Although every occupation in the health industry has an essential role, no other professional has a broader range of responsibilities than nurses. For several countries worldwide, the healthcare sector is the number one priority. And since nurses play a primary role in providing healthcare, their profession holds immense significance. They ensure their patients are well taken care of and advocate for a healthy life, creating awareness and educating communities to avoid common preventable illnesses.
Thanks to modern technology and scientific research, the healthcare sector has made many advancements in recent years. The baby boomer generation will likely live longer with an increased life expectancy, meaning more health complications arising due to old age. This need for specialized care means there’s a high demand for nurses today. And with new programs and certifications developing each day, nurses can now even take up jobs in managerial positions. One degree program to pursue this career pathway is BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Professionals with a BSN degree have significantly higher job opportunities than RNs. Therefore, opting for an RN to BSN program can provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to advance your nursing career. The degree also offers more flexibility with working hours, a wide variety of specializations, and a chance for you to learn from others.
Besides these 4 reasons to choose an RN to BSN program, consider the following factors before deciding if it’s the right choice for you.
Your short-term and long-term goals
Several nurse professionals pursue a BSN degree when looking for career advancement or finding a job in a managerial position. They may even be interested in enhancing their clinical knowledge and developing clinical and administrative skills to become more competitive in the job market. If you’re thinking of enrolling in a BSN program, you must first identify your career goals. There’s a wide variety of nursing programs to help you advance your career. But each one of them takes you towards a different sector, so you must know which area in nursing appeals to you the most.
With so many job opportunities available, there’s a need for qualified candidates in every role. A BSN degree can let you do so much more, from delivering primary care to taking up leadership positions. It can help you stand out from other professionals in the job market and give you an edge over colleagues when being promoted for management roles. Whatever your plans are for the future, both short- and long-term, can better help you stay on track and meet desired career goals.
Your needs and commitments
No one understands your needs and commitments better than yourself. Going back to nursing school and handling it alongside work can be pretty challenging. Therefore, you must think carefully about how you’ll juggle and navigate your time. Every individual’s responsibilities and obligations differ, so you must decide for yourself if your current duties leave room to take on another degree.
Working in the healthcare sector requires full attention and dedication, so you can’t back out when you feel overwhelmed. Consider how much time you’ll be able to set aside for studying and what other factors may affect your academic experience. These may include family needs and expectations, personal commitments, work hours, and time for doing schoolwork. Although online programs may offer you more flexibility than traditional classroom settings, there will still be a substantial amount of studying you’ll have to do. Homework and regular readings are a routine part of the curriculum, so you must be extremely sure about having the time and dedication to work through them.
Accreditation and licensure
There are plenty of RN to BSN programs out there, and you must be able to identify the right ones from counterfeits. Therefore, when choosing a program, the first thing you must look into is its accreditation. This accreditation can come from one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Nursing programs specifically, such as this one, must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The accreditation proves that the program you’re opting for meets quality standards which help legitimize your qualification in schools and potential employees.
If your program is not accredited, it’s possible that the credits you earn won’t transfer to another school if ever you decide to switch. Another critical factor to consider before enrolling is knowing the licensure requirement. Some degree programs require you to hold a nursing license, while others may also specify a particular state from which you must’ve received your certification. Whatever the case, check with the university’s admission team and make sure you meet all the specific requirements before moving forward with the enrolment process.
Tuition and other costs
Earning a bachelor of science in nursing degree is a beneficial investment for the future, but it shouldn’t have you breaking the bank to advance your education. Hence, tuition costs are also crucial when looking for RN to BSN programs. Many people wrongfully believe that an advanced degree in healthcare will be costly. But you’ll be surprised to know that so many schools offer affordable degree programs without compromising the quality of nursing education. Remember, a tuition fee is not the only expense you’ll have. When planning a budget, you must also factor in the additional costs of books, supplies, commuting, and other relevant material.
For every individual, education is an essential asset. Your qualification helps you reach newer heights in your career and lets you climb up the success ladder. So while pursuing a BSN degree is worth it, you could also look into scholarship or financial aid programs that may help you cover your schooling costs.
Years of degree completion
Another significant benefit of an RN to BSN program is that you have the opportunity to earn your degree quickly. Some programs can help accelerate your education and reduce the period required to complete your course. Suppose you’re eager to get your degree and start working in newer job roles. In that case, you can look into taking accelerated courses and applying for the maximum number of credit hours per semester.
Identify which program offers these options and, once you start schooling, how long it will take for your career to get back on track.
RN to BSN programs can benefit registered nurses looking to advance their careers and increase job opportunities. But with so many programs offered across the country, choosing the right one may seem daunting. Knowing what factors to consider can help you make a smart choice that best aligns with your future goals.