Nurses with degree from unrelated field could improve nursing shortage

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Completing a nursing degree after having finished a degree in another field could present a fast, economical way to help alleviate the growing nursing shortage, according to a recent study.

Nursing school candidates who have already completed a baccalaureate level degree in another field are able to complete their training in 12-15 months, according to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation survey. Those nurses also tend to be older and more motivated, and as a result, have an easier time coping with the high demands of the nursing profession, tend to stay in their jobs longer and experience higher rates of job satisfaction than nurses whose first baccalaureate degree is in nursing. Many first-degree nurses leave the profession due to frustration and an inability to cope with the demands of the job, the report said.

Study authors surveyed 953 recently certified nurses for the study. Questions focused on job satisfaction, work settings and job aspirations. The full study appears in the January/February issue of the Journal of Professional Nursing.