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BSN Guide – Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree: Salary, Benefits & Programs

When you choose a career in nursing, you are committing yourself to play a critical role in the medical system. Depending upon where and how you choose to practice, your responsibilities can range from care to research, to helping create public healthcare policy. Your career path begins with the type of degree that you pursue.  A BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is the degree that offers you the widest range of possibilities.

Nurses who have earned their BSN degree will find themselves eligible to apply for many more positions and earning much higher compensation. They will be able to pursue graduate degrees in nursing and will receive training in more advanced skills, including those involving leadership and critical thinking.

In this comprehensive guide, we have collected the information you need to know what pursuing your BSN entails, from why a BSN degree is a smart choice to helping you find the best programs and learn how to pay for your education.

A BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a four-year degree in nursing that is one of two degrees available to nurses. Unlike the ADN, the BSN degree provides two years of prerequisite courses and general education courses followed by another two years of nursing classes and clinical rotations. Becoming a Registered Nurse with a BSN degree promises higher compensation and opens many more doors. Many healthcare facilities have begun to require that their RNs have a BSN degree, even for entry-level nursing positions.

Though the shortest route to becoming a Registered Nurse is to pursue the minimum requirement — a two-year Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) which provides just enough education and clinical training for graduates to sit for the required exams and obtain their license — those who want to become RNs are strongly encouraged to pursue a BSN.

Having a BSN gives you more opportunities to practice in specialty areas and puts you on a career path that can lead to supervisory and management positions. This is because those positions require a more in-depth level of knowledge and critical thinking skills that the four-year degree provides.  Having a BSN is also a required step for pursuing an advanced nursing degree such as an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), NP (Nurse Practitioners), or CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist).

Though every BSN curriculum is different, accredited nursing programs follow the framework provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which outlines the essential curriculum contents and core competencies needed to prepare a BSN for their role and responsibilities. In addition to offering basic prerequisite coursework and general education classes, including Math, Composition, and History, followed by coursework that is specific to their nursing practice, including

  • Assessment of Health and Illness
  • Anatomy, or Structure of the Human Body
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Maintenance and Restoration
  • Research in Nursing
  • Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
  • Mental Health
  • Reproductive Health
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Nursing Care I and II

BSN studies also include a significant number of clinical training hours.

RN-to-BSN Program

This program is the next step for Registered Nurses who have earned their Associate’s degree and who want to advance their careers and knowledge. With the advantage of already having learned a great deal of the pertinent information and having extensive clinical exposure, an ADN can often take exams to test out of some of the required coursework. Many of these programs are offered online to allow students to continue working while taking classes. Most students can complete the RN-to-BSN program in less than two years. Visit Sumner College’s RN to BSN program HERE.

 

Learn more:

Driving Factors Behind the 80% BSN by 2020 Initiative

Content shared from RN.com

By Abby Schneider, MSN, RN, Clinical Content Manager
The Center for the Advancement of Healthcare Professionals

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (Institute of Medicine, 2010a). This report not only informs and highlights the need for change in nursing education to meet the changing face of healthcare, but also recommends the nursing profession increase the number of registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to 80 percent by the year 2020 (IOM, 2010a)

Nursing in the 21st century is more complex than ever before (IOM, 2010b). The complexity of this care requires transitioning from skill-based competencies to those that assess knowledge and competence on health policy, system improvement, research, evidenced-based practice, teamwork and collaboration, complex decision making and leadership (IOM, 2010a). The IOM report adds that BSN-prepared nurses are better equipped to manage this increasing complexity in nursing care (IOM, 2010a).

The increasing complexity of care is not the only factor driving the IOM recommendation. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) document titled The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice (AACN, 2014) considered the different pre-licensure nursing education through three separate lenses: (1) different approaches to nursing education; (2) recognizing differences among nursing program graduates; and (3) public and private support for BSN-prepared nurses. This was done by providing an overview of several studies which indicate BSN-prepared nurses experience better patient outcomes, and higher competency in nursing practice, as well as increased skills, in communication, leadership, professional integration as well as research and evaluation AACN, 2014).

