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Happy Birthday, Nightingale
A special timeline illustrates quite an extraordinary life.
A nod to Nightingale
WHO designates 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
Smooth care transitions matter
Learn how to avoid readmissions in this free CE course.
Are you an ethics champion?
You are if you promote three core responsibilities.
If Nightingale were alive today
Veterans? The poor? Read about causes she may have championed.
Certification bolsters career
Earning certification can help your nursing salary surge.
DAISY blooms across the globe
The program continues to make its international mark.
Wound care you need to know
Learn how outdated practices can compromise wound treatment.
Letters with lasting impact
Florence's letters reveal what her concerns were back in the day.
Achieve peace of mind
Try meditation and feng shui to take your self-care to a new level.
The cape comes with the job
RNs can’t leap tall buildings, but they show heroism in other ways.
Two minutes with Florence
Nurses share what they would ask Nightingale if they had the chance.
CE: EBP in a clinical setting
Learn how evidence-based practice is a boon for patients.
Make sound ethical choices
Do you know the six key ethical principles that guide decisions?
Celebrate education progress
Nurse education requirements are changing to meet patients' needs.
Manage conflict like a pro
Use these 9 tips to keep the peace at work and at home.
Inspired by Nightingale
An asteroid was named after her! Read more namesake fun facts.
Learning goes beyond school
Communication and leadership can sharpen your nursing prowess.
We celebrate our nurses
Churchill, Twain, Dickens ... Get inspired by our RNs' quote picks.
Nurses and their causes
Nurses are taking the lead as advocates in various settings.
Browse our CE catalog
We have the education modules you need to elevate your career.
Don't wait to say 'thanks!'
Weave regular recognition into your goals. Nurses deserve it.
Celebrating is academic
Faculty and students take part in Nurses Week celebrations.
Life as a nurse attorney
Blogger shares why she became a legal advocate for nurses.
Diversity takes center stage
RNs are improving workforce diversity and cultural competence.
A walk down memory lane
Read how Nurses Week was born out of decades of advocacy.
Self-care feeds good ethics
Find out why RNs should prioritize staying healthy.
Are you satisfied?
Nurses reveal whether their jobs are making them happy.
Help human trafficking victims
Learn to identify and assess victims with this CE course.
Nursing students celebrate, too
Find out how students get inspired on National Student Nurses Day.
Protect your nursing practice
25 legal tools you need to protect your career.
How to Navigate
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Celebrate progress in nursing education
Nurses’ educational requirements are changing to meet the needs of the public
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EDITOR'S NOTE:
Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, is senior adviser for nursing for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and director of the foundation’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action.
For most of my nursing career, a fierce debate has raged among educators, researchers, government representatives, funders and others in health and nursing education on how much schooling nurses needed and why. Research has linked higher levels of nursing education to safer, high-quality care, but the levels of training and licensing vary, as do expectations from schools and employers.
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Over the last decade, the several nursing organizations reached a consensus that a baccalaureate degree in nursing will best prepare nurses to care most effectively for people throughout their lifespan and across many settings.

Community colleges also play a vital role in providing an entry into the nursing field, particularly in rural areas and to first generation college students, low-income students and students who come from historically underrepresented populations of diverse cultures and backgrounds. I, myself, am a proud community college graduate. The unprecedented collaboration that is occurring between leaders in nursing education and practice to remove barriers to education makes it easier for nurses with associate degrees to earn a BSN and higher — and has paved the way for a much stronger nursing workforce. This sea change was largely spurred by an audacious recommendation in the landmark Institute of Medicine report,
“The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,”
to increase the proportion of nurses with a BSN degree to 80% by 2020. The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP and the AARP Foundation to advance these recommendations, has made strengthening nursing education a top priority.
By Susan B. Hassmiller
PhD, RN, FAAN
Pursuing the BSN degree
Charting academic progression
Over the years, the campaign has brought together hundreds of experts in education, business and government to reduce the costs and complications for those seeking higher degrees. A decade ago, it was not uncommon for a nurse with an associate degree to be required to retake courses and repeat content in order to earn a baccalaureate degree, wasting time and money. From 2012 to 2016, RWJF supported the Academic Progression in Nursing program in nine states to establish partnerships and tailor specific nursing education models to each state’s local needs. These new education models offer flexible, streamlined options for nursing students, enabling more nurses to graduate with BSNs and doctoral degrees. In 2012, for the first time, more nurses graduated with a bachelor’s degree than an associate degree. By 2016, the number of registered nurses obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing through RN-to-BSN programs increased to more than 60,000 — up 170% since 2010.
The National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative
is building on the momentum of APIN with the goals of 1 million incumbent nurses and 90% of new graduates to be at the BSN or higher by 2025. NEPIN is led by a national program director Tina Lear, and a leadership team that includes Donna Meyer (Organization for Association Degree Nursing), Jan Jones-Schenk (Western Governors University), Judee Berg (HealthImpact) and Sofia Aragon (Washington Center for Nursing). An Advisory Alliance comprised of representatives of education, practice, regulation, and business from across the country is currently being assembled to ensure the vision of a nursing workforce that optimizes health equity for all Americans. 
Curricula expands to include population health
The Campaign for Action
also is strengthening nursing education by encouraging the incorporation of the social determinants of health and population health concepts into nursing school curricula at all levels. Because poverty, inequity, violence and poor housing — as well as a lack of a good education options, jobs and access to healthy food or safe places to play — are responsible for an estimated 80% of all illnesses, nursing students should be prepared to think and practice holistically. The RWJF white paper,
“Catalysts for Change: Harnessing the Power of Nurses to Build Population Health in the 21st Century”
explores how nurses can best help the U.S. reverse course on the declining health of its citizens and promote the health of the U.S. population in the 21st century. The campaign hosts calls for professionals in academia and practice to exchange ideas and share promising practices of how to integrate population health concepts into nursing education.
Filling the need for PhDs
The campaign achieved a milestone in 2015 when it met the IOM recommendation to double the number of nurses with doctorates by 2020. However, the growth is largely driven by nurses attaining doctorate of nursing practice degrees, rather than doctorate of philosophy degrees. Although we need DNP nurses, we also need research-focused PhD programs, because they drive healthcare improvements by helping nurses develop knowledge and scholarship that advance nursing science and translate research into practice. Nurses with PhDs also are needed to fill faculty ranks and teach tomorrow’s nurses. That’s why in 2014, RWJF launched the Future of Nursing Scholars, a three-year, expedited PhD funding program that supports nurse scholar education and leadership development. The goal is to develop a best-practices model that graduate schools can tailor to create a three-year option for nursing PhD students. National Nurses Week celebrates the vital role that nurses play in society to protect, promote and improve healthcare for all. This week and beyond we should take time to celebrate the strides in nursing education that are preparing tomorrow’s nurses to offer care across the continuum that enables more people to live healthier lives and experience greater wellbeing.