Nurse Executives' Perceptions of the Barriers and Facilitators Associated with Reaching an 80% Baccalaureate Prepared Nursing Workforce in Rural Kansas
Pietrocola, Marlene R.
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Session presented on Friday, July 24, 2015: Purpose: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that 80% of the Registered Nurses (RNin the workforce be baccalaureate prepared by the year 2020. This study explored the perceptions of nurse executives in rural Kansas about the barriers and facilitators to reaching an 80% baccalaureate prepared nursing workforce. Current educational staff mix and the educational staff mix goal were also explored. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used. Eight critical access hospitals throughout Kansas were purposively sampled. The nurse in the executive leadership position at each facility was interviewed. A questionnaire was used to obtain demographic information about the facility's current workforce and the nurse executives' goals for RNducational level. Results: Data were analyzed using a qualitative inductive thematic analysis. Five themes related to barriers to achieving a higher percentage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses emerged: 1) Limited finances; 2) Life that gets in the way; 3) Don't see the value; 4) Nurses are comfortable with where they are; and 5) Rural challenge. Facilitators to increase percentages include: 1) Increase funding for nurses in rural communities; 2) Require mandate for BSN with time limits; 3) Educate on the value of the BSN degree; 4) Develop mentoring and role modeling programs, and 5) Offer a variety of BSN program options. Conclusion: It is hoped that the outcomes of this study raise awareness to healthcare employers, educators and policymakers of the need to consider the barriers in rural communities to increase the percentage of BSN nurses. Initiatives that increase the percentage of BSN in urban areas and unintentionally creates barriers in rural communities needs to be further understood.