According to the US Health Resources and Services Administration, the District of Columbia, along with 44 other states, could be experiencing a significant shortage of nurses by 2020. This means that if you are already a nurse, you may be called upon to fill an even larger role in the delivery of healthcare as time moves on. In order to be prepared for the added responsibilities you will be facing as our healthcare system continues to evolve, it is wise to expand your education now.
The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice recommends that about 60 percent of RNs should hold a BSN or higher in order to meet the ever-increasing needs of today's healthcare institutions. However, only about 37 percent of RNs have earned a BSN degree. At BestNursingDegree.com, we are committed to helping increase those statistics.
As you investigate nursing schools in Washington D.C. that offer RN to BSN programs, take your time and gather the information you need to make a solid decision. There are only a handful of nursing schools in D.C. proper that offer this program, but Maryland nursing schools so offer this program as well. Another option is to look into the online RN to BSN programs that are featured below. Most of the schools that offer online RN to BSN routes allow you to work on your own schedule, self-assign your own clinical sites, and offer a degree of flexibility that can made returning to school easier to handle.
Be sure to request information from as many schools as you can so you are able to compare important program characteristics such as admissions requirements, costs, financial aid options and any campus visits that may be required.like. Start researching today to ensure that you are prepared to meet the future needs of our nation's healthcare system as a well-educated nurse.
RN to BSN Curriculum
Nursing schools in the D.C. area that offer RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) programs provide additional schooling to registered nurses whose initial education in nursing started with an Associate's degree or diploma. These bridge programs help prepare you for a higher level of nursing practice, and some career paths that may only be open to nurses who hold a Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree is also a prerequisite for admission to most graduate nursing programs, and to pursue many administrative and teaching positions.
The curriculum of RN to BSN programs in D.C. is designed to improve and advance your professional nursing career by going beyond teaching clinical skills; it includes a more in-depth look at physical and social sciences, communication, public and community health, nursing research, leadership and critical thinking. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), this additional course work enhances your professional development and prepares you for a broader scope of practice.
Most programs, including our featured schools, offer flexible class schedules to meet the needs of working nurses, with programs that can be completed in 12 months of full-time study. If you are looking for nursing schools in D.C. that offer part time enrollment, you may also want to check into the accredited online RN to BSN options. These programs have expanded in recent years, in response to the need for more Baccalaureate prepared nurses, and offer viable routes to getting your BSN.
Results from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)—U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports show that as the health care system grows more complex, the demand for services is escalating, which makes the delivery of health care services more challenging each year. Factors underlying these growing challenges include an aging population with increasingly complex chronic conditions, economic challenges, consumers who demand better quality of health care and an increasingly diverse national population that requires cultural competency and sensitivity.
Career Outlook for Bachelor's Prepared Nurses
Nurses are the largest component of the health care workforce, and they play a critical role in addressing such challenges; however, projections anticipate a shortage of registered nurses over the next decade (ANA, 2010), which leads to the need for enhanced education among current nurses.
The AACN encourages nurses with diplomas or Associate's degrees to advance their career by obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. In a competitive work environment, the registered nurse who has earned a BSN degree may have a significant advantage over a job candidate with an Associate's degree; that could be the determining factor between landing the position or being passed over for a more qualified applicant.
Completing an RN to BSN program can also improve your career outlook. Nurses with a BSN degree may have better job prospects than those without one (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010), especially as time goes on. Overall, RNs with BSN degrees are often paid at a higher rate than RNs with Associate's degrees, and median wages for registered nurses working in the District of Columbia are $75,000 (O*Net, 2012). If you are ready to qualify yourself for expanded job opportunities, improved earning potential and are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to your patients, it is time to earn your BSN.
Submit your requests for information to the nursing schools in D.C. that offer the RN to BSN program you are interested in to get started!
Schools to Consider
- Howard University. Students may complete Howard's RN to BSN track in one year of full-time study; part-time study is also available. The program begins with the summer session. Courses include health assessment across the lifespan; nursing research; interdisciplinary healthcare ethics; and health policy and economics. The 32 units of nursing must be completed at Howard.
- University of the District of Columbia. Students must be practicing RNs. The program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Classes are small and include legal issues and health policy; nursing research; and urban community health issues theory and practicum.
- Trinity Washington University. Students may progress through Trinity's RN to BSN program on a full-time or part-time basis. Courses include policy and politics in nursing; nursing research and evidence-based practice; community and public health nursing; and an individualized capstone project. Students must complete at least 32 credits at Trinity.