THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The number of quality and safety educational gaps between nurses with bachelor’s and associate degrees has substantially increased since 2007 to 2008, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Maja Djukic, Ph.D., R.N., from New York University in New York City, and colleagues examined educational gaps in quality and safety educational preparedness between associate and bachelor’s degree graduates in two cohorts of new nurses who graduated between 2007-2008 (324 participants) and 2014-2015 (803 participants).

The researchers found that the number of quality and safety educational gaps between bachelor’s and associate degree nurse graduates more than doubled over eight years. Registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor’s degree in the 2007 to 2008 cohort reported being significantly better prepared than RNs with an associate degree in five of 16 topics. Bachelor’s degree RNs in the 2014 to 2015 cohort reported being significantly better prepared than associate degree RNs in 12 of 16 topics.

“Improving accreditation and organizational policies requiring baccalaureate education for all nurses could close quality and safety education gaps to safeguard the quality of patient care,” the authors write.

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