Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mary Lagerwey

Second Advisor

Sally Vliem

Third Advisor

Kimberly Searing


nurse professional competency, NPC scale, nursing education, RN-to-BSN, ADN, BSN, added value


Groundbreaking research by Aiken et al. (2003) and subsequent researchers has determined increased educational preparation and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree obtainment of Registered Nurses (RNs) to be associated with improved patient safety and outcomes. Other organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), have demonstrated professional competency to be an important indicator of quality nursing care. The purpose of this study was to evaluate self-reported professional competency of RN-to-BSN students at the point of graduation in order to investigate the added value of baccalaureate degree obtainment to the actual nursing practice of RN-to-BSN program graduates. The Nurse Professional Competency (NPC) Scale uses 88 individual questions to quantitatively evaluate 8 competency areas and 2 themes of quality nursing practice. This scale in addition to 6 demographic questions was administered to 29 RN-to-BSN students at 2 locations in the southwestern region of Michigan, United States. The response rate of those surveyed was 100%. A Cronbach’s alpha of 0.977 was achieved. The students evaluated reported “relatively high” and “very high” degrees of competence for all competency areas and themes evaluated. The students reported slightly higher scores for Theme 1 (patient-related nursing) than Theme 2 (organization and development of nursing care). Evaluation of competency areas provides insight in nursing practice and RN-to-BSN program development. Recommendations for further research include the use of the NPC Scale at other points of RN-to-BSN education and as a follow-up tool after graduation.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons