If you want to change your career to nursing, there are several different training options to consider. An associate’s degree in nursing is often the cheaper option that can help you get into this career faster. However, there are many reasons to consider enrolling on the longer and more expensive BSN program.
In 2013, a report was carried out by the Institute of Medicine on the responsibilities, roles and education of nurses, to recommend changes that would improve the healthcare system overall. And according to the report, more nurses that are educated with a bachelor of science in nursing are needed to meet healthcare industry goals and improve patient care across the board.
Here are some of the main reasons why getting a BSN is a beneficial choice for the majority of nurses today:
Accelerated BSN Options
Time might be one of your biggest concerns if you are currently working in a different career and want to change to nursing. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject, you might not want to go through the whole four years of college again, especially if you are still repaying your student loans from the first time around. The good news is that accelerated nursing programs are available from Baylor University to help you get this qualification as quickly as possible. An accelerated BSN cuts out all the fluff, allowing you to get qualified as a nurse with a BSN in as little as two years by building on the knowledge that you already have from your previous degree program and focusing on the ‘need to know’ areas of nursing. In addition, the fact that they are available to study online makes changing your career much more seamless.
Better Patient Care
Most nurses are concerned about the standard of patient care and want to do anything that they can to improve it. And getting a BSN is just one of the many things that they can do to work towards this shift to preventative care in the healthcare system overall. Patient-centered systems are preferred by nurses in both primary and preventative care, focusing on integrative care systems and collaborative practice models rather than visits to the hospital or doctor’s office. In addition, statistics show that when just 10% of nurses in the healthcare environment are qualified with a BSN, the standard of patient care and patient outcomes are significantly improved with better recovery times, lower rate of diseases and infections caught in hospital, lower readmissions and reduced patient fatalities.
Boost Your Career Prospects
A BSN is the best option for any nurse who does not see themselves working in the same role forever. While nursing on the frontline is a very important job, for some nurses it is a way of getting the experience that they need to work in a more advanced career such as nurse leadership or as a nurse practitioner with their own clinic. Today, advanced nursing role are on the rise and the demand for advanced practice nurses is growing rapidly due to the shortage of primary care physicians currently in the US. However, a BSN is typically the very minimum requirement to do any kind of education or training related to working in these roles. If you can see yourself getting a master’s degree in nursing or a doctorate of nursing practice in the future, you’ll need a BSN to get started.
Improved Job Options
More and more employers are heeding the advice of the report and looking to actively hire nurses that are qualified with a BSN. Because of this, if you do not have a BSN when you become a registered nurse, it might be harder for you to find work as employers reject your application in favor of BSN-educated professionals. Because of this, putting in the extra effort and investment to get your BSN can pay off massively in the future when it comes to finding work. BSN-qualified nurses typically have no trouble finding work wherever they go and are needed to work in a wide range of healthcare settings including hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, and even as a travel nurse traveling the country to offer help and support to healthcare settings that need it the most.
In addition to better career prospects and the fact that it is easier to find work with a BSN, nurses that hold this qualification can also typically benefit from a better salary. Compared to nurses with an associate’s degree or licensed practical nurses, registered nurses with a BSN tend to have the best earning potential and even more chances to improve their earnings with advanced education options that prepare them for roles with more responsibilities. In addition, nurses with a BSN will typically find it easier to get onto specialist role training programs if they want to work in a role that focuses on a certain area of healthcare, which in turn can often pay more compared to general nursing.
If you are currently working as a nurse and want to get your BSN, the good news is that you might not have to cover the entire cost of doing so yourself. With BSN-educated nurses becoming more and more important to the healthcare industry, many employers are now offering support to nurses who want to get this qualification with a range of tuition support and forgiveness programs on offer, so it’s well worth speaking to your boss about your plans to get BSN-qualified as it’s also going to benefit them as well as you. In addition, more employers are likely to start offering support programs for nurses due to the introduction of laws such as the BSN-in-10 in New York State, which is likely to be rolled out in other states in the near future and requires all registered nurses to get their BSN within ten years of starting work in this role.
Whether you’re considering changing your career to nursing or are already working as a nurse, there are many benefits of getting a BSN.