Professional Nursing Education Requirements for Entry Into Practice

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Professional Nursing Education Requirements for Entry Into Practice
Health care within the United States is changing at a rapid pace. Advances in medicine, life saving techniques, and technology, have drastically improved patient outcomes throughout the years (Taylor, 2008). As a result, nurses need to be able to think critically and provide higher levels of complex patient care in the health care industry (Taylor, 2008). In order to keep up with the advances in healthcare, nurses’ educational requirements should be increased from an associate’s degree to a baccalaureate degree in nursing as the entry into professional practice.
Push for Increase in Education
McEwen, Pullis, White, and Krawtz (2013) state the first major recommendation for a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) for entry into professional practice dates back to as far as the mid-1960s with little advancement made for the push in raising education requirements. Taylor (2008) explains that after over forty years since the American Nurse Associations 1965 position paper on raising entry into practice education requirements, the issue is still to this day being debated. McEwen et al. also tells us despite the lack of progress, the need for BSN-educated nurses is on the rise due to an advancing health care industry.
The employer is also beginning to have a large impact on the importance of a BSN degree in order to practice. Hospitals are now striving to achieve national recognitions through awards such as Magnet (McEwen, 2013). Magnet requires a certain percentage of nurses employed to have an education level of a BSN or higher. Those hospitals are looking for higher educated nurses to meet the need of rising complexity among patient care.
However, many external ...

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...ion…” It is nursing’s responsibility to keep up with these advances by ensuring nurses are well prepared for change and the ability to thrive in the field when caring for the increasingly complexity of patient needs.
By increasing entry into professional practice to that of a baccalaureate level, we are building a solid foundation for nurses to move forward and advance along with the rest of the health care industry.

Linda A. Jacobs, M. J. (1998). The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing As an Entry-Level Requirement for Professional Nursing Practice. Journal of Professional Nursing , 14(4), 225-233.
Melanie McEwen, B. R. (2013). Eighty Percent by 2020: The Present and Future of RN-to-BSN Education. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), 549-556.
Taylor, D. L. (2008). Should the Entry Into Nursing Practice Be the Baccalaureate Degree? Aorn, 87(3), 611-620.

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