Category Archives: Nursing schools
Graduates of entry-level baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs are much more likely to have job offers by graduation or soon after, compared with graduates from other fields, according to new data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). A national survey of deans and directors from U.S. nursing schools found that 59 percent of new bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) graduates had job offers at the time of graduation.
That’s substantially higher than the national average across all professions (29.3 percent). At four to six months after graduation, the survey found that 89 percent of new BSN graduates had secured employment in the field.
“Despite concerns about new college graduates finding employment in today’s tight job market, graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs are finding positions at a significantly higher rate than the national average,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “As more practice settings move to require higher levels of education for their registered nurses, we expect the demand for BSN-prepared nurses to remain strong as nurse employers seek to raise quality standards and meet consumer expectations for safe patient care.”
Mirroring national trends, the California State University (CSU) system is turning away qualified nursing school applicants due to faculty shortages, reports the Los Angeles Daily News, and CSU officials fear that the situation will worsen the nurse shortage in a state that already has one of the country’s lowest numbers of nurses per capita.
This fall, CSU Long Beach had a nursing program acceptance rate of 18 percent, having received 450 applications for 82 slots. CSU Northridge had a “very highly qualified” pool of 300 applicants but could only accept 60. CSU Chico had to turn down 86 percent of its fully qualified applicants, while CSU San Marcos turned away nearly 89 percent.
“Let me put it this way, we have over 1,200 pre-nursing students,” Dwight Sweeney, interim chairman of nursing at CSU San Bernardino, told the Daily News. “I can only take about 108 a year. In the fall, we had over 600 applicants for 44 positions. Realistically, we are turning away people with 3.6 and 3.7 GPAs. And I think that story is playing out on CSU campuses everywhere.”
At a news conference yesterday in Albuquerque, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced the establishment of a statewide common nursing curriculum, designed to increase the number of nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees in the state. She was joined at the event by leaders from the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC), which led the effort to develop the curriculum and build partnerships between community colleges and universities.
NMNEC’s work is supported by the New Mexico Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative, a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
Implementation of this curriculum in New Mexico will allow nursing students to more easily transfer credits from community colleges within the state, so they can pursue BSNs without having to physically attend large universities like the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque or New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. For the first time, state community colleges will be able to partner with one of these universities to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.
Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other critically important nursing issues. These are some of the stories in the September issue:
Wanted: Young Nurse Faculty
Nearly three-quarters of full-time nurse faculty are 50 and older, and the nurse faculty workforce is on the brink of a mass retirement. Most young nurses have chosen to work in other settings, and the insufficient number of young nurse faculty threatens to exacerbate the looming nurse shortage. Read about what is stopping young nurses from entering academia, and how RWJF programs are encouraging faculty careers.
RWJF Fellow Tapped to Head New Diversity Initiative in California
RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Mary Lou de Leon Siantz was tapped in June to head up the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS) at the University of California, Davis, which aims to increase the participation of women, and Latinas in particular, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The appointment of a Latina nurse to this high-profile position calls attention to the often overlooked fact that science undergirds the nursing profession, and to the valuable role that women, and Latinas, play in scientific endeavors.
In the latest installment in its “Quest for Care” series that looks at the country’s shortage of health care providers, NBC News reported over the weekend on the nursing workforce. As the nation struggles to train enough nurses to care for an aging population and the influx of patients who will be newly insured because of health care reform, one thing is holding them back: a shortage of nurse faculty.
“Just as the country needs nurses the most, a shortage of professors is curbing the capacity of nursing schools to crank out graduates with advanced degrees,” the story says, citing data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing that nursing schools are turning away tens of thousands of qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to teach them.
The College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina is turning away a few hundred students each year for that very reason, its dean, Jeanette Andrews, told NBC. Andrews, PhD, RN, is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program.
But nurse faculty are hard to find: they need advanced degrees, and leaving the field for the classroom often requires nurses to take a pay cut. Hospitals and other care settings are competing for the same skilled nurses that colleges need, experts say.
“I have five faculty positions open right now,” Andrews added. “It is really hard to find qualified, doctorally prepared faculty who are willing to relocate or to move out of a higher-paying salary in the field.”
Ariel Eby is a scholar in the new ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University, Los Angeles, which is funded by the California Action Coalition through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort backed by RWJF and AARP to transform nursing and improve health and health care.
