GAINESVILLE – Florida nurses aren't keeping up with national trends when it comes to education. A University of Florida study found Florida has a lower percentage of nurses with baccalaureate and graduate degrees than the nation as a whole. [audio:http://eunalhee.com/wp-content/uploads/Lhee_nursedegree.mp3|artists=Lhee|titles=nursesed]
UF researchers surveyed over 49,000 registered nurses in Florida. They found only 41 percent of respondents had either a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing. The national rate is 50 percent.
Lead researcher Donna Felber Neff said patient safety and quality of care have been linked to nurses' level of education.
"We know from other research that when you have greater numbers of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in your hospitals, patients do better," Neff said. "Less die. Their outcomes improve."
The findings were published in the latest issue of Nursing Forum. [HealthyState.org | FPR Spot]