A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN or BS in Nursing) prepares nurses to work in the evolving healthcare system. Nurses who pursue the necessary education can provide optimal patient care. Besides the common benefits of a bachelor’s degree, there are also unexpected advantages in advancing education.
The Usual Benefits of a BSN
A bachelor's degree is a stepping-stone to many career advantages in nursing. The frequently cited reasons for acquiring a baccalaureate degree are:
- More job opportunities.
- Higher salaries.
- Career advancement.
Most nurses know that the Institute of Medicine (IOM), known as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) since 2015, recommended that at least 80 percent of the nursing workforce hold a bachelor's degree by 2020. In addition to improved patient outcomes, employment opportunities and earning potential are better when nurses hold a baccalaureate degree.
With a baccalaureate degree, nurses can qualify for leadership positions that involve supervising a team of junior level nurses or planning a patient's care from the time they are admitted to the time they are discharged. Moreover, nurses with a baccalaureate degree can go on to earn a master's or doctorate degree, which enables them to further advance in their nursing careers.
With a master's degree, nurses can become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists or nurse midwifes. Nurses who earn a doctorate degree can work in advanced clinical, teaching or research positions. But there are other benefits of a bachelor's degree.
Confidence and Quality Patient Care
Nurses working toward a bachelor's degree can build confidence in their nursing practice. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses with bachelor's degrees provide higher standards of care and ensure patient safety. Studies show a correlation between bachelor's-prepared nurses and lower rates of pressure ulcers, post-operative deep vein thrombosis, infections and fatalities.
Networking in an Online Program
Students enrolled in an online RN to BS program make connections with nurses and faculty across the country. An online program allows students to gain a broader perspective. Students discuss healthcare issues, techniques and different points of view regarding nursing as they interact with a more diverse group of classmates.
An associate program condenses nursing curricula into core courses necessary to become an RN. Thus, ADNs learn only the basics needed to enter the nursing profession and provide patient care.
A bachelor's program incorporates courses like nursing theory, health assessment, nursing ethics and community nursing as well as nursing research. Furthermore, nurses in a bachelor's program are taught communication, critical thinking and leadership skills.
Jobs Outside of Healthcare Settings
Sometimes nurses decide they need a change so they seek jobs outside of healthcare facilities. If they hold a baccalaureate degree, they are more likely to find those opportunities.
Insurance companies hire nurses as health coaches to consult clients about healthy living. Attorneys also employ nurses to interpret medical records and testify as expert witnesses. Occupational nurses work for businesses to provide care to employees.
Completing a baccalaureate program is a sign that a nurse is committed to achieving the best patient outcomes. Nurses with a BSN are better prepared to collaborate with other healthcare professionals and participate in delivery of care within interdisciplinary treatment teams.
Why Should Nurses Enroll in an Online RN to BS Program?
For nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree, an online program is a flexible and convenient alternative to attending classes on campus. An online program allows nurses to continue working while pursuing their bachelor's degree. They can complete the program at their own pace, while maintaining work and family schedules.
The curriculum in a BS program helps nurses develop skills that enable them to work in a wide variety of settings. But most importantly, a bachelor's degree instills pride and self-assurance, along with the knowledge needed to navigate the complicated healthcare system and provide excellent patient care.
Learn more about the URI online RN to BS in Nursing program.
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