Are you planning to get your BSN in Nursing this year?
Going back to school after a long time is not an easy decision to make. A lot of nurses thinking about getting a BSN degree don’t pursue their enrollment because of many factors like age, time and finances.
To help you decide in getting a BSN degree, here are some strong reasons why you should get it this year:
1. A good spearhead for a flourishing career
You heard it right from seasoned nurses – if you want to jumpstart your career, go back to school. An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) lacks several important nursing courses that only a BSN degree can offer.
ADN programs are compressed with primary focus in nursing skill acquisition and NCLEX preparation. A BSN degree, on the other hand, prepares aspiring nurses educationally for advanced nursing practice.
To level up your career, you will need to compete advanced nursing programs or post-graduate degrees provided by different nursing associations and educational institutions. One basic requirement to qualify for these programs is a BSN degree. Truly, getting a BSN degree is your first step in moving up the career ladder.
2. Growing trend to push BSN among present RNs
According to The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, a report published by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Institute of Medicine, it is recommended that at least 80% of registered nurses hold baccalaureate degrees by 2020. This is essential in meeting the growing demands and complexity of healthcare in the next years.
It is predicted that as medical advancements pave the way to quality healthcare services, patients in hospitals will become sicker and frailer. Diseases and conditions with poor prognosis in the past are managed better nowadays, extending the average life expectancy of people with chronic diseases. But as a result, more patients with complex healthcare needs will stay longer in the hospital which will require more skilled nurses in the field and preferably with formal BSN degree.
The published report also influenced the hiring trends of employers in healthcare institutions. They prioritize BSN RNs over non-degree RNs as they are more flexible for unit assignments and promotions.
3. Earlier is better
Although it is true that it is never too late to study, earlier is still better. As we age, we are losing the drive to study and retain information. This is why it is best to go back to school as early as possible, while your mind and body are still sound for further education.
With growing trends in pursuing BSN among RNs, many schools offer RN-to-BSN programs. Over time, schools offering these programs will dwindle as more RNs got their BSN degrees. If you continue delaying your BSN degree, you will be left behind by the majority of the nursing workforce. In the future, as schools with RN-to-BSN programs decrease, it will be harder to pursue BSN education.
Also Read: Top 10 Cheapest RN to BSN Programs Online
4. Offers flexibility in nursing careers
Nurses with BSN degrees are educationally prepared to practice in a variety of settings. From home care, clinics, hospitals and up to individual case management, a BSN-holder nurse has flexibility to choose where to practice.
When moving up the career ladder from direct patient care, BSN nurses also have plenty of options to consider. They can accept promotion to leadership positions especially if they are candidates for masteral degrees. They can also choose other advanced fields of nursing like being a nurse educator, Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN), nurse anesthetist and many more.
5. Employee-covered tuition
With the goal of making 80% of RNs as bachelor degree holders by the year 2020, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change report encouraged healthcare employers to support their nurses in advancing their education. This paved the way for employer-covered tuition benefits for their nurses who will pursue RN-to-BSN programs.
If your employer offers this benefit, either in partial or full reimbursement, take advantage of it. This is a great opportunity that may not last long in the next years. With plans for healthcare reform underway, don’t let opportunities for career growth pass you by. Not everyone is given the opportunity for employee-covered studies.
6. Better salary and benefits
A nurse with bachelor’s degree typically has a higher salary than non-degree nurses. Nurses’ pay vary depending on their education and experience. According to Payscale.com, the pay difference between BSN nurses and non-degree nurses is around $20,000 – $30,000 annually. They are also qualified for better benefits especially if they are candidates for higher positions.
7. Higher quality of patient care
As mentioned earlier, ADN programs lack nursing courses that only a BSN program can offer. As you get your BSN degree, you will be educated to more complex nursing concepts that are important in patient care.
In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), baccalaureate and post-degree programs for nurses have a significant impact in knowledge and skill competency. BSN nurses are more prepared to handle critical situations in patient care as their skills in critical thinking, decision making, leadership and case management are honed educationally.
Also according to the Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes, a study published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, hospitals with higher percentage of RNs with baccalaureate and post-degree studies have lower incidences of patient care complications. Measured incidences of patient care complications in the study include congestive heart failure, decubitus ulcer, pulmonary embolism and postoperative deep vein thrombosis. The study concluded that increasing RN education reciprocate better patient outcomes.
8. Not as schedule-disrupting as you think
Majority of nurses thinking twice about getting BSN in Nursing are worried about schedule problems. Going back to school will interrupt their already busy schedule at work and at home.
Surprisingly, it’s not as hard as you think. Many schools offer online RN-to-BSN programs. This makes schooling possible while still working full-time and juggling responsibilities at home.
You also have the flexibility to modify your program as you wish. Some schools offer hybrid programs where you can combine online and classroom classes in completing your BSN degree,
In planning your career, you should never deprive yourself of the educational advancement opportunities offered around. Getting a BSN in Nursing is your key to more nursing opportunities. Ask your nursing manager about it and do your research well. There are many RN-to-BSN programs even fully offered through online so you will have easier flexibility in completing your degree.