RN-BSN ARTICULATION MODELS
THE MARYLAND ARTICULATION MODEL
The Maryland Articulation Model has been in place since 1985. Originally scheduled to terminate at the end of 7 years, it continues to the present time after evaluation studies indicated that each of the entry options resulted in desired academic outcomes (Rapson, et al.). Preliminary to implementing the model, a Statewide Validation Committee was established to examine the curricula of all of the community college and diploma nursing programs using standardized criteria. Recommendations came from the committee when adjustments were needed. Ultimately, all of the community college and diploma nursing programs in Maryland were approved for articulation by direct transfer. Until 1995, curricula were validated every 3 years. Since that time, NLN accredited programs are no longer required to send documentation of compliance through the validation process.
The Maryland Articulation Model includes three options. Students are advised which model is the best for them based on the date of graduation from the basic program, the number of college credits they have, the need to complete general education and science requirements at a college near their home, and/or financial considerations. RNs must be licensed in Maryland.
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THE COLORADO NURSING ARTICULATION MODEL
The Colorado Nursing Articulation Model has been in place since 1991. The goal of the model is articulation from associate degree to baccalaureate nursing programs without testing. Before the model was implemented, the curricula of associate degree programs were reviewed for similarity of content. A statewide task force of associate degree educators representing 5 clinical specialties was established to conduct initial content validation. A form was developed for each program that clearly showed what material was covered and at what level in each specialty area. A program could then determine what adjustments needed to be made.
After the initial content validation process was completed, associate degree nursing curricula were compared to junior-level baccalaureate nursing curricula to identify areas of deficiency or redundancy. Baccalaureate programs then made adjustments as needed. Since implementation of the model, the content of all curricula are validated at regular intervals. The assumption that Colorado programs are representative of program outcomes across the nation and the fact that testing was not a factor in the ability of out-of-state students to succeed resulted in elimination of testing for out-of-state students in 1996.
RNs taking advantage of The Colorado Model must be licensed in Colorado and must have graduated within the past 3 years or have been working, taken a refresher course, or have other special experiences that are acceptable to the admitting school.
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ACCESS IN NURSING ARTICULATION MODEL (Ohio Regional Model)
Recognizing the need for a regional collaborative systems approach for educational mobility of nurses, planning for the ACCESS (Achieving Continuing Career Education for Success and Satisfaction) model was initiated in northeast Ohio area in 1990. A pilot work group met monthly for more than two years to identify the issues, review articulation models, define terms, and develop criteria for assessment of proposed models. Four articulation mechanisms were examined: institutional validation, standardized challenge examinations, transition/validation courses, and escrow/bypass credit. Ultimately, two articulation mechanisms were selected: transition/validation for LPNs and escrow/bypass for RNs.
Each BSN school determined common and unique courses, courses to be bypassed, what credits would be held in escrow, when bypassed credits would be awarded, and how these credits would be placed on student transcripts. The model specifies that there is no time limit for completion of prior nursing course work and work experience is not a requirement.
The articulation plan was adopted in 1993. Participation in ACCESS in Nursing is voluntary and schools sign annual agreements that outline the terms of their participation. Two universities declined to continue participation after institutional validation was eliminated from the model. A steering committee oversees implementation and evaluation of the model and coordinates annual meetings to provide a forum for critiquing results of evaluation studies, resolving issues, and determining future directions.
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TENNESSEE CAREER MOBILITY PLAN
The Tennessee Career Mobility Plan is a statewide voluntary model accepted by the Tennessee Nursing Deans and Directors in September, 1994. It is based on the Colorado Nursing Articulation Model in that it employs the concepts of escrow of nursing credits and evidence of clinical practice. No validation of curricula was conducted since the curriculum of the school from which the nurse graduated has been reviewed and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing, and, thus, meets minimum standards.
The plan is open to RNs licensed in Tennessee and graduating from a Tennessee nursing program. RNs educated in out-of-state programs that accredited by NLN are also eligible for admission without testing. Testing is required for RNs who have not been actively practicing or who graduated from a non-NLN accredited program.
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KANSAS STATEWIDE NURSING ARTICULATION PLAN
In 1992, a group of educators representing all levels of nursing met to discuss the possibility of a statewide plan for nursing articulation. The model was based on an assumption that there is a common core of knowledge, attitudes, cognitive, and psychomotor skills that graduates of nursing programs should possess but there are distinct differences in breadth, depth, and scope of preparation. To illustrate this, a set of competency statements for each level of nursing education was developed and refined by the Council for Nursing Articulation in Kansas. The competencies were categorized according to 3 roles: provider of care, manager of care, and member of the profession. The Kansas Nursing Articulation Plan was adopted by all nursing programs in Kansas in 1995. By 1998, 100% of the nursing programs in Kansas were complying with the plan. The Council serves as an oversight body for implementation and evaluation of the articulation plan.
RNs taking advantage of the Kansas model must be a graduate of a Kansas program and licensed in Kansas. The way credits are awarded differs according to the length of time since graduation and amount of work experience. RNs may transfer in or be awarded credits equivalent to a minimum of 40% of the admitting programs nursing credit hours. RNs graduating from out-of-state programs, regardless of time since graduation, are evaluated individually by the admitting nursing program.
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THE GEORGIA RN-BSN ARTICULATION MODEL
The Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model was developed over a two year period of time. An articulation committee, consisting of representatives from all programs approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing was established in 1992 to study the feasability of a statewide articulation model. To this end, they conducted a survey of Georgia Schools to determine what components of educational mobility were already in existence and reviewed articulation models from other states. Subsequently, a two-day statewide workshop was held, with representatives from all but two nursing programs in attendance. At the end of the workshop, agreement was reached that development of an articulation model should proceed. A steering committee was established to develop the model which standardized entry steps into all Georgia programs . Curriculum implementation and design remained the prerogative of the individual program.
The Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model was adopted in 1995. All 15 nursing programs in Georgia that offer the RN-BSN option have implemented it. An articulation evaluation committee oversees the implementation and evaluation of the model. RNs participating in the plan must be licensed in Georgia and must have graduated from a Georgia nursing program or an NLN accredited program if the RN graduated from an out-of-state program.
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Colorado Council on Nursing Education (2000). The Colorado Nursing Articulation Model: 2000-2005. The Colorado Trust
Council for Nursing Articulation in Kansas (1999). Report of the Council for Nursing Articulation in Kansas.
Kish, C., Newsome, G., Dattilio, JoEllen, & Roberts, L. (1997). Georgias RN-BSN articulation model. Nursing and Health Care: Perspectives on Community, 18(1), 26-30.
Perry, L. A. (1995). Revised guidelines for participation in statewide articulation model. Maryland Board of Nursing, unpublished.
Rapson, J. F., Perry, L. A., and Parker, B. (1990). The relationship between selected educational outcomes of senior RN-to-BSN students and their choice of advanced placement options available in the Maryland Nursing Articulation Model. Journal of Professional Nursing, 6(2), 113-120.
Rolince, P., Giesser, N., Greig, J., Knittel, K., Mahowald, J. F., McAloney-Madden, L., Schloss, R. A. (2001). A regional collaboration for educational and career mobility. Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, 22(2), 75-80.
Tennessee Nursing Deans and Directors (1994). Tennessee Nursing Career Mobility Plan. Nashville: Tennessee Nursing Deans and Directors.