For now, yes. The demand for registered nurses is very high and healthcare facilities need Associate's degree nurses to fill the demand.

However, the nursing shortage has been in effect for years and to help fill the void a call for more nurses to enter the field has been heard and responded to in massive numbers. Many, many nursing students have completed nursing programs and have entered the field of nursing, and many more are in the process of doing so. This is creating a shift for the hiring managers of healthcare facilities.

Healthcare facilities are now privileged to have a large number of qualified registered nurses to interview and hire. This allows managers to be more selective and choose candidates who have higher levels of education or the strong desire to earn the Bachelor's degree within a few years of employment.

The future of the nursing field is to have every registered nurse hold a Bachelor's degree. This shift is largely supported to the 2010 IOM initiative.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in collaboration with the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation launched a 2-year initiative to transform and assess the field of nursing. Together, they concluded 4 key points:

  • Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
  • Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
  • Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other healthcare professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
  • Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

The second bullet point highlights the importance of achieving higher education and training in nursing as well as encouraging schools to make this easier.

Schools have responded to this call to action with overwhelming support. In schools where there were no RN to BSN bridge programs before, they were created. In schools who still do not have BSN programs, they are in discussion to create them.

The demand for registered nurses to earn a Bachelor's degree is clear and school's have never made it easier for Associate's degree educated nurses to achieve higher education. This shift to promote learning is supported by research and the nursing community. Each day, more and more registered nurses are taking advantage of these opportunities.

Read up on working as an RN and navigate current RN job openings.

Amanda Bucceri Androus, RN, BSN
Latest posts by Amanda Bucceri Androus, RN, BSN (see all)
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