The Benefits Of Advancing Your Health Care Education
Originally published 9/13/2016, we updated the qualifications and benefits to earning your RN to BSN degree.
In an increasingly complex health care industry, it is imperative that nurses and other professionals continually work to improve their clinical, technological, and critical thinking skills. Expanding your knowledge and achieving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can be empowering. It can give you a greater ability to choose the career path that you want. If you are passionate about providing the highest level of care possible, the RN to BSN track can fit right into your long-term goals.
What Does It Take to Earn a BSN?
BSN programs aim to improve leadership and critical thinking skills while also providing advanced nursing concepts. These programs come highly recommended by the Institute of Medicine, which has called upon 80 percent of RNs to have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing by 2020. There’s an active component of skill building necessary to allow registered nurses to expand the number of patients they can care for and the types of services they can provide.
The RN to BSN program is one of the most convenient and fast-track options available. To be accepted into a BSN program, you’ll need to meet these prerequisites:
- Graduated with an Associate degree or diploma nursing program.
- Hold a license to practice as a registered nurse.
- You may need to pass a criminal background check.
- You’ll need to maintain a high enough GPA to qualify for the program. This varies from one location to the next, but a 2.0 GPA tends to be the minimum.
Why Enroll in a BSN Program?
Your involvement in an RN to BSN program could completely change the course of your nursing career. You will emerge more confident in your abilities as a registered nurse and as an industry leader. The following are eight of the most compelling reasons to pursue your BSN.
- Salary increases are likely. Nursejournal.org reports that the median wage for an RN is $67,000 whereas a BSN holder can earn over $75,000 due to the increase in job opportunities offered to them.
- You’ll be in demand. Hospitals and other medical practices are continuously searching for highly-qualified candidates. According to a survey published in the Journal of Nursing Administration, hiring officials at university hospitals prefer to hire nurses with a Bachelor degree due to their stronger critical thinking and leadership skills.
- Job outlook on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing jobs are expected to grow 16% from 2014-2024. This promising job outlook provides solace for all nurses currently on the job hunt, but as a nurse equipped with a BSN, you’ll have the edge over the competition.
- You’ll provide your patients with a better level of care, utilizing new found skills and the most recent information in the evolving healthcare industry. The American Association of College Nursing references a study that RN to BSN graduates demonstrated higher proficiency in “nursing practice, communication, leadership, professional integration, and research/evaluation.” As an RN to BSN student, you can immediately apply the skills and knowledge you gain in the classroom to your everyday work as a nurse.
- You can study at your pace. A busy work schedule need not prevent skilled nurses from seeking new credentials. Many RN to BSN programs offers flexible formats, allowing working practitioners to continue their studies while managing their work schedules.
- You can pursue careers only open to BSN holders. A BSN is increasingly the entry point for lucrative nursing jobs, such as clinical nurse specialist and nurse anesthetist. If you wish to leave basic clinical care behind, your ticket out is a BSN. A BurningGlass.com study highlighted by Nurse Journal indicates that 37 percent of nursing jobs posted in a three-month period were only open to those with their Bachelor’s degree. Combined with jobs listing a diploma or two-year degree as the minimum academic requirement, BSN nurses are eligible to apply for 88 percent of nursing jobs.
- You’ll be well on your way to a Master’s degree. If your ultimate academic goal is your Master’s, you’ll first need to obtain your BSN. This will set you on an exciting path to graduate-level education, followed by new job opportunities and a higher salary.
- You’ll develop a greater range of skills. BSN programs delve into clinical skills, of course, but you’ll also develop critical thinking and leadership skills, which are essential for moving into more lucrative positions.
What Type of Classes Do BSN Students Take?
In addition to taking higher-level nursing courses, BSN students must satisfy the requirements of a four-year degree. This means taking a wider range of classes alongside students in other degree programs. Subjects explored include writing, literature, psychology, and math. Students also have the opportunity to take an array of elective courses. The goal of these is to build a broader base of knowledge and expand critical thinking skills.
The core courses in an RN to BSN program explore areas of clinical importance while also delving into cultural concerns. Students learn more about professional considerations, bereavement, and nursing management. A thorough exploration of these and other relevant topics better equips students to succeed in an increasingly complicated health care industry.
An RN to BSN program can position you for greater success in the rapidly evolving health care industry. From a higher salary to better performance on the job, you can only stand to gain when you seek your BSN.