Nurses often work long shift hours and treasure their days off to reset, rest and take care of their own family or household tasks. Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can be challenging, especially if the classes available don't suit your work schedule or traveling to school will take significant time. Not sure if you have enough time to commit to in-person learning? An online program provides you with convenience and flexibility at a potentially lower cost. In addition, many online instructors are willing to work with students' individual circumstances to help them meet their goals.
Why Get a BSN?
For years, many experts have claimed that a BSN will soon be the minimum requirement for nursing education, and now quality agencies, employers and even consumers are focusing on nursing education. In the Future of Nursing report, the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine) recommended that the nursing profession increase the percentage of nurses with a BSN to 80% by 2020. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) strongly believes that the BSN should become the minimum educational requirement for registered nurses (RNs) and supports states like New York that require RNs to achieve a BSN within 10 years of receiving their initial license.
There are many reasons why you as a nurse should pursue a BSN:
- Diverse employment opportunities in all areas of nursing — some specialty certifications require a BSN
- Better pay
- Improved patient outcomes
As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, BSN nurses are prepared to provide holistic, culturally inclusive patient care. And a BSN is often required for leadership roles such as a charge nurse, supervisor or manager.
What Are Some Benefits of Online Degree Programs?
- Flexibility: Online programs allow you to select times that are convenient to study and complete your assignments. Professors usually have adjusted hours to cater to their students' busy schedules, so you are still able to get expert advice if you need it.
- Any Location: You can complete your work from anywhere in the world. Working as a travel nurse in rural Tennessee? Taking a vacation with your family back East? As long as you have an internet connection, you can complete your program from anywhere.
- Diversity: Nurses in an online program work in different regions in different healthcare settings, which provides you with a range of perspectives and experiences — your classmate working in downtown Washington, D.C., has very different experiences than your classmate in Temple, Texas!
- Lower Cost: Studying online (vs. face-to-face classroom) may cost less since you do not incur housing costs and transportation. You also need to consider the "cost" of lost work or lost family time, and the "savings" of not worrying about traffic or juggling schedules.
- Shared Experiences: Online programs often attract nurses with years of experience. Gain expertise from their experience and share yours.
Consider the advantages of an online learning environment to see if an online RN to BSN program is right for you.
Learn more about Austin Peay State University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Case for Academic Progression
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