Research regarding the field of health care tells us that as the population ages, the need for nurses in a variety of settings is increasing. A high demand for nurses means good things for job outlook, but how do you know if taking the next step and pursuing a BSN is the right choice for you?
Whether you are just now beginning your career in nursing or whether you’re looking to advance your nursing career, your future education is crucial. Read on to discover how earning a bachelor of science in nursing is a great way to advance your career in the industry!
The Nationwide Nursing Shortage
Currently, there are 3 million nurses in the U.S., and nursing is becoming one of the fastest- growing occupations. According to the American Nurses Association, there will be a need for 1.13 million nurses by 2022.
A shortage of nurses is something that the U.S. has been dealing with for decades. In recent years, this has become more of an issue due to the aging population. Today, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than at any other time in history. The aging baby boomers require a lot of time and care, creating a high demand for health care services.
According to a team of Vanderbilt University researchers, by 2025, the shortage of nurses is expected to be “more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s.”
Why You Should Get your BSN
You may be thinking, if the U.S. is undergoing a nursing shortage, then why should I go above and beyond to get my BSN? While this is a good question and something that you should consider, there are several reasons that nurses go on to pursue their four-year degree:
- You’ll have more experience with a BSN.
Patient’s conditions and needs have become more complex throughout the years; it is important for our nurses to be educated on how to handle challenging situations. Earning a BSN equips nurses with more experience and skills compared to someone who only pursues a two-year nursing degree.
According to a study done by nurse researcher Linda Aiken on mortality rates and nursing care, there is a direct correlation between the number of nurses that have a BSN within a hospital unit and decreased mortality rates. Health care needs more nurses that are prepared to implement effective solutions: “The BSN curriculum emphasizes leadership and evidence-based practice in a way that the shorter Associates Degree in Nursing program can not.”
The National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) found that RNs in a BSN program notice changes in their skills, reasoning abilities and perspectives on nursing practice. American Sentinel University also has reported on many real-life “success stories.” Nurses who have completed a BSN program share their experience and explain why they believe getting a BSN is worth it.
- You’ll probably land a job faster if you have a BSN.
Several studies have emerged that shed light on the correlation between having a BSN and job placement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “registered nurses with a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.” Having a BSN gives you a competitive edge, which makes your resume more impressive to employers.
- You’ll earn more money with a BSN.
The Institute of Medicine has called for 80 percent of working nurses to have a BSN by 2020. This is something to think over, especially since nurses holding BSNs earn more than those with an associate's degree. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics from January 2014 reveal that the average salary for an RN was $66,620, while the average for BSN-educated RNs was $75,484.
- You’ll have more job prospects with a BSN.
Many nurses who go on to pursue a four-year nursing degree have more job prospects upon graduation. SLC’s BSN graduates, for instance, have gone on to pursue positions like:
- Intensive Care Nurse
- Emergency Department Nurse
- Correctional Nurse
- School Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
Speaking of SLC’s BSN Program ...
Silver Lake College offers a prestigious BSN program, which is designed to develop professional nursing leaders in all areas of practice to meet the health needs of a changing society.
SLC’s BSN Program Requirements
In order to enter the BSN program, a student must have a GPA of 2.75 and a completion of at least a “C” in all core prerequisite courses. A minimum of one-third of the required courses must be completed through SLC. Students will be taking classes that include: Chemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy and Professional Nursing Concepts.
A comprehensive list of the curriculum classes can be found online here.
SLC Program Learning Outcomes
- Students will synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the liberal arts and science with nursing to enhance professional practice. (Essential I)
- Students will incorporate effective communication techniques and collaborative skills within the professional roles of nursing. (Essential IV, VI)
- Students will effectively apply frameworks, theories, concepts, models and evidence-based practice to maximize positive health outcomes for individuals, families, groups and communities. (Essential III)
- Students will apply leadership concepts, skills and decision-making in the provision of high-quality nursing care, health care team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for care delivery in a variety of settings. (Essential II)
- Students will utilize a holistic approach to advocate for and improve access to health care for vulnerable populations locally, nationally and globally. (Essential VII)
- Students will collaborate with other professional to provide health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, illness management and end-of-life care across the life span. (Essential VII, IX)
- Students will recognize personal accountability of shaping health care delivery by participating in political and regulatory process as a member of the nursing profession. (Essential V)
- Students will articulate the value of pursuing practice excellence, lifelong learning and professional engagement to foster professional growth and development. (Essential VIII)
All of these learning outcomes are meant to train students for “real world” experience. Earning a BSN, particularly at Silver Lake College, gives students the training that is so very important when dealing with human lives each and every day.
The faculty and professionals at Silver Lake College want to help you make an informed decision regarding pursuing your advanced degree in nursing. That’s why we’ve put together a free, helpful resource for you to reference: A Guide to the Silver Lake College 4-Year BSN Program.