Iowa State University is in the process of enrolling its first-ever class of registered nurses seeking to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The university is hopeful that the program will improve health care outcomes across the state.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a Future of Nursing Report which set a goal of having 80 percent of working nurses in the US earn their bachelor’s degrees by 2020. Less than half of Iowa nurses currently hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, but Iowa State University is hoping to increase that number.
Iowa State’s RN-BSN program will be housed in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and administered by the College of Human Sciences. 25 students are expected to join the inaugural class, but class sizes are eventually expected to grow to 50. The program will include classroom time, online courses, and practicum work in community settings. It is a program designed for working RNs and recent college graduates with an associates degree and licensure.
Program director Dr. Virginia Wangerin, clinical assistant professor and director of nursing education, tellsDesMoinesRegister.com, “We created a unique nursing program with a holistic approach to wellness… Nurses touch every patient in the health care system no matter where they are. If the nurse has a higher level of education and is prepared to see subtle early signs of complications and changes in condition, they can intervene sooner.”
To learn more about Iowa State University’s new RN-to-BSN program set to launch this coming fall, visit here.
Previously proposed legislation to enable 13 institutions in the Colorado state system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees was signed into law this week. The new legislation, HB18-1086 “Community College Bachelor Science Degree Nursing,” will set the stage for the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) to begin offering BSN completion programs.
CCCS System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells GlobeNewswire.com, “Colorado needs more BSN-prepared nurses, and with this legislation, CCCS will now be able to deliver them! We are ready, willing and able to respond to this workforce need, and look forward to presenting new academic offerings that will create a healthier Colorado.”
CCCS developed the legislation in response to requests from healthcare providers who expressed growing concern about the state’s looming shortage of skilled nurses. The bill received widespread support from healthcare providers, industry organizations, and elected officials. Allowing the CCCS system to offer BSN programs will expand options available to nursing students to help address the nursing shortage and improve healthcare outcomes across the state.
The state of Colorado is currently experiencing an annual shortage of 500 BSN-prepared nurses with that figure expected to grow to 4,500 nurses by 2024. Local health care providers have been forced to hire nurses from other states to help fill empty positions, increasing healthcare costs. The new legislation will help address the shortage by enabling institutions to offer four-year BSN completion degrees to nurses who want to fill empty positions but don’t have access to the additional training and education they need.
To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to address Colorado’s nursing shortage, visit here.
The state of Colorado recently passed new legislation enabling 13 institutions in the state’s system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. The bill passed 12 to 1 in the Colorado House of Representatives Health, Insurance and Environment committee, setting a landmark example for other states looking for solutions to nursing shortages.
The new legislation seeks to address an imminent healthcare crisis in Colorado. Community colleges already teach and train high quality registered nurses, and with an acute shortage of nursing professionals with four-year degrees, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) sees this as a scalable solution to address the overwhelming shortage of bachelor-prepared nurses.
System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells GlobeNewswire.com, “We greatly appreciate having had the opportunity for a thorough and forthright discussion of the merits of this legislation. Our colleges have made significant investments in state-of-the-art equipment and simulation labs to create robust nursing programs that can be scaled to offer four-year BSN degrees. Thus, this legislation provides a cost-effective way to expand the number of BSN nursing graduates in Colorado.”
Three community college students testified in favor of the bill, all wanting to pursue BSN degrees but concerned about the cost and logistical issues of transferring to another school. This legislation is important for current nursing students and for future generations who will benefit from local and affordable programs. Nursing students come from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds, so it is also important that they have an equally diverse range of opportunities to acquire additional education and training.
To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to allow community colleges to offer four-year BSN degrees, visit here.
The Empire State recently became the first state in the nation to require nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo at the beginning of January, the bill requires that new nurses obtain a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of initial licensure. This type of legislation, commonly known as “BSN in 10,” has been pushed across the nation, but New York is the first state to actually pass a law.
The legislation takes effect immediately but the requirement that nurses obtain a baccalaureate degree or higher within 10 years of licensure will begin in 30 months. It does not affect nurses already in practice.
The drive for “BSN in 10” legislation has been largely fueled by research. Linda H. Aiken, PhD, FAAN, FRCN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has published research showing that employing more nurses with bachelor’s degrees improves patient outcomes. Her research has also found that for each 10% increase in nurses with BSN degrees, there was a 5% decline in risk-adjusted patient mortality.
The Institute of Medicine has also been a large driver for this type of nursing legislation following their 2010 report, The Future of Nursing, which recommends that 80% of nurses have at least a BSN by 2020. New York nursing programs have been in support as well, including Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. According to HealthLeadersMedia.com, Sullivan-Marx released the following statement:
“NYU has been a strong supporter of ‘BSN in 10’ legislation, given its implication for improving patient care. Research shows that patients benefit from baccalaureate-prepared nurses—in fact, several large studies show that it saves lives. Earning bachelor’s degrees also creates opportunities for career mobility and leadership among nurses.”
The bill also establishes a commission to evaluate and report on barriers to entry into the nursing profession and make recommendations on increasing availability and accessibility of nursing programs. As the first state to set “BSN in 10” legislation, New York will set an example going forward on how this type of legislation can improve patient outcomes. To learn more about New York’s “BSN in 10” law, visit here.
With a critical shortage of nurses predicted by 2025, a nationwide initiative began encouraging nurses with associate degrees to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020. The shortage is expected to hit the state of Arizona particularly hard, which led Northern Arizona University (NAU) to find new ways to combat this issue. As a solution to the expected nursing shortage, NAU created a Personalized Learning program, an online competency-based program that allows students to work and progress at their own rate. The program is designed to fit into the schedules of working professionals, with a learning platform centered around real-world career knowledge to build on already mastered experiences.
Laura Blank, associate clinical professor and faculty mentor in the NAU School of Nursing, tells News.NAU.edu, “Arizona is predicted to take the biggest hit with 28,100 fewer nurses than necessary. One reason for this shortage is lack of nursing faculty.”
This degree became the perfect option for Danielle Cox, a charge nurse who already had 5 years of working experience in the field. Cox’s family attended NAU and she wanted to follow in their footsteps by going back to nursing school there but her 12-hour graveyard shifts in the ICU at Flagstaff Medical Center made it impossible for her to earn a BSN without quitting her full-time job.
She began looking for other ways to obtain her degree and found NAU’s Personalized Learning program. Cox explains how it became the perfect program her for: “I was able to work my stretch of night shifts and then dedicate my days off to school. Having no deadlines or due dates made going to school while working simple.” She also just became the first Personalized Learning student to graduate from the RN-to-BSN program this semester after completing the 33 credits she needed for her degree in less than six months. Now she plans to pursue her master’s degree in nursing and possibly start teaching.
Thanks to NAU’s Personalized Learning program, Arizona is now one step closer to combatting the shortage of nurses expected to soon hit the state. To learn more about the program, visit here.