Two-Year Nursing Degrees No Longer Enough for Hospitals

July 12, 2012 | Crandall & Pera Law
Two-Year Nursing Degrees No Longer Enough for Hospitals

Hundreds of hospitals across the country are experiencing a changing shift in the educational demands for nurses, sending thousands of caretakers back to school, according to The New York Times.

With more than 600 schools opening up "R.N. to B.S.N." programs, allowing registered nurses to earn bachelor's degrees, admission rates have skyrocketed in recent years.

"Fueled by the growth in online courses," writes Richard Perez-Pena, "enrollment in such programs is almost 90,000, up from fewer than 30,000 a decade ago, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing."

This means that community colleges, responsible for the education of 58 percent of newly minted nurses in 2008, will need to find new ways to continue their educational programs in the future, including partnering with four-year colleges and finding enough qualified instructors to meet this demand.

Half of the nation's 3 million registered nurses had a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing, according to a 2008 federal government survey, but the Institute of Medicine is calling for that figure to be raised to 80 percent by 2020.

"The baccalaureate programs can't find enough qualified instructors, so they turn away tens of thousands of qualified applicants every year," said Geraldine Bednash, chief executive of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "There's going to be a big need for community-college-educated nurses for a long time, but they may be increasingly limited to nonhospital settings." Read the complete details here:

More Stringent Requirements Send Nurses Back to School

As a top-rated medical malpractice attorney in Ohio and Kentucky, Steve Crandall knows that a lack of education can cause many harmful and potentially fatal mistakes in a medical setting.

"Many of us assume an 'R.N.' means they have a four year degree, but this is not true," says Crandall. "These shortened degrees allow the student to pass the certification exam; however, they often turn out under-educated and grossly inexperienced nurses. The result is bad care for the patient population."

If you have any questions regarding medical malpractice throughout Ohio and Kentucky, contact Steve Crandall. Steve is available to help answer your  questions and guide you in determining your next steps.