of course...pardon me if i sounded like i was piling on you...
it's just that I've heard that from HR people, nurse managers, etc...
It's an ignorant way that these (hiring) people think...
what's your opinion chilly?
Well I think it depends on if you are looking at it from a patient care
perspective, or from that as "nursing as a profession" perspective. If the issue is patient care, I have never observed a measurable difference in the knowledge and/or skills of nurses that appears to correlate in any more than a modest way with their level of education.
I was an ADN nurse first, back in the day. I graduated from a community college in 1990. however, I had graduated from Law School in '88, and my original plan was to do some sort of malpractice law or something. So, while I was an ADN, I was an ADN with an atypical educational background.
I obtained a BSN some time later. Do I think the BSN made me a better nurse? Yes. It raised the bar for me so to speak. I was (am?) an intelligent, and educated person, but I never read research journals, never participated in my state BON or ANA activities. My BSN program taught me how to find and interpret the EBP guidelines, and inspired me to get more involved at various levels. That is not to say that a ADN prepared nurse could not do that, only that as a ADN nurse, I did not. My BSN education really opened my eyes about learning and growth opportunities. I had tunnel vision before that, and didn't know it.
However, I was already a CCRN and CEN by that time and by all accounts, an outstanding nurse. I just think my BSN education made me a more confident and professional nurse. I really value the way it expanded my thinking and subsequently, my professional horizon. In short, it was more of a personal growth curve that came from additional intellecutual stimulation, than having really learned some valuable nugget that was previously kept from me as a mere ADN.
Mandating a BSN may or may not result in improved outcomes for patients, but I do feel like it would result in improved outcomes for the nurses. I don't have any data to back up that opinion, it is just that, my opinion. Simply not hiring ADN or diploma nurses may not be the most effective way to support continuing education, but at least in this microcosm, it is working.
My bff from nursing school days now has a PhD and teaches at an IVY league nsg school. Their hospital system now only hires MSN prepared nurses for the bedside. I am not aware that their patient outcomes are head and shoulders above the benchmark, but from a single visit, I CAN tell you that the culture of that workplace is completely different in almost every respect. I have never seen such inter-professional cooperation, respect and camaraderie anywhere in my 20+ career. Is it the degree that makes the difference? I doubt that, but I don't
doubt that hiring the personality
that values and pursues the MSN, even without promise of financial remuneration, is what makes the difference, and THAT is good for nursing.
So my opinion is that requiring a minimum of a college degree for entry into the profession would be good for the profession. I suspect it would be minimally significant in terms of population outcomes.