The Case for Academic Progression

Issue 21 of the Charting Nursing's Future series explores why nurses should advance their education and the strategies that make this feasible.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, issued a call for academic progression with two specific goals for 2020: an 80-percent baccalaureate-prepared nursing workforce and a doubling of doctorates held by nurses. The report’s authors reasoned that although associate degree nursing education is less costly and provides important upward mobility for diverse populations, higher degrees in nursing yield significant benefits for patients, employers, and communities.

This issue of Charting Nursing’s Future focuses on current trends in nursing education and employment and showcases promising strategies for overcoming existing barriers to academic progression. It also examines how states, the federal government, educational institutions, and employers are creating incentives and opportunities for students and working nurses to earn higher degrees.

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