ASN-BSN Concurrent Enrollment: An Innovative Model for Seamless Academic Progression

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: 3:45 PM

Jean D. Leuner, PhD1
Judith P. Ruland, PhD2
Linda Hennig, EdD, RN1
(1)College of Nursing, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
(2)College of Nursing, University of Central Florida, Florida, FL

Learning Objective 1: Describe an innovative educational model to promote seamless academic progression and increase the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses.

Learning Objective 2: Identify the characteristics of an evidence-based curriculum and program outcomes resulting from a partnership that fosters seamless access to higher education in nursing

Purpose: The Institute of Medicine’ s (IOM) Future of Nursing report challenges nursing to achieve higher levels of education through an improved system that promotes seamless academic progression. The report calls for an increased proportion of nurses with the BSN degree from 50 to 80% by 2020. An innovative partnership between a university and community college allows associate degree nursing (ASN) students to be concurrently enrolled in the university BSN program. Students graduate with the BSN within one to two semesters of completing their ASN degrees. This study describes 8 years of outcome evidence that resulted in program improvement and replication.

 Methods: This program evaluation studied outcome measures including admission characteristics (NET scores, overall GPA, pre-requisite course GPA); enrollment, attrition, performance in ASN coursework, BSN coursework, graduation rates, NCLEX and MSN enrollment.  

 Results: Outcomes include strong faculty and student satisfaction. Benefits to ASN program are quality of students, retention, performance on benchmarking instruments and on NCLEX. Benefits to the university are increase in BSN admission capacity and retention of students who were choosing other fields rather than waiting to enter the BSN program. The positive outcome for the community is the increase in supply of BSN nurses. As of fall 2009, 26% of the graduates of the Concurrent Program have begun or graduated from a MSN program; as compared to a national average of 4% of all ASN graduates who return to earn the MSN.

Conclusion: In response to community demand, this model has been extended to an additional community college. This evidence-based curriculum can become a national model. Discussion will focus on program outcomes, curriculum development and innovative change methods used to help two large educational systems learn to work together to accomplish something many thought impossible.