There is good reason to make it easier for students to get bachelor’s degrees, nurse education experts say. A more highly educated nursing workforce is needed to care for an increasingly complex and diverse population of patients, according to a 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Studies have shown that nurses with bachelor’s degrees are linked to improved patient outcomes and lower mortality rates. More highly educated nurses are also needed to take on faculty and leadership positions and primary care APRN roles, and to conduct scientific research.
Last summer, leading nurse educators met in Chicago to review prerequisite and general education requirements for BSN programs and identify an “ideal set” of courses that would serve as a national standard of foundational courses.
The summit was organized by Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN), an initiative that aims to accelerate implementation of promising practices that will help facilitate academic progression and reach the IOM report’s recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold BSNs or higher by 2020. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), APIN works with nine Action Coalitions organized by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to transform nursing and nurse education.