Essay on Requirements for Entry-Level Nursing

Essay on Requirements for Entry-Level Nursing

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An ongoing debate for the requirements to become a Registered Nurse (RN) has been unsettled. Several different educational pathways lead to an RN licensure; however, the minimum educational requirements must be standardized at the baccalaureate level for several reasons. Spetz and Bates (2013) published that a growing number of hospitals prefer hiring nurses with a Bachelor Science in Nursing (BSN) as this increases the status of the nursing profession (p. 1). Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), as well as a certificate on-the-job training Diploma are two other educational pathways to become an RN, which can be disadvantageous to the nursing profession in several ways (Tollick 2013; Spetz and Bates 2013). If entry-level nurses continue to practice without the BSN degree, then the deficit of highly educated nurses will be very detrimental to the nursing profession for years to come (Tollick, 2013).

The nursing profession has been disrupted by nursing shortages throughout the 20th century. Indiana University was the first official school of nursing which had its intentions to institutionalize the baccalaureate degree as its entry to nursing in 1909 (Jacobs 1998). Afterwards, shortages of nurses have led to hospital-based programs that provided a nursing diploma as well as community colleges providing an associate degree in nursing to close the shortage gap (Hess 1996). The intention for these diploma and associate degree programs were to designate these nurses as “technical” nurses who were supposed to work under the nurse; however, that was not the case due to the pressures of the nursing shortage (Hess, 1996). Nurses with a diploma or ADN can only be regarded as “semiprofessionals” as these nurses need to know much m...


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Works Cited

Hess, J. D. (1996). Education for entry into practice: An ethical perspective. Journal of Professional Nursing,12(5), 289-296.
Taylor, D. L. (2008). Should the entry into nursing practice be the baccalaureate degree?. Aorn Journal, 87(3), 611-620.
Blaney, D. R. (1986). An historical review of positions in baccalaureate education in nursing as basic preparation for professional nursing practice 1960-1984. Journal of Nursing Education, 25(5), 182-185.
Jacobs, L. A., & Bishop, T. (1998). The baccalaureate degree in nursing as an entry requirement for professional nursing practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 14(4), 225-233.
Spetz, J., & Timothy, B. (2013). Is a baccalaureate in nursing worth it? the return to education, 2000-2008 . Health Services Research, 1-20.
Tollick, K. (2013). Bsn required. New Hampshire Nursing News, 4-5.

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