Differentiating the workplace needs of nurses by academic preparation and years in nursing.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2007.06.021


Questions surrounding the optimal level of academic preparation for nurses entering the workforce appear to be nearing consensus. However, in most organizations, the existing nursing workforce includes nurses of various ages, amounts of experience, and levels of academic preparation. All nurses serve an important role in caring for patients. The objective of this study was to determine if differences in work environment perceptions exist for nurses with different levels of academic preparation but similar years of experience in nursing. Mean values of work environment perceptions were compared between associate degree nurses and bachelor of science nurses with equivalent years in clinical practice using univariate statistics. Bachelor of science nurses reported similar or more positive work environment perceptions across all levels of professional experience as compared with associate degree nurses. The largest difference in perceptions between the two groups was seen in nurses with more than 15 years of professional experience. In this group, bachelor of science nurses reported more positive perceptions of peer support, unit support, workload, and overall nursing satisfaction. Intent to stay was not different between the groups considered. The results of this study suggest that efforts to expand nurses' access to baccalaureate programs may have positive implications for professional nursing and the work environment.

Journal Title

Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing





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MeSH Keywords

Attitude of Health Personnel; Education, Nursing, Associate; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Humans; Nursing Staff; Personnel Management; United States; Workplace