Higher Number of Nurses with Baccalaureate Degrees: Linked to Lower Rates of Mortality

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A national survey of Registered Nurses revealed that only 45% to 50% of nurses in the United States had earned a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN). A multitude of studies have reported a direct relationship between the level of education of the registered nurse and patient outcomes. 
Providing quality patient has become increasingly complicated over the last decade due to: 
  • Rapid advances in medical knowledge and technology requiring more highly skilled nursing care 
  • Patients are older and more acutely ill in need of highly skilled and nursing care 
Patient Safety:
Studies have demonstrated that organizations with higher rates of nurses with a BSN degree are associated with significant reductions in adverse patient outcomes such as: 
  • Lower rates of failure to rescue 
  • Lower rates of patient mortality 
  • A ten-point increase in a hospital’s percentage of BSN prepared nurse is associated with a reduction of 2.12 to 7.47 deaths for every 1,000 patients per year 
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that at least 80 percent of the nursing workforce hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020. Nursing practice has become more sophisticated, and outdated educational requirements are no longer adequate.

For more information go to: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/3/579.full.html