Regarding the letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register on 11/21/2012 entitled:, “Bachelor’s degree will lead to better nurses for patients” by Vickie Barth (see link below): It is possible that patient outcomes would improve if every nurse was required to have a bachelor’s degree. It is also possible that patient outcomes would improve if every health care professional was required by the State to have additional training and education. The question is what should the State require. The only moral justification for licensing by the State is public safety. Laws and regulations intended to increase safety come at a cost in terms of both money and loss of freedom. The balance between public safety on the one hand, and the loss of freedom and increased costs on the other hand, should be based on reasonableness. What is or is not reasonable is properly the subject of political debate. In this case,allowing people with associate degrees in nursing to be licensed as RNs does provide reasonable public safety. Other goals expressed by Ms. Barth, such as “to advance our professional status…” or to “…determine our own practice.” are honorable goals, but they are not proper reasons for the State to make their licensing requirements more restrictive.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/comments/article/20121121/OPINION04/311210042/Letter-editor-Bachelor-s-degree-will-lead-better-nurses-Iowa-patients