Can you please explain to me why after 26 years of nursing in the same hospital with an excellent track record I am now being required to get a BSN in order to keep me job? Doesnt experience count for anything anymore? I think theyre just trying to push out the older nurses to make way for the young
Disgusted and Disillusioned
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Disgusted and Disillusioned,
Dont take it personally. There is a national movement to have most RNs obtain BSN degrees. Even though it is still not required for entry to practice, a growing body of research has demonstrated that hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN nurses have better outcomes. The required education credentials of all other healthcare professionals is a masters degree and beyond, including pharmacists, physical therapists, dieticians, etc. Nursing must keep up if it wants to stay on par and be recognized and compensated for the specialized services we provide.
Your belief that the older nurses are being pushed out is not supported by hiring trends. For starters, all new nurses are no longer young. The average age of the student nurse is about 33 years of age and many new nurses who come to the profession from other careers are in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even older. The majority of new nurses at any age are having great difficulty finding hospital work. Most hospitals are only hiring nurses with current hospital experience and a BSN.
Even though youve gotten by for this amount of time without a college degree, it is an important next step in order to stay relevant, marketable and confident in an increasingly complex healthcare environment, competitive job market and rapidly changing world. Read Go back to school and change your life (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Back-to-School) where youll read about my experience reluctantly venturing back to school and the impact it had.
Times are changing. What worked for us in the past individually and as a profession will not work for us going forward. Each of us must elevate our credentials, our skill set beyond the clinical and even our ability to relate to the larger world around us. Higher education supports all of these goals. I always say go back to school for yourself first and your career second. The personal benefits, even if you dont see them at first, far outweigh the professional benefits. But you do have to look forward. Everyone is living and working longer and each of us has to keep up. I recently was speaking to a nurse who went to a diploma school of nursing with me several decades ago. She never furthered her education and she now feels stuck. Shed like to leave her job but doesnt have confidence that anyone else will hire her. She also is resisting returning to school.
There is scholarship money available for those who go after it so be sure to read Master the scholarship game (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game) so you can go after those funds to pursue your BSN.