Joint Statement on Academic Progression for Nursing Students and Graduates
Nursing is by far the largest healthcare profession in the U.S. with more than 2.6 million registered nurses (RNs) practicing in hospitals and other settings nationwide. Despite their large numbers, many more qualified nurses must be prepared in programs offered by community colleges and four-year institutions to meet the nation’s growing demand for health care and to replace a large wave of nurses nearing retirement. By 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 1.2 million additional RNs will be needed to work in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health centers, nursing schools, and other areas.
To fulfill our shared goal to prepare a robust nursing workforce, the undersigned organizations acknowledge our full support of academic progression for nursing students and graduates. Community college presidents, boards, and program administrators are aligned with the nation’s nursing association leaders in the belief that every nursing student and nurse deserves the opportunity to pursue academic career growth and development. It is through the collaboration and partnering of our various organizations that we can facilitate and inspire the seamless academic progression of nursing students and nurses. Our common goal is a well educated, diverse nursing workforce to advance the nation’s health.
Working together will facilitate the unity of nursing education programs and advance opportunities for academic progression, which may include seamless transition into associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Collectively, we agree that every nursing student and nurse should have access to additional nursing education, and we stand ready to work together to ensure that nurses have the support needed to take the next step in their education.