Baccalaureate Degree as Minimum Standard for Nursing Practice

Nursing has a long history of being integral to healthcare. However, without flexibility and continual development, it is at risk to stagnate and lag behind other professions. One change could have significant impact in averting, or some would say ‘reversing’, that negative trend: to raise and establish the minimum entry requirement for nursing practice. Over the years medicine has changed, society has changed, and culture has changed. These changes necessitate a malleable profession that adapts to better respond to increased demands, especially in regards to education. In light of the ever-evolving complexities and dynamics of the healthcare world, the minimum requirement for entry into nursing practice should be a baccalaureate degree.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended in a 2010 report that eighty percent of registered nurses (RNs) hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020. This is not a new goal, but rather one that has yet to be realized, despite being first recommended in 1965 by the American Nurses Association. Healthcare has made significant advancements since t…



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