Challenges in Developing and Implementing Accelerated Baccalaureate Programs

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Raymonde A. Brown, PhD, ACNS-BC, CNE1
Suzanne Kuhn, PhD, RN, CNE2
Melissa Miner, MS, RN, CNE3
Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FAAN, FHHC1
1Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
2Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, PA
3Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, Uniontown, PA

Learning Objective 1: describe two challenges of two types of accelerated baccalaureate programs.

Learning Objective 2: identify two successful implementation strategies of two types of accelerated baccalaureate programs.

Today’s global nursing shortage will take collaborative and visionary efforts to address the various issues and to be more than a short-term fix. The interrelationship of many factors makes the solution to the nursing shortage especially challenging and merely increasing the number of nurses, as in the past, will not completely solve today’s health care crisis. Despite the steady increase in nursing school admissions, there is concern that access to quality healthcare may be compromised by the mix of diploma, Associate Degree, and Bachelor of Science prepared nurses. Accelerated baccalaureate nursing programs may be an educational model that could impact the healthcare workforce makeup and potentially impact quality of care.

The presentation will cover the leadership efforts related to developing and implementing accelerated programs, efforts in gaining community and clinical support, curriculum design challenges and the development of a four-point approach to assure student success, which includes recruitment, retention, coordination, and financial strategies. Two newly implemented programs, an accelerated RN to BS completion program (HRSA funded) and an accelerated Second Degree nursing program, will be used as models. The programs’ goals are: (1) to increase the number of BS- prepared registered nurses (RNs); and (2) to provide educational models that are accessible to other Schools. Achievement of these will result in an infusion of BS-prepared RNs who are well prepared to assume direct care and improve patient outcomes in an increasingly complex healthcare system.