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National League for Nursing Applauds Landmark Joint Statement on Academic Progression for Nursing Students and Graduates

National League for Nursing Applauds Landmark Joint Statement on <em>Academic Progression for Nursing Students and Graduates</em>

New Partnership of Leading Organizations in Nursing Education and Community College Leadership Reflects NLN's Longstanding Support of Academic Progression and Lifelong Learning


New York, NY — October 12, 2012 — The National League for Nursing was among the five signatories of a landmark statement released last month by organizations representing the leadership of community colleges and nursing education urging that nursing students and graduates of nursing programs commit to more academic preparation through further education leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees. The Joint Statement on Academic Progression for Nursing Students and Graduates brought together for the first time the NLN, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), and the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (N-OADN) to declare, in part:

¦every nursing student and nurse deserve the opportunity to pursue academic career growth and development¦Working together will facilitate the unity of nursing education programs and advance opportunities for academic progression, which may include seamless transition into associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral programs. Collectively, we agree that every nursing student and nurse should have access to additional nursing education, and we stand ready to work together to ensure that nurses have the support needed to take the next step in their education."

"It is an honor and a privilege to see our partnership fulfill its critical charge," NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, said at the time of the statements release in Washington, DC on September 18. "The design and implementation of seamless models that promote academic progression and lifelong learning are vital to meet the call to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the nations health."

This collaboration is the latest in a series of initiatives the NLN has introduced or supported within the past five years that reflect the NLNs pioneering role in transforming the conversation from requirements for initial preparation to how to seed lifelong learning, academic progression, and multiple entry points to professional practice in nursing. The first, in 2007, was an entry published in the Leagues Reflection & Dialogue series.

More recently, in 2011, the NLN Board of Governors released a statement in its Vision series, promoting academic progression in nursing education. "This document makes clear the NLNs conviction that transformation of nursing education is vital to the preparation of a nursing workforce prepared to tackle the demands of our ever-changing, dynamic 21st-century health care system, with its advanced technologies, culturally diverse and aging patient population, and the shrinking of global borders," noted Judith A. Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, the president of the NLN. "The NLN has long been a supporter of creating multiple entry points to the nursing profession and creating new opportunities for life-long learning to fulfill our core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence."

At the NLNs 2012 Education Summit last month in Anaheim, California, speaking of leadership as a collaborative endeavor, Dr. Malone cited the emerging partnership between leading organizations in nursing education and the community colleges, as well a new national program of the Tri-Council for Nursing. Unveiled last March, Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN), is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As one of the four Tri-Council organizations, the NLN was instrumental in crafting the program, through which RWJF provides two-year $300,000 grants to nine states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington — to develop state and regional strategic plans to create a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. Among other elements, APIN has encouraged partnerships between community colleges and universities that offer baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

"We all agree that nurses who advance their educations are better equipped with the critical competencies necessary to deliver outstanding patient care, including leadership, cultural competence, inter-professional collaboration, quality, and safety," noted Dr. Malone. The Tri-Council partners are the NLN; AACN; American Nurses Association (ANA); and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).

To read the Joint Statement on Academic Progression for Nursing Students and Graduates in its entirety on the NLN website, click here.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities with NLN leadership, 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 37,000 individual and more than 1,200 institutional members who represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education.