Rural Nursing Workforce Upgraded

Rural areas in the U.S. have fewer nurses per capita than urban areas, and those nurses are more likely to have associate’s rather than bachelor’s degrees according to a recent study from the Rural and Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina. Rural nurses, however, often have a broader range of duties and responsibilities because of the lack of specializing nurses. Given the Institute of Medicine’s goal to raise the proportion of registered nurses (RNs) with bachelor’s-level degrees to 80% by 2020, research is needed to examine the educational attainment of RNs across the U.S. and explore registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in nursing (RN-to-BSN) program activities to attract, train and place nurse trainees in rural communities. Listen to a podcast interview with research leader Jan Probst, PhD.