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What Is a Nursing Pathways Program?

The field of nursing is an exciting, and ever-evolving, profession. Many students choose to enroll in Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs in order to earn their degree quickly and accelerate their entry into the nursing profession. In the face of today’s nursing shortage, ADN programs efficiently and effectively prepare many students for nursing licensure.

As the healthcare industry has progressed, however, the roles of nurses have grown, and industry experts have called upon nurses to increase their minimum education level to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

An accelerated pace of study

By choosing an online nursing pathways program, students enrolled in ADN programs can begin earning credit toward their BSN while still enrolled at their community college. An ADN to BSN online program allows these students to being work as a nurse while completing their bachelor's degree in as few as 15 months after their ADN graduation.

Entering a nursing pathways program allows students to maximize course selection and complete their BSN in an efficient and affordable way. Universities that offer nursing pathway programs partner with community colleges to make higher education more accessible to students.

The BSN difference

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing online can be a cost-effective and time-saving way to boost your career to the next level. Currently, 55 percent of the nursing workforce holds a bachelor's degree or higher, and the Institute of Medicine has called for at least 80 percent of nurses to have at least a BSN by 2020.

Professional nursing organizations, industry experts and healthcare organizations are seeking nurses with BSNs because studies have shown that hospitals that employ larger numbers of baccalaureate-prepared nurses have better patient outcomes and decreased patient mortality rates.

In addition, nurses who hold a BSN degree enjoy greater career advancement, higher salaries and more opportunities for leadership within the field. Nurses who use an ADN to BSN online program to earn their degree will gain the skills and knowledge to provide better quality patient care and to keep up with the demands of this ever-changing field.

Nursing by the numbers

Across the nation, nurses are in high demand. According to the American Nurses Association, nursing employment is expected to increase from 2.86 million to 3.44 million jobs, a 20.2 percent increase from 2012 to 2022. More than 555,000 nurses are expected to leave the work force, and the association expects 1.13 million new nurses will be needed to fill in the gap.

Despite the number of career openings, nursing is a competitive field, and nurses who have a bachelor’s degree have a distinct advantage when applying for jobs, as more employers are seeking nurses who have a BSN or who will complete their BSN shortly after being hired. Enrolling in a nursing pathways program where you can transition from an ADN to BSN online, may give you an edge when applying for nursing positions.

Learn about the Purdue Northwest online Professional Nursing Pathways Program.


American Nurses Association, Fast Facts The Nursing Workforce 2014: Growth, Salaries, Education, Demographics & Trends:

Institute of Medicine, The Future of Nursing, Focus on Education:

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