I write in response to Dr. Nelson's article, "Education for Professional Nursing Practice: Looking Backward into the Future." I am a registered nurse who graduated from a diploma program in 1978. For most of my professional life I have downplayed the importance of a baccalaureate degree in nursing. However, I recently returned to school for my BSN, and would like to continue towards a master’s degree. I would like to practice more independently; and in order to do so, I must be better educated.
As the article clearly demonstrated, institution of the baccalaureate degree for entry into professional nursing practice poses many issues, as well as resistance from those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. I agree with the author's conclusion that nurses need to claim the power to raise educational standards. However, in order for nurses to be a powerful group, there needs to be more unity. We as nurses have become complacent and have lost foresight regarding the future of nursing. If we want to be viewed as professionals, the entry into professional nursing practice must be the baccalaureate degree.
Maria Rivera, R.N.
Student, College of New Rochelle
Defense Medical Malpractice Nurse Investigator