View Full Version : Acronym help


miss-elaine-ious
12-11-2007, 10:39 PM
Ok so some of you have said you are a nurse, yet you are going to do your BSN (bachelor of science in nursing?). Aren't you a nurse already? What would a BSN do you, unless you are planning on doing a Master's degree.

Do you need your BSN to be a nurse? I've also read other acronyms, such as ADN, APN, L-something, etc.

Can someone help an Ontario, Canada girl out? Since 2003, all of our nurses (RN's) have to go to university for a Bachelor degree. However, we have college trained RN's, and a lower level Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) that can be trained in college.

There are also 6-month programs to be a nurse's assistant/medical assistant, where they are trained to do bathing and feeding.

Thanks!

Elaine
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http://miss-elaine-ious.blogspot.com/

geenaRN
12-12-2007, 12:37 AM
Ok so some of you have said you are a nurse, yet you are going to do your BSN (bachelor of science in nursing?). Aren't you a nurse already? What would a BSN do you, unless you are planning on doing a Master's degree.

What would a BSN do me? I've been asking myself that for years :) You don't need a BSN to practice as a nurse. You certainly don't get any more pay. It's a bridge to getting a Master's. I don't intend on ever getting a Master's, but I'm still glad I got a BSN. Convoluted, I know.

Do you need your BSN to be a nurse? I've also read other acronyms, such as ADN, APN, L-something, etc.

Can someone help an Ontario, Canada girl out? Since 2003, all of our nurses (RN's) have to go to university for a Bachelor degree. However, we have college trained RN's, and a lower level Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) that can be trained in college.

ADN's are nurses who have Associate Degrees. A Bachelor's will take you at least 4 years. When I was in school, it generally took 2-3 years to get an Associate degree. I have no idea what an APN is, but LPN's (or LVN's) are Licensed Practical/Vocational nurses. I'll admit I do not know the length of their training or much about their scope of practice. I know that there are things LPN's are not "allowed" to do.

Hope that helped!

P/J
12-12-2007, 01:49 AM
Note that this is Australia's System
RN (Registered Nurse or Division 1) - Bachelor of Nursing or Nursing Science (3 year degree)
EN (Enrolled Nurse or Division 2) - Certificate IV of Nursing (12 months) works under the direction of an RN.
PCA/PSA (Personal Care Attendant/ Personal Service Attendant)- Certificate III of Age Care (12 months max)

So you can be an Enrolled nurse and be studying to BNS to become a independent nurse

Marachne
12-12-2007, 07:03 PM
APN is advance practice nurse -- that includes NPs (nurse practitioners) and CNS (certified nurse specialists) Former are generally providers (NOT MD lite) the latter usually do more education and systems level work. Both were (in the US) masters level positions but they are transitioning to doctorally prepared. There's a new thing called a CNL clinical nurse leader, not sure exactly what the role is.

Some place will start you at a higher salary w/a BS vs. a AD. Even if you don't, you can only go so far with an AD -- for example, most/many places want hospice/home health to be BS prepared. Same for administrative work.

Other than that, BS tend to get more leadership, theory, and systems-level education, as well as needing a more rounded general education (i.e. anthropology, social sciences, often more chemistry, more math). Does it make a difference? I don't know. Some will say that an AD trained nurse gets more technical and hands on experience in school. As others have noted, it depends on the school. Also, my personal (and supported by the literature) opinion is that you really learn the skills you need for where you are once you start working, but learning to "think like a nurse" (i.e. clinical judgement) is something that gets a bit more grounding when you has a BS. Oh, and another thing there is a difference between a BS in nursing and a BSN. A BSN is actually a slightly less rigourous degree -- fewer credits, a few less classes.

YMMV

NurseSean
12-13-2007, 06:38 AM
In Ontario, the nurse acronyms are as follows:

RN = Registered Nurse
RPN = Registered Practical Nurse.

These are some of the acronyms you will hear elsewhere.

BSN = Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (American)
BScN = Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (Canada)
BN = Bachelor's of Nursing (Canada)

LPN = Licensed Practical Nurse. This is the same as an RPN in Ontario.