AACN also emphasizes that hospitals hoping to earn Magnet status must provide proof of plans to increase their BSN workforce to 80% by 2020, and that several large national healthcare organizations already have plans in place to promote and increase their BSN nurses (AACN, 2014). For example, the Veterans Administration (VA) has enacted policy that requires RNs to have a BSN to be considered for promotion beyond entry-level, and all branches of the United States Armed Forces now require a BSN or higher to practice as an active duty RN (AACN, 2014).

What does all this mean for nurses who have not yet earned a baccalaureate degree? That remains to be seen. Many healthcare facilities have begun requiring RNs to have a BSN for entry level nursing positions (NursingLicensure.org, 2016). These facilities believe that associate degree nurses (ADN) are well trained to manage day-to-day tasks, but healthcare today requires more than what is taught in ADN programs (NursingLicensure.org, 2016). While the future of the ADN- educated nurse is secure, these nurses may find they have fewer opportunities for professional growth and earn less than their nursing colleagues with baccalaureate degrees.

In light of the increasing complexity of healthcare, the IOM has recommended healthcare organizations increase their BSN nursing staff to 80% by the year 2020.  In the report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the IOM raised concerns regarding the numerous pre-licensure education paths of America’s professional nurses. AACN weighed in, providing several studies which found BSN-prepared RNs experience better patient outcomes, greater nursing competency, more effective communication skills and stronger leadership skills than their associate degree colleagues. With 2020 just around the corner, some healthcare organizations have begun to change their policies on hiring and promoting nurses based on their nursing degrees.

BSN Guide – Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree: Salary, Benefits & Programs

When you choose a career in nursing, you are committing yourself to play a critical role in the medical system. Depending upon where and how you choose to practice, your responsibilities can range from care to research, to helping create public healthcare policy. Your career path begins with the type of degree that you pursue.  A BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is the degree that offers you the widest range of possibilities.

Nurses who have earned their BSN degree will find themselves eligible to apply for many more positions and earning much higher compensation. They will be able to pursue graduate degrees in nursing and will receive training in more advanced skills, including those involving leadership and critical thinking.

In this comprehensive guide, we have collected the information you need to know what pursuing your BSN entails, from why a BSN degree is a smart choice to helping you find the best programs and learn how to pay for your education.

A BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a four-year degree in nursing that is one of two degrees available to nurses. Unlike the ADN, the BSN degree provides two years of prerequisite courses and general education courses followed by another two years of nursing classes and clinical rotations. Becoming a Registered Nurse with a BSN degree promises higher compensation and opens many more doors. Many healthcare facilities have begun to require that their RNs have a BSN degree, even for entry-level nursing positions.

Though the shortest route to becoming a Registered Nurse is to pursue the minimum requirement — a two-year Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) which provides just enough education and clinical training for graduates to sit for the required exams and obtain their license — those who want to become RNs are strongly encouraged to pursue a BSN.

Having a BSN gives you more opportunities to practice in specialty areas and puts you on a career path that can lead to supervisory and management positions. This is because those positions require a more in-depth level of knowledge and critical thinking skills that the four-year degree provides.  Having a BSN is also a required step for pursuing an advanced nursing degree such as an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), NP (Nurse Practitioners), or CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist).

Though every BSN curriculum is different, accredited nursing programs follow the framework provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which outlines the essential curriculum contents and core competencies needed to prepare a BSN for their role and responsibilities. In addition to offering basic prerequisite coursework and general education classes, including Math, Composition, and History, followed by coursework that is specific to their nursing practice, including

  • Assessment of Health and Illness
  • Anatomy, or Structure of the Human Body
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Maintenance and Restoration
  • Research in Nursing
  • Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
  • Mental Health
  • Reproductive Health
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Nursing Care I and II

BSN studies also include a significant number of clinical training hours.

RN-to-BSN Program

This program is the next step for Registered Nurses who have earned their Associate’s degree and who want to advance their careers and knowledge. With the advantage of already having learned a great deal of the pertinent information and having extensive clinical exposure, an ADN can often take exams to test out of some of the required coursework. Many of these programs are offered online to allow students to continue working while taking classes. Most students can complete the RN-to-BSN program in less than two years. Visit Sumner College’s RN to BSN program HERE.

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