Nursing is such an attractive career that is expanding every other day. There is always room for more nurses as the healthcare sector keeps changing. But to have all the benefits of nursing your way, you have to choose a learning program that will keep you ahead of the competition.
It is the short form for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. For you to acquire it, you have to take at least 4 years in a college or university. In most cases, it takes 4-5 years of study before you are certified. It is one of the degree programs that take you longer than most others since it is advanced.
- What Is a BSN Degree?
- BSN Degree Curriculum
- How to Prepare to Earn a BSN Degree
- How to Tell Whether You Are Good for This Program
- Considerations to Make Before You Chose a BSN Program
- Making an Informed Choice
- What You Will Learn in This Program
- Expected Outcome
- Why You Need a BSN
- Where to Work
- Is This the Right Degree for You?
- Does a BSN Degree Improve Your Bottom Line?
- The Job Outlook for a BSN Candidate
You will have to take 2 years of prerequisite courses. In this period, some of the units you will tackle include chemistry, anatomy, algebra, and physiology. It is only after passing these preliminary units that you will take in the next phase of the program. Once you are done it is expected that you give your application to join this nursing program.
In this second phase, some of the units you will cover include health assessment, pathophysiology, research, and microbiology. It is also required you get some practical knowledge by going for field assignment in hospitals and other medical institutions. It helps you to acquire the hands-on experience that will help you land a job once you are done with studies.
If this is your dream profession, you can start to prepare for it as early as in high school. You can focus on chemistry, anatomy and biology since these are some of the courses that will prepare you for a career in nursing. Those who have done their Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) can do some thorough research on the best schools that offer the advanced bachelor’s degree. It is also important to note that there are online programs that are flexible and will suit those who have tight schedules such as day jobs. If you are already working you could seek to know whether your employer offers the cash advance or reimbursement once you want to acquire a bachelor’s degree.
To gauge whether you are fit to take on this program, you must go back to your background. Generally, there are 3 kinds of people/students that are good to take on this program:
- Students with another degree in a totally different field but those who want to accelerate the BSN program. You may not have a first academic experience in nursing to enrol for this. It takes a shorter duration than the conventional program that typically runs between 4-5 years.
- Someone who is already qualified as a registered nurse (RN) and wants to earn their bachelor’s degree through enrolling for a RN-BSN program.
- Someone who aspires to become a RN. This will need you to attend 4-5 years of schooling in a college or university.
There are so many factors that you have to consider before you make your final decision. They are crucial since you may be working or having other engagements that will take a considerable share of your time. So you have to take care of such ends before you fully commit to the kind of arrangement that is being offered. Here are 3 essential questions that will guide you to make an informed decision:
- Will you need time flexibility? You have to consider that you have some other things that will be competing for your day time. Do not go for an arrangement that will take all your time and leave everything hanging.
- How do you want to pay your fees? It is not everyone who will pay their fees upfront. Well, if you can afford this then you can go ahead and settle it on the onset of your schooling. If you do not have the money at once then go for an arrangement that will suit your monthly money flow.
- Will you be working while you study? This is the arrangement that many people find attractive since it will help them balance their working and studying life. Colleges and universities have come up with ways to take care of those who work and study so you do not have to worry about finding a school.
Once you have taken care of these questions, there is one more thing that you will have to take care of. You need to choose the kind of student you want to be. There are those who want a campus environment to interact with other students, professors, and associates. If these are your preferences then you will need to attend physical classes. It is the best arrangement if you do not have other engagements such as a job. There are those who will not want the physical class environment. The online programs are best suited for this lot. It is flexible since you can change the time you want to learn. If you are busy during the day you will have some time at night and catch up with what you missed in class. In general, this option takes shorter than the on-campus setting. Besides, it is also cheaper since you only have to pay for the examination and learning resources. For those on a tight budget here is the cheaper way to advance their education and not strain your financial resources.
It is never an easy choice to pick what works best for you. It is always recommendable that you get it right from scratch to be assured that you are on the right path to achieving your academic and career dreams. You can get information from universities and colleges near you. They have rich information on different nursing programs and it will be helpful if you go through a number of them to pick the best. The overall objective is to have the best education that will be flexible both for your time and money. Therefore, it is crucial you enroll in the right college, and the option of learning on campus or from home.
Once you have made a choice of the college, the learning arrangement, and fees payment, it is time you know what you expect in class. A BSN degree is extensive and it is divided into 2 parts: theoretical classes and practical experience. So, what do you learn before you are qualified, get a license and finally earn certification?
A BSN program is divided into part viz. class coursework and clinical experience. Class coursework is all that you have to do in a typical classroom setup. It is uses a theoretical approach to nursing and gives students a general understanding of the profession. The practical phase involves real time on the ground at hospitals, clinics and other health facilities. It helps you acquire real-life nursing experience that prepares you for what will be coming your way once you are employed.
For those with any kind of nursing certification or have an ADN qualification you have the chance to enroll directly to RN-BSN option. This option will use what you have learned in the lower levels to be your jump off and thus accelerate the time you will complete your degree. Typically, a BSN program covers the following areas:
- Nutrition: this covers the diet needs for all cases of illnesses and conditions. It is one of most basic courses that you learn since the first duty of a nurse is to keep patients nourished.
