Though the healthcare industry is currently dealing with staff shortages, New York lawmakers are considering a new measure that would require new registered nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree within a decade. This motion comes as part of a national effort to boost educational requirements for nurses.
The bill, nicknamed “BSN in 10”, is supported by health policy organizations, as well as nursing associations, who hope to resolve the issue of limited nurses qualified to care for the aging population. This population includes hundreds of thousands of nurses who will retire in the next few years. The downside to the plan is that it may discourage new entrants into the field.
“It simply means that if you graduate from a program like ours, within 10 years of graduation, they need to have earned a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN),” explained Rhonda Reader of St. Joseph’s College of Nursing. “We don’t think that’s a bad thing. We think that’s a great thing. It’s naturally starting to happen without the legislation,” Reader added.
She continued, “One of our focuses has always been encouraging lifelong learning and this is a starting point. We’re definitely behind the curve in terms of health care professions.”