In the in-demand field of nursing, earning a BSN can vault you into more challenging roles with higher earning potential.
Nursing employment is likely to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, twice the rate of the national average. 439,300 new nurses will be necessary to meet this demand. The need for stronger nurse training is just as urgent. With the field’s emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions, increasing access to health insurance and an aging Baby Boomer population, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that 80 percent of the RN workforce hold a baccalaureate degree by 2020.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees are well-prepared to meet the demands placed on today’s nurse. BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Nurse executives, federal agencies, the military, leading nursing organizations, healthcare foundations, magnet hospitals and minority nurse advocacy groups all recognize the unique value that baccalaureate-prepared nurses bring to the practice setting.”
A Stronger Educational Foundation
An RN to BSN program builds on your ADN or diploma training with more rigorous study of the physical and social sciences, nursing research, public health and nursing management. A good program will also offer a background in the cultural, social, political and economic factors that influence healthcare delivery.
Training opportunities in an RN to BSN program can also enhance your professional development with practical clinical experience in a variety of settings, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, community health centers and nursing homes.
A BSN also provides the necessary prerequisite coursework to qualify for master’s and Ph.D. programs in nursing.
Measurably Better Patient Outcomes
Medical research has demonstrated a strong correlation between levels of nursing education and patient outcomes :
- Research in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Nursing Administration found that hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN-prepared nurses had lower rates of congestive heart failure mortality, decubitus ulcers, failure to rescue and postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, as well as shorter lengths of stay.
- A University of Pennsylvania study found that surgical patients have a higher survival rate when treated by BSN-prepared nurses. In hospitals, a 10 percent increase in BSN level nurses decreased the risk of patient death and failure to rescue by 5 percent.
- A Michigan University study found that a 10 percent increase in BSN nurses correlated with a reduction in patient mortality by 10.9 percent.
Improved Nursing Competencies
Online RN to BSN programs develop essential research, management and clinical skills. Courses and experiential training enhance the critical thinking and leadership capabilities required in positions of greater authority. Graduates work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services and medical clinics. Their roles include the following:
- Treating patients and helping them cope with specific diseases.
- Developing long-term treatment and management plans.
- Educating patients, families and the public about health concerns.
- Supervising nurses and delegating responsibilities in patient care.
- Performing lab work and analysis.
- Assisting doctors in major procedures and surgeries.
A nurse who has earned a BSN degree qualifies for many positions with more responsibility and higher compensation. Promotions and raises are common, as employers compete to retain BSN-level nurses. Many employers also pay for relocation and offer recruitment incentives.
As you contemplate your future in nursing, consider investing in an RN to BSN program to prepare yourself for an ever-increasing array of career options.
Learn more about the Colorado Mesa online RN to BSN program.
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