Choosing an RN to BSN Program
If you want to know more about how a Bachelor's degree can expand your role as a nurse, what typical RN to BSN programs are like and what you need when you prepare to apply, our registered nurse on staff has written about these topics below. She has also provided insight into how she chose her own RN to BSN program in an effort to share her knowledge and experience.
As always, if you have additional questions or feedback for us, please let us know by emailing at email@example.com.
Why Should I Earn My BSN Degree?
As a Registered Nurse, you represent the largest segment of frontline healthcare providers in our nation. You have many responsibilities as an RN that affect the day to day functioning of the healthcare facility you work in. You are tasked with direct patient care, legal documentation, resource management and delegation of duties. The quality of your work is directly tied to your patients’ health, as well as to the health of your facility, the profession of nursing as a whole, and the larger systems of healthcare in our nation.
By choosing a career as a Registered Nurse, you have already proven that you are dedicated to improving health. By choosing to expand your education, you can demonstrate your dedication to improving not just individual health, but the overall healthcare system itself.
Earning your BSN degree is one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of care in the U.S. Studies have demonstrated that facilities staffed with a majority of Baccalaureate prepared nurses consistently demonstrate lower mortality rates, enjoy higher patient satisfaction scores, and achieve better outcomes of care.
To learn more about your options for attaining your BSN, click on the schools featured below, in order to request program materials. You can submit requests to as many schools as you like, and we encourage you to ask for as much information as you need to make a well informed decision. An educated nurse is a powerful player in the healthcare system, and we are here to help you achieve your educational goals.
Advancing Your Education May Advance Your Practice
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Committee on the Quality of Health Care in America (CQHCA), there is a great deal of work to be done on the road to improving the quality of healthcare in our nation. According to their 2001 report “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century” there are three key recommendations for improvement.
Recommendation 1: All healthcare organizations, professional groups, and private and public purchasers should adopt as their explicit purpose to continually reduce the burden of illness, injury and disability, and to improve the health and function of the people of the United States.
One of the most effective ways for the nursing profession to follow this recommendation is by promoting the standardization of high levels of education for RNs. There have been decades long discussions regarding the educational level of entry into the nursing profession, and while the issue is yet to be resolved, there are clear indicators that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is favored by many organizations, institutions and employers. RN to BSN programs help bridge the gap for many nurses, offering a feasible way to earn a BSN degree.
Evidence based practice is a powerful buzzword in nursing, and applies not only to the care we provide patients, but to the standards we hold our profession to as well. If the evidence demonstrates that our patients are safer, our care more effective, and our outcomes more beneficial when we are educated at the Baccalaureate level, we should base our practice upon that solid foundation.
If you are concerned about how you can expand your education, while best maintaining your current work and home schedule, an RN to BSN bridge program can help you achieve your educational goals without placing undue pressure upon your pre-exisiting responsibilities.
Most of these programs are designed with working RNs in mind. Many programs allow for part time or full time options, and often offer classes just one day per week, or in the evenings. The online options for RN to BSN have also expanded in recent years, with many schools providing programs that allow you to complete your Bachelor’s studies from home.
For more information, contact the schools featured on our listings, requesting the information you need to move forward with your nursing education.
A Glimpse in the RN to BSN Bridge Curriculum
As you look into your options for RN to BSN bridge programs, you will want to make sure that you are aware of admissions requirements, the application process, and requirements for completion. Most programs will require proof of a valid, unrestricted RN license, proof of immunizations and health assessment, transcripts from your RN completion program, along with personal, professional and/or academic references.
A Bachelor’s nursing program will include the broad general education requirements that you may not have been required to take when you first became a Registered Nurse. Some programs may dictate that general education courses such as Speech, English/Literature, and Philosophy be taken prior to upper level Nursing courses, while others may incorporate these courses across the program.
Most of the Nursing specific courses you will take in an RN-BSN program are focused on expanding your current skill set and knowledge base, in order to enhance the nursing care you provide. There is also a component of what you will learn that is intended to develop leadership skills, improve your managerial abilities, and incorporate high level conceptual knowledge into your practice.
Typical nursing courses in an RN to BSN program may include:
- Nurse Leadership in the 21st Century
- Advanced Nursing Theory
- Translating Nursing Research into Evidence Based Practice
- Community Health Assessment
- Population Based Nursing
- Global Health Perspectives
- Nursing: Lifespan Development
- Nursing Capstone
Most Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, including RN to BSN programs and second degree BSN programs, require approximately 30-40 credit hours of Nursing coursework. RN-BSN bridge programs also require 30-50 credits of general education requirements. Some of these credit requirements may transfer from your RN program, but it is important to speak with an advisor to learn which of your previous courses can be applied to your BSN.
There will also be a clinical component to all RN to BSN programs, which will likely be focused on nursing within community settings. Clinical settings may include public health agencies, elementary and secondary schools, homeless shelters, free clinics, outreach agencies, and mental health facilities. When you became an RN, your clinicals were geared toward learning basic nursing skills and techniques. BSN level clinicals are geared toward learning how to practice in varied settings, under variable conditions, and with a wide patient demographic.
Career Options for Baccalaureate Prepared Nurses
In addition to enhancing the quality of care you can provide, obtaining your Bachelor’s Degree can open up new doors to employment and career advancement as well. Though specific differences in salary between Diploma, Associate’s and Bachelor’s prepared nurses are not tracked through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many sources have reported higher salaries for those nurses who hold a BSN.
If you plan to stay in your current position after earning your BSN, you may find that the self-satisfaction and level of respect from peers, along with an enhanced understanding healthcare systems and nursing that can result, far outweigh any change in compensation.
To explore your options for earning your Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing, peruse the schools on our site, contacting those that offer the program you are interested in. At BestNursingDegree.com, we are committed to transforming the future of nursing, one educated nurse at a time- that’s why we want to help you find the nursing education that is best for you! Thanks for taking the time to visit our site, and please let us know if we are missing any schools, programs or essential information by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not a nurse yet, please check out our directory of second degree nursing programs. Also, please feel free to use the "feedback" tab to let us know how we’re doing. Thanks for visiting!