Newswise — The National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative (NEPIN) has formally launched to accelerate educational advancement for nurses across the United States. NEPIN’s diverse stakeholders have joined to establish a national focus that will identify, support and scale up practices that advance BSN and higher nurse preparation in response to the urgency of this initiative. The collaborative will work to ensure that community colleges, universities and employers work in full collaboration to educate current and future nurses to the baccalaureate and beyond. NEPIN is new, but the organization’s continued work emanates from the APIN (Academic Progression in Nursing) initiative, a grant-funded effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that concluded in June. The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) Foundation will serve as the fiduciary and convener for the collaborative in partnership with the National Forum for State Nursing Workforce Centers.

 “Accessible education that leads to the baccalaureate degree and beyond is crucial to our healthcare system. While OADN is deeply committed ato maintaining the ADN as a vital entry point into the nursing workforce, we are also dedicated to ensuring that all future, current, and former ADN students have efficient and effective pathways to pursue baccalaureate and advanced degrees” affirms Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, Chief Executive Officer of OADN. “Building on the success of the APIN, NEPIN will work closely with workforce leaders in academia and practice to further distill and disseminate best practices in academic progression. This important work will better position nurses to enhance the well-being of the communities and individuals they serve.”

“The percentage of the RN workforce with a BSN or higher degree increased from 49% in 2010 to 53.2% in 2015, yet in many regions, nurses and students still lack the progression options they seek,” adds Sofia Aragon, JD, BSN, RN, Executive Director of the Washington Center for Nursing and President-Elect of the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers. “Further progress requires our deeper engagement with nursing employers and even stronger collaboration between universities and community colleges. Ultimately, improving pathways for education progression in the nursing workforce will enhance both patient care and population health.”

The NEPIN collaborative evolved from a series of meetings which included the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, (OADN) HealthImpact, the Washington Center for Nursing, Western Governors University College of Health Professions, the University of Phoenix, University of Kansas School of Nursing, the Center to Champion Nursing in America, and the University of California at San Francisco Lee Center for Health Policy Studies. For additional information on the National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative, please contact Donna Meyer, one of NEPIN’s Co-Leads at [email protected].