Becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a significant career achievement. RNs work closely with patients and physicians to administer medication, offer emotional support, take vital signs, and perform basic diagnostic procedures and tests. For nurses in the 21st century, however, this attainment is unlikely to be enough to ensure future employability. For additional job security and access to better advancement opportunities, registered nurses are choosing to further their education with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Accelerated BSN programs are increasingly being seen as the future standard for RNs and RN to BSN online programs are leading the way. A nurse with a BSN degree may have better job security, more job satisfaction, and get access to better pay.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs hold over 2.6 million jobs. Although this number indicates the high employability of these healthcare workers, it also means there is much greater competition for better paying and less stressful workplaces. The typical RN also only holds an associate’s degree, which keeps them from earning the better paying BSN salary. When compared to those who do not have a BSN. RN to BSN nurses could find that after graduating they can find employment in a physician’s office. These jobs usually feature shorter workdays than the 12-hour nursing shifts typically found in hospitals and feature a less stressful environment.
The healthcare industry has become an increasingly complicated field. As healthcare has become more refined and focused on prevention and wellness the duties of nurses have also become more multidimensional and to keep up nurses need a mix of clinical, academic, and leadership skills. Thorough an accelerated BSN program, nurses learn to thrive in all types of situations from making critical decisions when dealing with chaotic scenes in an emergency room, to supervising support professionals, and getting patients access to the appropriate medical treatment. These skills increase job satisfaction and keep nurses motivated and challenged in their careers.
Ultimately, online RN to BSN programs give nurses the development and resources for thinking critically, completing research, tackling problems analytically, being leaders, and improving all aspects of patient care. All skills that various health care organizations are increasingly demanding to cut back on patient costs and improve the quality of care. In fact, the value of traditional and online RN to BSN programs has become so valuable that many employers are now looking for a BSN degree even in entry-level nurses. As a result, they are offering a more competitive BSN salary for nurses with this degree. Some of these employers will only hire nurses who already have their BSN or require applicants earn their BSN within a certain length of time after being employed. Therefore, nurses who have taken the initiative to sign up for RN to BSN online programs can take their pick of inpatient and outpatient opportunities working in hospitals, for the federal government, and in various other settings. For highly motivated nurses, an online RN to BSN degree could mean switching gears and working in administration or as a nurse educator.
Nurses wondering about the usefulness of a BSN degree should think about their future 5, 10, and even 20 years down the line. As just an RN, will they be able to maintain employment even as new workers with more advanced and coveted skills and training enter the healthcare field? Although returning to school may seem like a hassle that requires a lot of sacrifice, online RN to BSN programs offer nurses flexibility and convenience. These programs are suited to the lifestyles of working nurses and can be enrolled in part-time, allowing nurses to get their degree at their own pace. Often, an accelerated BSN program can be completed in less than 2 years. Many nurses also state that they choose to go back to school because of employee incentives. Some hospitals offer tuition reimbursement and scholarships to lower any financial burden. Hospitals may even give nursing students a more flexible schedule to accommodate their RN to BSN online classes.
Having a four-year degree also gives nurses the option to further advance their education and career by entering graduate nursing programs in advanced practice nursing specialties such as a Certified Nurse Midwife or Certified Nurse Anesthetist. Of course, increases in education mean better pay. At the lower end of the scale, less than $50,000 may be earned by an RN. BSN graduates, however, with greater experience could be making over $70,000 a year. The BSN salary can be even higher for nurses in some geographic areas and specialties.