An American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates resolution June 27 is boosting the efforts of at least two states to require new nurses entering the field to achieve their BSN in 10 years to maintain licensure.
The resolution passed at the biennial meeting of the ANA "gives an impetus" to our efforts, said Andrea Aughenbaugh, executive director of the New Jersey State Nurses Association.
The resolution shows ANA's support for this type of initiative in any state across the country that might propose this, commented Nancy Webber, communications director of the New York State Nurses Association. New Jersey and New York each have bills in their state legislatures proposing this measure. Pennsylvania is also considering a similar proposal.
The resolution, Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses, "recommends increasing the level of education required for continued registration as a registered professional nurse by requiring RNs to attain a bachelor's degree in nursing 10 years after initial licensure, while maintaining multiple entry points into the profession." The proposal would affect only new nurses entering the field. Nurses already working would not be affected.
The ANA resolution passed by an 85.5 percent vote of the membership, said Aughenbaugh. "Having the support of the ANA for this initiative is a boost; it strengthens the conversation."
Webber said the ANA resolution is a stamp of approval for any initiative of this kind across the country. New York's proposal has not made it out of committee. "NY will follow the path it was on, lobbying to push for passage of this legislation."
According to Patrick Kenny, EdD, RN, ACRN, APRN-PMH, NE-BC, president of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, a committee has been formed of all stakeholders including educators, on what issues would impact a BSN in 10 requirement in the state. "We're nowhere near legislation," Kenny said. "I would say it's several years away. We want to proceed cautiously."
The ANA noted the bill would significantly help to "enlarge the pool of potential nursing faculty" and that "increased numbers of registered professional nurses with a BSN are needed to address the ongoing challenges of an increasingly complex healthcare system and a critical nursing faculty shortage."