The Associate of Nursing: Big Fish, Little Pond

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If you’ve just graduated with your Associate’s Degree, you’re probably wondering: Why is it so hard to find a job? Or if you were like me, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology (or something else) and a crap ton of experience behind your belt: Why is it still so hard to find a job? You’re probably already aware of the answers: “MAGNET STATUS” or “It’s all about WHO YOU KNOW.” Sadly, that’s the truth in todays job market.

If you don’t yet know what Magnet Status is, according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), “the ANCC specifically developed the Magnet Recognition Program to recognize healthcare organizations that provide nursing excellence.” So, basically hospitals have been raising the bar for their workforce, in order to better protect and serve the public. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for raising the bar, for the greater good. That’s how we stay competitive, against the world market.

However, I remember sitting in my Role and Scope lecture, during my final quarter. My professor started talking about the Job Market, Magnet Status, BSN, the “Register” created by Florence Nightingale, etc. Then I thought about it for a second, and asked the following question…”If you already have a Bachelors of Science (like myself), why is it still preferable to further obtain a BSN, just to compete in the higher end of the job market?” Again, if you didn’t already know, becoming a nurse was career change for me.

If you’re considering going for your Bachelors, I’m all for the pursuit of higher education. Here’s what you should foreshadow:

The Bachelor, against the Associate (Catalano, 2015):

  • Develops intellectual skills (critical thinking, writing, public speaking)
  • Have extensive management education
  • Have community health education
  • Learn teaching skills and principles
  • Use and conduct research
  • Use nursing theory and models

Now, with all do respect, I don’t want to degrade my previous Bachelor’s degree. I worked damn hard for it. And against the further requirements to obtain the BSN, I’d be damned if I pay more money just to take statistical analysis, research, critical thinking, and more writing courses. And I won’t lie to you, there are a few subpar individuals out in the market with BSNs, who gobble up jobs like it’s Thanksgiving.

In the end, in my shoes and in my personal opinion, I feel like having the “register” is no longer relevant in today’s market. The register was initially made to ensure public safety. Yet, the concept of the “Magnet” is taking over it’s place. The Magnet seems to single out those who are not with BSN designation. So why award degrees to those with an Associate status? So that our healthcare system can bottom feed to specialties that rank socially on the “lower end”? The stigmatization of qualified Associates should be eliminated, in order to compete against the Bachelors. And not just given to the BSN by their title. Or completely eliminate the Associate degree and make the Bachelor the new standard of education across the board. Even further still, what’s the point of allowing Associates to take the NCLEX? Doesn’t the test standardize us all?

But, I digress. Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to know tons of relatives in the nursing field. #LOL. I know what your thinking…damn Filipinos…that’s stereotypical! Shame on you! #LMAO.

At least we have RN to MSN bridge programs…

Cheers,

SV.

Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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