November 2, 2021
Dear OADN Members:
As you know, OADN has always been committed to promoting best practices in nursing education and supporting academic progression within the profession. Support for all pathways into the nursing profession is critically important now more than ever if we hope to meet the current nursing workforce demands facing our country and continue to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of the communities we serve. As an active member of the leadership alliance, OADN has been very engaged in the advancement of nursing academic progression through the National Education Progression in Nursing (NEPIN) Collaborative, NEPIN: National Education in Nursing Collaborative – Academic Progression: fostering collaboration to ensure that nurses have access to higher levels of education and achievement. (nepincollaborative.org)
Last week, NEPIN released a groundbreaking report that includes key information regarding Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) enrollment and graduation data. I believe you will find the information in this report timely as leaders in ADN education. The Trends in Nursing Academic Progression 2016-2020 report is the culmination of years of commitment and hard work by nursing leaders and health care stakeholders who share a common goal of delivering successful patient outcomes from a well-equipped and sufficiently supported nursing workforce. This outstanding report, which is the first of its kind at the national level, will serve as a single data source to equitably interpret current trends in nursing academic progression. The data sheds light on a five-year period and highlights many success stories, including a 23% increase in ADN to BSN enrollments as well as an increase of 13% to 27% in the number of ADNs graduating with a BSN. The report also includes critical information on the important work ADN programs have done to remove barriers to access and support academic progression among a diverse student population. NEPIN’s Executive Director, Tina Lear, acknowledges that with all the success there is still more work to do, “our mission is not complete, and I encourage you to visit our website to see the important work to date as well as ongoing projects that could benefit from your expertise – as nursing education leaders – to further the commitment to academic progression across the country.”
Another way NEPIN is advancing excellence in nursing education is through its innovative Quality Designation Program for Accredited Nursing Programs. Lear explains, “The NEPIN Quality Designation is a wonderful opportunity for accredited nursing programs to be recognized for their strategic plans that enhance, empower, and encourage students to achieve a higher level of education. I highly encourage you to look at the application and consider applying for this prestigious acknowledgement to aid in the effort to advance nurses to higher degrees and create a workforce that optimizes the health of all Americans.” The application and additional information can be found at Quality Designation – NEPIN: National Education in Nursing Collaborative (nepincollaborative.org)
As nursing education leaders, we understand how vitally important ADN programs are to producing a highly trained, skilled, and diverse nursing workforce in this country. It is imperative that we share our knowledge and the recent NEPIN findings within our communities as we continue to advocate for community college nursing programs that are graduating more than 50% of the nursing workforce in our country. The NEPIN Trends Report provides indisputable evidence that clearly shows ADN graduates are committed to academic progression as many ADN graduates continue to the BSN or a higher advanced degree.
For the health of our profession and the communities we serve, we must continue our efforts to promote a nursing pipeline of qualified and diverse professionals. Thank you for all you do as leaders to mentor and support your students and faculty as they progress on their academic journey and prepare to realize their full potential. The future of our profession and the health of our nation depend on it.
Please take care,
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, FAAN