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Can an ANCC Magnet requirement result in hospitals hiring nurses who have BSNs from other countries instead of ADNs from the U.S.?


Dear Donna,

Can an ANCC Magnet requirement result in discriminating against new associate degree graduate RNs? I am a new ADN who had been looking for a job in a hospital in the Los Angeles area for the last
six months.

I just learned from a nurse recruiter that ADNs have a huge disadvantage when applying for hospital jobs. Hospitals planning to apply for Magnet recognition now prefer foreign graduate nurses because they have BSNs. When these foreign graduate nurses come to the U.S., colleges and universities do not recognize their BSN. Even accreditation agencies do not recognize these degrees. If you sit down with a college or university counselor, they would recommend the student take more courses before their nursing degree can be recognized.

I am sorry to say that these requirements have resulted in a practice that discriminates against nurses who get their education in the local community colleges here in the U.S. I am hoping that ANCC could make changes on this requirement and recommend to the hospitals to count only BSNs obtained
in the U.S.

RN Made in the USA

Dear Donna replies:

Dear RN Made in the USA,

The challenge you are encountering has nothing to do with ANCC, discrimination or foreign educated nurses. But if you choose to focus on that you may miss what is actually happening and miss the boat in the process. Read “New nurse, new job strategies”

The healthcare environment has gotten much more complex over the last several decades requiring a better prepared and well-rounded nursing workforce. Plus, there is a growing body of research that shows that when a hospital has a higher percentage of BSN nurses, patient outcomes are better.

As a result of all this, most U.S. hospitals, whether they have Magnet status or not, require a majority of nurses to have a BSN. That trend will continue. And just for the record, when a foreign educated nurse comes to this country, he or she is not automatically granted US RN status. That nurse has to go through a lengthy and often costly process of getting their education credentials verified, etc. Some U.S.nurses assume that foreign educated nurses are flooding into this country taking their jobs and thus the tight job market. Not so. Because of the tight hospital job market, fewer and fewer foreign-educated nurses are coming here to work because there are no jobs for them.

Read the above-referenced article not only to understand what is happening and why, but also to learn what it takes to find and get a job in today’s competitive and changing healthcare market. All nurses, whether new or experienced, need to look in new directions for employment and need new skills to find and get those jobs.

I understand your frustration, and I hear it all the time from other new nurses. But when what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to try a new approach. Be proactive in your job search rather than reactive. If you take all of the advice in the article, I am confident that you will be able to kick start your nursing career. It may not be where you envisioned it starting, but the important thing is to move forward.

Best wishes,


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By | 2013-09-09T00:00:00-04:00 September 9th, 2013|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|3 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Ruth November 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I disagree with the statement above. I have had family members in “magnet hospitals” and wasappalled at the nursing care they received. These were BSN prepared and foreign traveling nurses.
    Hospitals will not be able to continue to discriminate against ADNs for long. They’ll figure it out when their Satisfaction ratings reflect the truth about bedside care. Trust and believe, the “community college” nurse has superior skills bedside than the the four year frat girl who doesn’t want to get her hands dirty giving real care to the patient.

  2. Avatar
    nursewhocares January 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I agree Ruth I am a ADN nurse of 9+ years. I am currently working agency in a facitity which has a goal to become Magnet I’ve been working here agency 3+ years non stop fulltime since I’ve started. I have even inquired about becoming staff since I’ve been here so long with good standing, but was told I should have a BSN in order to become staff. Yet I have seen other departments jobs posted for Clinic LPNs or jobs posted for ADN rns with clinical experience for the posted job required to obtain their BSN within 3 to 5 years upon hire. I have not problem with getting more education but what baffles me is the facility is so worried about becoming Magnet they will not hire ADN for most of their departments but require BSN for others this is clearly discrimination. In addition the staff suffers from lack of employees being available due to staff shortage and the patients suffer due to longer staff response times, rushed procedures or patient care, staff has low morale from being overworked and overwhelmed. At no time has it mattered that I am ADN or BSN when it comes to patient care. I have trained other nurses often even though I was only given one week to be on my own where as the staff RNs have 6 months of training. I do my job extremely well. After all if I would have been hired with the expectation of getting my BSN within 3 to 5 years I could have been a staff nurse by now. I became a ADN while being a single mom with 3 children to support my family. While my near future goal is to obtain my BSN I feel no hospital should be allowed to refused a qualified ADN without fair reason and not having a BSN definitely isn’t one.

    • Avatar
      Jack October 3, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      I would agree with the RN’s above, and I feel the reply by “Donna” is a political maneuver to avoid answering the question. I have 23+ years in Nursing as an ADN. I have been published 3 times, ran a bone marrow transplant program for one of the biggest names in medicine, have written multiple policies and procedures, and have had years of Quality Management and Accreditation experience. I have been certified in Oncology and Bone Marrow transplant. Yet, because of Magnet designation I ma told that a BSN with 2 years experience has more value than I do. I am 58yo and don’t really want the added financial burden of school debt. The area I live in has 5 Hospital entities, and 3 are Magnet with one more applying. I am being closed out of my job simply because I don’t have a “B”SN. I would put my knowledge base and experience up against any BSN out there.

      The truth is that Magnet is discrimination against approximately 40% of the RN’s in the state of Florida alone. It puts the burden of more school debt on those who may not be in the position to go back to school due to personal circumstances. Being a good nurse isn’t about the letters after your name, it’s about how you practice and care for the patients. I know too many ADN’s that have 20+ years of experience in their chosen specialty and have the ability to work rings around new BSN’s and MSN’s, and yet they are losing their jobs because of Magnet. In all candor I was a part of a recent Magnet recertification and I can tell you that the institution I work for is far from meeting standards. They just put on a nice dog and pony show and signed the check. I’ve never seen such a lax accreditation visit.

      In the final analysis Magnet = Discrimination

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