Ohio rural hospital removes BSN requirement for new nurses

Wooster (Ohio) Community Hospital removed the Bachelor of Science in Nursing requirement for new hires, The Daily Record reported May 28.

The change was made in early May with hopes that it would increase the number of nurses in the hospital by utilizing more licensed practical nurses. 

"Licensed practical nurses have the same practical knowledge as those with BSNs," Shelly Huff, DNP, RN, chief nursing officer at the hospital, said. "We brought in [licensed practical nurses], and they did great. We value all nurses and believe we need to go back to hiring all types of nurses."

Removing the BSN requirement will allow more students to become registered nurses and open the door for licensed practical nurses, she said. In Ohio, people with an Associate's Degree in Nursing can become registered nurses after passing the state exam. 

During the pandemic, licensed practical nurses filled the staff gaps to provide quality care, according to the report. Dr. Huff said focusing on more LPNs could improve patient care by increasing the number of active bedside nurses.

The hospital aims to partner with more local nursing programs to keep medical students in the county and provide scholarships and education programs, Dr. Huff said.

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