Do you agree with the eight-year initiative?

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For as long as I have been a nurse, there has been a huge debate over educational requirements for basic RN licensure, AKA entry into practice.

Now we have this “eight-year initiative”–the latest program designed to mandate a BSN for RN licensure in the United States.

From the time I became a two-year degree RN in 1978 until I finally completed a BSN in 2010, I have been on “both sides of the bed” and have yet to see how a mandated BSN does anything more than give the hospital’s marketing people something to brag about.

BSN nurses do not typically make any more money than associate degree RNs but may be expected to do more administrative chores, often for even LESS money than a shift nurse can make. Also, higher education has evolved into a BIG business–if you look at who is driving the mandatory higher degree requirements, they nearly all live in academia and hold PhDs. Yet we still do not have an initiative for one U.S. RN license even though we have ALL taken the same exams for more than 40 years!

We already have an overabundance of “soft hands” in this country. Most of the recent BSN grads I see are already enrolling in master’s programs to “get away from cleaning poop.” Many are going the NP route for reasons such as: Monday-Friday schedules, weekends and holidays off, better pay, benefits and in some states the chance to practice independently.

Look closely at who and what is driving these agendas before you jump on board. Most of them have not actually WORKED in the real world in years. The world of academia is artificial at best: lots of theory and unproven pseudo-science. (At one point in the 1980s, the nursing school I attended embraced “humanistic existentialism,” complete with crystals, psychics and other unproven controversial stuff before nursing and medicine finally began to embrace scientific evidence as the basis for its practice.)

So what happens when EVERY nurse in the country has a master’s degree or even a doctorate (already required for Advanced Practice Nurses who are not grandfathered in)?

The answer is simple: There won’t be any RNs at the bedside because they will have been “educated” away from it!

Follow the money (William Goldman, All the President’s Men).

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