RN-BS Education: Facilitators and Barriers

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Laura Marie Schwarz, DNP, RN
School of Nursing, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Nancyruth Leibold, EdD, RN, MSN, BSN, PHN, LSN
School of Nursing, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Mankato, MN

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to articulate AD RNís perceived facilitators and barriers to progressing to BS level nursing education.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe interventions that may be enacted to increase academic progression.

Purpose: A strong movement led by agencies invested in nursing and healthcare outcomes exists in the United States to increase the numbers of baccalaureate (BS) and higher degreed nurses and along with it a fervent advocacy for seamless academic progression.  Outcomes are found to be more favorable with BS prepared RNs. Yet the current percent of associate degreed (AD) RNs who go on for BS and higher education is relatively low.  What encourages some AD RNs to return for BS level education, while many more do not to return?  This presentation aims to describe perceived facilitators and barriers AD RNs experience toward progression toward BS level nursing education and interventions that may be enacted to increase academic progression in a timely manner. 

Methods: A convenience sample (n=82) of AD RNs was utilized to collect data.  Qualitative and quantitative data were collected on perceived facilitators and barriers to progression toward BS level nursing education. 

Results:  Facilitators encompassed (1) desire for personal growth; (2) professional and career enhancement; (3) programmatic/articulation friendliness; and (4) encouragement by others.  Requirement from employers, financial reward, and recommendations by higher institutions were not seen as facilitators.  Barriers comprised of (1) family and job constraints; (2) financial concerns; and (3) lack of differential treatment between AD and BS degreed RNs. 

Conclusions:  These findings are a first step toward informed and strategic creation of interventions which will help increase the percent of AD RNs who progress to BS and higher nursing education and the expediency with which they do.