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Patient Outcomes Improve With BSN Nurses

The trend toward BSN-prepared nurses is a response to ongoing developments in healthcare.

Findings from multiple studies suggest that nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) have the preparation needed to improve patient outcomes. This is especially important because the healthcare field continues to evolve, making the practice of nursing correspondingly more complex.

Studies Show Better Patient Outcomes With BSN-Prepared Nurses

The results from studies conducted since 2003 correlate BSN-prepared nurses with lower mortality rates.

Date Study Conclusion
2003 Educational Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality Lower mortality rates and lower failure-to-rescue rates in surgical patients were found at hospitals with a higher proportion of nurses holding at least a BSN.
2011 The Effects of Nurse Staffing and Nurse Education on Patient Deaths in Hospitals with Different Nurse Work Environments A workforce with 10 percent or more BSN-prepared nurses decreases the chances of death and failure to rescue by 4 percent.
2013 Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes Hospitals that employed a high percentage of nurses with a baccalaureate or graduate degree had decreased occurrences of congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue, postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism as well as shorter length of stay.
2013 An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked to Lower Rates Of Postsurgery Mortality A 10 percent increase in the number of nurses with a BSN or higher degree was related to an average reduction of 2.12 deaths for every 1,000 patients.
2014 Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: a Retrospective Observational Study Hospitals with a greater percentage of BSN-prepared nurses experience lower rates of post-surgery complications and mortality.

How Do BSN-Prepared Nurses Affect Patient Outcomes?

Nurses need the knowledge and proficiency necessary to understand and utilize the rapid advances in medicine. Thus, they must know how to incorporate evidence-based research, operate technical equipment and effectively communicate with other healthcare professionals.

Human errors in nursing are inevitable, but their occurrence can be reduced. Nurses who graduate from a BSN program receive a comprehensive education. They are prepared to apply essential competencies such as critical thinking, problem-solving and attention to detail for a broader scope of practice. In addition, they learn clinical, leadership and case management skills.

Why Are Hospitals Hiring More BSN-Prepared Nurses?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are heeding the call of the Institute of Medicine, which was renamed the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2015. In its 2010 report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the IOM recommended that the workforce proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree should increase to 80 percent by 2020.

Nursing has become more reliant on electronic methods and devices, so nurses need to be technologically savvy. Also, a large segment of the patient population is aging, with many older patients suffering from one or multiple illnesses. Nurses are therefore dealing with complicated diseases, medications and health policies.

A BSN program not only prepares nurses for the rigorous demands of the nursing practice, it also may qualify them for more job opportunities. For practicing nurses with an associate degree, it may benefit them to continue their education so they can keep up with the changes in healthcare. The most important thing is that nurses have the expertise and preparation that enables them to provide optimal patient care leading to fewer clinical errors and fatalities.

Learn more about the UWF online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

Medical Care: Effects of Nurse Staffing and Nurse Education on Patient Deaths in Hospitals With Different Nurse Work Environments

Journal of the American Medical Association: Educational Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality

The Lancet: Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: a Retrospective Observational Study

The Journal of Nursing Administration: Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes

RWJF: Building the Case for More Highly Educated Nurses

Health Affairs: An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked to Lower Rates of Postsurgery Mortality

Supplemental Health Care: Nursing Education Levels and Positive Patient Outcomes

National Academy of Sciences: Report Recommendations

Nurse Journal: Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree

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