Advancing Your Nursing Degree
Terri White, BSN, RN, CBCN
Matt Hickel, RN, MSN
• Reasons and evidence for advancing your
• Types of nursing degrees
• What degree to chose
• Considerations when choosing a program
• Panel members
Alphabet Soup of Nursing Degrees
Why advance your nursing degree?
• Personal reasons
– Increased knowledge, respect
– Personal and professional growth
– Develop leadership skills
– More opportunities and advanced positions
– Job satisfaction
– Increased professionalism
• Employer Incentives
– Tuition reimbursement
– Organizational rewards; bonuses
– Magnet -
• Significant emphasis is placed on orientation, in-service education,
continuing education, formal education, and career development.
– Nursing Clinical Advancement Program at UW
and Nursing Shortage
– A wave of faculty retirements is expected across the US over the
next decade. Faculty vacancy rate 20% in BSN programs. There
aren’t enough nurses qualified to teach or lead teams of medical
– By 2015, the U.S. Department of Health projects that 400,000
new nurses will be needed just to fill vacancies left by retirees.
– By 2020, the U.S. Government predicts that it will be short
between 800,000 and one million new and replacement nurses.
– According to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections
2010-2020, released this past February, the Registered Nursing
workforce will be the top U.S. occupation in terms of job growth
through 2020 and is expected to grow from 2.74 million nurses in
2010 to 3.45 million in 2020.
The Silver Tsunami
• The aging of roughly 77 million baby boomers
will send a silver tsunami over all aspects of
business, including health care, finance, real
estate, education and workforce development.
• As of 2011, ten thousand people are turning 60
every day across the country for the next 20
• Phoenix Business Journal 7/6/2012
Complex, Multidisciplinary Care
• Complexity of Care
• Part of multidisciplinary team with
colleagues educated at the master’s
degree or higher level.
• Dr. Linda Aiken and her colleagues at the University of
Pennsylvania identified a clear link between higher levels of
nursing education and better patient outcomes. (JAMA, 2003)
– Surgical patients have a "substantial survival advantage" if
treated in hospitals with higher proportions of nurses educated at
the baccalaureate or higher degree level.
• Drs. Deborah Kendall-Gallagher, Linda Aiken, and colleagues
released the findings of the impact nurse specialty certification
(Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2011)
– Certification was associated with better patient outcomes, but
only when care was provided by nurses with baccalaureate level
• In March 2005, American Organization of
Nurse Executives (AONE) called for:
– all for registered nurses to be educated in
baccalaureate programs in an effort to adequately
prepare clinicians for their challenging and
– AONE’s statement, represents the view of
nursing’s practice leaders and a desire to create
a more highly educated nursing workforce in the
interest of improving patient safety and providing
enhanced nursing care. (Practice and Education
Partnership for the Future
Still More Evidence!
• Dr. Patricia Benner - study titled Educating Nurses: A
Call for Radical Transformation (Carnegie
• All entry-level registered nurses enter at the baccalaureate
• All RNs should earn a master’s degree within 10 years of
• Found that many of today’s new nurses are “undereducated”
to meet practice demands across settings.
• Study is consistent with the views of many leading
nursing organizations, including AACN (American
Association of Colleges of Nursing).
Institute of Medicine (IOM) – The Future of Nursing: Leading Change,
Advancing Health – Four Major Recommendations
1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of
their education and training
– Some states allow NP’s to see patients and prescribe
medications, others do not. Work not determined by education but
by state laws.
Institute of Medicine (2010)
2.Nurses should achieve higher levels of
education and training through an improved
education system that promotes seamless
– Patient needs have become more complicated and nurses need
education to provide high quality care – leadership, health
policy, system improvement, research and evidence based
practice, teamwork, collaboration
– Education should include transition into higher degree programs:
LPN ->ADN->BSN And from MS -> PhD or DNP
– Nurses should train with physicians and other health professionals
– By 2020, 80% of nurses should have BSN, Double the number of
nurses with a doctorate by 2020.
3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians
and other health care professionals, in
redesigning health care in the United States
• Promote leaders
• Identify problems
• Devise improvements
• Health policy
• Serve on advisory boards
• Embed leadership related competencies in training programs
• Leadership and mentoring available for nurses at all levels
• Nurses need to take responsibility for their personal and
• 4. Effective workforce planning and policy
requiring better data collection and
improved information infrastructure.
– Data needed on types and numbers of health
professionals including nurses
– Projection of workforce requirements by role, skill, mix,
region and demographics needed to inform changes in
nursing practice and education
– 2010 Affordable Care Act mandates creating of a National
Health Care Workforce Commission and National Center
for Workforce analysis to predict workforce needs and
coordinate collection of data.
BSN or higher degree at UW
All UWHC RNs ≥BSN:
FY07 = 73.5%
FY08 = 72.3%
FY09 = 74.2%
FY10 = 76.2%
FY11 = 78.3%
FY12 = 79.0%*
*FY12 goal was 78.8%
“Provide an action plan and set a target, which demonstrates evidence of progress toward having
80% of direct care registered nurses obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing or higher by
UW Magnet Presentation – Sue Berns
Alphabet Soup of Nursing Degrees
What degree should you pursue?
It’s up to you – What are your goals and
ADN/Diploma vs BSN
Diploma – Hospital based nursing school
ADN: 2 year degree
• Seen as entry level
• focuses on clinical skills.
• ADN new to practice program at UW (next slide)
BSN: typically 4 years – accelerated for those with
previous bachelors degree 18-21 months
Education covers leadership, health policy,
system improvement, research and evidence based
practice, teamwork, collaboration in addition to clinical
ADN New to Practice at UWHC
CNS vs NP
• CNS - Serves as the clinical expert or
resource person within his/her specialty.
• NP – Diagnose and treat illness and
Master’s of Science in Nursing
Ex: Administration, Teaching, Public Health, Health Policy,
Occupational and Environmental Health
CNS, NP, CNM, CRNA
Master’s education can:
• Lead change to improve quality outcomes
• Advance a culture of excellence through lifelong learning
• Build and lead collaborative multi-disciplinary care
• Navigate and integrate care services across the
• Design innovative nursing practices
• Translate evidence into practice
• Doctor of Philosophy – PhD, research
• Doctor of Nursing Science – DNS, research
• Doctor of Nursing Practice – DNP, practice
Doctor of Nursing Practice - DNP
In 2004 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
endorsed the Doctor of Nursing Practice as the single entry
for advanced practice nurses beginning in 2015.
Variety of Specialties: NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA, leadership, global
health, informatics, administration, education, etc.
DNP graduates can:
• evaluate current practice
• develop clinical questions relevant to their practice
• Evidence-based practice integrated and implemented to
directly improve care.
• Role model, coach, and teacher, while creating an
environment that encourages evidence-based practice
• DNP clinician can empower other staff.
PhD vs DNS
PhD in Nursing; become scientists who conduct
research in nursing and who contribute to the
development of knowledge in our profession.
• Prepared to pursue careers in research and
DNS; educate qualified persons to make dynamic
contributions to the discipline of nursing through
research and other scholarly activities.
• prepared to pursue careers in the fields of nursing
and health care administration and policy as well
as research and teaching.
Considerations when choosing a
US World and News Report – ranks schools
Wisconsin Nurses Association – all schools in Wisconsin
– Does institution have accreditation? – Several accrediting bodies
• The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
• The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
– Programs available?
– Cost? Reimbursement?
– Pre-requisites – placement exams?
– Prior educational requirements?
– Time requirements?
– Online programs – are onsite visits required?
Education and Development for
Nursing Care Services - UConnect