The field of nursing – and healthcare as a whole – is constantly evolving. As the baby boomer population ages, as more complex health conditions are unveiled, and as medical technology and systems advance, more forward-thinking nursing positions are popping up. And now, healthcare employers are looking for highly-skilled, highly-educated nurses to step up to the plate to fill them.
Whether you are a seasoned RN or just entering the field, a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) can open many doors to advanced and thriving careers in the healthcare field. As a leading nursing school with both ADN and BSN degree options, Goodwin College knows these opportunities well. To help you understand what you can do with a BSN degree, we’ve outlined some of the most popular and fastest growing BSN career options below.
- Case Management Nurse
In registered nursing, it is typical to treat patients for only a short period of time: For example, wrapping a bandage, taking a person’s vital signs, or administering an IV. Case management nurses, on the other hand, focus on long-term patient care. They primarily care for patients with chronic or complicated medical conditions, treating them over the entire course of an illness or injury. Case management nurses work alongside doctors to coordinate, implement, and oversee a patient’s care from start to finish.
A bachelor’s degree is the preferred level of education for case management nurses today. In addition to higher education, hospital hiring managers also look for BSN nurses with hours of clinical experience and certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), although this is not required.
- Clinical Research Nurse
If you do not want to be involved with direct patient care, but still want to make an impact on the healthcare system, you may consider becoming a clinical research nurse. Research nurses are the behind-the-scenes professionals collecting data and information for medical studies. From measuring the effectiveness of a drug to exploring new medical processes, they help to prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate illness, enhance the overall healthcare system, and build the scientific foundation for clinical practice.
To become a research nurse today, it is recommended that you earn at least a BSN degree. This level of education will give you the comprehensive training and knowledge needed to land a job in a clinical setting. The right bachelor’s program will also help you develop the skills (critical thinking, writing and reading comprehension, time management, and more) needed to succeed in the medical research field.
- School Nurse
More than likely, you’ve encountered a few school nurses in your day. You know – the person you went to went you weren’t feeling well in class; the person you were sent to when you got hurt in Phys Ed. But did you know that school nurses take on other duties during the school days? These caregivers also help teachers assess the developmental needs and abilities of students, and further create a safe and effective learning environment for them to succeed. Not only do they work with illness, they also work with learning disabilities and mental health conditions (such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorders). Without a doubt, school nurses are among the most vital faculty members in schools today.
If you enjoy working with children, are a strong communicator, and are passionate about helping youth grow, a career as a school nurse may be the right path for you. According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), you must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing as well as RN licensure in order to qualify for an entry-level position as a school nurse.
“Baccalaureate nursing education develops competencies in leadership, critical thinking, quality improvement, and systems thinking. It provides graduates with nursing theory and clinical experience and cultivates their ability to translate research into evidence-based nursing practice. Baccalaureate prepared nurses also address and analyze current and emerging healthcare issues, including the need for health policy and healthcare financing.” – NASN
- Informatics Nurse
The healthcare field is consistently advancing, along with the information technology (IT) behind it. If you enjoy working with technology and have a knack for computer science, a career as an informatics nurse may be right up your alley. Informatic nurse specialists are integral members of the healthcare team, working to manage, interpret, and communicate the medical data, records, and systems that circle around a clinical facility. Informatic nurses also help develop new medical technologies for clinical settings and train other nurses on the latest IT systems.
A BSN degree is generally the minimum requirement for informatics nursing. In order to earn the informatics nursing credential from the ANCC, you must hold: (1) a current RN license; (2) a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nursing; (3) at least 30 hours of coursework in informatics nursing; (4) hands-on, clinical practice experience of 200 hours or more.
- Military/Army Nurse
If you are looking for a nursing career that is truly different from the rest – a career in which you can travel the world, run an entire hospital, use the most current and cutting-edge medical technology, be commissioned as an officer, and receive tuition reimbursement or compensation towards an advanced nursing degree – you might consider a position as a military nurse.
Military nurse officers have the option to serve the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, U.S. Navy, or Air Force. Your responsibilities and duties will depend on the path you take. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to work in peacetime, wartime, and across borders with foreign allies. In peacetime, you may care for active-duty personnel, military retirees, or civilian emergency patients. In wartime, you can expect to provide medical support directly to the wounded and critically ill. You may also have the opportunity to work with healthcare professionals from allied countries around the globe.
If you desire to work in the U.S. Army or U.S. Naval Corps, you must hold a BSN degree from an accredited nursing school. You must also be a U.S. citizen and be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty. Interestingly enough, the U.S. Army has positions available in many specialties, including obstetrics/gynecology, critical care, nurse anesthesia, community health, psychiatric health, as well as advanced practice nursing roles such as nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists. Additional training courses and educational opportunities are available to nurses in the U.S. Army and Naval Corps.
The question, “What can you do with a BSN degree?” comes with many answers. Not only can you pursue the thriving and highly rewarding jobs described above, you can also choose to pursue an MSN degree upon completing your BSN program.
BSN graduates are the future of the nursing field – start your career path today! Call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 to learn about earning your RN-to-BSN degree in Connecticut.
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.