Why a BSN Degree Matters More Now Than Ever
It’s been five years since the Institute of Medicine published its groundbreaking The Future of Nursing report.
The report looked ten years ahead to nursing in 2020, and this halfway mark has prompted groups to see how well institutions have started implementing its recommendations. The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA) is one such group, having monitored the progress of the state of nursing over recent years. Most notably, JONA cited that, from 2011 to 2013, the number of employed RNs who have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree has grown. This is promising, since increasing the number of nurses with advanced degrees to 80% remains one of The Future of Nursing’s most remarkable recommendations.
We know nurses at all education levels work hard, and we know we’ve been talking about the benefits of receiving your BSN degree for some time now. But it’s only because we know how important it is to the future of healthcare, and how the degree is more than an accreditation: A baccalaureate education strengthens nurse’s skills. If you still need a little more convincing, here are a few more reasons why earning your BSN matters more now than ever.
Nurses as advocates
Because nurses make up the largest sector of the healthcare workforce, it’s imperative their voices be heard. They carry a unique perspective in medicine because of their deep knowledge of bedside care. In other words, they see the effects of policies that lawmakers enact, or fail to pass, in action every day. Nurses live in the critical center of healthcare. That’s why nurses can and should be a driving force in changing policy, creating and expanding roles, implementing strategy, and cutting costs in healthcare. Unfortunately, not enough nurses are represented at the table. That, however, can change, and the change can start with more education.
Education plays a crucial role for nurses in building the key competencies necessary to become leaders and, more importantly, public advocates for their patients and profession. BSN degrees prepare nurses to lead the charge of change, and help nurses develop the critical thinking skills to do so.
Related resources: 5 Nursing Specialties That Require a BSN Degree
A competitive advantage
It’s true that you don’t need your BSN to be an exceptional nurse. However, depending on where you live, more and more hospitals and clinics are expecting nurses to hold an advanced degree in nursing, even for entry level positions. And these new rules don’t just apply to incoming nurses, either. In fact, it’s quite possible that, even if you have been working as an registered nurse without your BSN, your institution could change its policy, requiring veteran nurses to obtain the degree over a certain period of time. It sounds daunting, but having more credentials opens up so many doors for advancement and leadership positions. Moreover, if you decide to relocate, a BSN could be your ticket to job mobility and the competitive advantage you need to land a good job.
Related resources: Here’s How Your Work Might Change with a BSN Degree
The accessibility of education
The Future of Nursing Report, and in turn the need for better-educated nurses, helped many, many people receive their baccalaureate degree, when previously they might have not been able to. As the need for BSN-educated nurses grows, so does the access to education. In the past few years, there has been a surge in RN-BSN programs, filling a much-needed gap between nurses who wanted to further their education, but faced the constraints of time, money, and familial obligations. Many RN-BSN degree completion programs combine a high-quality education with the flexibility, affordability, and quickness of an online degree. We highly recommend doing your homework to ensure the program matches the outcomes you desire from our BSN degree.
At Ameritech, we pride ourselves in being an organization operated and led by nurses. As a leader in nursing education in Utah, we built the RN-BSN program we wish we could have taken during our time as working nurses. If you’re interested in learning more about how a baccalaureate education can help you achieve your goals, or about our flexible online RN-BSN degree completion program, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!