By Penni-Lynn Rolen, MSN, RN, CNS
The landscape of the nursing profession is rapidly changing. Advancements in technology and the growing number of specializations in the healthcare industry require nurses with higher levels of education to keep up with these changes. Increasing the percentage of nurses that have a BSN will be essential in meeting this challenge.
Nurse and healthcare economist Peter Buerhaus sees major changes coming in the nursing field. Most notable is the retirement of one-third of the nursing workforce over the next 10 years. This has never happened before, and it will “take a lot of knowledge and know-how out of the workforce.”1
In addition to combatting the retirement wave, getting a BSN positively impacts the safety of patients, improves critical thinking and problem solving skills, expands knowledge of behavioral and social sciences, and enhances the ability to analyze and communicate data. This advanced education and improved skill set will lead to more career opportunities, and create a more versatile nurse who can meet the professional and social demands the healthcare system and patients require.
Career Development Opportunities
Getting a BSN is the first step in expanding available opportunities in the nursing profession.
Registered Nurses prepared at the associate degree or diploma level still have many options and responsibilities, but face restrictions as employers mandate completion of the BSN within 3-5 years of hire. Additionally, many healthcare systems require those nurses seeking leadership or staff development positions to have a minimum of the BSN degree.
The most sought after nursing candidates are those who are BSN prepared. Nurses with their BSN have the opportunity to actively participate in building an evidence-based practice and engage in leadership roles influencing the environment in which nurses work and patients receive care.
The Nursing Profession Is Requiring A More Versatile Nurse
As specialization continues to influence care options and treatments, patients are entering complex health care systems sicker and more vulnerable than ever before. Nurses educated in a broad background of the liberal arts and sciences are needed to meet the needs of patients in this ever-changing environment. The BSN-prepared nurse is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve patient outcomes and influence healthcare systems.
Employers seek out nurses with their BSN not only because BSN prepared nurses improve outcomes, but also because these nurses have developed a broader comprehensive understanding of the discipline of nursing and its role in the healthcare system. Coursework required to earn the BSN facilitates a more in-depth understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and social issues that affect patients and influence health care delivery.4
The BSN Will Soon Be A Professional And Socially Responsible Requirement
The National Academy of Medicine (previously The Institute of Medicine ) recently recommended that the number of nurses with a BSN increase from 50% to 80% by 2020 to respond “to the demands of an evolving health care system and meet the changing needs of patients. According to the AACN, approximately 79% of employers require or strongly prefer nurses with a baccalaureate degree.
In 2010, the Tri-Council for Nursing (AACN, ANA, AONE, and NLN) issued a consensus
Statement titled Education Advancement of Registered Nurses. In their policy statement, the Tri-Council posits that “without a more educated nursing workforce, the nation’s health will be further at risk.” 4
This increasing requirement, both from a professional and social standpoint, highlight the value of getting a BSN.
Is Notre Dame College Right For You?
Notre Dame College’s fully online RN-BSN program is an affordable, accelerated, and flexible opportunity for those seeking to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree.
Our curriculum, developed by our full-time expert faculty, addresses the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards for Professional Nursing Practice, (ANA, 2015), reflects the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing (AACN, 2008) and integrates the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies (QSEN, 2017).
Courses are offered at just $310/credit hour, and are in an 8 week accelerated format. The program can be completed in as little as 16-18 months depending upon prior coursework completed.
Finally, NDC accepts applications on a rolling basis, so RN to BSN students have the flexibility to start their bachelor’s program in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Students in the online BSN program can also enroll as part-time or full-time students based on their professional and personal schedules.5
Notre Dame College offers a supportive learning community with the resources and expertise to help you succeed. We hope you will consider our program as you look to further your career and knowledge.
About the Author
Penni-Lynn Rolen, MSN, RN, CNS – Penni is the Director of the RN to BSN program at Notre Dame College as well as an assistant professor