in doing my job, along with the changes in the way we were asked to do our job, “Do more with less”. I loved nursing, but by the end I wished I had done something else with my life. Now that I am 4 years into my retirement I like it again.
    In the area I live in you can not get a job unless you have a BSN. It was difficult to move from one position to another within my own hospital, within my own unit. Nurses who worked nights for a very long time were denied a day position because they were competing with someone with a BSN. Fair? Absolutely not, but it is what is happening.
    Other professions within the health field, such as physical therapists and respiratory therapists need a masters to get a position when they graduate. I have a feeling that one day they will expect that of us.
    My advice to anyone in your position is bite the bullet and get your degree. It may lead to many new challenges within nursing. There are so many diverse opportunities in nursing today, but for better or worse they want the letters after your name.

  17. Gentleman Nurse says:

    I absolutely agree. I find the BSN is used too much as a proxy for intelligence and professionalism. Wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t an all or nothing proposition.

  18. Joanne Maedl says:

    Thank you for posting this. I am struggling to achieve my BSN because I am quickly seeing the restrictions NOT having it are putting on my career. I am certified in my specialty. I carry 11 state licenses. Between the certification and licensing I do plenty of CE’s to keep myself up-to-date and current. As mentioned in a previous post, I had to do almost 2 years of pre-reqs before getting into my 2 year nursing program… so doesn’t that equal the same?

    What am I doing in my RN-BSN program? Re-learning all the stuff I learned in my ASN program. I’m doing busy work. Putting together a resume (really? I’m in the latter half of my career), writing discussion posts, and silly papers about nursing theory and all the while reading about how I’m not “professional” until I get my BSN. It’s humiliating. I enrolled in my program based on a high pressure sales technique that eliminated the pertinent information I needed. (Shame on me, I know, but I didn’t expect that from education.)

    I’m trying to prepare for retirement and get my youngest kids through high school and to college while I’m seeing the writing on the wall: I won’t quite make it. Consequently, I’m burying myself in college debt in a profession that is so disrespected in many areas of the country already. I prefer to travel or do agency work so there is no reimbursement. I have looked into full time positions where there is reimbursement, but as mentioned, it’s maybe half the cost and often requires a commitment to the paying party (2 years of service). There’s little financial reimbursement in regular pay.

    Why isn’t anyone looking at the value of appropriate staffing and nurse educators who are available to guide and teach nurses, grooming them into strong, well-developed nurses? I don’t care what level of education nurses have. Mistakes are made when we are overwhelmed by the number of patients we have and the amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out on top of computer charting (often in systems that run slow) on top of the cracking whip that screams “hurry, hurry, faster, faster, more, more for less money”. Give me staff and decent supplies and I’ll show you good patient outcomes.

    BTW: I would like to reference this page in a speech on this topic.