Are you a registered nurse and considering a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) program? Find out which are the most essential RN-to-BSN courses to take, and why!
There is an important role in the healthcare field that provides personal, direct care to patients on a daily basis. That role is the heartbeat of the entire medical field: Nursing. Nurses provide an invaluable service to the sick and injured. Now, more than ever, we need qualified and well-trained nurses to step up. If you have already worked your way to become a registered nurse (RN), you may be thinking about advancing your career, and skillsets, with a bachelor’s degree. RN-to-BSN programs are a popular choice for many working nurses.
When you first set out to become a registered nurse, your program likely covered the basics: Anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and more. You learned what you needed to be successful in your role, from clinical nursing skills to compassionate patient care. However, you may have heard that more employers today are looking to hire nurses with a bachelor’s level education – a BSN – or that a BSN degree could advance your current duties in the nursing field. It is true. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that nearly 80% of employers are looking for nurses with a BSN degree.
The push for higher education within the nursing field may have you considering an RN-to-BSN program. This is a flexible option for already-working nurses that are looking to advance their role, their skills, and/or their pay, as well as qualify for more job opportunities within the nursing field. An RN-to-BSN program gives you flexibility and comprehensive course offerings that will enhance your already solid foundation of education, preparing you for an even brighter future ahead. What can you expect to learn in a BSN program that you haven’t already learned by now? Read on, as we break down some of the must-take RN-to-BSN courses.
Foundations of Professional Nursing
You may see this course in the BSN course list and think, “I’m already working as a professional nurse. Of course I know the foundations.” However, this course covers extremely valuable topics for advancing RNs. At Goodwin University, for example, BSN students are introduced to the Nursing Theoretical Framework, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), as well as the advanced roles and expectations of a professional nurse.
As you already know, every medical appointment involves assessments – assessment of a patient’s records, medical history, symptoms – as well as a thorough examination of each patient’s conditions. This specific BSN course helps hone the theoretical knowledge needed to assess these situations, as well as develop stronger examination skills. At Goodwin, RN-to-BSN students have the chance to perform a focused exam under the observation of the instructor.
Research is an ever-evolving element of the healthcare field. This RN-to-BSN class is designed to develop a nurse’s skillsets in clinical research and evidence-based practice. This course helps further refine your critical thinking skills so that these components can be actively integrated into your patient assessments. With these skills combined, you will be highly valued in your role as a progressing nurse.
Public Health and Community Health Nursing
Public health is a rapidly growing field, thanks to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the rise of other chronic illnesses and emerging diseases. RNs who work in public health spend their careers devoted to serving entire communities. Their work is critical in ensuring all people – no matter income or societal rank – have access to quality healthcare. If you have ever had an interest in becoming a public health nurse, this is a class to add to your BSN course list. Students who take this course learn about establishing partnerships within the healthcare system and providing custom, therapeutic care to demographics and under-served populations at the local, national, and international level. At Goodwin University, this course requires 45 clinical hours, enabling you to gain practical experience in public health nursing.
Healthcare Policy and Advocacy
As a working nurse, patient advocacy a core part of your role—you work in the best interests of your patients. Political advocacy plays an important role, too. This course examines the basic principles of political, social, and economic policies within healthcare, and how those impact nursing practice. Professors at Goodwin University provide students with a basic understanding of government influence, policy-making organizations, healthcare finance, and issues in global and population health, as well as their incorporation into the nurse’s daily practice. You will also explore the skills of effective political advocacy, activism, and empowerment – all important components that contribute to a greater understanding of how the healthcare system works.
As you consider your future in nursing, you may set your sights on a managerial role, such as a Nurse Manager or Healthcare Administrator. In this case, a class in nurse leadership can be a key component to your success. In the RN-to-BSN program at Goodwin, there are two required leadership courses for nurses: Clinical Nursing Leadership and a Seminar in Professional Nursing Leadership. These classes help students grow in order to become a change agent in the ever-changing healthcare field, and lead other aspiring nursing staff to provide effective, ethical, top-quality patient care.
In addition to the BSN courses listed above, students must complete 27 general education classes as well as 7 open electives as part of the RN-to-BSN program at Goodwin. Because it is an RN-to-BSN program, and not a traditional, entry-level bachelor’s program, nursing students may complete their courses in a matter of months. In fact, RN-to-BSN students can complete this program in just 16 months part-time at Goodwin. The program is designed to work with your schedule. Classes are available fully online to students in SARA states, so that you can finish your BSN degree at your own time, while working shifts at the hospital or clinic, and at your own pace. For local students, some BSN courses can be completed in a hybrid, online and on-campus format.
If you are interested in advancing your career in nursing, a BSN degree could be the best next step for you. Contact Goodwin University by calling 800-889-3282, or visit us online to request more information about the RN-to-BSN courses available.
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.