Bachelor's Degree Nurse Graduates Report Better Quality and Safety Educational Preparedness than Associate Degree Graduates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Readiness of the nursing workforce in quality and safety competencies is an essential indicator of a health system's ability to deliver high-quality and safe health care. A previous study identified important quality and safety education gaps between associate- and baccalaureate-prepared new nurses who graduated between 2004 and 2005. The purpose of this study was to assess changes in nursing workforce quality and safety education preparedness by examining educational gaps between associate and bachelor's degree graduates in two additional cohorts of new nurses who graduated between 2007–2008 and 2014–2015. Methods: A cross-sectional, comparative design and chi-square tests were used to trend the quality and safety educational preparedness differences between associate and bachelor's degree nurse graduates from 13 states and the District of Columbia licensed in 2007–2008 (N = 324) and 2014–2015 (N = 803). Results: The number of quality and safety educational gaps between bachelor's and associate degree nurse graduates more than doubled over eight years. In the 2007–2008 cohort, RNs with a bachelor's degree reported being significantly better prepared than RNs with an associate degree in 5 of 16 topics. In the 2014–2015 cohort, bachelor's degree RNs reported being significantly better prepared than associate degree RNs in 12 of 16 topics. Conclusion: Improving accreditation and organizational policies requiring baccalaureate education for all nurses could close quality and safety education gaps to safeguard the quality of patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management

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