APIN Grant Project: Massachusetts

Academic Progression Making Great Progress

The Massachusetts Action Coalition (MAAC) completed its four year Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) grant in December 2016. Awarded to nine state Action Coalitions, the grant was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with a project goal of increasing the number of nurses educated at the BSN degree or higher level to 80% by 2020.

Estimated at 55% in 2012, the MAAC set a realistic target of 66% by 2020 and 80% by 2025. Three comprehensive strategies were implemented during the grant cycle: 1) accelerated progression pathways, 2) integration of nursing competencies and 3) the increase of available faculty. Through the accomplishments of APIN, Massachusetts is on a trajectory to meet our goal as detailed below.

An analysis of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) nursing statistics and the MA Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN) nursing graduation data from 2010-2015 show:

  • The total number of all BSN graduates increased by 62%
  • Post-licensure graduates in a BSN program (RN to BSN), our targeted cohort, increased by 187%
  • RN to BSN graduates, as a percent of the total, increased from 23% to 40%

The MA BORN biennial licensure renewal survey provides further data on how these new graduates are beginning to impact the percent of MA nurses that are educated at a BSN or higher level (2016 results expected in 2017). Starting with the 2012 BORN survey, released in late 2013, we confirmed an earlier estimate of 55% at the BSN or higher level (initial 2010 BORN study). BORN’s recently released 2014 survey data show that over 58% of nurses with a MA license have a BSN or higher degree. Viewed with graduation trends shown below, it validates that our projection of 66% by 2020 is achievable and could be higher as new nurses renew their licenses for the first time and that data are captured in the survey.