In the article “Greenville County hospitals need registered nurses,” published Sept. 18, there was no mention of the fact that the largest health-care network in Greenville has a requirement for all RNs to have a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) within four years of their date of hire.

I know of one RN with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) with 25 years’ experience in emergency medicine/trauma, and 15 years of combined experience in women’s infertility, medical/surgical, pre-op and post-op; and who is certified in emergency nursing, advance trauma life support, trauma nurse care, advanced cardiac life support, and pediatric advance life support, who was unable to stay beyond her four-year work anniversary simply because she did not have a BSN.

While the journalist attempted to make the case that “…a lack of educated nurses is riskier than short-staffed floors…” and “…there is research out there that does support that more education does equal higher safety outcome in hospitals," the article fell short by not citing the specific studies. 

In my research on the subject, the overwhelming number of studies that claim better healthcare outcomes with BSN RNs vs. ADN RNs were done by academic institutions with four-year nursing degree programs.

Except for those RNs who wish to move into management, teaching, or advanced nursing programs I remain puzzled why RNs, who wish to stay in direct patient care and who pass the same credentialing tests, meet the same continuing education requirements, with extensive experience and professional certifications, are seen as less of a RN because they do not have a four-year degree. One way to fight the RN shortage is for healthcare systems who insist on BSN RNs to reexamine their education requirements. The nursing shortage is real, and forcing highly qualified and experienced ADN RNs out the door seems to this reader like a self-inflicted wound.      

Rick Bedard


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