Nurses are at the very center of healthcare. They're the face of care for patients and families, the conduit between physician and patient, the first line of quality care. In 2017, and for the 15th year in a row, a Gallup poll ranked nurses as the most trusted profession in the United States. Nurses are considered to be among the most ethical and honest members of healthcare.
As the delivery of medicine becomes more technologically advanced, nurses are increasingly being called on to better understand evidence based medical practices, electronic patient information, community care standards and diagnostic innovations. All while providing direct patient care.
The Institute of Medicine, in 2010, recommended that the standard for the nursing profession should move toward establishing the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) as the industry standard for the profession. But, there is a nursing shortage in the U.S. which health systems, colleges and universities are working hard to address. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between the years 2014-2024, nearly half a million nurses will be needed to reduce the shortage. Additionally, it's expected that by 2020, a majority of healthcare employers will require a BSN for employment.
What Are The Benefits of Having a BSN?
The short answer is by obtaining a BSN, you'll be able to be a change agent in nursing and can affect the kind of care patients receive. A BSN degree will provide not only advanced nursing concepts; but, will help give you a broader perspective of general subjects which impact patient care. Some of this advanced education will involve enhancing communication skills, improving your written abilities and expanding your knowledge base in critical thinking skills, different cultures, social aspects of nursing, behavioral concerns and a more global view of nursing.
Nurses with an advanced degree, such as a BSN, can earn nearly twice as much as nurses who are diploma prepared, hold an Associates Degree or Licensed Practical Nurse certificate. According to PayScale, an online resource for Human Resource professionals, a BSN prepared nurse may earn up to $30,000 a year more than their counterparts without a BSN.
Can I Get A BSN While I Continue To Work?
Absolutely. With the severe nursing shortage, the last thing healthcare needs is to have nurses suspend work in order to obtain an advanced degree. This is the reason that the majority of schools with nursing programs are offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing or Doctors in Nursing Practice degrees 100% online.
What Difference Will A BSN Make To My Career?
If you're wanting to advance your career to become a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Clinical Specialist or Nurse Anesthetist, you'll need a BSN. Many nursing programs offer online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN or MSN to DNP degrees, which are accelerated programs to help you obtain your educational goals more quickly.
Best Medical Degrees has developed a ranking of 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Degree Programs which will serve as a starting point for you as you explore the best RN to BSN program that suits your career goals and objectives.