Saturday, February 4, 2023

5 Tips for an RN to Opt for BSN

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Returning to school after working in a hospital and being well settled in your job seems very challenging. You might be hesitant to leave the comfort of your job and get additional responsibilities.

But for RNs who want to excel in their career, getting a higher education is not a choice, but it is mandatory. Getting higher education is an important point on your development path. Moreover, at some point, it is your responsibility too. Do you know why?

As an RN, you are in charge of the lives of your patients, so you cannot keep on treating them with ancient practices which are no longer impactful. You have to get new skills to treat your patients better and offer them improved care service to live longer. 

1. Benefits Of Higher Education For Nurses

For a nurse with a diploma, BSN is important not just for the sake of patients but for their professional development too.

Today, more hospitals prefer RNs with a BSN degree owing to their critical thinking ability, communication skills, and ability to make decisions under pressure. It means more hospitals are willing to offer you a job with a BSN degree. 

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Moreover, BSN nurses also earn more than those with a mere diploma in nursing. Hospitals are even mandating new nurses to have a BSN when applying for a nursing position. According to the recent ACCN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses) data, 88% of the hospitals have strong preferences for nurses with a BSN degree. More than 40% want the nurses to have a BSN.

These factors boost enrollment in RN to BSN Degree programs as more nurses wish to remain competitive in a market that emphasizes hiring educated nurses. This shift in the preference of the hospitals is partly because of a plethora of studies that vouch that highly educated nurses can get better patient outcomes and lower mortality rates. It is also because the pandemic witnessed an acute shortage of highly skilled nurses who could work in emergencies and perform non-traditional roles. 

Today, healthcare must be prepared for such catastrophic events in the future. So, if you have not been thinking about a BSN program, it is the right time to do it if you want more job opportunities available to you. Here are some tips to help you get started. 

2. Choose The Right RN To BSN Program 

Once you make up your mind to excel in your career, you have to search for the right program that makes it easy to reach your goals. The duration of an RN to BSN program is not the same for all. It depends on your commitment to complete the coursework.

Some can complete it in as little as under a year; others may need two or even more years. So, the more dedicated you are, the earlier you can become a BSN nurse. When choosing a BSN program, carefully check the program’s structure, the coursework requirements, courses included in coursework, and credit hours requirements.

The length of the program might be short if you have already earned some credit hours and can transfer them to your new school. 

3. Admission Requirements

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Nursing schools have stipulated admission requirements on their website. Carefully read through them and see if you fulfill the criteria. Some nursing schools enroll the students based on previous grades or board exams; others have internal screening tests. 

Schools use these tests to screen the most suitable candidates for their nursing courses. There may be some interview requirements as well. So, if you want to be well-prepared, spend some time and get all the information increasing your chances of success in this process.  

Some nursing schools also want to see your RN license or a date when you intend to take the exam. Moreover, it would help if you had your most recent transcript ready, which shows the completion of lower-level courses such as English and psychology. There might also be a minimum GPA requirement; mostly, it is 2.5 out of 4.0 GPA. 

4. Connect With An RN To BSN Program Advisor

If you are unsure about which option to choose, you can get in touch with study advisors and share your problems with them. They are trained to help nursing students understand the admission requirements, choose the right program and prepare well to ace it. Things you must ask the advisor include the accreditation of your study program, the program’s scope, job prospects, expected salary, developmental opportunities. You may also enquire about any financial assistance available to you by the nursing school or any other way you can apply for assistance from professional organizations. The program advisor can also help choose the courses you can easily manage with work and positively impact your resume. 

5. Ask Your Employer About Assistance

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The need for professional nurses is so urgent that some employers are helping their current nurses get BSN degrees. You can also ask if the same is the case in your care facility or any way to reduce your financial burden. Spending on a degree becomes more challenging when you have a family to manage, so even partial financial assistance or scholarship can help. 

Manage Your Study Time

Once in school, you have to manage your study time, especially if you work and study alongside. Know that you cannot pass a BSN degree by not spending time reading the chapters, being neglectful about your homework, or not appearing in the class assessments. Even if you are enrolled in a remote nursing course, you still need to study to earn a BSN degree. With an online degree, things become a little easier as you can manage your study according to your own pace. But in any case, make a schedule, study a little every day, and do not leave everything for the weekend. It is not practical to read lengthy chapters, cramp difficult medical terms, and complete your homework in a few hours over the weekend. So break the long concepts into incremental bits that you can easily cover after returning from work or early in the morning. This way you won’t feel stressed about spending the whole weekend studying. 

Conclusion

Enrolling in higher education is an important decision for all RNs. It is a ticket for developing their career, earning a better salary, and improving their social standing.

But managing work alongside work can be quite challenging if you don’t have the right guidance. The tips mentioned in this article can help all RNs opting for a BSN degree to manage their work, family, and study.

Starting from choosing the right program and ending at acing your nursing degree, you have a lot to consider when enrolling in a BSN program. 

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