Learning more about the advantages of completing an RN to BSN degree is a great way to decide if you should go back to school. Associate’s degree nursing programs let you earn an associate’s degree in around two to three years. To earn your BSN, you’ll need to spend an additional two years or more in college. You can enroll in an RN to BSN degree program after completing your RN degree, after working as an RN or before passing the national licensing exam. No matter the path you choose, there are some clear advantages to enrolling in a BSN program.
Lower Mortality Rates
A study reported in Medical Care, a leading medical journal, and later highlighted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, found that more training and education can lead to lower mortality rates in hospitals. The study found that when hospitals hire nurses with BSN degrees, the mortality rate among patients drops by more than 10%. While a standard RN program will teach you what to do around patients, how to take their vital signs and how to treat patients, BSN programs go beyond this.
Better Job Opportunities
The amount of money you make as a nurse often depends on where you live and work. Those working in specialized nursing fields, including oncology and pediatrics, often make more than traditional nurses. It’s almost impossible to work in a specialized field without additional education and experience. After completing your BSN, you can gain more experience with pediatrics, elderly patients or those suffering from certain medical conditions. That experience will qualify you to take an exam to become certified in a specialized area of nursing.
RN programs focus on two different areas of study. Most of your first year will take place in classrooms on campus or online, if you enroll in an online program. You’ll learn medical terminology to better communicate with other medical professionals, some of the basic tasks that nurses do on a daily basis and what makes for a good bedside manner. The second and third years will send you into the field to gain clinical experience working in different facilities. BSN programs offer the improved curriculum that advanced nurses need. Instead of requiring that you do a lot of fieldwork, these programs often feature classes that give you more leadership and management experience.
While there are a number of advantages of completing an RN to BSN degree, the biggest advantage is that these programs will help you develop better and stronger skills than an RN program alone does. Whether you enroll in a traditional BSN program or one that is online, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate with doctors and other nurses, how to follow the laws in your state, how to handle some of the ethical situations you come across and what patients expect of their nurses. You may also improve the way you take vital signs and patient histories, too.
After finishing an RN degree and getting your license, you might dread the thought of going back to school. If you want access to better jobs and more money, though, look at some of the advantages of completing an RN to BSN degree before checking out nursing programs available online and in your city or state.