Early career nurses considering the move from RN to BSN can find solid professional reasons for continuing their education, and often get employer financing to help pay for the degree. Here are some reasons for pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree:
Increase Job Security
As far back as 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report identified the need to lift more RN-holding early career professionals to the BSN degree. The report set a nationwide challenge to raise the number of nurses with a bachelor’s degree to 80% by 2020.
At the time of the report’s release, only 50 percent of the nursing workforce had a BSN. Now, there is an estimated 55-60 percent of nurses who have such a degree.
In response to this report, demand for nurses with a BSN is high, and as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation points out in their Charting Nursing’s Future factsheet, many hospitals are now promoting further education for their nursing staff, as well as intentionally hiring more BSN-trained nurses.
Be more prepared and confident in an evolving healthcare world
As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, adults 55+ form the largest patient population cohort. That means more RNs tasked with developing care plans for older patients with highly complex health needs, including a larger-than-ever population of co-morbid and chronically ill patients.
As caregiving becomes more data-driven, nurses must in addition work with new tech and navigate data systems. One study reports that nurses with a bachelor’s degree report better preparation for evidence-based practice, assessing gaps in practice, teamwork, and collaboration, as well as being more well-versed in research and data collection, all invaluable skills for advancing in both salary and responsibility.
In addition, the training in community health and public health nurses receive in a BSN program prepares them for providing care outside the hospital walls, where today more and more caregiving takes place. Completing a BSN degree can better prepare nurses for today’s caregiving environment, which will also in turn leading to better patient outcomes.
Open up other high-demand career options
Once you earn a bachelor’s degree through a RN to BSN program, you open the door to a graduate degree. At that level, nurses become nurse practitioners, researchers, or faculty. The current shortage of primary care providers is projected to get worse before it gets better, meaning that nurse practitioners will be in high demand in the years to come. Similarly, as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, nurses with advanced degrees who can become faculty members training future nurses will be highly sought-after.
In light of the national nursing shortage, nurses considering a RN to BSN program must weigh the upward potential that comes with a bachelor’s degree against messaging which confirms their value at the bedside. A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report shows that the majority of nurses who complete a BSN program will choose to stay in direct care, and patients will benefit immeasurably from the new understanding and skills nurses receive from BSN programs.
Of course, continuing education or going back to school is a big decision. William Woods University’s RN to BSN program makes a bachelors in nursing attainable for every nurse; the degree can be completed online in as little as four semesters, and transfer credits from prior education are accepted. BSN degree can open up career paths, prepare you for an increasingly complex care system, and increase job security.
Whether you’re a practicing nurse considering going back to school or a new graduate of an associates degree or diploma program seeking continued education, the William Woods RN to BSN degree program makes taking the next step work for you.