Nearly 80 percent of healthcare employers today – hospitals, health clinics, private practices – strongly prefer to hire BSN graduates. That is, nurses holding a Bachelor’s degree. Why is the demand for BSN grads increasing? To put it simply, the healthcare field is evolving. New technologies, new research, new conditions and treatments are constantly being put forth and nurses need to be skilled and readied to evolve inside their roles. Without a doubt, it’s an exciting time to become a nurse – or, if you are already working as an RN, a great time to advance in your career. The opportunities await.
Right now, you may understand the value of earning a BSN degree. Not only does it position you for advanced career options and great salary potential, it also can lead you in providing higher-quality care for your patients, or introduce you to new care settings. At the same time, though, obtaining a BSN may not seem like a feasible option right now. Going back to school, especially when you are working or have other competing obligations, can feel out of reach. So here comes the question: Can you earn a BSN degree online, and will employers find value in it? What are the benefits of earning a BSN online?
The first question is an easy one: Yes, you can earn your BSN online. If you already have your RN license and have completed the standard associate degree with active, clinical rotations, you can then take BSN classes entirely online without having to commute to campus. After all, you are a busy nurse. You deserve this level of flexibility, to be able to complete your classes and assignments at your own pace.
Now, onto your second question. More and more, a high value is being placed on BSN-educated nurses. The Institute of Medicine, for example, once reported that advanced nursing degrees such as a BSN can lead to better patient outcomes. Whether RNs earned their BSN degree online or in-person is somewhat null, because these nurses have taken the initiative to continue their education outside of their already-working hours. They understand how to balance, how to time manage, and how to stay accountable in both their work and academics – at the same time. Any employer will see value in that level of drive and commitment to the nursing field.
Not only this, but online degree programs are becoming increasingly common – and therefore normal to see on a resume. Currently, almost three million students are enrolled in fully online, undergraduate degree programs, while nearly five million students are enrolled in at least one online undergrad class. A recent U.S. News article cites that many of the most popular majors at online colleges are in a health-related field. Of course, pursuing an online nursing program at an accredited institution is preferred.
Why should you earn your BSN degree online? Let’s explore some of the top reasons nurses will look towards online nursing programs to enhance their career:
- Earning a BSN online means greater flexibility.
As you know, nurses don’t always have the easiest or most flexible schedule. Hours vary place-to-place, and long shifts aren’t uncommon in a critical care setting. If you have other priorities at home, such as family, this can make it even harder to commit to college. Online BSN programs, however, allow you the flexibility to complete courses and assignments on your own time, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home. At Goodwin College, you can transition your RN to a BSN degree online in a matter of 16 months, part-time. Or, we can help you design the class schedule that works with best for you.
- You can still work while going back to school.
Online programs mean that you don’t have to put your life on hold to go back to nursing school. You can still work full-time or part-time while working towards your BSN – whichever you prefer! Rest assured that Goodwin’s RN to BSN online program has been designed around the busy lifestyles of Registered Nurses with part-time semester options available – because we understand that it can be hard to make it to class after a long day on your feet.
- You will earn a comprehensive, quality education.
Some nurses might worry that earning a BSN online will mean sacrificing a quality education. The truth is, when you choose an accredited, online nursing school, the quality of instruction remains the same. Goodwin College’s online RN to BSN program, for example, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), meaning our instructors and our coursework are held to the highest level of standards for a quality education.
The online BSN curriculum at Goodwin involves a variety of advanced-level nursing classes, such as Clinical Nursing Leadership, Healthcare Policy and Advocacy, and Community Health Nursing. Upon completion of their coursework, BSN grads are prepared to practice in hospitals, schools, home health care settings, physicians’ offices, and more.
Earning a BSN online can open many doors for you, without putting you out in terms of time or expense. Online programs are typically more affordable than on-campus classes, and at Goodwin College, you will know the fixed cost of your BSN tuition before you start classes. Online RN to BSN programs can also be completed in less than two years’ time. That said, is there any reason not to pursue a BSN online?
In your career thus far, you have already gained great clinical experience in healthcare settings. Now, you have the chance to further your experience as a nurse by focusing on professional development: By earning your BSN online while working full- or part-time, you will truly be granted the opportunity to grow – building relationships inside the industry, closing any gaps in your nursing skillset, and learning the latest developments within the nursing field.
Goodwin College’s online RN to BSN program is available to residents of Connecticut and other SARA states. Find out more about earning your BSN online by calling 800-889-3282 or visiting us online at www.goodwin.edu/bsn.