Nurse Recruitment Tool: Hospitals Recruit Nurses with BSN

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, February 26th, 2013

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) released preliminary survey data showing that enrollment in all types of professional nursing programs increased from 2011 to 2012. It also noted a 3.5% increase in entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs. AACN’s annual survey findings were based on data reported from 664 of the 856 nursing schools in the U.S. with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs. In a separate survey they found a strong hiring preference for new nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level as well as a comparatively high job-placement rate for new BSN graduates.

The AACN survey shows that the number of students enrolled in baccalaureate degree completion programs, called RN to BSN programs, increased by 22.2% from 2011 to 2012. It also shows that enrollment in master’s and doctoral degree nursing programs increased significantly. Nursing schools with master’s programs reported an 8.2% jump in enrollments. In doctoral nursing programs, the greatest growth was in Doctor of Nursing Practice where enrollment increased by 19.6%.

In addition to its annual survey, AACN collected data on the employment of new graduates from entry-level programs (baccalaureate and master’s). The survey found that baccalaureate nursing graduates are more than twice as likely to have jobs when they graduate as graduates in other fields.

AACN queried nursing schools to find out if hospitals and other employers are expressing a preference for hiring new nurses with bachelor’s degrees. The results showed that 39.1% of employers require the BSN for new hires, while 77.4% strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses.

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