Christmas debt, endless bills, a suffering economy and paying for higher education will stress anyone. If you know where to look, there is money available to assist with tuition and further your nursing education. The reality is that nurses are facing this financial hardship many years after becoming a nurse. Many are raising a family or holding senior positions, yet a higher nursing degree is a common career necessity. Whether for job security, a higher salary, greater nursing knowledge or a career change, colleges are offering RN-to-Master programs, BSN-to-PhD programs and many other fast-paced classes to meet nurses needs.
The Future of Nursing Report: Leading Change, Advancing Health sets a high standard for the educational goals of the nursing profession. The report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF),states:
“The committee recommends that the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees be increased to 80 percent by 2020. While it anticipates that it will take a few years to build the educational capacity needed to achieve this goal, the committee maintains that it is bold, achievable, and necessary to move the nursing workforce to an expanded set of competencies, especially in the domains of community and public health, leadership, systems improvement and change, research, and health policy…. Bridge programs and educational pathways between undergraduate and graduate programs—specifically programs such as LPN-to-BSN, ADN-to-BSN, and ADN-to-MSN—are designed to facilitate academic progression to higher levels of education. The ADN-to-MSN program, in particular, is establishing a significant pathway to advanced practice and some faculty positions. Financial support to help build capacity for these programs will be important, including funding for grants and scholarships for nurses wishing to pursue these pathways.”