A quarter of a century ago, the nursing profession in Canada took a bold step: to establish baccalaureate preparation in nursing as the standard for practice as a registered nurse in Canada. Towards that end, hospital schools of nursing gave way to collaborative programs designed to help hospital and college diploma nursing students make the transition into baccalaureate nursing programs. It is thus paradoxical that, today, the nursing profession in Canada should do anything to jeopardize its goal to have RNs prepared at the baccalaureate level. The purpose of this paper is to focus Canadian nurse leaders' attention on that very possibility, given that some professional nursing organizations in Canada have conceptualized a future RN practice that could result in the emergence of a new kind of healthcare professional and a return to diploma preparation of RNs.
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