In 2010, the Institute of Medicine raised eyebrows in the nursing community by recommending that 80% of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree (BSN) by the year 2020. Back then, only half of registered nurses had their BSN, but over the past nine years, the number of nurses with an advanced degree has risen to an estimated 55 – 60%.
Some nurses may have balked at the time and effort required to complete the necessary education to achieve a BSN degree initially, but ongoing studies have shown that there are benefits to both RNs and the patients in their care.
Nurses play a vital role in providing quality patient care. There are a number of different nursing roles available, each with its own unique set of benefits. The two main types of nursing programs for registered nurses are the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both programs lead to becoming licensed as a RN. Each type of degree has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.
Differences between ADN and BSN
The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the most common type of nursing degree, and it usually takes two to three years to complete. It’s a great option if you’re looking to start your nursing career as quickly as possible. However, because it’s a shorter program, you won’t have as much time to learn all the theory and skills that you might need as a nurse.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year degree program that gives you a deeper understanding of advanced nursing theory and practice. The extra time in school also means that you’ll have more opportunities to gain clinical experience. BSN nurses often receive additional training in areas such as leadership, communication, and critical thinking. As a result, you may be better equipped to handle complex situations and provide more comprehensive care to your patients. However, the longer program can be expensive.
RN refers to the licensure you are granted through your state to become a registered nurse. Nurses can pursue a BSN and RN at the same time. Alternately, you could become an RN through a diploma or associate degree program, and later return to school to complete your BSN degree through an RN to BSN program. RNs have a deep understanding of nursing theory and practice, and they’re able to provide high-quality patient care.
Requirements for a BSN
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a degree that nursing students can earn at a college or university. The requirements for a BSN vary depending on the school, but most programs take four years to complete.
In addition to completing nursing coursework, BSN students must also complete general education requirements, such as English and math. Some schools also require students to complete a nursing research project or clinical experience.
According to Nurse Journal, typically, the basic requirements include:
- Cumulative GPA in high school or associate degree program of 2.75 or higher
- GPA of 2.5 or higher for all science courses
- CV or resume
- Significant volunteer experience
- Prior coursework in anatomy, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physiology
Once they have earned their BSN, nurses are prepared to begin their careers in a variety of settings, including hospitals, medical centers, and other settings. With a BSN, nurses are able to provide high-quality care to patients and make a positive impact on the nursing profession.
Benefits of BSN
The nursing field is constantly evolving, and nurses must adapt to keep up with the latest changes. One of the most recent developments is the push for states to require a BSN for all nursing licensure. This trend started in 2004, when New York became the first state to enact such a requirement. Since then, several other states have followed suit, and with the 2010 push from the Institute of Medicine, it is widely expected that this will become the new standard across the country.
Proponents of this policy argue that it would help to improve patient care and safety, as well as reduce nursing turnover and vacant positions. BSN-prepared nurses tend to have better clinical outcomes and are more likely to be promoted into leadership roles. They also report higher levels of job satisfaction and are less likely to leave the profession than those with less education.
In addition, nurses with a BSN tend to be in higher demand, and they often earn higher salaries. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 94% of BSN graduates gain employment within 4-6 months of finishing the program. Additionally, nurses with a bachelor’s degree also earn an average of $16,000 more than those with an associate degree.
The nursing profession is one of the most demanding and challenging in the healthcare field, and a BSN education provides future nurses with the skills and knowledge to find jobs with higher pay potential.
In addition to nursing theory and practice, BSN students take coursework in areas such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and nutrition. The program also gives students the opportunity to develop their clinical skills and learn about the latest research and developments in nursing. A four year degree gives BSN students the chance to network with other nursing professionals and learn from their experiences. This comprehensive approach to nursing education ensures that BSN graduates are well-prepared to meet the demands of the nursing profession.
Future Education Benefit
Many nurses go on to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree. An MSN encompasses both nursing theory and practice, and can prepare nurses for advanced roles such as nursing administration or nursing education. Nurse practitioners are licensed to provide primary care and many also specialize in a particular area of nursing such as pediatrics or geriatrics. By obtaining an MSN or NP degree, nurses can help to fill the critical nursing shortage while also advancing their career.
No matter which nursing degree you choose, you’ll be prepared to make a positive impact on the lives of those you serve. If you’re interested in nursing job, Supplemental Health Care has plenty of local and travel contracts across the country for nurses and nurse practitioners. Search the job portal to see what nursing jobs are available today!
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