May 14, 2015
As part of its commencement ceremonies over the weekend, SNHU conferred 318 nursing students which reflects the growing need for nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher nationwide. Across the state of New Hampshire, the number of nursing students has grown steadily over the past several years. Of the newly-pinned Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates in the state, SNHU represents the largest group.
The growth in nursing students can be attributed to a number of factors including the increased demand driven by an aging population, as well as older workforce with a significant number of Baby Boomers approaching retirement age. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates a 19.4% growth in nursing between now and 2022, with some 1.1 million jobs available nationwide by 2022.
In addition to job growth, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued a call to increase the proportion of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) within the nursing workforce to 80% by 2020. Currently, about 55% of Registered Nurses possess a bachelor degree or higher. SNHU provides a complete and seamless pathway for RNs to advance towards their BSN and continue on to a Master of Science in Nursing to support IOM’s charge for nurses to earn more advanced degrees to assume roles in advanced practice, leadership, teaching and research. Additionally, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing special survey on the Employment of New Nurse Graduates conducted last fall found that 79.6% of employers are now requiring or expressing a strong preference for nurses with a minimum of a baccalaureate degree.
“Because our program was created by nurses for their peers, we understand the needs and challenges associated with working full time and continuing to advance in the nursing profession,” explained Sherrie Palmieri, DNP, MBA, RN, CPHQ, Chief Nursing Administrator at SNHU College of Online and Continuing Education. “Not only must the curriculum meet educational standards, but it has to be continuously updated to reflect advances in science, medicine and technology for our program to be relevant to today’s practicing nurses.”
The baccalaureate program is aligned with the AACN Essentials for Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and the graduate programs in nursing are aligned with the AACN Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. The programs incorporate the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies ensuring that graduates are well prepared to practice in a dynamic healthcare environment.
SNHU nursing graduates were recognized during a traditional pinning ceremony (which dates back to 1855 and the Nightingale School of Nursing in London) on Saturday, May 9th just before commencement. In addition to the 318 nursing students, 158 health professional graduates were conferred. SNHU faculty also recognized individual student achievement with awards for academic excellence during the pinning ceremony.
SNHU provides quality undergraduate and graduate health profession education with distinction in scholarship, services and practice for registered nurses seeking to maximize their personal and professional potential. This mission is fulfilled through innovative programs and responsive to needs of adult learners in an online environment. Graduates are prepared to apply theory-guided, culturally competent, evidence-based nursing practices to improve the well-being of diverse populations within complex healthcare systems at the local, national and international levels.
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