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Chief Nursing Officer Survey: BSN and Higher Degree Initiatives in North Carolina

Schuler, Mary E.; (Polly) Johnson, Mary P.; Stallings, Karen D.; Li, Yin

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000203

AIM The purpose of this study was to determine gap areas where North Carolina should implement strategies to promote the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of an 80 percent bachelor of science workforce.

BACKGROUND The North Carolina Action Coalition sought information about the nursing BSN and higher degree workforce and about human resource policies/strategies that promote BSN and higher degree education.

METHOD An electronic survey was used to query 120 acute care hospital chief nursing officers over a four-year period and 100 public health chief nursing officers over a two-year period.

RESULTS A majority of acute care and a minority of public health institutions had policies promoting BSN education. Barriers included lack of tuition reimbursement, scheduling/staffing issues, lack of local universities, and a perceived lack of value for nurses. A minority of respondents reported an 80 percent BSN workforce.

CONCLUSION Strategies are needed statewide to support nursing academic progression.

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

About the Authors Mary E. Schuler, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, is statewide Area Health Education Center nursing liaison and assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Mary P. (Polly) Johnson, MSN, RN, FAAN, is chief executive officer emeritus, Foundation for Nursing Excellence, Raleigh, North Carolina. Karen D. Stallings, MEd, RN, FAAN, is associate director, North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, Chapel Hill. Yin Li, PhD, is a research assistant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. For more information, contact Dr. Schuler at

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s website (

© 2017 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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