Nurses are, without a doubt, the heart of our healthcare system. As Diplomat Dag Hammarskjold once said, “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” Whether you are a nurse who has been caring for patients for years, or have recently earned your RN license, you may be considering your future and how to advance your career. Many nurses in this situation choose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN), and here’s why.
The world of healthcare is constantly evolving. Thanks to healthcare reforms and an increased aging population – the Baby Boomers – there is an increased demand for qualified healthcare workers across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 15 percent growth in employment for Registered Nurses over the next several years, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. With advances in technology and medicine, the work is becoming more challenging, and the expectations of registered nurses are rising. As a result, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that the nursing field increase the number of nurses with a BSN degree to 80 percent by the year 2020.
Many employers are already on board. More than 75 percent of healthcare providers today prefer to hire nurses with a BSN degree. The BLS also writes that, generally, “Registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.”
You may be thinking, how can I advance my ADN to a BSN, while still working as a nurse? While many bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete, anyone with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) may choose to take a faster route: the RN-to-BSN degree path. By choosing this type of program, you can complete your BSN in as few as 16-months, part-time.
What Will You Study?
An ADN-to-BSN program is made for a very specific student: The one who is already a Registered Nurse. This indicates that the basic foundations of nursing have already been laid. However, advanced BSN courses can help bridge the gap between the introductory nursing topics in your associate program, and your future as a bachelor’s degree grad.
Depending on your schedule and program, you may choose to earn your BSN degree online. The program will not repeat lessons learned in your RN courses. Since students enrolled in this type of program already have their associate degree and, often times, on-the-job experience, the coursework will only deepen your understanding and help hone your skills in the nursing profession.
Some examples courses in the ADN to BSN curriculum at Goodwin College include:
- Health Assessment
- Public & Community Health Nursing
- Clinical Nursing Leadership
- Seminar in Professional Nursing Leadership
Do You Really Need a BSN?
If better pay, advanced knowledge of today’s modern healthcare system, and perfecting your craft are not important to you, then you may not consider a BSN to be important. But if you want to stand out amongst the competition, and continue to move forward in your career, you may want to give that a second thought.
While the nursing field is an in-demand one, it is also fiercely competitive. More and more employers in the healthcare industry are looking for the most qualified nurses. While it is not a requirement at all facilities, it is something that future employees will expect their nurses to have. Connecticut, for example, is already advancing towards an 80 percent BSN workforce. So why not stay ahead of the curve and give yourself the competitive edge?
The Perks & Requirements of an ADN to BSN Program
In addition to giving yourself better opportunities, you will be giving yourself the gift of a valuable education in the field of your passion. With a BSN, you will gain a deeper understanding of nursing practices and more applicable knowledge in order to care for your patience. Your quality of care may also improve, as studies report that BSN grads often have better patient outcomes.
While each school has its own set of pre-requisites, many schools, such as Goodwin College, require their BSN students to have successfully passed the National Council Licensure Exam and to have current licensure as a registered nurse. You can read about Goodwin’s RN to BSN requirements here.
A bachelor’s degree used to mean a lot of scheduled classes and working around that schedule. Thanks to today’s modern advancement in higher education, you can choose to take courses online and earn your degree from the comfort of your own home. You can also choose to take courses in a full- or part-time format, for added convenience. This means you can still work in nursing and take care of personal responsibilities, all while advancing your career with a BSN degree.
If you are interested in learning more about the , please call 1-800-889-3282 today.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.