As the landscape of healthcare changes, one fact remains true: the United States needs more nurses. This nursing shortage is present in Washington state, where only two workforce development areas report a balance in supply in demand for RNs, according to Washington State Employment Security Department figures (2013). All of the remaining reporting areas document that demand outweighs supply.
Accelerated BSN degrees, also called second degree BSN programs, allow you to complete your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree in as little as 12-18 months. Approved schools offer courses during the day, during the evening, or online. This allows as many students as possible to earn their nursing degree, with as much flexibility as possible.
If you are ready to learn more about your options, please take some time to review the programs in our featured schools section, below. These programs usually offer online options, and may allow you to complete clinical requirements at a facility near your current location. Requesting programs details from each school will help to provide you with the information you need in order to select a school that can best meet your needs.
To provide prospective nurses who already have a non nursing degree access to obtain nursing degrees, more schools are now offering accelerated or fast track BSN programs. This degree can prepare you for a position as a nursing professional in Washington State, while building upon the education you already have.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Washington
Before you start applying to accelerated BSN programs online and in Washington, take a look at your college transcript and make sure you have your prerequisite courses completed. Each college is different, but most schools require prior coursework in anatomy, human biology, and chemistry.
As soon as you begin your nursing program, you get to start learning skills that you will use on the nursing floor. Early in your program, you will take classes like mental health nursing, evidence based nursing practice, and pharmacology. These classes are also taken by ADN students.
Higher-level courses in nursing are next. Included in this group are classes in statistics, adult health nursing, child nursing, and community partnerships. There are research opportunities in accelerated BSN programs. This is a great opportunity for those who want to carve out a nursing niche for themselves. Washington is constantly looking for new advances in nursing, as evidenced by the state's recent grant to promote chronic pain intervention.
Your clinical practice will be where you really get to hone your nursing skills. You will perform nursing skills—blood draws, health assessments, cervical checks, and more—in a variety of clinical settings. Most schools have a list of approved clinical sites that you can work at. While working at a clinical site, you may figure out where you want to work after graduation.
Career Outlook in Washington
The state of Washington has a very high median salary for nurses; at $74,300, it is considerably higher than the national average. Nurses can generally earn between $51,800 per year and $103,200 per year, depending upon educational level, practice setting, and experience. Due to a surge in new nursing jobs, there are expected to be 2,320 job openings every year between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2013). This is a expected growth rate for Washington state of 22%.
The difficult part might be choosing which Washington facility you want to work at. Some of the major healthcare facilities in Washington include CoreMedical Group, Gentiva Health Services, Conmed Inc, Franciscan Health System, Overlake Terrace, and St. Joseph Medical Center. Finding work in Washington may prove to become easier in the years to come, as Washington hospitals try to staff more nurses to prevent patient falls, according to a piece on NPR.
Licensing Considerations in Washington
If working as a nurse in Washington is your ultimate goal, you will have to earn your nursing license from the Washington State Department of Health Nursing Commission. You can apply for a license online after passing the required NCLEX-RN exam. After licensure, you have to renew every three years to maintain your license. You must also be able to demonstrate proof of completion of 45 hours of continuing education every three years.
Once you have earned your license from the Nursing Commission in Washington, you are able to join the Washington State Nurses Association. Members can take part in nursing legislature in each legislative session, get access to special continuing education opportunities, and enjoy nursing union protection.
Regardless of where you end up working after you graduate, BestNursingDegree.com would like to help you find the best school to start you off. Be sure to request as much information as you need to make a well informed decision about the school that is right for you.