WNY Healthcare Association Voices Support For BSN In 10

The Western New York Healthcare Association supports what is known as “BSN in 10” legislation signed in December by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The legislation will require future registered nurse graduates of associate and diploma nursing programs to complete a baccalaureate program in nursing within 10 years after their initial licensure in New York state. The legislation is scheduled to take effect in June 2020.

Patient care studies have consistently shown that BSN-prepared nurses have improved critical thinking and skills. They are also better prepared to care for patients with complex health conditions and to move into advanced professional positions in teaching and administration.

“Nurses with advanced skills will play an increasingly important role in the healthcare workforce, as older patients with more complex conditions enter our healthcare institutions across Western New York,” said Ken Schoetz, WNYHA chief executive officer.

Improved accessibility to nursing education programs through distance learning programs and increased nursing education programs at area colleges also weighed heavily in favor of support for this legislation by WNYHA, Schoetz said.

The legislation provides safeguards for currently licensed nurses and adequate time to transition to this new standard. It exempts all current nurses as well as all current nursing students–and any students on a waiting list to attend nursing school–from the requirement that they attain a BSN degree within ten years of their initial licensure. The legislation also preserves the popular associate degree in nursing programs and pathway to employment, by allowing nurses to practice immediately after achieving their associate degree. Associate-degree trained and licensed practical nurses will continue to fill critical vacancies in healthcare venues across the state.

The Western New York Healthcare Association, representing 24 Western New York hospitals, together with its statewide affiliate, the Healthcare Association of New York State, supported the 10 legislation when it passed the state Legislature last year. Other supporters included the New York Organization of Nurse Executive Leaders, the Council of Associate Degree Nursing in New York State, the American Nurses Association, and the Coalition for Advancement of Nursing Education. Supporters of baccalaureate education for nurses include the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.