We’ve long known that the nursing profession is experiencing major changes. New technologies, business practices and health insurance laws are pushing all medical practitioners to adapt and evolve. For RNs, one of the biggest changes is happening in the area of education. Ever since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued their report, The Future of Nursing, in 2010, RNs with associate degrees have felt the pressure to obtain their BSN.
Is a bachelor’s degree worth it?
In 2010, there were just under 29 million RNs in the US workforce, and about 45% of them held baccalaureate degrees. The IOM recommendation #4 is to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020. The number is rising steadily as many seasoned RNs have returned to college to complete their BSN degrees.
Are you wondering whether a nursing BSN is the right move for you? Enrolling in an RN to BSN online program is a big step. And the rewards are big as well.
To be a nurse is to be a lifelong learner
Experienced RNs will say that they are always learning on the job. Nursing is a dynamic profession and medical practices are developing at a rapid rate. Nurses constantly acquire new skills and insights. You may not need a BSN, but there are compelling reasons, both personal and professional, why you may want it.
A BSN sends a powerful message about who you are
That bachelor’s degree is the outward signal of an inner achievement. The RN-BSN curriculum teaches leadership and critical thinking—skills that enhance your role in our increasingly collaborative medical environment. Many nurses who complete their BSN say that the experience deepened their confidence and led to increased respect from other members of the healthcare team.
BSNs have more career choices and opportunities to earn better salaries
Most people who are attracted to the nursing profession love being a bedside nurse. But you may not always want to be at the bedside. The work is physically demanding, and many RNs in their 50s and 60s are looking to move into alternate positions that in many instance require a BSN. Consider, too, that many job listings these days indicate that BSN candidates are “preferred.”
Of course, with a bachelor’s degree, you have also taken the first step toward getting the advanced education you need to move into a teaching position or the higher-salaried nursing specialties. The median pay for an RN in 2012 was $65,470 per year. For positions requiring a master’s, such as nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist, the median salary was $96,460 per year.
Online RN-BSN completion programs are very doable
Colleges like St. Vincent’s are geared to the adult learner who is employed full- or part-time and may also have a family to care for. There will be a clinical/preceptor experience in the BSN program, but all the coursework can be completed online, at home, and around your schedule.
Your employer may pay for your degree
If you are fortunate enough to work for a hospital (or other employer) that offers financial support for your educational advancement, saying “yes!” to this benefit is a no-brainer. Enlightened employers recognize the benefits—not just to their institutions but also to society as a whole—of encouraging higher learning in their staff. In addition, you may qualify for one of the many scholarships that are available to nurses.
Ready to take the next step? Learn more about St. Vincent’s outstanding BSN completion program here. We've also created a BSN guide especially for you:
Or you can begin the application process here. It’s simple and easy to do online.