Calling all Registered Nurses! As an RN in the thriving field of healthcare, you are an essential member of the medical team. Your role is among the most important out there, as it is your job to direct, manage, and provide critical, compassionate care to patients in need.
It’s no wonder, then, why RN careers are growing at such a rapid rate. The baby boomer population is aging and requiring more medical care. Older nurses are retiring. Patient conditions, treatments, and technologies are advancing. More nurses are being called to step in and step up. All the while, more nurses are joining the field – leading to increased competition for nursing jobs, as well as increased expectations among employers.
Today, nearly 80 percent of healthcare employers express a strong preference for hiring BSN graduates. Some employers required RNs to have their BSN degree, while others require it for career advancement. “Generally,” states the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.”
If you are considering advancing your nursing career, a BSN degree program may be at the top of your to-do list. Not only is a bachelor’s in nursing preferred among employers, it is also a core stepping stone for many registered nurses. A BSN can do a couple key things for your future in nursing:
- It will give you the skills, knowledge, theory, and practice needed to think critically, creatively, and ethically, as well as demonstrate leadership skills when coordinating patient care.
- It will position you for advanced study, if you choose to pursue a graduate education later down the road.
Still, you may have a lot of questions about the whole “going back to nursing school” idea. Is it actually required to get a BSN? And, what are the BSN requirements requested of nursing school admissions? Will the required BSN courses be valuable for your growth? As a leading Connecticut nursing school with ADN, RN-to-BSN, and MSN degree options, Goodwin College answers these core questions below.
Is a BSN Required to Become a Nurse?
A bachelor’s degree in nursing is not required to become a registered nurse. You can pursue many successful careers in health clinics, private practices, hospitals, and more with an associate degree in nursing. However, as noted above, many employers are actively seeking BSN graduates. In fact, many states like Connecticut are working towards an 80 percent BSN workforce within the next two years.
It is worth noting, however, that some specific workplaces and employers will have BSN requirements in place. The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Veterans Administration, and the U.S. Public Health Service, for example, all require nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited BSN nursing program.
Which Prerequisites are Required of BSN Colleges?
BSN admission requirements will vary by school. Some colleges will require you to have prior work experience in nursing. Some will require you to submit a personal essay with your application. At Goodwin College, all RN-to-BSN program applicants are required to:
- Hold a current, unencumbered Registered Nurse license in the state where you practice
- Complete the application for admission into the College (applicants to the nursing program must first meet the requirements for admission and be accepted into Goodwin College)
- Complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Application; and
- Attend an academic advising session with the Nursing Department Academic Advisor
Once accepted into the RN-to-BSN program, students must fulfill any college-required immunizations before starting classes. These include mumps, measles, and rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). In addition, accepted BSN students are required to maintain current certification in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
What BSN Requirements Must Be Met Before Graduation?
To graduate with a BSN degree today, you must:
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and a minimum of a C+ in each of the nursing courses
- Meet all general graduation and college requirements as stated in the College catalog
- Complete a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours including all upper division nursing courses must be completed at Goodwin College
What are the Required BSN Courses?
Similar to the school’s own BSN requirements, BSN course requirements can vary depending on your institution. In general, you can expect to cover courses in the various sciences – anatomy, biology, microbiology, pharmacology, and more – as well as leadership and advocacy topics. At Goodwin College, the required, upper-level BSN classes include:
- Foundations of Professional Nursing
- Health Assessment
- Introduction to Nursing Research
- Public and Community Health Nursing
- Clinical Nursing Leadership
- Introduction to Healthcare Policy and Advocacy
- Seminar in Professional Nursing Leadership
You’ll also be required to complete directed electives in nursing, library research, and a list of core general education courses in cultural competency, public health, global studies, communications, and mathematics for health professions (or a statistics course). We find these required courses to be especially valuable and applicable to the advancing nursing field.
At Goodwin College, BSN students can complete their courses on their own time and entirely online. Working nurses with other obligations can complete our RN-to-BSN program in as few as 16 months part-time, for added convenience.
If you would like to learn more about Goodwin’s flexible, accredited, and fully online RN-to-BSN program, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
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.