I never thought it was possible to be so exhausted and so grateful at the same time. These last few years have proven to be the most challenging of my life, but the most rewarding at the same time.
"I want to spend the rest of my life eating, drinking, living, learning, and teaching nursing."
When I say I'm exhausted, I'm not exaggerating. When I first heard about the debut of the ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University-Los Angeles, I didn’t think there was any way I could make it work. I have three jobs. I’m already in a program getting my associate degree in nursing (ADN)—and am getting married later this summer, the day after the first quarter ends. “There's no way!” I thought.
But where there's a will there’s a way, I'd soon find out.
Robyn Williams is a scholar in the new ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University, Los Angeles, which is funded by the California Action Coalition through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort backed by RWJF and AARP to transform nursing and improve health and health care.
When I first heard about the accelerated ADN-to-BSN program at California State University, Los Angeles, my ears perked up and I was instantly very interested. Having the chance to pursue my bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) while finishing my associate degree in nursing (ADN) at Long Beach City College was ideal.
I had already planned to start working toward obtaining my bachelor’s soon after I graduated and had even looked into some programs. So, the option to join this accelerated program at Cal State LA, as we call it out here, was a no-brainer.
In a hopeful sign, an annual survey from the National League for Nursing (NLN) finds that fewer qualified applicants were turned away from schools of nursing in the 2011-2012 school year than in recent years. The percentage of nursing programs that turned away qualified applicants dropped “substantially” for every program type except baccalaureate degree programs in the survey, and the percentage of students turned away also declined. The percentage of programs that could not fill available seats fell in 2012 as well.
In a news release, NLN President Judith Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, called the trend “encouraging.” She noted that, “just two years ago the percentage of nursing programs that turned away qualified applicants was peaking across all types of nursing education programs, including almost two thirds of baccalaureate programs.”
The NLN Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing finds that the nurse faculty shortage continues to be the main obstacle to expansion for graduate programs, although that shortage is easing some as well. According to the new survey, 73 percent of responding schools reported hiring new nurse faculty in the past 12 months. More than two-thirds of those new hires have a master’s degree; 16 percent have PhDs; and 7 percent have DNPs.
Noting that doctoral nursing programs rejected 37 percent of qualified applicants in 2012, NLN CEO Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN, said in the news release: “With the importance of academic progression and a continuing need for doctorally prepared nurse faculty, we are pleased to note that this rejection rate has now dropped from 43 to 37 percent, though clearly we still have a long way to go.”
An increasing number of associate degree nurse and practical nurse programs cite a shortage of clinical sites as an obstacle to expansion, the survey reports.
Mary E. Burman, PhD, FAANP, is dean and professor of nursing at the University of Wyoming (UW). She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow from 2007 to 2010 and coordinates a nurse education and leadership project that is supported by Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), an initiative of RWJF and the Northwest Health Foundation.
Human Capital Blog: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a more highly educated nursing workforce and, in particular, for 80 percent of nurses to have bachelor’s degrees by 2020. What is the educational level of nurses in Wyoming? Do the state’s health care organizations prefer or require that nurses hold baccalaureate degrees?
Mary Burman: Wyoming, like many other states, and especially like many rural states, faces significant challenges in obtaining the IOM goal that 80 percent of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees by 2020. The Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships (WCNHCP), home of the state’s nursing workforce center and Action Coalition, has developed estimates for the current number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees (BSN) and has made projections over the next four years.
We estimate that 36.9 percent of registered nurses (RNs) in Wyoming currently have baccalaureate or higher degrees. However, that percentage will not increase significantly over the next four years; in fact it may actually drop, given the number of new RNs with associate degrees in nursing (ADNs) and the number of nurses who are preparing to retire.
Vernell DeWitty, PhD, RN, is deputy program director for New Careers in Nursing, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Luis Sanchez has come a long way in life from his humble beginnings as the son of Mexican migrants. He was recently named New York University’s (NYU) Distinguished Accelerated Nursing Student for the Class of 2013 and will soon be published in a respected nursing journal. Sanchez has been accepted into NYU’s adult primary care nurse practitioner dual-degree program, and plans to work in an acute care setting before returning to school to complete his master’s degree.
He is just one of more than 3,000 nursing students who have been supported by New Careers in Nursing (NCIN), and a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Luis and his peers are exactly what we hope the future of the nursing workforce will look like: capable, culturally-competent nurses who bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and are prepared to meet the challenges of a changing health care system and patient population.