Your opinion please: Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) Project

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    North Carolina is facing a nursing workforce shortage, both in numbers of nurses and level of preparation that will eventually impact all citizens of the state. In 2006, the NC Center for Nursing RN Supply and Demand forecasting model projected that without significant intervention, by 2020 there will be a potential shortage of 32,000 registered nurses in North Carolina. In addition to increasing numbers of nurses, the 2004 NC IOM Nursing Workforce Report and the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing recommend that the proportion of baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN) be increased to 60% and 80% respectively by 2020.

    Demand for an increase in the educational preparation of nurses is being driven by a number of forces including: the severity of illness of patients; the complexity of the health care delivery system requiring higher levels of critical thinking, problem solving, and patient management skills; recent research that relate improved patient outcomes to nurses educated at the BSN level; and an increase in positions requiring a BSN or Master's degree such as clinical leaders, patient care managers and administrators, public health nursing, school nurses and advanced practice nursing roles in addition to the critical need for nursing faculty.

    Currently 65% of new nursing graduates are being educated in Associates Degree (ADN) programs. In a longitudinal study conducted in NC only 15% of ADN nurses ever completed a bachelorís degree and only 3% completed a masterís in nursing degree. (2006) A masterís degree in nursing is considered the minimum requirement for nursing faculty and 80% of the nurses in North Carolina who hold masterís degrees began their nursing education at the BSN level....
    http://www.ffne.org/ribn-project

    Your thoughts, please, on the above claims and this new initiative?
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    I'm not sure if they're focusing mainly on the educational aspect of a BSN program to make those claims or the fact that most BSN programs require 120 hours of clinical experience in addition to the clinical hours throughout the program. Either way, I think they're false and that ADN/ASN nurses are equipped with the same if not a higher level of critical thinking, patient managment, and problem solving skills than the average BSN graduate. Throughout my program I've been taught how to think like a Nurse! My clinical instructors drilled us whenever we had a dilemma, they made us make decisions whether we felt comfortable or not.

    Although a BSN degree is required for most nurse manager positions, you still have to have experience! In the time it takes for someone with a BSN degree to get that experience, an ADN graduate could be getting both the experience and his/her BSN degree. These days more and more people are going back to school to become Nurses. I'm finding that a lot of those people are 2nd degree or 2nd career students who chose ADN/ASN programs for economical reasons. So I see those statistics increasing for the number of ADN/ASN students continuing their education!

    I work with BSN Nurses who have been Nurses for nearly 5 years and have yet to even consider getting their Master's degrees!

    Unfortunately you have a few hositals in the area who prefer BSN nurses over ASN nurses and won't even consider May ADN new graduates until August! I strongly believe they're going to miss out on a lot of great nurses because of this ridiculousness!


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