Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary Catherine Garner


Discussion continues about requiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) as the minimum requirement for entry into registered nursing practice. A Magnet-® recognized hospital located in the Northeast United States is requiring all registered nurses without a BSN (n=284 or 28%) to obtain their BSN by 2022 as a condition for employment. The purpose of this project was to quantify the potential number and rationale of nurses who are not planning to return to school. The 2 practice focused questions are (a) What is the rationale for nurses who do not plan to pursue their BSN degree and (b) What is the potential cost to the organization due to projected gaps in the workforce by 2022. The theory of reasoned action was utilized as a model of decision making. A total of 29% of non-BSN nurses responded to a questionnaire, with 54.55% replying that they plan to obtain their BSN by 2022. The primary barriers for not planning to return for a BSN were a perceived lack of the degree's value and financial issues. More than 1/3 of those respondents not planning to obtain the BSN are planning to retire, which is consistent with national trends. An extrapolation of data showed the nursing turnover rate rising to 10.62% as 2022 approaches, significantly higher than the normal rate of 5.3%. The turnover rate may increase recruiting and orientation costs for the hospital facility over both the short and long term in a state where nearly 38% of graduates have either a diploma or an associate degree in nursing. The social change implication is a need for a re-examination of roles for various levels of registered nursing or a consensus on the BSN for nursing licensure.