What a BS in Nursing Can Do for You
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Why Should You Get a BSN?
Why pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)? A BSN is not currently required to practice nursing, but it is a valuable step to advancing your career. There are many compelling reasons for registered nurses to continue their education, and today’s online programs make it easier than ever to do so.
Nursing is a highly competitive field. With more than three million members, the nursing profession comprises the largest segment of the nation’s healthcare workforce. According to a Health Resources and Services Administration report, the growth of the nursing workforce outpaced the growth of the U.S. population in the 2000s. Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.1
About 194,500 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Nursing is still one of the fastest-growing occupations, with a projected 9% percent growth of jobs by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of the 645 schools that responded to the survey, 556 (86.2%) reported having an entry-level baccalaureate program (BSN) and 78 (12.1%) had an entry-level master’s program (MSN) for which employment data for new graduates were available.2 The survey found that the average job offer rate at the time of graduation was 76% for new BSN graduates and 75% for entry-level MSN graduates. By comparison, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a national survey of 529,000 new college graduates across disciplines in 2018 and found that 58.7% of new graduates had a job offer at the time of graduation.2
A More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce Impacts Patient Outcomes
Several studies have shown that nurses with greater levels of education experience lower mortality rates and better patient outcomes. The AACN has applauded one such study published in the Lancet, where researchers found that a 10 percent increase in the proportion of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree in an acute care setting is associated with a 7 percent decrease in the risk of death in discharged patients following common surgeries, such as knee replacements, appendectomies, and vascular procedures. An increased emphasis on bachelor’s education for nurses could reduce preventable hospital deaths.
“Utica University recognizes that many RN students are seasoned practitioners and bring rich contextual experiences to their educational journey. Yet, there is overwhelming agreement that the bachelor’s degree adds value to professional nursing practice,” said Professor Emeritus, RN and Program Director of the Online RN to BS Nursing at Utica University.
Readiness for the Future and the BSN in 10 initiative
In October 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a comprehensive assessment of the future of the nursing profession. One of the report’s four recommendations was a call to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020. The American Nurses Association has resolved to support initiatives that will require nurses to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing within 10 years of obtaining a license. This initiative, often referred to as the BSN in 10, does not apply to nurses licensed in New York State before the legislation passed the state senate in 2017. It will greatly increase the number of RNs with a B.S. in Nursing.
Benefiting Patient Outcomes as well as Your Career
Why get a BSN? Nurses who earn a bachelor’s degree gain more than just a credential. In-depth coursework in pathophysiology and pharmacology provides a solid foundation for RNs who may want to pursue a graduate degree. In addition, a curriculum that promotes practical experiences in community health, leadership, and management provides nurses with opportunities to expand their critical thinking and communication skills while giving them a broader perspective of healthcare to support their practice.
Convenience and Flexibility
RNs who return to school for their baccalaureate degree are generally older and more diverse. Many obtained their initial registered nurse education after completing postsecondary education in other fields or working in another occupation. Many colleges offer an online RN to BSN that allows nurses greater flexibility to continue working and balance family obligations while pursuing their BSN. Ensuring that nurses are equipped to provide autonomous practice for leadership positions and advanced practice roles and are better prepared to respond and adapt to the continuing emergence of new information and technology impacting the delivery of care are some of the many reasons for obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, you can begin by requesting more information or call (315) 732-2640 or toll-free (866) 295-3106 today for more details about the online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Utica University.