Maybe it is time to upgrade your RN nursing pin to a BSN nursing pin? With the call for more nurses to have Bachelor of Science (BSN) degrees by the year 2020, it has become imperative for us to understand just what this would mean to Registered Nurses (RNs). Remember it is easier to become a nursing student sooner than later. If you’re a registered nurse, and have yet to get your BSN, here are some things you’ll need to know about RN-to-BSN programs:
Goals of RN-to-BSN programs
Dedicated to helping the nurses of today to be properly equipped with the skills necessary for them to provide a high level of care, RN-to-BSN programs focus on 3 fundamental areas:
1. Skills building
Proficiencies of a higher level than what RNs with an associate’s degree would normally have. These new skills will allow nurses to be able to treat a wider range of patients, and thus, allowing them to broaden their practice.
2. Professional development
Nursing is a profession which requires proper communication. Professional development aims to improve the nurse’s communication skills, as well as leadership and critical thinking in order to effectively collaborate with the rest of the health care team efficiently and thrive in their chose careers.
3. Cultural awareness
Core understanding of the racial, religious, and socioeconomic factors that influence and impact the delivery of medical care for millions of Americans.
Pre-requisites for RN-to-BSN programs
Different schools have different specific requirements, but generally, RN-to-BSN programs would require you to have the following:
1. Nursing License
You must be a registered nurse in order to be admitted into an RN-to-BSN program, and as such, would have had to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and duly receive your nursing license.
2. Completion of Special Exams
Certain programs require its prospective students to have successfully completed the HESI Admission Assessment (A2), which consists of Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Anatomy and Physiology.
3. Criminal Records Clearance
Physical examination, criminal background check, and drug screening are just some of the exams that some RN-to-BSN programs require their students to undergo before they are allowed to start their clinical duties.
4. Criteria for General Admission
This varies from one institution to another, but typically includes a cumulative GPA, a personal essay, and a nursing diploma with a transcript of records that details that subjects and nursing-related courses already completed.
Advantages of Completing an RN-to-BSN Course
Successfully completing an RN-to-BSN course will not only give you a bachelor’s degree, but also the following benefits:
1. Financial gain
RNs with BSN degrees earn more than RNs who don’t, as much as $11,000 more in median salary. So while there will definitely be expenses incurred in completing the shift from an RN to a BSN, it will all pay off once you’ve earned your degree.
2. Health care service improvement
With new skillsets and a higher level of understanding nursing as a whole, nurses with BSN degrees tend to deliver better health care services. At the same time, institutions with more RNs with BSN degrees tend to report fewer patient dissatisfaction, lesser inpatient mortality rates, as well as shorter stays in hospitals for patients.
3. Job prospect expansion
With a BSN, you can expand your job prospects to include managerial positions that are not available to RNs with lower credentials. So if your goal is to ultimately become a nurse practitioner, having a nursing pin is not enough – you will need to earn your BSN degree. Think about going as far as you can in nursing school. You can never accumulate too many nursing pins or attend too many graduation pinning ceremonies. The advanced nursing degree benefits are amazing and worth pursuing!