Success in Academic Progression Partnerships

Repeatedly, research has shown the Bachelor’s degree prepared RN has the enhanced skill set to significantly impact quality patient outcomes at the bedside and to positively influence our healthcare delivery system. However, experience has shown us that not every student is able to take the same path to the BSN. There are time, economic, and family considerations that make the how of how you become a nurse a very personal—and individual—decision. At the IACN, we strongly believe that the State of Illinois needs everyone—diploma programs, ADN programs, and BSN programs—in order to supply the quantity of nurses necessary to replace the wave of nurses retiring each year.

To that end, many four year institutions have been working for years to establish seamless progression pathways for ADN-RNs to earn their Bachelor’s degree via collaboration with ADN and diploma program partners. Collectively, the IACN is committed to promoting and expanding seamless academic progression partnerships, strengthening bridge programs for ADNs to the BSN, and then to advanced nursing practice and doctoral education.

What Is Academic Progression?

 ‘Academic progression’ means that—through strategic partnerships—students can begin their nursing education at a community college, earn their ADN, and then easily transition to a four-year university to complete their bachelor’s degree. Dual-enrollment, dual-admission, and pathways programs all allow students to get their BSN from a reputable provider of baccalaureate education at a reasonable price, with the flexibility demanded by working adult and non-traditional students.

IACN’s Progress Toward Academic Progression

In 2019, IACN surveyed member institutions to take a pulse of our progress, the results of which are outlined below.  As an organization, we are proud of the advancement made in the pursuit of seamless academic progression for Illinois’ students.

Total # of RN to BSN Programs at IACN Member Institutions: 23
Programs Offered 100% Online: 19
Hybrid Programs: 3
Programs with 100+ Open Seats: 13
Cost Breakdown (per credit hour):
$200-300: 2
$300-400: 4
$400-500: 6
$500+: 8
Total Academic Progression Agreements: 52
Academic Progression Agreements Pending: 16

Looking to 2020 and Beyond

As we begin to make plans for this next calendar year, continued support for and further development of Academic Progression partnerships will be a top priority for IACN member institutions. If we come together, nursing has the answers for how the profession can best address solutions within nursing, prepare the best nursing workforce possible, and make Illinois a healthier place to live, work, and raise a family.