Program Evaluation of RN to BSN Academic Progression at an Academic Medical Center

Author: ORCID icon
Dixon, Mary, Nursing Practice - School of Nursing, University of Virginia
DeGennaro, Regina, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia
White, Kenneth, NR-Nursing: Admin, University of Virginia

Objective: To evaluate programmatic elements and identify improvements to support baccalaureate attainment by employed associate degree and diploma nurses.
Background: Studies have demonstrated the importance of increasing the percentage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses to improve clinical outcomes in health care settings. This project setting has had a requirement for nurses to attain the baccalaureate degree with a concomitant education support program since 2013; a formal program evaluation need was identified.
Methods: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health was used. A mixed methods design was employed using virtual focus groups (n = 14) and an internet-based questionnaire (n = 137) to explore use and importance of programmatic elements to BSN attainment, and motivators and barriers for degree pursuit.
Results: Quantitative study results revealed a significant proportion of nurses who achieved the BSN degree used the education assistance benefit, x2 (df 1, N= 137) = 4.03, p < .05. The perceived importance of education assistance benefits (U(Nno BSN=64, NBSN= 58) = 2189.00, z= 2.39, r= .22, p < .05) and education fairs (U(Nno BSN=50, NBSN=44) =1362.5, z= 2.125, r= .22, p < .05) were significant for degree attainment. Qualitative study results supported these findings as well as other academic, technological, employer and individual level motivator and barrier themes such as “counselor” concept for selection of BSN program, schedule flexibility, manager encouragement, financial assistance, and recognition on degree attainment.
Implications for Practice: Identification of the most useful and important organizational tactics is essential to meeting the goal of 80% baccalaureate-prepared nurses. The results may be beneficial for nurse executives for instituting organizational benefits and facilitators for RN to BSN advancements.
Keywords: RN to BSN program, program evaluation, academic progression, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Baccalaureate-prepared nurses

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
RN to BSN program, program evaluation, academic progression, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Baccalaureate-prepare nurses
Sponsoring Agency:
University of Virginia University of Virginia Medical Center
Issued Date: