Would-be nurses face ‘degree creep’

Community colleges educate more than 40 percent of registered nurses but “degree creep” is making it harder for nurses with associate degrees to get clinical training and hospital jobs.

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  1. Classics Mom says:

    As an RN with a BSN with over 20 years experience, I can assure you there is a huge difference in the preparation between a nurse with a bachelor’s degree and an associate degree. Sure they can pass the exam with an ADN, but in many cases they will not function at the same capacity of a BSN nurse. Many areas of acute and critical care really require large bodies of knowledge and abilities of which a BSN nurse would be more prepared in my opinion.

    • When I was in college, in the 60s, I knew BSN students from both hospital-based diploma programs (now nonexistent for many years) and from ADN programs. They all felt that the BSN had far more content, both in the clinical work and, especially, in the sciences and social sciences (psych, soc etc), and they all had a lot of years’ clinical experience when they came into the BSN program. One of the generic BSN students worked at the local medical center after graduation, with a charge nurse (diploma grad) who disapproved of BSN nurses; saying they lacked clinical skills. Six months later, she went to the Dean with a formal apology, saying that the heavy content knowledge made a big difference, especially in complex or unusual situations. That said, I recently worked (not a nurse) in a medical office with an ADN grad who was exceptional, but significantly different from the average CC student; a university grad with significant work experience in several fields, before going into nursing. She could and did learn that content material on her own.

      • I should have made it clear that I am in no way opposing ADN programs; quite the contrary. They fill a real need. That said, I can understand the difficulties of finding student placements in areas with limited sites and/or several local programs. The small city where I now live has two hospital systems (hospitals and clinics), but there are (at least) three BSN programs and at least one ADN program (I think more), plus students in other health fields (pharmacy, physical therapy, medicine, and various associate’s and certificate programs)

        • Classics Mom says:

          I am not opposed to ADN or LPN programs as well. In fact, depending upon where someone lives, I would recommend someone interested in nursing to start with ADN and try to get your job to pay for the BSN since it more economical that way. I still contend that there is huge difference in the preparation that the degrees confer but I have also worked with many great ADNs and LPNs.

  2. Roger Sweeny says:

    No doubt, graduates of BSN programs are, on average, smarter and harder working (and able to pick up thingsl more quickly) than graduates of ADN programs. I suspect that is mostly because people who enter BSN programs are, on average, smarter and harder working (and able to pick up things more quickly) than people who enter ADN programs.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    Pharmacy not only requires a doctorate but a residency. Physical therapy is a field that requires a doctorate. Therapy physics moved from just requiring a masters to a PhD and residency. All of medicine is push for more credentials to not only limit the supply but to create more jobs for educators and professors. Why would nursing be exempt.

    • Stacy in NJ says:

      Thank you superdestroyer. It’s just guilds using credentialing as a means of supply control. Why do medical professionals and educators hate the poor? – who are less able to find the time and resources to purchase their credential?

      • Stacy,

        This goes on in just about every industry where licensing or credentialing is required (or preferred)
        to be hired. Never mind that the credential itself
        (or the means it was obtained) might have absolutely
        nothing to do with the skill level of the person holding

        I’ve met Ph.D’s who couldn’t set up a network to
        save their own skins, and I’ve seen high school
        dropouts find security issues in mission critical

        Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV)