If you are a registered nurse wondering if you should return to school and pursue a bachelor of science in nursing, then here’s the short answer: Yes, you should!
Nurses with a BSN or other higher degrees are in much more demand than ever, as there is a shortage of nurses in the country.
According to the HRSA’s Registered Nurse Supply and Demand Projections for South Carolina, 2020-2035, SC is expected to have the 10th largest shortage of nurses in the United States by 2035, trailing behind Georgia, Washington, California, and Oregon.
The opportunities are likely to expand in the coming years. Not only that but by pursuing higher education or enrolling in an RN-to-BSN degree program, you get introduced to advanced nursing concepts like management, leadership, and healthcare informatics.
An RN-to-BSN degree provides valuable prospects for students to pursue graduate studies. In addition, it helps broaden their scope of practice.
While these are just some of the many benefits of opting for an RN-to-BSN degree program, let’s discuss the top five reasons why a BSN degree program is worth it and if it is the right choice for you as a registered nurse.
- Career Advancement
Several healthcare organizations and hospitals now require their nurses to pursue bachelor’s degrees to ensure better patient care. The aging population, increase in fatal diseases, and collective complexity of care are some of the many aspects adding urgency to the need for advanced nursing education.
Thankfully, many top RN to BSN programs in SC and other states offer RNs a chance to study online while working. RNs can easily improve their job prospects and open new career opportunities with a BSN degree.
You can choose from various nursing roles like a clinical manager or supervisor or medical specialty roles like pediatric ICU, cardiology, etc. So, whether you want to pursue a leadership role, specialty certification, or teach nursing students, pursuing a BSN degree is an excellent way to advance your career.
- Advanced Skills and Knowledge
Today, healthcare professionals are expected to make clinical decisions daily. They are expected to have critical thinking skills to deal with complex cases, let alone immense knowledge. Being an RN, opting for a bachelor’s degree program is the best decision if you are willing to increase your knowledge and hone your skills in a chosen field.
A BSN degree curriculum offers a broader knowledge base and greater expertise. It typically offers courses covering physiology and physical assessment, anatomy, fundamentals of nursing practice, chemistry, pathophysiology, microbiology, and pharmacology.
There are also many specialization options, depending on the patient population and practice area that interests you the most. For instance, if you prefer working in surgery, you can go with perioperative nursing certification.
While your nursing education may have taught you the clinical care basics, an RN-to-BSN program will help you grow your academic portfolio.
- Financial Growth
Earning a BSN degree after obtaining an RN license can lead to significant financial growth. A BSN degree often opens doors to higher-paying nursing positions, such as leadership and management roles in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations.
Additionally, some employers offer tuition reimbursement for RNs pursuing BSN degrees, which can offset the cost of education. Furthermore, nurses with a BSN degree may also be eligible for higher pay, including salary increases and bonuses.
Graduate programs like nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or anesthetists offer more pay than a registered nurse position. However, the salary depends on various factors, including the cost of living in the area.
In short, by obtaining a BSN degree, RNs can increase their earning potential and take advantage of greater career opportunities in the healthcare industry. Lastly, having your BSN while negotiating salary with your employer will make a strong case and give you an added advantage over other contenders.
- Better Patient Outcomes
Many studies have suggested that patient outcomes are improved within the care of BSN-prepared nurses. In fact, the quality of patient care directly correlates to higher nursing education due to enhanced skills and knowledge.
BSN-prepared nursing leads to fewer medication errors, lower mortality rates, and greater positive patient outcomes. While patient needs are becoming more complicated, nurses must attain the requisite competencies to deliver high-quality care.
- Increased Autonomy
As we know, nurses are the backbone of a healthcare facility. With a BSN degree, you are better prepared and hold greater autonomy, especially over critical decisions in patient care. The skill is also essential when you practice outside the hospital.
The degree gives you the authority and ability to make quick decisions without needing a professional’s approval. It benefits patient care and improves patient satisfaction. The program helps you take up a broader range of responsibilities such as home healthcare decision-making, managing new health technologies, discernment for preventive and post-op care, and devising a comprehensive care plan for the admitted patients.
Plus, BSN nurses work in different roles and settings. Another greatest advantage of pursuing a bachelor’s degree is the impact your new role can have on teams, patients, and the profession. Your higher-level degree opens many doors of opportunity for you, along with the ability to influence decisions related to patient care and how organizations operate to provide nursing services.
The level of autonomy that comes with the BSN program is fundamental to addressing all the growing demands of the healthcare system, especially the shortage of nurses.
A BSN degree program has many advantages, including higher paychecks and increased employment opportunities. In addition, with a BSN degree, you can enable career advancement with better skills and knowledge.
BSN nurses are more valued and in demand. They can provide high-quality patient care and easily qualify for better and more advanced roles and positions, including leadership. So, if you have decided to pursue a BSN degree, go for it. It is an easily doable and worthy investment in yourself and your career. Good luck!