So, you want to become a registered nurse? Congratulations! You’ve chosen to explore a gratifying career path that offers some of the most unique challenges in the healthcare industry. And, as its landscape continues to evolve, so does the demand for more educated nurses. An associate’s degree may be a great starting point, but, there are many more benefits to having a BSN.
The interesting thing about nursing as a career is the need for nurses isn’t going anywhere. If you picture yourself working in healthcare for the long run, nursing may be a great move. The opportunities in nursing and the benefits a BSN can provide you include job security, specialization, flexibility, and the chance to help others on a daily basis.
The Breakdown: What is a BSN?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a BSN is just one of the many ways you can get started toward your career as a nurse. For most, a BSN can take up to four years to complete. But with an Accelerated BSN program like ours, if you have completed your prerequisite courses, earning your degree can take as few as 16 months to complete.
That’s because we offer a blended education model that combines online coursework with hands-on experience. Our accelerated BSN program is similar to a traditional program by offering high academic quality and clinical preparation while granting you the opportunity to begin your nursing career in as few as 16 months.
Now that you understand what a BSN is, you’re probably wondering what it has to offer. We have the answers you’ve been searching for. Here’s what our Director of Nursing Academics, Lesley Carlston, has to say about the benefits of a BSN degree and how it can advance your nursing career:
1. Hospitals are seeking out BSN prepared nurses.
According to The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, health promotion, and their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. This is causing magnet status hospitals to take notice of the value baccalaureate-prepared nurses bring to the practice.
Hospitals with magnet status are known for nursing excellence and superior patient outcomes, and are looking to hire BSN-prepared nurses due to an initiative called the 80/20 by 2020. This means that by the year 2020, every hospital, magnet status or not, is mandated to have 80% of their staff BSN prepared. These hospitals aren’t wasting any time, and are pushing to hire BSN prepared nurses today.
On the other side of the spectrum, more registered nurses are now seeking BSN degrees. The Journal of Nursing states the rise in registered nurses pursuing baccalaureate degrees can be due to an emphasis on quality of care and public policy recommendations. With more nurses taking this route, why wouldn’t you go the extra mile to stay competitive by earning a BSN?
“Students in the program learn about research and evidenced-based practice, public health and basic epidemiology and core leadership and ethics principles,” says Carlston in reference to ABSN students at Concordia University. “These higher level courses are key to serving acute care patients in our complex healthcare systems.”
2. There are better patient outcomes with BSN-prepared nurses.
According to AACN, hospitals with a higher percentage of registered nurses with baccalaureate or higher degrees have better patient outcomes. Though this program is rigorous and fast-paced, it will prepare you with a broader scope of practice and the necessary skillset needed to provide better patient outcomes.
“The BSN student learns about research and evidenced-based practice, public health and basic epidemiology and core leadership and ethics principles,” says Carlston. “These higher level courses are key to serving acute care patients in our complex healthcare systems.”
Fortunately, earning a BSN is more accessible than ever. Through our online nursing theory coursework and clinical rotations, you will learn the dynamics of compassionate, holistic patient care. Compassion is an invaluable skill that will set you apart from other applicants when applying for nursing positions.
3. You have the potential for leadership roles.
Earning a BSN ups your credential game while affording you with upward mobility. This may include career advancement, increase in pay, and personal pride in accomplishment and specialization.
“Earning a BSN may increase the possibility of obtaining higher level leadership roles in nursing,” says Carlston. “It will also prepare nurses for graduate level education.”
The broad range of specialty areas in nursing promote many exciting opportunities. These specialty roles can take place in fields such as:
- Case management
- Infection prevention and control, and more!
These diverse nursing specializations alone give BSN prepared nurses the chance to explore a specific type of interest rather than the everyday, monotonous general practice.
Furthermore, nurses with a BSN background may notice that it’s much easier to transition into faculty teaching positions like nurse educators. Today, the demand for nurse educators is immense. With the nursing shortage at an all-time high, the need for great educators who exemplify compassion, competence, and commitment is widely needed to help strengthen the next generation of nurses.
Stop Waiting: Seize the Opportunity!
Now that you understand what a BSN can offer – it’s time to get moving. This benefit-driven career is waiting for the full nursing potential you have to offer.
If you’re ready to take on this challenging, yet fulfilling career, speak to an enrollment specialist today and discover what ABSN requirements you will need to get started. Our highly trained enrollment specialists are happy to dedicate their time to answering your questions, reviewing your transcripts and discussing your eligibility requirements for the program.