New York Becomes First State to Require Bachelor’s Degrees for Nurses

“BSN in 10” movement validated in new law

New York nurses will be the first in the nation to be required to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The new law, signed recently by Governor Andrew Cuomo, mandates that new nurses obtain the degree within 10 years of their initial nursing certification. The idea or concept, commonly known as “BSN in 10” has receive nationwide attention and support, but New York is the first state to sign such a law.

While the legislation takes effect immediately, the requirement to obtain a degree within 10 years will not begin for another 30 months, and does not affect nurses already in practice.

Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, was a strong supporter of the measure. She released the following statement:

“NYU has been a strong supporter of ‘BSN in 10’ legislation, given its implication for improving patient care. Research shows that patients benefit from baccalaureate-prepared nurses—in fact, several large studies show that it saves lives. Earning bachelor’s degrees also creates opportunities for career mobility and leadership among nurses.”

Published research has shown that employing more nurses with bachelor’s degrees improves patient outcomes. The bill will also allow for the creation of a committee to evaluate the current state of nursing programs, leading to suggestions for improving accessibility.

More information on “BSN in 10” and New York’s new law is available here.

About The Author