BSN Progress Updates
A tremendous opportunity, I attended the 2016 Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) Summit for New York today facilitated by the APIN project team and The Future of Nursing, New York State Action Coalition (NYSAC).
It was a great opportunity for networking, and the updates were very educational. One area that was great to hear was that there is an academic progression group developing a toolkit for school counselors. The focus is to help educate middle and high school students on what nurses do, where they work, what prerequisites are required, available nursing programs, and dispel some of the myths related to nursing. The hope is to help encourage more students to enter the nursing profession.
Dr. Barbara Zittel reported on a clinical practice partners survey. The study was done in both 2013 and 2015 and was completed by 68 New York state clinical nursing partners at a 51% return rate. It was interesting that 97% of the facilities reported offering a tuition assistance program for BSN and 94% for MSN students. Flexible hours for RNs returning to school were reported in 67% of the facilities in 2013 and 86% in 2015. These statistics are interesting as numerous research studies identify money and time as the biggest reasons for nurses not returning for their BSN. It raises the question to facilities that offer tuition assistance and flexible hours: Does your staff know how these opportunities are available and how to access them?
Some of the incentives for completing the BSN were identified in some of the other questions. Facilities previously reported a BSN would be a requirement for a management role in 69% of the facilities in 2013 but has already increased to 83% in 2015. Career ladder programs requiring a BSN has changed from 44% in 2013 to 66% in 2015. A difference in pay was reported in 2013 by 54% of the facilities and has increased to 69% in 2015.
One of the most significant findings was that, in 2013, 27% of the partners in New York State related they would hire an AD or diploma nurse but would require them to complete their BSN to keep their job. In 2015, the number had dramatically increased to 71% of the facilities requiring completion of a BSN for new hires. Although these findings are specific to New York, the IOM recommendation of 80% ratio of BSN is a national recommendation, and I suspect the results would be very similar across the nation. These findings should make any AD or diploma nurse take notice. If for no other reason than to remain competitive, it is important that each nurse strongly considers completing their BSN to maintain their options for future opportunities.