You’ve been working as a registered nurse (RN) for a while now and your experience has only solidified your passion for the profession. You love the fact that you get to help patients day in and day out. But you’re thinking it’s time to take the next step in your career by obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Going from RN BSN can be intimidating, which is why you probably have some questions and concerns. Will I be able to juggle school and work? Is it really going to be worth it?
These are valid questions that many others have asked before you. But there are plenty of benefits to furthering your education as a nurse. We connected with some nursing pros to identify nine advantages that are hard to ignore.
1. Courses are flexible
Many RN to BSN programs are offered online. Unlike your on-campus undergraduate courses, taking classes online can afford you a great amount of flexibility for your schedule and study habits. If you’re a morning person or just need to do your work after the kids are asleep, online classes may be a welcome change for you. Plus, you can schedule your study time when it’s convenient for you, a saving grace for working students.
2. You can do it in one year
You may be surprised to hear you can complete an RN to BSN nursing program in as few as 12 months!* There’s no need to wait years and years to advance your career. This quick completion time will help you stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.
3. It will round out your skill set
Unlike your undergraduate courses, which focused heavily on hands-on clinical skills, your RN to BSN courses will help you acquire a more holistic understanding of nursing.
“Better education makes you better at what you do.”
“Nurses who go back to school for their BSN learn the ‘why’ of what they are doing instead of just how to do it,” says Deborah Carlson, RN, BSN, BST and director of nursing at Boynton Health Service. She finds these nurses have better assessment skills and know how to delegate, manage and develop others.
The curriculum is designed to sharpen your leadership skills and develop communication and problem-solving abilities that can help you excel in the workplace. These skills were proved to be stronger in nurses with BSNs, according to a study by Research in Nursing and Health.
4. It can open doors for your career
You probably enrolled in nursing school to become a nurse, but there are many different nursing specialties you can pursue once you have some experience under your belt. Certain specialty positions – like a nurse anesthetist, nurse educator or case management nurse – require you to have a BSN. Plus, if you have any ambitions of moving into a leadership position – like a becoming a Nurse Manager – a BSN will eventually be necessary.
5. You’ll qualify for more jobs
The nursing field is on the rise, with a projected growth of 19 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earning a BSN can help you capitalize on this growth by becoming eligible for more nursing jobs.
We used real-time job analysis software from Burning-Glass.com to examine nearly 700,000 nursing jobs posted over the past year.** We found that RNs with an associate degree only qualified for 52 percent of those jobs, while RNs with a BSN qualified for 80 percent of the jobs. The Law of Averages tells us that the larger the job pool, the greater chance you’ll have to land a position.
6. You’ll have higher earning potential
As a general rule of thumb in most industries, the higher your education level, the higher the earning potential you’ll have. Carlson says many hospitals pay higher salaries to nurses with a BSN.
“The BSN will also figure into decisions about promotions and professional growth,” says Wendie A. Howland, seasoned nurse and owner of Howland Health Consulting.
7. You’ll be eligible for career advancement
“If a nurse professional wishes to go into leadership, having a BSN is an absolute requirement,” says Rae Ellen Douglas, nursing practice managing partner of Kaye/Bassman International.
Nurses with a BSN will still be tasked with the usual duties associated with the profession, such as taking vitals, recording symptoms and educating patients on how to manage their illnesses. But a BSN will afford you the opportunity to pursue specializations, senior-level positions and leadership roles within the organization, according to Nursing Licensure.
8. You’ll be ahead of the curve
There is currently a movement amongst healthcare leaders and lawmakers to increase the education required of RNs. Several states have submitted bills proposing an initiative called “BSN in Ten”. This regulation would require nurses to obtain their BSN within ten years of beginning their practice, according to Nursing Licensure.
“Most healthcare organizations are moving toward making it a minimum standard for employer,” says healthcare consultant Joe Welfeld. Although these laws have not been enacted yet, some hospitals don’t even consider any nurses without a BSN.
9. You’ll improve as a nurse
“Better education makes you better at what you do,” says Howland. It’s pretty simple, really.
Patient outcomes correlate with the amount of education a nurse has completed, according to a according to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. In other words, the patients who were cared for by RNs with BSNs experienced lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates. This suggests the more BSN-level nurses a hospital has, the better their patient outcomes.
Take advantage of the opportunity
There’s no denying that an RN to BSN program is worthwhile. Not only can it open up a world of potential for your career, but it can also ultimately make you a better nurse for your patients.
So what are you waiting for? Take your career into your own hands and capitalize on these BSN benefits. Check out our RN to BSN degree page to take the next step in advancing your nursing career today!
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