Debating a (minimum) educational standard for entry into practice has been around for longer than the last 30 years, to my understanding. I have a BSN (and a BA) because this was just the way it worked out: the best program in the area offered a BSN, I was working as a Nurse’s Aide at the time and the program fit my schedule. I think that speaks volumes right there as far as what one degree implies over another: people go for the program that best fits them, for where they are at that time! It doesn’t mean anything more or less and we shouldn’t be judging ourselves by it. I also agree that experience is undervalued tremendously. Something to point out as well: the IOM Report that this current recommendation is based on was written primarily by non-Nurses; folks that have undoubtedly intelligent opinions but experience and academic training in public health, or retired doctors, or sociology…NOT bedside Nursing If we (on a professional organization level) could get our act together and establish some national standards and goals FOR OURSELVES, I think this whole debate becomes moot! I’m going for my Master’s now (one more year…just keep swimming…) as I aspire to be a Nurse Practitioner, but I’ll never take for granted my root in bedside Nursing and you can bet your stethoscope that I’ll be a better Practitioner BECAUSE of my Nursing experience. We should ALL be celebrating and encouraging ourselves and our experience and not devaluing simply based on whatever piece of paper we’ve earned.