Are the days of associate degree nurses (ADNs) numbered?
That’s the gist of an October 14 Wall Street Journal article titled, “Job-Seeking Nurses Face Higher Hurdle as Hospitals Require More Advanced Degrees.”
The story examines why more and more hospitals today are requiring their nurses to hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree—or be working toward one.
Why the requirement for BSNs? Reasons include:
- The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 call for 80 percent of nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020
- The growing complexity of healthcare
- An influx of new nurses attracted by good wages and the prior two-year-degree standard
- Evidence that more educated nurses deliver improved health outcomes
In addition, more hospitals are striving to achieve “Magnet” status, a designation that recognizes nursing excellence and quality patient care. Top nurses at Magnet hospitals are required to hold bachelor’s degrees.
The Institute of Medicine calls for 80 percent of nurses to hold bachelor’s degrees by 2020.
Featured in the article is Megan Goodman, a 30-year-old aspiring nurse from Pennsylvania who graduated with an associate degree in May. Despite applying for dozens of nursing jobs, Megan has yet to land a job in her chosen field.
“Truthfully, an associate’s program is not really going to get you anywhere anymore,” Megan is quoted as saying. She is currently working two part-time jobs (lifeguard and emergency medical technician) as she continues to apply for jobs.
She has also enrolled in an online RN to BSN degree program.
“It’s really wearing me down,” she said. “I wish hospitals would look at the person. I have life experience.”
Education stats for Wisconsin nurses
According to the Wisconsin 2014 RN Workforce Survey, only 44 percent of nurses in Wisconsin currently hold a BSN. (This compares with 55 percent of nurses nationally.) Another 36 percent have an associate degree, and nearly 8 percent have a high school diploma. Eleven percent hold a master’s.
As more hospitals require BSNs, the pressure is sure to mount on job-seeking nurses who don’t have them.
Discover an RN to BSN program that makes the most of your nursing experience
If you are an ADN (or a diploma nurse with sufficient post-secondary credits) who would like to increase your job security and upward mobility with a BSN, the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option RN to BSN degree-completion program may be for you.
Offered by the UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing—the largest nursing program in Wisconsin, ranked in the top 6 percent of nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report—this online, competency-based program is made to fit the busy schedules of working adults.
Students in Flexible Option programs can start any month, work at their own pace, and make progress using the nursing experience and skills they already have. Sounds like a program that busy nurse from Pennsylvania would like!
Here’s what two of our Flex RN to BSN students have to say:
“My goal was to finish a BSN degree in one year, and I did it! Thanks to the self-paced Flexible Option format, I was able to complete 36 credits while working full time as an ER nurse.” —Lori Kenyon, Madison, Wis.
“I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on the job. That’s valuable because Flex lets you earn credit for what you know. It doesn’t matter where, when, or how you learned it. As long as you can prove it and use it to complete your assessments, you can use it to move ahead.” —Carla Lundeen, La Crosse, Wis.
Click here to read the full WSJ article.
Looking to advance your career with a bachelor’s degree in nursing? Find out more about the flexible RN to BSN degree program today. Questions? Call 1-877-895-3276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a friendly enrollment adviser who will be happy to help.
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