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Imagine heading to the emergency room, urgent care facility or even just a routine clinic visit and being unable to see a nurse. It sounds odd, but it may become a reality. There is, and has been for many years, a global nursing shortage.

With healthcare systems under this debilitating strain, the demand for skilled nursing professionals has skyrocketed. What could bolster this uncertain future in healthcare?

A key factor in mitigating the nursing shortage is the transition from being a registered nurse (RN) with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. An increasing number of healthcare facilities favor BSN-prepared nurses over those with only an ADN.

With A BSN, Nurses Gain A Competitive Edge In The Nursing Workforce

The nursing landscape is highly competitive. Data from the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey reveals that over 70% of RNs now hold a BSN or higher. This shift means that a BSN is becoming a necessity for those looking to advance their careers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), employers prefer nurses with a BSN, recognizing the enhanced skill set and knowledge they bring to the workforce.

The following represents specific benefits of earning a BSN, alongside different career paths BSN-prepared nurses can take.

The Why Behind A BSN Degree: Improving Nursing Practices And Patient Care

The advanced training a BSN program provides covers current nursing practices, emerging healthcare technologies and critical-thinking skills necessary for complex clinical scenarios. BSN-prepared nurses are better prepared to handle the evolving demands of healthcare, leading to improved patient outcomes and higher standards of care.

Below are the specific gains BSN-prepared nurses can expect:

Advanced Knowledge and Skills for Superior Care

The journey from RN to BSN is transformative, marking a significant leap in a nurse’s expertise and capabilities. A BSN degree is not just a formal educational credential: it’s a comprehensive enhancement of a nurse’s ability to provide care. This program deeply ingrains advanced knowledge and refines practical skills, enabling nurses to deliver superior patient care.

Emphasis on Current Nursing Practices

BSN programs place a strong emphasis on current best practices in nursing. This encompasses a wide range of subjects, from evidence-based practice (EBP) to the latest in patient safety protocols. Nurses learn to integrate research and clinical evidence into their daily practice, ensuring patient care is grounded in current scientific knowledge. This leads to more effective treatment strategies and a higher standard of patient care.

Mastery of Emerging Healthcare Technologies

In an era where technology is rapidly transforming healthcare, nurses with a BSN are at the forefront of this evolution. These programs provide extensive exposure to emerging healthcare technologies, from advanced patient monitoring systems to electronic health record (EHR) management. This technological fluency enables BSN-prepared nurses to leverage these tools for improved patient outcomes, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in patient care.

Critical Thinking for Complex Scenarios

Critical thinking is a cornerstone of the BSN curriculum. Nurses are trained to think critically and analytically, equipping them to handle complex and unpredictable clinical scenarios confidently and competently. This involves developing problem-solving skills, clinical judgment and the ability to make informed decisions in high-pressure situations. As a result, BSN-prepared nurses are adept at navigating the nuances of patient care, leading to better patient outcomes.

Enhanced Patient Communication and Advocacy

A BSN education also enhances nurses’ ability to communicate effectively with patients and their families. This improved communication skill is crucial for patient education, advocacy and the establishment of trust. BSN-prepared nurses are trained to provide compassionate care while also educating patients about their conditions and treatment plans, ensuring patients are active participants in their healthcare.

Leadership in Nursing Practice

BSN programs cultivate leadership qualities in nurses. These programs instill an understanding of healthcare policy, ethics and systems management, preparing nurses for leadership roles in various healthcare settings. With a BSN, nurses are well equipped to lead teams, manage healthcare initiatives and contribute to policy-making processes, further enhancing patient care and healthcare delivery.

Increased Earning Potential and Career Advancement

One of the most tangible benefits of a BSN is the potential for increased earnings. According to data from ZipRecruiter, BSN-prepared RNs tend to earn more than their non-BSN counterparts. Furthermore, a BSN opens doors to leadership roles within the healthcare system. Nurses with a BSN are qualified for positions like nurse manager or nurse leader, particularly in the nation’s top Magnet hospitals, recognized for nursing excellence. These roles not only offer higher salaries but also provide opportunities for professional growth and development.

Continuing Work While Earning A BSN Online

A significant advantage of modern BSN programs, such as those offered by Mississippi College, is their flexibility. Nurses can continue working and earning a salary while pursuing their BSN online. This flexibility ensures that nurses do not have to sacrifice their professional responsibilities or income while advancing their education.

Specifically, students can complete Mississippi College’s program in as few as 12 months, further expanding flexibility on the path to a BSN degree. Tuition is affordable at $9,480 for the entire program, and students can pay per course. Financial aid is also available.

Will You Accept The BSN Challenge?

Earning a BSN degree is a strategic move for today’s nurses. It not only improves nursing practices and patient care but also enhances earning potential and career advancement opportunities. With the nursing profession becoming more competitive, a BSN is becoming a necessity for career progression.

Learn more about Mississippi College’s online RN to BSN program.

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