A COMPARISON BETWEEN TRADITIONAL BSN AND RN-BSN PROGRAMS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Courtney Taylor Knotts, SN; Yumi Ma, MSN, RN; Debra N. Thompson, PhD, RN, NEA-BC; Irene Kane, PhD, MSN, RN, CNAA, EP-C; Patricia K. Tuite, PhD, RN, CCNS; Betsy George, PhD, RN, CCRN-K; Annette DeVito Dabbs, PhD, RN

Introduction: Evidence confirms that the higher the proportion of BSN prepared nurses in direct care, the better the health outcomes. Yet, the differences between traditional BSN programs and RN-BSN programs are unknown. Purpose: To determine programmatic differences between admission requirements (high school GPA, prerequisites, Standardized Tests) and program characteristics: clinical hours, graduation rates, NCLEX scores, curriculum, faculty preparation and delivery mode (on-site or on-line). Methods: An online search was conducted between September 2015 and May 2016 to identify all active RN programs in PA. Requirements and characteristics were abstracted from the websites and accuracy was confirmed by two researchers Results: Out of 86 nursing schools, 140 offered RN programs. Of these, 42 were BSN programs and 38 RN-BSN programs. Traditional BSN programs were more likely to require a higher GPA for admission than RN-BSN. BSN programs were more likely to require Science, Algebra, English, Social and Second Language prerequisites than RN-BSN programs. BSN programs required standardized testing (ACT, SAT, or both) more frequently (71.4%) than RN-BSN programs (39.5%). BSN programs required more credits (123.3 +18) compared to RN-BSN (94.3+34) and were approximately twice the length of the RN-BSN programs (4.1+0.9) terms. A higher percentage of traditional BSN programs were predominantly onsite (62%) compared to RN-BSN Programs (42%). Online programs were limited to 8% of the sample, and of those the majority were RN to BSN (21.1%). There were minimal differences between faculty total and no difference in doctoral preparation of faculty. Conclusion: Compared to RN-BSN programs, traditional BSN programs had stricter admission criteria (GPA, prerequisites and standard test scores), required more course credits, were of longer duration, and provided more instruction on-site. Data for clinical hours, graduation rates and NCLEX scores were not available on the websites. Further research is required to examine impact of these differences on health outcomes.


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Courtney Knotts

Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Type: Poster

Subject: Nursing

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Thu 3:40pm-4:40pm
Location: Wellness Center - Tripod 1 Side A