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NLN Roundtable on Post-Baccalaureate Education Calls for Model that Clearly Ensures the Viability of the Master's Credential for Specialty Practice

NLN Roundtable on Post-Baccalaureate Education Calls for Model that Clearly Ensures the Viability of the Masters Credential for Specialty Practice

Multiple Options for Advanced Nursing Practice Increase Nations Potential to Meet Health Care Needs Agree Nurse Leaders from Prestigious Schools Across the Country


New York, NY — May 12, 2011 — At the conclusion of a full day of discourse on masters and doctoral education on April 21, nursing education leaders from 16 schools and the National League for Nursing affirmed NLN principles that embrace diverse pathways to advanced nursing practice. NLN president Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, described the results as a mandate for both MSN and DNP programs. "The NLN believes that multiple options for advanced nursing practice, both on the masters and doctoral levels, enhance nurses ability to coordinate increasingly complex care for a range of patients, to fulfill their potential as care providers according to their full scope of practice, to redesign nursing education and advance academic progression, and to effect wide-reaching changes in the health care system."

Said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "In order to answer the call from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report to decrease health disparities and strengthen nursings leadership in health care reform, we need increased numbers of masters prepared nurses to lead new models of health care delivery and advance the health of the public."

The data are clear and persuasive. The quality of masters-prepared nurse practitioner practice has been demonstrated in multiple studies over the past several decades, reported the group of nursing leaders that comprised the NLN Roundtable on Post-Baccalaureate Education. All agreed that as the nursing profession moves toward the redesigning of both nursing education and clinical practice, it is imperative that we ensure that there is an adequate nursing workforce to meet the needs of American society.

Concluded Dr. Shultz, "The NLN has long held that excluding nurses from a variety of entry points for both prelicensure and postlicensure programs is shortsighted and delays the fulfillment of the patient-centered, community-responsive vision that a reformed health care system can offer. Because advanced practice in nursing must be flexible and adaptable, it is not possible to mandate just one approach. The complexity of the nursing care environment necessitates a more fluid, less restrictive approach to curriculum, an approach described in the NLN Vision, Academic Progression in Nursing (2011) and reiterated in the IOM report. Both statements called on nursing education to provide efficient pathways for academic progression and to encourage nurses to pursue lifelong learning."

Editors and reporters: A complete list of roundtable participants is below. For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 34,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all nursing education programs across the academic spectrum.

Roundtable on Post-Baccalaureate Education Participants

Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, FAAN, chair
Dean and Professor, Harding University College of Nursing
President, National League for Nursing

Judith A. Halstead, PhD, RN, ANEF
President-Elect, National League for Nursing
Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Indiana University School of Nursing

Anne Bavier, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, University of Connecticut School of Nursing
Governor-at-Large, National League for Nursing

Marion Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, Indiana University School of Nursing

Maria Dolce, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Clinical Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Nursing Education Masters and Advanced Certificate Programs New York University College of Nursing

Patricia Ebright, PhD, RN, CNS
Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Indiana University School of Nursing

Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN
Dean, Yale University School of Nursing

Joyce P. Griffin-Sobel, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF
Acting Dean, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing

Nancy Langston, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing

Judy Martin-Holland, PhD, MPA, RN, FNP
Associate Dean, Academic Programs, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco

Kathleen McCauley, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, FAHA
Associate Dean for Academic Programs, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Linda McCauley, PhD, RN
Dean, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

Mary H. Mundtv, PhD, RN
Dean and Professor, Michigan State University College of Nursing

Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN
Senior Associate Dean for Academics; Co-Director, PhD in Nursing Science Program, Vanderbilt University

Michael Relf, PhD, RN, FAAN, ACNS
Assistant Dean, Duke University School of Nursing

Karen Schepp, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington

Nancy C. Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Director, Doctoral Program, Villanova University College of Nursing

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
CEO, National League for Nursing