A Comparison of Second-Degree Baccalaureate and Traditional-Baccalaureate New Graduate RNs

Implications for the Workforce

Understanding the differences between second-degree baccalaureate graduates (SDGs) who had a baccalaureate degree in another field other than nursing, and a baccalaureate degree in nursing and traditional-baccalaureate graduates (TBGs) who only have a baccalaureate degree in nursing will help organizations better serve each RN population. Service payback requirements and financial support can be designed with the specific, unique characteristic of each group in mind.

This study surveyed a group of 953 newly-licensed registered nurses (NLRNs). Sixty geographic regions in 35 states were represented. Each of the NLRNs surveyed had been licensed from five to 18 months prior to the survey.

Key Findings:

  • Compared to TBGs, SDGs were more likely to be male, non-White, married and have children living at home.
  • SDGs were more often in management positions.
  • TBGs more likely worked full-time and in a position that required an RN license.
  • There was little different between TBGs’ and SDGs’ attitudes toward work.

This article provides evidence that some significant difference exists between SDGs and TBGs and where future research can contribute to better understanding each group’s impact on the RN workforce.