As a professional nurse, your role in healthcare is contingent upon your dedication to lifelong learning and your ability to apply that learning to your caregiving experience. Nursing is a distinct discipline that requires technical knowledge, intuition and a comprehensive approach to nursing research. Many of these traits are learned informally, or on the job, but there are ways to expand your nursing knowledge even more.
One way is to return to school to earn your Bachelor's degree in Nursing. The role of the professional nurse continues to expand and broaden, as a result of healthcare reform, the graying of the population, and healthcare provider shortages. The attributes you can incorporate into your practice as you earn your BSN, are becoming increasingly important, especially to healthcare employers.
At BestNursingDegree.com, we understand that you are driven to expand your nursing education. As you look into Bachelor's Degree programs, we want to save you time and effort, so we've compiled a list of all the RN to BSN programs available to you in Massachusetts. Feel free to request information from as many schools as you'd like, including the featured schools, which offer distance learning options in addition to on campus programs. Finding the right degree programs starts with obtaining the information you need to make a well informed decision, and we are glad to help.
The evolution of healthcare brings new challenges to the RN in Massachusetts, especially for those at the bedside. According to The American Nurse, a recent study by the Institute of Medicine, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, has concluded that BSN nurses have significantly increased positive outcomes for patients. This realization, and the widespread dissemination of this knowledge has sparked legislative proposals that would require nurses to obtain a BSN within ten years of becoming an RN. In order to stay at the forefront of your profession, begin planning for your expanded education today, taking advantages of all the resources we have to offer.
Curriculum of RN to BSN Programs
Your existing knowledge of nursing and experience with patient care can only benefit from the advancement of nursing information as presented in the BSN program. The BSN curriculum is designed for the experienced nurse and can further your knowledge in leadership, management and professionalism that may assist you in these demanding roles. The BSN curriculum may also include advanced education in areas such as:
- Nursing research, clinical studies and theories assist you to provide evidence-based treatment for patient care
- Advanced studies in the management of complex systems and health issues prepare you for a broader scope of practice
- Clinical experiences sharpen and advance your nursing diagnostic reasoning, assessment skills and evaluation techniques based on superior critical thinking skills
- Pathophysiology for nurses provides increased knowledge on the signs, symptoms and treatments for advanced illness and conditions
In Massachusetts, nurses can expect to complete a transitional BSN program within two years. Programs are offered in part and full time schedules that may be designed for the working RN.
Careers for RN to BSN Graduates
Massachusetts offers several opportunities for the RN with a BSN degree. Most specialty areas in hospitals, entrepreneurial positions and advancements in nursing practice require a BSN. Even as a new graduate of an RN to BSN program in Massachusetts you may find expanded opportunities such as:
- A certified mental health RN, who visits patients in their homes, contracts with mental health facilities or practices full time for healthcare facilities
- Wound and Ostomy nursing, which provides specialty care and requires a BSN and advanced education for certification
- Nurse administrator, director or executive roles in healthcare facilities, which require a BSN for consideration
Nurses who hold a Bachelor's degree in Nursing are increasingly preferred and respected. Premiere hospitals that hold Magnet status in Massachusetts, such as Children's Hospital of Boston, are pushing to hire only BSN prepared nurses, and are adjusting their internal policies to reflect this trend. As a Bachelor's prepared nurse in Massachusetts, you may be considered for positions that are not available to ADN and diploma nurses, making your decision to invest in your education quite compelling. The future of nursing depends heavily upon the education of our nursing workforce, which, when expanded, often results in advanced social standing, respect and improved quality of care.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Massachusetts RNs are among the most highly paid in the nation. About 85,120 RNs are licensed in the state. This may seem like an adequate number of RNs for a small state, but a Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN) report predicts the state will experience a 29 percent shortage of RNs by 2020. The BLS says RN jobs will grow 22 percent by 2018. The MACN report also found that Massachusetts RNs are better educated than the national average. About 50 percent of Massachusetts RNs hold a BSN degree or higher, compared to the US average of 37 percent. A BSN degree offers many opportunities for career advancement.
Schools to Consider
- University of Massachusetts - Amherst: Coursework is delivered online, with occasional on-campus days. The program's clinical component may be completed at a location convenient to the student. Full-time study is three courses per semester with program completion taking three semesters. Part-time study is two courses per semester, allowing for completion in six semesters.
- Salem State University: This is a part-time evening program that may be completed at the student's own pace. The nursing classes are held on site at Salem State and Essex Community College. Some courses are available online. Clinical time is required for two courses and requires six hours per week for a semester. Applicants are admitted year-round.
- University of Massachusetts - Boston: This is a largely online RN to BSN program, designed for the working nurse. Students select study times that fit their schedules. Students may elect to visit the campus if they wish. The community health practicum requires 84 hours.