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How the BSN in 10 Legislation Affects Nurses

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If you’re a nurse, or want to become one, you’re probably hearing a lot about the BSN in 10 legislation passed in New York in late 2017. We dug in to find out what you need to know now and how this affects you as a practicing nurse in New York.

What is BSN in 10?

On December 19, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the BSN in 10 — a requirement that nurses who work in New York earn a BSN within 10 years of their initial licensure.

New York is home to eight percent of all RNs in the U.S.1, so it makes sense to start this precedent here. However, don’t be surprised, as more states may follow this legislative initiative. New Jersey already has pending legislation for the same law1.

The history of the BSN-prepared push

If hearing this news is giving you a bit of déjà vu, there is a reason for it. The momentum for BSN-prepared RNs has been around since February of 1964. This was the year the House of Delegates adopted that American Nurses Association (ANA) continue to work toward baccalaureate education as the foundation for professional nursing practice2.

In 2010, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) set forth on the 80/20 goal: 80 percent of RNs should be at least BSN prepared by 20203.

Why is now the time to enact legislation? Well, we are at a tipping point. States like New York are recognizing the complexities of our U.S. health care system. Combine that with the 15 percent projected growth for registered nurses from 2016 to 20264 and the need for interdisciplinary, collaborative health care teams is here.

Who is grandfathered in to BSN in 10?

The new education requirement does not affect nurses already in practice. It also does not impact current nursing students already enrolled in associate degrees or diploma programs. However, the push for a BSN foundation does not escape you.

With future nurses required to hold a BSN 10 years from their initial licensure, employment conditions will continue to advance to require the BSN degree for entry-level RN positions.

Earn your BSN without quitting your day job

Many colleges offer an online RN to BSN that allows nurses the flexibility they need to work and balance family obligations, all while pursuing their BSN.

Utica University has a list of reasons why a BSN is important in today’s delivery of care. At Utica, we want to equip nurses with autonomous practice for leadership positions and advanced practice roles. This helps them produce better outcomes and better respond and adapt to the continuing emergence of new information and technology impacting health care.

If you are ready to take your career to the next level, request more information or call 315-732-2640 or toll-free 1-866-295-3106 to learn more about the online RN to BSN program at Utica University.


  1., 2017
  2. Nursing World, 2016
  3. The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine, 2010
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

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