Nursing Notes

September 8, 2009

National Nursing News | N.Y. and N.J. Consider BSN Requirement

Filed under: Nursing — Shirley @ 3:47 pm
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Here is an article from the Nursing Spectrum that makes no sense on the first hand–don’t we have a critical nursing shortage?–but then makes some sense on the second hand–better educated may make better quality decisions in dealing with sicker patients.  After reading this entire article, I am still left pondering whether the timing of this is right. 

I have been a BSN RN for 19 years and this topic was hot when I was in school.  At that time, we had a nursing shortage so I believe the issue was tabled.  Now, when we have a shortage of massive proportions,  do we really want to open this Pandora’s Box again?  Might this legislation dissuade some from entering the field when we need good people to join us?

Please visit the site and read the article in its entirety.  There are some very interesting statistics on the page also.  Make your own mind up after reading.

For several decades, the education standards for entry into nursing practice have generated spirited discussion among nurses and legislators alike. That discussion is sure to heat up once again with BSN in 10 bills on the floor in both the New York and New Jersey state legislatures. The bills would require all newly licensed RNs to obtain a BSN within 10 years of initial licensure.

If signed into law, the proposals will have a lasting impact on the nursing profession. There are a number of concerns about what the passage of the two bills would mean for the schools of nursing in New York and New Jersey, that, like the rest of the country, already are turning potential candidates away because of faculty shortages.

Concern over the fate of ADN and diploma programs also is a major issue, as is the potential monetary burden that could be placed upon nurses to fulfill the BSN education requirement.On the other side, some argue the new requirement would be worth it to ensure nurses in New York and New Jersey are equipped to handle the ever-increasing complexity of patient care. In addition, they say nursing needs to step up its game to remain viable and equally competitive in the healthcare arena by making the baccalaureate degree the minimal requirement to maintain licensure.

“All nurses need to know the facts regarding BSN in 10 S620 introduced by [N.J.] Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-19th), the chairman of the Senate Health Committee,” says Bonnie Michaels, RN, MA, NEA-BC, vice president and CNO at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J., and a member of Nursing Spectrum’s Regional Advisory Board.New York State’s Bill S4051/A2079B (The Educational Advancement for the Nursing Profession) and S620 (nee S2529)/A3768 in New Jersey — most commonly referred to as the BSN in 10 proposals — include the same general points. Both pieces of legislation would require new graduates of associate degree and diploma programs to obtain their baccalaureate degrees in nursing within 10 years of the date of initial licensure. If passed, the New York law would take effect immediately, while New Jersey’s would take effect after 90 days.

National Nursing News | N.Y. and N.J. Consider BSN Requirement

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