Only 17.6 percent of Tennessee adults between the ages of 25 and 64 have bachelor's degrees, according to a report from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. That's below the national average of 20 percent.
The proportion of college-educated Tennesseans working as nurses is much higher: 55 percent of registered nurses in Tennessee have at least a BSN degree. Given the industry-wide push to have 80 percent of registered nurses in the U.S. hold BSN degrees by 2020, Tennessee's number is lower than the state's healthcare administrators would like to see.
Earning a degree from Austin Peay State University's online RN to BSN program is one way to give your nursing career a boost. The program — which can be completed in as few as 12 months — is designed specifically for working nurses. Coursework for this online bachelor's degree program includes community nursing, leadership, nursing assessment, pathophysiology, and research, with options to study holistic nursing, transcultural nursing and emergency room nursing.
A BSN degree has many built-in advantages. A Nurse Journal article notes a few familiar ones: RNs with a BSN earn more on average than RNs without a BSN; a BSN is required for a number of job opportunities within the nursing field (including nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist); and professional advancement in many hospitals and healthcare facilities is contingent on earning a BSN.
Also, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing correlates education with positive clinical outcomes, including lower mortality rates, lower failure to rescue rates, and improved diagnostic ability. In other words, BSN preparation means better patient outcomes and patient care overall. By earning a BSN degree, nurses can help make healthcare more effective and responsive.
As the Nurse Journal article points out, more and more healthcare facilities are requiring new hires to hold a BSN. In fact, the American Nurses Association created the coveted Magnet designation for hospitals that prioritize education of their nurses.
It's never too late for ADN nurses to go back to school, and the Austin Peay State University online RN to BSN program makes it possible. Nurses enroll, take online courses that fit their schedules, and graduate with a BSN that will open up opportunities for growth and advancement.
With multiple start dates throughout the year, it's possible for nurses to start earning a BSN within just a few months of applying.
Learn more about Austin Peay State University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Nurse Journal: Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree
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