For registered nurses, pursuing the additional career step of completing a Bachelor’s degree is becoming more and more important. Many states have pushed to mandate that hospital workforces consist of only BSN-educated nurses, and there has already been a national drive to have 80 percent of RNs hold a BSN by 2020. As of 2019, this number was at 56 percent, which is a strong increase from the previous decade. Nurses equipped with a BSN are not only able to meet any potential employer requirements but are also more prepared to make critical decisions and advance their careers. It is for this reason that RN to BSN programs have become increasingly popular recently.
Options for the Working Professional
As one of the institutions leading the way in these programs, the Grand Canyon University nursing department offers the ability to transition from RN to BSN through both the traditional campus method as well as the growing online learning platform. Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and allow students to continue working while pursuing enhanced education. This flexibility is essential to keeping nurses employed during a time of increased shortages while allowing the number of degreed RN’s to continue rising.
Growing Support for BSN
Besides the state and national initiatives to increase the amount of degreed nurses, there are a number of reasons to continue working towards a BSN. These include factors critical to both the professional and the patients they serve. Whether it’s a personal achievement or the desire to make a greater impact around them, the advantages that a Bachelor’s degree can give a nurse are unquestionable:
- Landing a first job. If a nurse just getting started has struggled to enter the workforce, holding a BSN may give them a leg up on similar applicants in some areas, and at least put them on equal terms in others.
- Career advancement. Many positions outside of basic clinical floor care require a BSN degree. In addition, for most leadership opportunities and graduate programs, a BSN is an essential prerequisite.
- More money. Based on several salary tracking websites and published industry articles, nurses with a BSN have a greater opportunity to be at the higher end of employer pay scales, often making several thousand dollars more per year than an RN only.
- Expanded knowledge. While RN programs focus mainly on clinical patient care, BSN curriculums further explore concepts such as community health, leadership and management, decision making, and scientific studies.
- Improved care. Equipped with the knowledge of an advanced degree, BSN nurses are in a position to be better caregivers and make critical decisions to help their patients.
- It may be required. As mentioned previously, nurses may soon find themselves required to hold a Bachelor’s degree by their employer or even state law in order to maintain their current position.
Completing an advanced degree may seem like an unnecessary venture to some, but the benefits it brings can outweigh the cost of not doing it in a short amount of time. Many of the Grand Canyon University nursing professionals working in the industry have acquired a BSN in as little as 12 months with the available 5-week course offerings.
Master the Nursing Profession
Individuals that hold a BSN and RN license can continue their education with available Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems and Masters of Science in Nursing Education. Both roles are a vital need to today’s healthcare systems and allow graduates to advance their careers while providing essential industry knowledge to the community. It is even possible to transition from an RN to MSN in as few as 30 months.