Many employers today are requiring nurses to hold a BSN degree. If you are already working as a registered nurse, this may come as no surprise. One decade ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for more BSN-educated nurses in the workforce. They suggested that by the year 2020, 80 percent of registered nurses should hold a Bachelor’s in Nursing. A BSN education, they wrote, would better equip nurses “to meet the demands of an evolving health care system.” It would also give modern nurses more proficiency in topics like health policy, public health, leadership, and quality improvement—which often are not covered in traditional associate degree programs.
Whether you are new to nursing or a seasoned RN, and seeking an advanced degree, you may have questions like, “How hard is a Bachelor’s in Nursing?” and “What challenges can I expect?” You may be wondering how many all-nighters you’ll have to pull, how difficult the exams can be, or how hard it is to take classes while working a full-time job. The truth is, any degree can be difficult, and a BSN is no exception. But that is no reason to stay away from it! If you are hardworking, determined, and truly passionate about helping others, you may find that getting a BSN is easier than you originally thought.
A BSN is reflective of a nurse’s skill, professionalism, and dedication to the field. The more training you check off, and the more education you fulfill, the greater prepared you will be to provide quality care to patients. In fact, research from the Journal of Nursing Administration shows that nurses with a Bachelor’s in Nursing have better treatment outcomes than those without, including reduced inpatient stays and higher survival rates. Nurses with a BSN also report less difficulty managing complex patient cases and an easier time incorporating critical thinking on the job.
So, let’s get back to the question: How hard is a Bachelor’s in Nursing really? This comes with a very subjective answer. Some students excel in clinical experiences, but struggle in classroom lectures. Some students experience the reverse. The challenges you will face in nursing school be unique to your own situation, skillsets, experiences, and your level of dedication to the work. It will also depend on your study habits, your time management skills, your interest in the program, and the path you take to get your BSN degree.
BSN programs are offered in a variety of formats, including on-campus and online classes, or a hybrid of the two. Some students excel in an online BSN program, because they can take the classes at their own pace while balancing other obligations. Others may do better in an in-person classroom environment, where they are held more accountable for “showing up.” Again, this will vary based on your learning style and needs. If you need help determining which format is best for you, check out this article.
Goodwin University offers flexible nursing programs, where all students have the opportunity to design a schedule that’s right for them. Our RN-to-BSN program, for example, was created for already-licensed nurses with crazy schedules, who may benefit from online flexibility. The BSN courses are offered entirely online and can be completed in as few as 16-months part-time. Or, you can design the classes to meet your specific scheduling needs. This allows BSN students to keep their career and balance other obligations, all while earning their degree. Here are what some of our students have to say about Goodwin’s nursing school:
“I’m a mother of 7; I work 7 days a week; and I was able to graduate the program with honors.” – Zoey, BSN graduate
“The Goodwin Nursing program provided me with the flexible day and evening clinical rotation schedule to meet my busy schedule.” – Tiffany, ADN graduate
“Earning two nursing degrees from Goodwin made me realize I have the ability to achieve what I set my mind to.” – Crystalann, ADN and BSN graduate
Goodwin also offers an accelerated BSN (ABSN) for non-nurses with a bachelor’s degree in a different major. This program is offered in a hybrid, on-campus/online format, and can be completed in as few as 16 months full-time. Is it hard to get an ABSN? While the coursework can be considered a bit more “intensive,” as it is accelerated after all, it does allow you to earn your BSN after changing career paths in just a matter of months, or on a timeline that works for you.
How to Make Earning a BSN Degree Easier
To be successful in any degree program, and specifically in a Bachelor’s in Nursing program, there are steps you can take to prepare. For example, you may perfect your time management skills by creating a schedule to complete assignments or classes. You may improve your focus by creating a dedicated work or study space in your home, which will come in handy for those taking classes online. In addition, we recommend:
- Making a daily or weekly to-do list, or invest in a great planner to keep you on track
- Setting short-term and long-term goals, to guide you along the way
- Building connections with other peers in your nursing program, collaborating with them, and even creating a study group. It is often said that nurses make lifelong friends in nursing school!
- Establishing balance in your schedule, and committing to personal and family time as well. This will help you stay positive and motivated.
- Asking for help when you need it. Whether you are taking classes online or in-person, your professors are always available to chat when you need them. Do not hesitate to ask questions or ask for help if you get stuck. They are there to guide you.
Whether you are an already working nurse or just starting out in the field, the thought of a bachelor’s degree can be daunting. Balancing a career, a family, and coursework may be hard to do. Committing to classes and studying can be intimidating. But remember, this can be said about any field. And with hard work, passion, and motivation, you can get your BSN degree in no time at all. It doesn’t need to take a dreaded four years to complete.
At Goodwin, it is our goal to make sure that a nursing degree is always within your reach. No matter your situation, you have the ability to earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing here, at your own pace. To learn more about our flexible nursing programs, please do not hesitate to call 800-889-3282 today. You may also visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University 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 University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.