- Trends in nursing: as you already know, the nursing field is dynamic. Both those in school and those who are already qualified should keep abreast with these changes. You learn about the current trends and in the future, you have to keep a tab on these new developments so as to remain competent and effective.
- Health assessment: this is one of the core duties that a nurse has to do. In this unit, you will learn on how to assess health situations and give an informed opinion. Such opinions are used to make diagnosis and prescribe medication.
- Emergency care: for the critical cases, you have to be prepared to deal with them. This unit prepares you for such eventualities through clinical practice. You are drilled on how to handle emergencies cases and by the time you make it to the working environment you are able to handle a range of these cases.
- Research and evidence-based practice: the discovery of causes of diseases and the appropriate medications all come by research. You will be taken through the research methodologies and procedures to collect data and analyze it.
- Public and global health: the overall duty of the nursing fraternity is to ensure that the public are healthy and lead positive lives at all times. This is the course that will give you the general ideas and concepts to deal with issues like mass outbreaks.
These are the basic courses that BSN program has to offer. Some units vary from one institution to the other but generally they have the same principles and objectives. Once you have completely covered the curriculum you are now qualified to sit for NCLEX-RN exams. You are then eligible for professional licensing and you are ready to take your career to the highest echelons of practice.
Once you graduate, your skills and experience should be able to do the following:
- Demonstrate the highest level of nursing that is in-bounded by professional codes, ethics and health values.
- Use the class and practical knowledge to ensure the society is safe from preventable and redeemable diseases and conditions.
- Generate practical knowledge from behavioral and natural humanity sciences. The nursing theories have been known to use the past and existing circumstances to get new information disease, medication, and diagnoses.
- Adhere to the nursing practice act that expects you to be accountable for your decisions, actions, and their outcomes.
- Collaborate with all other medical practitioners and clients to improve the community’s health.
- Respond appropriately to health needs at all times. Whether it is emergency or just normal cases, you are expected to use your expertise to handle them.
- Show commitment to learning new trends and growing your knowledge in this field.
There is so much that is expected of you once you complete this program. It incorporates all that you learned in your basic nursing level to now earning a bachelor’s degree.
If you are now an RN after achieving your ADN the next logical decision is to take on a BSN program. This is the best career advancement path that will bring many rewards your way. RN-BSN programs have made it easy for working nurses to advance their education without the need to take time off from their jobs. If you are someone who sees your only career to be in nursing then choosing the BSN path is the most beneficial choice. There is a rising shortage of nurses in the U.S. and BSNs and RNs have plenty of jobs with attractive salaries. Another advantage is that you are only a step away from earning a master’s degree and then a doctorate. Both of these will place you at the top tier of the profession and you can be all that you wanted to be.
If you are already an RN then you have more advantages than those who have to start from scratch. You have a job and still advance your education. Many employers will reimburse you so what you have to do is enroll and have your fees paid for by your boss. It will take you less time to complete the degree and that is something you would want.
There are so many openings for those who have earned their Bachelor degree in nursing. Employers are looking for those with advanced knowledge of the nursing practice and you qualify for this tag. You will find jobs in hospitals, nursing centers, private clinics, factories and traveling companies. You also get better salary and prestigious positions at the place of work. It is always crucial that you keep adding to your knowledge since you will be expected to undergo re-evaluations after every 2 years or the duration that has been set by the state you work in.
There are so many paths you can take for your nursing career. But the real question is whether each of them will get you where you want your career to be in the near future. Those who have chosen the BSN degree option have become accomplished in their careers and they do not wish they had taken a different path.
This degree program is what you need whether you are beginning your nursing profession or you have earned your ADN degree and you want to advance. It gets you on the right track towards climbing the career ladder and be on top of the pack. Once you have qualified in this bachelor’s degree, you have a wide open ground to choose whichever specialty feels right for you. So, this is a right step for you as long as you meet the prerequisites discussed in the previous parts.
It is a true that you would not want to get into a program that would not add any value to your career. Those who are already working want to know whether a BSN will help them come out of the bottom of the salary and position pyramid. A bachelor’s degree will increase your salary by at least $1 per hour. In general, the highest paid BSN holder gets between $28-32 per hour while those on the lower end will take home an hourly wage of $17-24. Once you get your degree you will be earning more in terms of money coming your way. The other prospect is that you will be able to get the consideration for higher positions such as a supervisor. So if you want to get off the bottom of the nursing chain then this degree is the best course of action that you can take.
If you have been keeping in touch with the nursing stats then you know vacancies keep on growing from one year to another. For instance, the shortage of nurses in the U.S. is expected to hit the million mark by 2022. This does not factor in the number of nurses who will have retired by then. It means that there will be more positions for nurses than it has been in the previous years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nursing fraternity is expected to grow by 22% in the next decade using 2012 as the base year. Each of the nursing specialties is expected to grow by more or less of this figure but not below 15% for each of them. Those with more academic and practical experience will always find it easy to get the top jobs. It is no wonder that more students in the U.S are now considering a career in nursing thanks to the bright future of employment.
You now know all that would help to make a decision about your BSN program. You are not making the wrong choice so go ahead and grow your career and have the brightest future as a nurse.