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Preparing the Nurse of the Future

Emergent Themes in Online RN-BSN Education

Perfetto, Linda M.

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000378

AIM Registered nurse to baccalaureate in nursing (RN-BSN) programs hold the second lowest average graduation rate of US nursing programs. Online education is often cited as a good fit for the working nurse for its convenience, accessibility, and flexibility. With a focus on supporting persistence in RN-BSN programs, this research sought to answer the question, What are the best practices for distance/online/hybrid RN to BSN program curriculum and instruction?

BACKGROUND Distance/online/hybrid approaches are a component of most RN-BSN programs and may hold promise for working nurses balancing multiple responsibilities while in school.

METHOD The Garrard Matrix Method was aligned with the work of Whittemore and Knafl to synthesize research that addressed the question.

RESULTS Four themes emerged through this synthesis.

CONCLUSION The findings serve as the beginning of a comprehensive guide on the subject.

About the Author Linda M. Perfetto, PhD, RN, CNE, CNOR, FAADN, is Director of System Nursing Curricular Operations for the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program and a recent doctoral graduate from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut. The author acknowledges PhD committee members Drs. Thomas Van Hoof, E. Carol Polifroni, and Liana Orsolini for their support; she is grateful also to Drs. Eileen George and Margaret Reilly for their support. For more information, contact her at

The author has declared 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 (

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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