Registered nurses possessing a diploma or associate degree in nursing may find achieving a bachelor’s degree an enriching experience in many ways.
A BSN opens up opportunities for career advancement since bachelor’s programs offer more coursework and practice than diploma and associate degree programs. For instance, the online RN to BSN curriculum at Notre Dame College includes classes in gerontology, health care policies, leadership, health program management and special populations. The programs offer hands-on experience through clinical requirements as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs wanting to expand their careers into administration, college or university teaching, laboratory research and private consultation generally need a minimum of a BSN degree. The BSN is also a step toward the master’s degree that opens up opportunities for advanced practice nursing positions such as clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and nursing midwives. The bachelor’s degree offers additional opportunities in management and business of health care such as insurance companies and pharmaceutical corporations.
Employees with degrees beyond the associate or diploma level not only get more opportunities for advancement but also usually pull down higher salaries.
An RN to BSN online program may be particularly attractive since it usually offers an accelerated format, allowing students to achieve their degrees in 18 months or less while traditional programs typically take two years to complete. Online degrees fit many active lifestyles, so current registered nurses wishing to pursue their bachelor’s degree may often continue working or caring for a family while attending school. Online classes give students the ability to work on classes on weekends, during evenings and holidays, whenever their busy schedules permit. Some schools have various open admissions times so students may join the programs in fall or spring.
Further study in nursing teaches students new techniques in health care, supplies specialized education and provides further opportunities to practice procedures under proper supervision, resulting in nurses with well-rounded experiences.