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Nurs Forum. 2010 Oct-Dec;45(4):218-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6198.2010.00194.x.

The future of baccalaureate degrees for nurses.

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  • 1The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA. shlane@uncg.edu

Abstract

PROBLEM.  Unlike other professional healthcare disciplines, the profession of nursing has multiple levels of entry. Recently, several states have proposed legislation to mandate completion of baccalaureate education after 10 years of nursing licensure. METHODS.  This article examines the proposals, statistics, strategies, and other relevant literature on baccalaureate education for nurses and the positive outcomes associated with a more highly educated nursing workforce. FINDINGS.  The proposal recognizes the entry level preparation provided by associate degree nurses and is an innovative solution that offers a balance between multiple entry levels into practice and continued educational preparation. CONCLUSIONS.  Through a combination of the entry level preparation of associate degree nurses and baccalaureate education, a stronger nursing workforce can be created and patient outcomes and quality of care improved.

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