ADN = Associate's Degree in Nursing which is a 2 year RN program in the US. There's no such thing as Associate's Degrees in Canada...for nursing or any other subject.

I know that in Canada: Alberta, BC, Ontario (and possibly others) offer only Bachelor's degrees.

You will need a Bachelors degree for Management, post-secondary degrees, advanced practiced, and public health nursing amongst other things. In Canada, job postings will always say Bachelor's degree preferred.

If you plan to do nothing but bedside nursing, a diploma is adequate. But never underestimate the mind's ability to change. It's easier to to a Bachelor's from the start, rather than bridge later (but opinions on this vary).

When it comes right down to it, a Bachelor's degree offers extra learning. Extra learning is always valuable.

Kevin Who?
12-14-2007, 07:07 AM
Personally, I'm going for my Bachelor's so that I don't lose momentum. If I were to get an Associates and start working, I'd probably get into a comfortable rut, so I'm barreling through. I'm planning on a Master's pretty soon after graduation, so this makes sense to me.
Oddly enough, some employers prefer the ASN graduate nurses to BSN graduate nurses because they actually have more clinical time in their program.. The BSN programs here are more theory heavy.
-kev

Marachne
12-14-2007, 05:07 PM
One thing I have noticed is that some of the "bridge programs" (RN to BS) are pretty good, in that they recognize that you do have experience working as a nurse and only focus on the areas of education you might not have gotten in your AD program. Also, there are some programs (for example, University of Washington, at least the one in the southern part of the state-Vancouver, WA area) that, if you have a bachelor's degree in something else will let you do a one-year bridge and then move right into a Master's program. And then there are the "direct entry" programs and accelerated programs that take into account earlier bachelor's degrees. The direct entry allow you to do an intensive RN program and then go directly into a masters level program. for example, Oregon Health & Science University has (had?) one that allows people to go directly from the intensive RN to either a psych mental health NP or a nurse-midwife program. The accelerated programs are just shorted. I did one of those: a 2-year (upper division only) program in 18 months, which included a 320 hr clinical rotation in 10 weeks...and like a crazy person I followed that with post-bachelor's PhD program.

P/J
12-15-2007, 11:38 PM
In Ontario, the nurse acronyms are as follows:

RN = Registered Nurse
RPN = Registered Practical Nurse.

These are some of the acronyms you will hear elsewhere.

BSN = Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (American)
BScN = Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (Canada)
BN = Bachelor's of Nursing (Canada)

LPN = Licensed Practical Nurse. This is the same as an RPN in Ontario.

This is great but what does it mean? Does a RPN work under the guidance of the RN?

Why do a BScN when you can do a RN.

What is funny is the at a RPN in Australia and UK is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (what used to be ?div 4? in Australia) and is equivalent to a RN except one specialises in Med/Surg and the other Psych (this has now changed with all nurses getting Psyc training and can specialise post-grad).
-----------------------------------------
Our program is changing to a Masters program next year. So graduate will graduate as a grad nurse (first year) with a masters in Nursing. The argument against this is that you my have a Masters but it is really not much use to you at such an early stage in your career in nursing, you would be better to get your degree and work for a few years and then go back do do your Masters.

Marachne
12-16-2007, 04:16 PM
The "you shouldn't get your masters until you've been out there working for a while" is a long held belief in nursing....unlike just about any other profession or discipline. At times it feels like a remnant of the apprenticeship model of nursing training (note, not education, training). It's also part of the reason we have a shortage of nursing faculty, and why nursing research is still in its infancy.

That said, there have always been people who go straight through...including some of the most brilliant clinicians and researchers I know.

P/J
12-16-2007, 05:08 PM
The reason for the lack of nursing research is that nurses don't have the respect of the larger medical community. Australian nurses are still bitching about the nursing going into the Universities (about 13 years ago) since then the amount of nursing research as increased, but the people who should be doing the research are not the new grads who don't know where the research should be done, but the older nurses who have been in the industry for years.

People are graduating from Universities with PhD or Masters and expecting to be payed accordingly, but employers are looking at their experiences and they have none (in the field) so after a 4 year degree, and then masters, then Doctorate you are still going to be payed as a grad. It is suggested that people graduate, work for a year (our grad year) then help with research until they are ready to return and do a masters, and then you will get the pay rise with the masters after the year.

