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Online RN to BS Program

What Does the BS in 10 Law Mean For Me?

New York’s landmark BS in 10 decision will transform the nursing workforce by requiring future nurses to obtain their bachelor’s degree in nursing within 10 years of practicing.

RN to BS Program Director Margaret Carno answers questions about what this decision means for nursing students and the future of health care:

1. What does the law state?

Future nurses graduating from associate degree or diploma nursing programs are required to obtain a baccalaureate in nursing within 10 years of initial licensure.

2. Why require nurses to get their baccalaureate degree?

“…with the increasing complexity of the American healthcare system and rapidly expanding  technology, the educational preparation of the registered professional nurse must be expanded. The nurse of the future must be prepared to  partner with multiple disciplines as a collaborator and manager of the complex patient care journey. Shorter lengths of stays, higher patient  acuity, and more sophisticated technologies and procedures are increasing the complexity of patient care - which in turn places great demands on nursing competencies…

“Several recent research studies clearly demonstrate the added value of additional education in relation to improved patient outcomes; one study demonstrates that each 10 percent increase in the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses results in a five percent decrease in surgical patient deaths.”

3. What does this mean for currently licensed RNs who do not hold a baccalaureate degree?

Those who are already nurses, those who are currently enrolled in nursing programs, and those with admissions pending to nursing programs (those currently enrolling or admissions pending when the law went into effect December 2017) are exempt from this change. The bill will allow continuation of entry at the associate degree level where many nurses begin their educational careers.

4. Why should those exempt from the requirement still consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing?

The number of opportunities for advancement increases with a bachelor’s degree as opposed to an associate degree. More than ever, hospitals and other health care organizations are requiring nurses to have a bachelor’s degree before they can advance up clinical ladders.

5. Why is this change an important step in nursing education and the profession?

The critical thinking, clinical judgment, and decision-making nurses are being asked to make is becoming increasingly complex with the dynamic nature of health care. The bachelor’s degree positions nurses to be able to make the best decision in this environment.

6. How does the University of Rochester support nurses who want to earn their bachelor’s?

We are dedicated to preparing today's nursing workforce for the future of health care. To increase access to our innovative program, we offer the following tuition support:

In addition to tuition support, we understand that going back to school can be a big commitment for nurses balancing a full-time schedule, a family lifestyle, or other endeavors. The RN to BS program features interactive coursework which can be completed from home and on your own schedule.