Second-Degree Nurses As Workforce

The study 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 suggest that second degree nurses are an efficient new solution.

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, lead author of the study.

Second-degree nurses also can be educated in much less time than basic registered nurses, according to the study, because they already have college degrees. Christine Kovner, co-author of the study, said: "Nurses in second degree programmes are a great source of new nurses for the health needs of Americans. They usually complete nursing programs in twelve to 15 months."

However because they are older, they have shorter work careers. Understanding which group is more productive in the workforce will help organisations design recruitment and retention programmes for each group.; Source: New York University