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Grand View and Iowa Health Join Forces to Meet BSN Initiative


Grand View University has a long history of collaborating with Iowa Health Des Moines for clinical arrangements and the professional development for nurses. Iowa Health Des Moines approached Grand View about offering its blended RN to BSN program at the hospital, in order to support its nursing staff and the hospital mission to increase the number of registered nurses with the BSN credential.  Grand View has a longstanding nursing program which currently offers on GV’s main campus the traditional BSN degree, an RN to BSN degree, and a graduate degree in Innovate Leadership with a track for the Clinical Nurse Leader.

In November 2011, Iowa nursing educators and nursing administrators met at the Future of Nursing Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. They met to discuss the impacts of the Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  This report recommends institutions and stakeholders remove barriers to encourage nurses to move from the RN level to completion of the BSN.  The Institute of Medicine has challenged the nursing profession to move the profession to 80% of RNs holding a BSN or higher level of education by 2020.  In Iowa, this is a lofty goal because only 40% of the 46,000 active registered nurses hold a BSN or higher (Iowa Nursing Workforce: Relevant Facts, Iowa Board of Nursing, June 2010).  At the Future of Nursing Summit, participants decided to support the goal of 80% of RNs in Iowa holding a BSN by 2020.  Each hospital was responsible for how they would meet the initiative.  For Iowa Health Des Moines, it meant reducing the barriers to achieve a BSN by offering an RN to BSN program on site. Currently Iowa Health Des Moines employs approximately 1,500 RNs, many whom have not earned the BSN.  Cherry Shogren, Director, Clinical Professional Development at Iowa Health, is enthusiastic about continuing the relationship with Grand View.  “We’ve done a variety of things with Grand View, including having academic clinical professors being our front-line staff supporting our conversations. There’s a long history with Grand View, this new collaboration being so exciting because it allows us to utilize a program that Grand View’s established in a way that adds meaning to our staff, professional growth opportunity to really set their future to take leadership roles in nursing, and improve our patient outcomes.”

Research shows that having more bachelor’s prepared nurses providing patient care positively impacts patient outcomes and reduces patient mortality.  Dr. Debra Franzen, Head of the Division of Nursing and professor of nursing at Grand View, is excited about the opportunity to work with Iowa Health, “This is something that we in the nursing profession have been working on for decades.  I am so pleased that we have been able to collaborate with our practice partner, Iowa Health-Des Moines, to address the need to help reduce barriers for their nurses wishing to continue their education to obtain a BSN.  This is such an important initiative that ultimately will positively impact patient outcomes.  We are extremely proud to offer Grand View BSN courses on site at the IH-DM campus to support this initiative.”

Discussion with Cherry Shogren:

Discussion with Dr. Debra Franzen: