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Nurses with a second degree could impact workforce
Date:1/23/2009

As the United States continues to experience a nursing shortage that is expected to grow to one million nurses by 2016, a new research study highlights a pool of potential candidates who could alleviate the shortage in an economical way.

The study, published in the January/February 2009 issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing, compares nursing graduates whose first baccalaureate degree was in nursing with nursing graduates whose first baccalaureate degree was in another field and who obtained a second baccalaureate degree in nursing. Findings from the study, funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, suggest that second degree nurses are an efficient new solution to the current nursing shortage.

Through a 16-page survey, the study sampled 953 newly licensed registered nurses from 35 states and asked questions about how they felt about their jobs, information about work settings and their intent to stay at their current job. The nurses had been licensed from five to 18 months prior to taking the survey.

According to the study, second-degree students are usually older and more motivated. Because they have more work experience, they have coping advantages over newer, younger nursing graduates during the period immediately after leaving school and entering the workforce. This finding is significant, since some new registered nurses have left their first jobs in frustration from a lack of coping skills or the knowledge to do their jobs. New nurses who only had nursing degree generally did not like their work setting, were less satisfied in their jobs and more likely to leave them. Second degree new nurses, however, were more likely to stay in their jobs and to be better able to cope with stress and frustration in the workplace.

"Second degree candidates bring life experiences to their jobs that are valuable to employers," said Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, associate professor in the School of Nursin
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Contact: Cherie Black
cblack@gymr.com
202-745-5052
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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