This Position Statement is designed to update the Board's 1989 Position Statement on educational mobility. It recognizes that:

  • currently five levels of nursing education exist in the Commonwealth which prepare graduates for entry into the profession;
  • each nursing education program maintains autonomy in its policies related to admission, advanced placement, transfer, educational mobility and graduation;
  • some nursing students may have competencies gained in other health or health related fields as a result of their previous training or education;
  • the environment for health care delivery is changing, with greater emphasis on managed care, chronicity, and community based practice, requiring a sufficient supply of highly skilled practitioners; and
  • successful relationships have been established among the Commonwealth's nursing education programs for the purpose of facilitating educational mobility.

Position Statement on Education Mobility for Nurses

It is the mission of the Board of Registration in Nursing to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth through the regulation of nursing education and practice. Consistent with this mission, the Board recognizes the need to ensure an adequate supply of nurses skilled to meet the demands of a rapidly changing health care environment. This position statement supports the development of relationships which promote efficient educational mobility opportunities for nurses in the Commonwealth. Such opportunities ultimately benefit the recipient of nursing care by contributing to the supply of skilled clinicians.

Currently, there are four educational routes which prepare nurses for entry into professional practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - hospital based diploma, Associate Degree, certificate or completion from a post secondary vocational technical school, a community college, or a hospital based program. Educational mobility recognizes that similarities, as well as differences, exist in the core content of entry level nursing programs. These differences are reflected in the breadth, depth and scope of educational preparation. However, it is the similarities which provide the philosophical basis to support educational mobility in nursing. It is these similarities which prompt the Board to suggest that nursing education programs recognize in their articulation plans, the certified nursing assistant and certified home health aide. This assumes that:

  • each nursing education program has the responsibility for establishing its unique mission, goals, and standards for admission, progression and graduation;
  • each level of nursing education has a common core of knowledge, as well as cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills, demonstrating unique competencies as they relate to outcome measures;
  • nurses pursuing advancement in their nursing education are mature adult learners who are motivated, responsible, and most likely employed;
  • the outcome of educational mobility is the educational advancement of nurses prepared at levels on the educational continuum lower than the Baccalaureate degree.

Career decisions and the selection to the program of study necessary to enter nursing are the responsibility of the individual and are based on career goals, abilities and resources. As career goals are revised, and nurses seek to gain competencies not achieved in their basic nursing education program, educational mobility enables an individual to move from one educational level to another with acknowledgment of acquired competencies and minimal repetition of previous learning. The development and implementation of efficient and creative methods for identifying and evaluating prior learning and experience is the responsibility of nurse educators.

Approved 1/97 BRN

This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.