Julie
12-16-2007, 05:27 PM
I have a masters but I doubt any patient would or should be able to tell the difference between me with a masters or me as an RN. This is because there is a difference between the practical art of nursing, and the way you apply any evidence, theory or whatever. As PJ says nurses with experience should be carrying out research, they should be writing academic papers for others to read and they should be creating theory. But at the same time they need to be credible as nurses and no Phd or masters is required for that.

Marachne
12-16-2007, 06:38 PM
The reason for the lack of nursing research is that nurses don't have the respect of the larger medical community.

Not sure I agree with you. I see nursing research in major peer reviewed journals like The Gerontologist, Oncology, even NEJM. I do think we need to work harder to get out of "Nursing Ghettos" and publish in other places....and remember, no matter what it still takes 10-17 years for research to be translated to practice (will be interesting to see if the new translational research will make a difference). Also interesting to see if there is more truly interdisciplinary research done

Australian nurses are still bitching about the nursing going into the Universities (about 13 years ago) since then the amount of nursing research as increased, but the people who should be doing the research are not the new grads who don't know where the research should be done, but the older nurses who have been in the industry for years.

I've been a nurse for 5 years. I graduated with my BS and started my PhD program. I've been working (albeit part time) since I got my license. My school emphasized clinically relevant research. My program also included what they called a research practicum -- something that allows one to go into an environment and through observation and talking with people develop some idea of what are the issues. Yes, work keeps opening my thinking (the palliative care fellowship has been a major eye opener), but so does talking with other nurse scientists, as well as being in a place where we always ask "so what?" as in so why is this important now? not just 'cause no one has looked at it, but because it's an issue that has an impact on the care that people get.

Then again, I started nursing school in my 40's so I think I can safely say that my life experience also influenced my ability to extrapolate from the clinical setting.

And then there is CBPR community based participatory research--if you truly, equally involve the people who wish to research, you'll do a lot better job at doing relevant work -- not to mention getting buy-in and getting better responses.

People are graduating from Universities with PhD or Masters and expecting to be payed accordingly, but employers are looking at their experiences and they have none (in the field) so after a 4 year degree, and then masters, then Doctorate you are still going to be payed as a grad. It is suggested that people graduate, work for a year (our grad year) then help with research until they are ready to return and do a masters, and then you will get the pay rise with the masters after the year.

If I'm working on the floor or in a clinic as a traditional nurse, then I don't expect to get paid more for more education vs. experience. If I'm teaching, yeah, I'd expect to get paid more for a PhD than a Masters. If I'm doing advanced practice nursing, where I'm responsible for diagnosis and treatment decisions, yeah, I expect to be paid more than for direct-care nursing, but I also expect to get the training that makes me safe in the position.

Of course, the final irony is that if you do work as a direct-care nurse in certain markets for long enough you will make more than as a professor in a tenure track position. For me it was a combination of things: As a middle-aged woman, I knew I couldn't do 20 years of floor work without it killing me, combined with a strong tendency to asking questions and wanting to find answers and being addicted to scholarship. I did plan, originally in getting a masters (CNS, certified nurse specialist, a clinical degree) but my school dropped all of their masters-level programming except for three NP programs: Family NP, Psych NP, and Nurse-midwifery. I was on a research training scholarship that would not pay for 2+ years of advanced clinical training. Yes, I wish I could have gotten the MS, but that wasn't how the cards played out.

And I'm a damn good nurse -- my peers, my supervisors, my adviser, my patients and my patients' families have told me so.

Marachne
12-16-2007, 06:45 PM
I have a masters but I doubt any patient would or should be able to tell the difference between me with a masters or me as an RN. This is because there is a difference between the practical art of nursing, and the way you apply any evidence, theory or whatever. As PJ says nurses with experience should be carrying out research, they should be writing academic papers for others to read and they should be creating theory. But at the same time they need to be credible as nurses and no Phd or masters is required for that.

And no AD or BS trained nurse is going to be credible as a researcher. There's a lot more to being able to design a good study, analyze the results and disseminate the findings then is learned as an undergrad. There are places that have developed programs to have research performed by direct-care nurses: most of it is replication work, which is important, or comes pretty darn close to QI/QA work, which is not to say it isn't important. But they are guided in their work by at least an MS.

