Transforming Nursing Education

Nurses must be prepared to meet increasingly complex health needs in all settings.

 

Goal and Impact

A strong nursing workforce is key to a healthier America, so nurses more than ever are furthering their learning as their education system is transformed. (See resources related to linking a Culture of Health and nursing education.) Because the bachelor of science in nursing degree is the catalyst to career growth, the Campaign has identified five models by which professionals can attain that BSN. And nurses are mastering the complexities of care and advanced technology—allowing them in greater numbers to contribute decisively on teams, understand health policy, analyze information to make critical decisions, and support the well-being of all.

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Progress

The Campaign aims to increase the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to 80 percent by 2020, and to double the number of nurses with a doctorate. Indeed, for the first time ever, starting in 2012, the number of nurses graduating with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), including RN-to-BSN, has surpassed those earning an associate degree.

The number of students enrolled in RN-to-BSN programs increased 69 percent from 2010 to 2014. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program, created to develop a new generation of nurse leaders, has contributed to the increase in PhD-prepared nurses: Enrollment in nursing-focused PhD programs is up nearly 15 percent, and enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased 160 percent. Since 2010, the number of employed nurses with a doctoral degree has doubled, increasing from 10,022 to 21,180 in 2014. And the Campaign is promoting five promising education models to help nurses face fewer hurdles in obtaining advanced academic degrees; 30 states are enrolling nursing students in one of these models.

The five models:

  • RN-to-BSN degree from a community college. This model allows registered nurses to complete their baccalaureate degree at a community college.
  • State- or regionally shared outcomes-based curriculum. This model represents a common goal that extends across community college associate degree in nursing programs, and includes baccalaureate completion at the university level. The curriculum is not standardized but partners develop a shared understanding of standardized outcomes.
  • Accelerated options: RN-to-MSN. This model offers a shorter timeline than traditional BSN or master’s programs, so that those with associate degrees can obtain an advanced degree. The RN-to-MSN popularity is driven by more associate degree graduates returning to school to get an MSN without a BSN.
  • Shared statewide or regional curriculum. These collaboratives between universities and community colleges let students transition from an associate degree to a BSN program without repeating coursework.
  • Shared baccalaureate curriculum. This model shortens the time between nurses’ obtaining an associate and a bachelor degree. Community colleges work with colleges and universities that allows a student to take classes at both the community college and the university, obtaining an RN license only after completing the baccalaureate degree.

ccna-0025_2017-dashboard-indicator-updates_feb2017_hr_1ccna-0025_2017-dashboard-indicator-updates_feb2017_hr_2

These graphs are part of the Campaign for Action Dashboard, a series of charts and graphs that show goals by which the Campaign evaluates its efforts to implement recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing, Leading Change, Advancing Health.

 



  • Number and percent of U.S.-educated, first-time NCLEX-takers with BSN
  • Number of RN‐to‐BSN program graduates annually
  • Number of hospitals in the United States with Magnet status
  • Total fall enrollment in nursing doctorate programs
  • Number of people receiving nursing doctoral degrees annually

Related Resources:

  1. "Linking the Culture of Health Framework to the Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education

    May 05, 2017

    This 23-page PowerPoint used in the May 3 Culture of Health curriculum learning collaborative call links the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Action Framework to expectations outlined in Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing. more

    Issues: Building Healthier Communities, Transforming Nursing Education, Tools & Tips: Meetings, Location: National,

  2. "Accelerating design and transforming baccalaureate nursing education to foster a culture of health"

    May 05, 2017

    The paper, published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, describes how to develop a baccalaureate nursing curriculum that includes ways to foster a culture of health. The authors, who are from Jefferson College of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University in more

    Issues: Building Healthier Communities, Transforming Nursing Education, Tools & Tips: Meetings,

 

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