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Educational Benefits Adn vs Bsn

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Copyright © eContent Management Pty Ltd. Contemporary Nurse (2011) 39(2): 256–272.

Registered nurses returning to school for a bachelors degree in nursing: Issues emerging from a meta-analysis of the research
TANYA K ALTMANN
Division of Nursing, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA, USA

ABSTRACT
This literature review was conducted to determine what is known about nurses’ attitudes and perceptions about returning to school. There are four societal influences making nursing continuing education important: (1) Many nurses are still practicing with an Associate’s degree or diploma and few continue their formal education; (2) Recent studies have indicated that there are improved patient outcomes in hospitals which employ higher educated nurses; (3) A poor economy during a nursing shortage means high demand and less incentive for nurses to return to school for higher education; and (4) The worsening faculty shortage means an increased need for nurses to advance their education. Understanding nurses’ attitudes and perceptions may help identify gaps in our knowledge, determine ways to foster positive attitudes toward education learning among nurses, and allow us to entice nurses to return to school. It may also identify crucial steps to ensure the provision of quality healthcare.
Keywords: nursing; attitudes; continuing education; RN-BSN; post-registration education; literature review

THE PROBLEM

H

ealthcare is a fast paced, dynamic environment where providers of care should continually renew, update, and challenge their knowledge. ‘The complexity of medical and surgical interventions undertaken in hospitals requires an even bigger and more sophisticated clinical workforce’ (Aiken, Clarke, & Sloane, 2002, p. 187). The idea that basic nursing education will prepare a nurse for a lifetime of practice is no longer reasonable given rapid technological...

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