With more hospitals across the nation requiring that nurses have at least a bachelor's degree, practicing nurses are turning to new RN to BSN programs to remain competitive in the workplace. As hospitals compete for the coveted Magnet designation awarded by the American Nurses Association, nursing education is more important than ever. The New York Times reports that,
"[this] shift has contributed to a surge in enrollment in nursing courses at four-year colleges, particularly at the more than 600 schools that have opened 'R.N. to B.S.N.' programs, for people who are already registered nurses to earn bachelor’s degrees. Fueled by the growth in online courses, enrollment in such programs is almost 90,000, up from fewer than 30,000 a decade ago, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing."
To meet the rising demand, community college programs are looking for new partnerships with four-year schools to keep their graduates competitive. In addition, online programs continue to grow with schools such as Drexel University, the nation's largest RN to BSN online program with more than 2,400 students.