The Experiences of Nurse Educators in Developing and Implementing Concurrent Enrollment ADN-BSN Programs

Monday, 30 October 2017: 2:45 PM

Janice E. Hawkins, PhD
School of Nursing, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
Diane C. Seibert, PhD
Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA

Introduction: Nursing leaders have called for more baccalaureate prepared (BSN) nurses to improve patient outcomes and reduce hospitalization costs (Aiken, 2014; Blegen, Goode, Park, Vaughn, & Spetz, 2013; Krueger, Funk, Green, & Kuznar, 2013; Yakusheva, Lindrooth, & Weiss, 2014a, 2014b). Due to faculty shortages and limited clinical space, BSN prelicensure programs are unable to meet the demand (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2012, 2015). Currently, associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs produce the majority of registered nurses (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2013). To increase the number of BSN graduates, nurse educators recommend innovative educational models, such as concurrent enrollment programs, for seamless progression from the ADN to the BSN (AACN, 2016). There is limited information to assist nurse educators in determining whether or not to adopt the model at their own institutions. The purpose of this study was to describe the process of developing and implementing concurrent enrollment ADN-BSN programs.

Method: The method of inquiry was a generic qualitative descriptive study. Seventeen participants were recruited from concurrent enrollment programs across the country. Data collection occurred through semi-structured email interviews. The data was manually coded using holistic, descriptive and in vivo coding methods and then analyzed using situational mapping for similar patterns and thematic concepts.

Results: There were five conceptual themes, with corresponding subthemes, that described the process of developing and implementing concurrent enrollment ADN-BSN programs. The five themes emerged as championing the program, establishing partnerships, predicting student success, promoting student success, and adapting to change.

Discussion & Conclusions: Nurse educators considering implementing concurrent enrollment programs can benefit from a better understanding of the process. The findings of this study provide valuable information to assist educators in determining the feasibility and desirability of adopting the concurrent enrollment model more broadly in nursing education. Of great significance, the results of this study suggest that concurrent enrollment programs increase capacity for BSN education. Educational models that result in more BSN graduates benefit the nursing profession. Further research is needed to understand the benefits and drawbacks of concurrent enrollment programs and the factors that influence adoption of this educational model.