Mandating bachellor degree in nursing

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An order was issued to start a maintenance IV drip on one of my patients.

After getting the equipment together, I was instructed that I was not allowed to do IVs because I was not qualified and had to wait for a member of the IV team.

Nurses are the eyes, ears, and heart of healthcare, but the profession is undergoing some major changes; one of the reasons for such change is due to increasing educational expectations. The Institute of Medicine reported on the future of nursing in 2010, making a strong recommendation that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree (BSN) by 2020.

At the time of the report's release, only 50 percent of the nursing workforce had a BSN.

Now, there is an estimated 55-60 percent of nurses who have such a degree.

“Research has shown a higher percentage of baccalaureate nurses on a unit reduces morbidity and mortality,” says Tina Gerardi, the Deputy for the Academic Progression in Nursing Programs (APIN).

This hospital discovered it was not possible to maintain a qualified workforce with their hiring policies, driving up costs filling BSN vacancies using agency nurses who were just as qualified and licensed with associate and diploma degrees.

And the job mandates were only increasing care costs, using IV teams instead of using primary bedside nurses who should have had the basic skill sets.

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So I proceeded to join a nursing agency, being called in to work at this same hospital because there was a shortage for BSN clinicians.

The Alabama Administrative Code says that the curriculum contents to qualify a nursing degree program must include Liberal arts and sciences, physiology and anatomy, pharmacology, nutrition, and nursing foundations affiliated with community based nursing.

In the state of Alaska, an Associate degree in nursing is the minimum degree allowed to become a registered nurse.

In addition, the Institute of Medicine in 2010 called for 80 percent of the nursing workers to have bachelor's degrees by 2020, according to the report.

The independent advisory group's goal came on the heels of previous research that found hospitals with a higher proportion of nurses with bachelor's degrees scored higher on important indicators of overall quality of care.

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