Healthcare Insider Blog

Multiple studies show the positive impact BSNs have on patient outcomes

  • Healthcare Alvernia

The reasons nurses enroll in a RN to BSN program are varied. Some enroll because the hospital they work at is applying for Magnet recognition and they are requiring nurses to return to school for their bachelor’s degree. Others enroll to expand their career options or because it’s a stepping-stone to a graduate degree.

All are good reasons. Here, however, is the best reason: Research shows that nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree result in lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors and other positive patient outcomes.

Below are the highlights from three recent research studies.

A study titled, “Economic Evaluation of the 80% Baccalaureate Nurse Workforce Recommendation,” in the October 2014 issue of the journal Medical Care found:

  • A 10% increase in the proportion of BSNs on hospital units was associated with lowering the odds of mortality by 10.9%
  • Increasing the amount of care provided by BSNs to 80% would result in significantly lower readmission rates and shorter lengths of stay

Another study, in the August 2014 International Journal of Nursing Studies, found:

  • Increasing the number of nurses with a BSN would significantly reduce the number of in-hospital deaths

And, a study titled “Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: A Retrospective Observational Study” in the May 2014 issue of The Lance found:

  • Patients experiencing complications after surgery are more likely to live if treated in hospitals with adequate nurse staffing levels and higher numbers of BSN nurses

Click here to see the fact sheet the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) compiled that contains greater details on these and other studies. While all of these studies differ in the approach they took towards examining the topic of nurses with BSN degree, they all agree that a more educated nursing staff helps improve the health of patients.

Attending school while you are employed can be challenging. As this research illustrates, it’s a short-term sacrifice that benefits both nurses and their patients.

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