When North Dakota took the lead in establishing the baccalaureate degree for its registered nurses and the associate degree for licensed practical nurses, it uplifted the whole of nursing in North Dakota. In response to the OJIN topic of Entry Into Practice, I recommend we drop the credential of LPN, move the vocational nurses to the ADN level and call them ANs, associate nurses. Then we can move the ADN to the BSN level, since the ADN curriculum is currently bursting at the seams, and call them BNs, for basic nurses. Give RN-BSN programs twenty years to complete the task of preparing basic nurses at the present BSN level. The credentials of CN would be for nurses certified in a specialty. Recognition as a professional nurse needs to come with graduate level preparation like other health care professionals, such as physical therapists and occupational therapists. We could call these professional nurses MNs, master nurses. The DN credential would be for nurses prepared at the doctoral level. Thus we should simply drop the RN credential. All levels of nurses could then be considered as contributing in their unique way to the development of the nursing profession, rather than possibly being left in a dead end position. We need to set our sail for the future, or be left on the distant shore waving goodbye.
I offer this from my perspective of being a diploma nurse who has completed her graduate degree in Community Mental Health & Psychiatric Nursing, taught in diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate, and RN-BSN programs and who continues to study Educational Leadership on the doctoral level. I’ve spent the last 45 years contemplating "Entry Into Practice." I say, "Let’s open the doors to professional improvement for all."
Patricia P. McGinnis, RN, MN
Auburn University Montgomery School of Nursing