Facilitating Educational Advancement of RNs to the Baccalaureate: What Are They Telling Us?

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This metasynthesis assists in the interpretation of qualitative research performed to explore the experience of registered nurses who return to school to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Understanding these experiences is necessary to achieve the national goal of 80 percent of RNs having BSNs by 2020.


As few as 21 percent of all RNs prepared at the associate or diploma level earn a baccalaureate degree. Experts believe that enhanced academic-clinical partnerships can result in an improvement.


Noblit and Hare's method was followed to increase understanding of the phenomena.


Seven overarching themes are presented in the words of the 324 nurses included in the 13 qualitative studies in the sample.


The experiences of these nurses provide information to inform partnerships for the development of effective, efficient, and meaningful educational pathways that acknowledge the challenges and needs of these professionals.

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