Thesis Title

Factors That Influence the Choice of a Generic Baccalaureate Nursing (BSN) Program


Jan Atwell

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


By 2020, there will be a shortage of more than 800,000 registered nurses (RNs) in the United States and more than 17,000 RNs in Missouri (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2002). Missouri enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs has decreased by 23.5% in the last three years (Missouri State Board of Nursing, 2004). Because a generic baccalaureate program (BSM) requires a greater initial investment of time than a diploma or associate program, it is important for nursing educators to understand why a potential nursing student would choose a BSN program. The purpose of this study was to describe the factors that influence a student interested in nursing as a career to select a particular BSN program. Data for this descriptive study were collected from pre-nursing and nursing students (N=137) attending a Midwest university using modified mailed pencil and paper questionnaire developed by Anderson (1992). Respondents listed wanting a college education; expecting more job opportunities with a BSN; looking at nursing as a profession, not a job; and better opportunities in community health as influential factors selecting a BSN program. Professional nurses were ranked as the most influential source in advising potential nursing students to enroll in a BSN program. Reputation of the school of nursing and quality healthcare facilities for clinical practice were the most important factors in selecting a particular school of nursing, and geographic location and amount of financial aid offered were the most important factors in college selection. Findings from this study can impact nursing education and policy for the university by providing insight to the needs and expectations of nursing students. This information can guide recruitment, educational content, and clinical opportunities for the BSN program.


BSN program selection, generic program choice, BSN program decision, factors influencing BSN choice

Subject Categories



© Jan Atwell