A Seamless Progression

Preparing Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Students for Entry Into Baccalaureate and Masters Nursing Education

This article discusses the creation of Pre-Entry Immersion Programs (PIP) for students in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholarship program. This program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, aims to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree, and to diversify the nursing workforce.

Researchers conducted a mixed methods study with data from 101 schools of nursing that received NCIN grants between 2008 and 2010. Data sources included progress reports, student surveys and campus visits. Based on student responses, 37 nursing schools launched PIP to better prepare their students for success in their programs.

Key Findings:

  • Major concerns for students entering accelerated nursing programs included financial pressures, time management, academic performance, and school/family balance.
  • PIP sessions included school orientation, discussion of accelerated programs, and review of policies. Many programs also covered time management strategies, study skills, and self-care. More than 80 percent of respondents found these sessions helpful or very helpful.

While it is too soon to determine if PIP affect graduation rates, these sessions have the potential to help students begin a challenging degree program and to eventually help improve and diversify nursing staff.

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