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State of the BSN: Be Part of IMO’s 80 Percent by 2020

If you’re hoping to complete your BSN, you’re not alone. The amount of nurses who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree is on the rise, which is good news for the nursing world, and consistent with what may be the highest-profile goal for nursing of the past decade. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine set a lofty target: By 2020, 80 percent of U.S. nurses should have their BSN.

Meeting the need for BSNs

Getting more nurses to pursue a BSN is, by and large, good policy. In nursing, there’s a strong correlation between the amount of education nurses get and the care they provide. Basically, nurses with their BSN provide better care. They have lower mortality rates, higher rescue rates, and generally provide better patient outcomes.


Hospitals also have a good reason to pursue BSNs as part of their staff. The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program is a coveted honor for hospitals, and the education level of the nursing staff plays a part in gaining that designation.


A BSN doesn’t just benefit patients and hospitals, though. Nurses with their BSN have access to more types of jobs and leadership positions, and the larger salaries they bring. Pursuing a BSN also means pursuing areas of nursing that you would not otherwise have access to. For example, if you want to be an active-duty nurse in the armed forces, all branches now require you to have a BSN.


Related resource: How to Get Your BSN

Progress so far

One year after the IOM announced their goal, nursing in the U.S. passed an important milestone. In 2011, more than half of nurses graduated with their BSN for the first time ever. In large population centers like California, that majority is substantial, with over 60 percent of nurses having their BSN, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Numerous states have instituted strategic task forces to encourage greater nursing education, and the number of BSNs continues to climb.


The initial goal of having eight out of every 10 nurses in the U.S. get their BSN was always a high bar. It’s possible that by 2020 we won’t reach an 80 percent BSN nurse workforce. However, even without hitting that number, the IOM has already encouraged growth in nursing education, which was the real intention all along.


Related resource: Nursing School and Salaries: Differences Between RN and BSN

It’s easier than ever to get a BSN

The good news for nurses today is that getting a BSN is far more convenient than it ever was. At Ameritech, we know most of our RN–BSN students already have jobs and want to go further academically and professionally. That’s why all of the classes in our CCNE-accredited program are online, and why we’ve designed a 12-month course schedule that works with a busy nurse’s life.


Regardless of initiatives set by the Institute of Medicine, getting a BSN remains in the best interest of any nurse’s professional career, and, benchmarks or no, we’re committed to helping you realize your full educational and professional potential.


Whether you’re considering nursing school for the first time or want to complete your BSN, Ameritech is there for you. Visit our program pages to learn more about our nursing and RN–BSN programs, and follow us on Facebook.

State of the BSN: Be Part of IMO’s 80 Percent by 2020