An associate degree in nursing (ADN) is an ideal start for people seeking an entry-level nursing position. But, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) can help nurses remain competitive in the job market. Additionally, registered nurses (RNs) with a BSN are prepared to face the challenges and changes that constantly occur in healthcare. Online RN to BSN programs are a great way for nurses to earn a baccalaureate degree and move ahead in their careers.
What Is an Online RN to BSN program?
An online RN to BSN builds on the preparation that nurses acquire in an ADN program. Nurses can complete most online RN to BSN programs entirely online without traveling to a campus. An RN to BSN typically takes two years or less to complete.
Why Should Nurses Have a BSN?
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) — renamed the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2015 — released its report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health which calls for increasing the proportion of BSN-prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020, and employers have paid attention. The result is that most employers now prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.
Moreover, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorses the BSN as the minimal level of preparation for the nursing practice. This is due to the expanding role of nurses in healthcare. The AACN believes that BSN-prepared nurses have the necessary clinical, scientific and leadership skills needed to make life-and-death decisions, create comprehensive care plans, identify the signs and symptoms of diseases, and determine the best interventions. Thus, the BSN is rapidly becoming the educational minimum for even entry-level nursing positions.
How the BSN Helped a Nurse With Her Career Goal
Monique Summers is a graduate of the University of New Mexico (UNM) online RN to BSN program. Summers decided to become a nurse after being an administrative assistant in the healthcare field. After completing an associate degree, Summers began the RN to BSN program while working as a school nurse.
Summers did not know what to expect when she started the program but said, "I do not think anything prepares you for being a nurse, but the classes I was taking online helped me in my day-to-day job. A lot of the program focuses on leadership. It was definitely valuable." The flexibility of the program allowed Summers to continue working while she completed her degree.
Now, Summers has a new position as an RN in the Maternal Child Health department at Indian Health Service Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. Summers is thankful for the preparation she received in the RN to BSN program. The program strengthened her research skills and provided her with tools she can apply in a community health setting. By earning a BSN, she has also positioned herself to earn the Doctor of Nursing (DNP) degree that is her ultimate academic goal.
Whatever your reasons, a BSN can help you advance your career. Besides being clinically prepared to meet the demands of patient care in today's healthcare environment, nurses with a BSN may also have more job opportunities available to them. Not to mention, many nursing jobs that require nurses to have a BSN come with higher salaries. If you are a nurse with an ADN who wants to pursue a leadership position and increase your earning potential, you may want to consider enrolling in an online RN to BSN program.
Learn more about the University of New Mexico's online RN to BSN program.
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