And lets not even get into getting funding research w/o the appropriate bona fides...

And we won't even go into

Julie
12-17-2007, 02:42 AM
I know things in the US are different to the UK but there is a difference between 'training' and 'education'. You can be an ordinary RN with a bachelors and a masters degree, whether that is in nursing or something else is irrelevant to your ability to design and conduct research. You only have to read these boards to see there are highly qualified people (in terms of academia) who then go onto become nurses.

Marachne
12-17-2007, 10:07 PM
Julie,

I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing. If your comment about training refers to my comment regarding advanced practice nursing, I might have been sloppy with my language, but I think I was referring to extra experience under supervision in order to act as a primary care provider.

I know people who came into their bachelors nursing programs with a masters degree, and depending on the degree, it prepared them for some things not others. One had a counseling degree and she went the direct-entry track to become a Psych NP. Another had a masters in english lit and a background in teaching. She probably could move into a nursing education role, but not necessarily a research role role. I've known bench scientists who came back and got an RN, but they still would need to be educated in research before they could do independent research (or at least before they were likely to be funded). Hell, even MDs, if they want to research need to get a PhD.

There needs to be all the elements to do good research: the interest, the understanding of the field, the education in research theory, methods, methodology and epistemology, and, I believe the temperament to be able to deal with the iterative, and painstaking process. It's not about intelligence per se -- you don't have to look any further that some of the clearly very intelligent people are this board who have said they have absolutely no interest in research so see that. I think you have to have a certain amount of the "curious elephant child" in you, and you have to have a certain kind of persistence, and you have to be in an atmosphere that nurtures those characteristics.

P/J
12-18-2007, 12:21 AM
Julie,
I don't think we're necessarily disagreeing.
I don't think we are either, between our three different countries, different nursing programs, and research opportunities; I think we are all agreeing.


If your comment about training refers to my comment regarding advanced practice nursing,....There needs to be all the elements to do good research: the interest, the understanding of the field, the education in research theory, methods, methodology and epistemology, and, I believe the temperament to be able to deal with the iterative, and painstaking process.
This is what I think we are all agreeing on.

I've known bench scientists who came back and got an RN, but they still would need to be educated in research before they could do independent research (or at least before they were likely to be funded). Hmmmm I worked for years as a microbiologist/chemist. So does this include me? ;) (Just to qualify all this: I have done research in the past and I'm involved in research now (not my own)).

Julie
12-18-2007, 02:15 AM
Picking up on P/J's last comment about doing research in other fields. As nurses we are often dismissive of peoples previous experiences particularly if not in nursing when actually we need to embrace those experiences and make use of them.

Having said that of course, being a 'bench scientist' might not prepare you for some of the more qualitative research you might embark on as a nurse, but it must surely allow you the knowledge and experience to design and undertake some useful research.

Marachne
12-18-2007, 01:30 PM
I guess there's a difference between "doing research" and "being a PI (principle investigator). I'm guessing that if one has a BS in microbiology, you're likely to wind up doing research. But if you are going to be the person who is getting the funding, my guess is that you need some level of graduate education.

That said, I do not have a background in other kinds of research.

It's funny, we have a faculty member who was a microbiologist. She missed working with people, so she went back to school and got her RN. What is she doing now? Working with mouse models to examine cancer-tx related fatigue (http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/academic/som/radiationoncology/lisa-wood.cfm). (did you know that you can tell when a mouse is depressed by how much they run on their wheel?)

I love the interdisciplinary nature of so much nursing research. Before there were many PhDs or DSci available in nursing, a number of people got their doctorate in things like anthropology (including one of my heroes, Toni Tripp-Reimer (http://www.nursing.uiowa.edu/faculty_staff/facultyprofile/trippreimer.htm)

One of the reasons I love going to the Gerontology Society of America conference is the international and interdisciplinary nature of the membership: The sections are Biological Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences (anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology), Social Research and Policy and Practice, and Health Sciences...there's even an arts and humanities presence (as well as a new journal dedicated to art & humanities and aging). I think it's a lot more balanced when we talk to and work with our peers rather than in "Silos." I think that its something that is also a natural in my area (end of life) because the structure of how EOL care is provided is already multi/interdisciplinary.

