Change is occurring among U.S. healthcare employees: In 2011, for the first time ever, there were more nurses who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) than nurses who earned associate degrees (ADN), according to a recent study published in Nursing Economics.
What Is behind the Change?
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, the change is partly due to an increase of accelerated RN to BSN programs at higher education institutions in the U.S. These programs allow registered nurses and nursing students to earn bachelor’s degrees in about half the time it takes to earn a traditional four-year BSN.
There may also be other reasons more nurses are heading back to school:
- A BSN may become a requirement. The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which helps public and private institutions make informed health decisions, recommends that the number of nurses with a BSN increase from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020. Many nurses are thinking ahead and obtaining their BSNs well ahead of the IOM’s suggested deadline.
- BSN holders have a better chance at finding a job. Many employers require a BSN for employment (particularly management jobs) within their organizations.
- BSN-prepared nurses make more money. Registered nurses without a BSN earn a mean salary of $65,000, while those with the bachelor’s degree earn $75,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Some employers offer tuition reimbursement. In exchange for a commitment after graduation, some healthcare institutions will pay for an accelerated BSN.
- Earning a BSN is flexible. Online RN to BSN programs are convenient, flexible and 100 percent online. You can manage a family and keep working while in nursing school and earn a BSN in 15 months.
The Online RN to BSN Program
Besides clinical expertise, students in an online RN to BSN program also receive instruction in evidence-based nursing practice as well as management, communication, critical thinking, and professional ethics. Coursework includes classes in nursing research and philosophy, technology-based health applications and more.
Learn more the Purdue Northwest online RN to BSN program.
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