HealthDay News — Since 2004, there has been an increase in the proportion of baccalaureate (bachelor of science in nursing)-prepared registered nurses (BSN RNs) in US acute care hospitals, according to a study published online in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship.

Chenjuan Ma, PhD, from New York University in New York City, and colleagues used data for 2004-2013 to examine trends in BSN RNs. The sample included 12,194 unit-years from 2126 units of 6 cohorts among 377 hospitals.

The researchers found that from 2004-2013 there was an increase in the proportion of BSN RNs in US acute care hospital units from 44% to 57%, and from 44% to 51% from 2009 to 2013 when combining all cohorts. On average, the proportion of BSN RNs in a unit increased by 1.3% and 1.9% annually before 2010 and from 2010 on, respectively. 

From 2009 to 2013 there was an increase in the percentage of units having at least 80% of their nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, from 3% to 7%. Based on current trends, by 2020, 64% of the nurses working in a hospital unit will have a baccalaureate degree and 22% of the units will reach the 80% goal.

“Given the current trends, it is unlikely that the goal of 80% nurses with a baccalaureate degree will be achieved by 2020,” the authors write.

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Reference

Ma C, Garrard L, He J. Recent trends in baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses in US acute care hospital units, 2004-2013: a longitudunal study [published online October 9, 2017]. J Nurs Scholarsh. doi:10.1111/jnu.12347