Oh, and BTW, I'm jealous of both of you Julie & PJ -- folks from your contries do some of the best EOL work around!

Julie
12-18-2007, 04:07 PM
I sat next to someone who had worked in a lab 'doing research', examining tumour cells and examining cause and effect. That kind of stuff is important in terms of medical science but does nothing for me and is not the kind of thing I could get excited about. She loved it, and was probably good at it (she certainly lacks certain people skills in terms of the people she was meant to manage). But each job lasted as long as the research funding and having got married she could no longer live without knowing when and where the next contract would be.

I had great fun trying to explain to her about my phenomenological research project which was for my masters programme. She really didn't get it, but was interested to hear about it. I'd love the opportunity to that principle investigator and to do much more in the way of social science research. Maybe one day soon?
:shakehands::shakehands:

Marachne
12-18-2007, 05:30 PM
I think the thing that I would've had a hard time with with Lisa's current work is that they monitor these mice for quite a while...and then they kill them (which they don't even call killing, but either "sacrifice" or "harvest.)

It may seem silly, but I don't want to have all those rodentia deaths on my head.

Julie
12-18-2007, 05:38 PM
It may seem silly, but I don't want to have all those rodentia deaths on my head.

I'm with you on that one!! :beer:

P/J
12-18-2007, 06:06 PM
It's funny, we have a faculty member who was a microbiologist. She missed working with people, so she went back to school and got her RN. That sounds like me, although I don't think I will go back into research for a while after I finish. I have an interest in toxicology and disease process because of my last degree, so I'll see what I can find.

I had great fun trying to explain to her about my phenomenological research project which was for my masters programme. She really didn't get it, but was interested to hear about it. That is one of the great things about the research community, they all love to hear what each other are doing.


Oh, and BTW, I'm jealous of both of you Julie & PJ -- folks from your contries do some of the best EOL work around! Well we are becoming a global world and as more research is done anywhere in the world it is great that it is available to everyone.

Marachne
12-18-2007, 06:28 PM
That is one of the great things about the research community, they all love to hear what each other are doing.

Yeah, and seem to be very welcoming to even newbies. I remember the first time I decided to go up to a "big name" after a presentation. I was shocked that they wanted to talk to me, but it was very, very nice. (They like to hear what you're doing, but they also love it when you say you've been following what they've been doing).

However I would add one caveat to the "love to hear what each other are doing." The same person I was talking about before, Lillian Nail, who has done a huge amount of research on cancer tx symptoms, particularly fatigue, said that at gatherings of symptom researchers, no one really likes to hang out with the "poo people" (constipation and diarrhea) :ahhhhh:

P/J
12-18-2007, 06:45 PM
ooooooo, your response was fast this morning, I only posted about 10min ago.

I don't think I would be hanging out with for long either. I did my time handling stool samples and testing them. But if you want to know what people put in, you have got to see what people put out.:bawling:

gracenotes1
02-21-2008, 07:18 PM
BSN's have more management training. They are poised to be placed into management positions. And they have 4 years of college which includes more academics than an AD program.

AD nurses are great at clinical skills and usually very good patient care nurses.

Or that is the way it is here in the USA/Alabama--way down south!!

Markie
02-26-2008, 01:31 AM
As a recent graduate (December!) of a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program, I can shed a little light here. The goal of the CNL is to plrovide a higher level of education at the bedside. This is not a management track. The program I was in was full-time for 18 months, and provided a Masters degree at the end. The curriculum is focused on evidence-based practice, research, and critical thinking. No more doing it "like it's always been done".

I'm currently working as a staff nurse. I can't use the CNL certification at this point because it's too new to be recognized/accepted. BUT, the fact that I've been working less than 3 weeks and have received much feedback about the ability to see beyond the normal new grad point of view is testament to the vision of the CNL. I know I'm not at the level of other nurses with more clinical experience yet, but I have the grounding for quickly gaining that perspective and ability more rapidly due to the education I received.

I hope that helps,


Markie