The demand for baccalaureate-prepared nurses continues to grow. Employers at healthcare organizations are opting for a more highly educated nursing workforce. Over the years, the role of registered nurses (RNs) has expanded. Beyond their nursing duties, RNs are now responsible for coordinating care, advocating on behalf of patients and communicating with multidisciplinary team members. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) prepares nurses with the necessary competencies they need to practice in an increasingly complex healthcare system.
Why Should Nurses Obtain a BSN?
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), renamed the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, released a list of recommendations in "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health" in 2010. Two of the IOM's recommendations to enhance patient care involve nurse preparation. The IOM proposed that the proportion of nurses with BSN preparation should increase from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020. It also suggests that nurses enter a baccalaureate program within five years of graduation from an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.
What Do the IOM's Recommendations Mean For RNs?
Healthcare organizations and employers are paying attention to the IOM's call for raising the number of BSN-prepared nurses. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) asks employers to encourage lifelong learning in RNs and support them in furthering their education. Completing a BSN program and then pursuing graduate education enables nurses to follow through on this recommendation. This endorsement of the IOM's recommendation is leading to a BSN possibly becoming the required level of preparation for entry-level positions in nursing. Already, many employers prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.
What Are the Advantages of Holding a BSN?
Nurses who hold a BSN often have a competitive edge over those who don't, especially if a BSN does become a requirement for employment in nursing. Other advantages for BSN-prepared nurses are:
- The majority of nursing careers are only open to BSN-prepared nurses.
- Nurses who graduate from a BSN program have the potential to earn a higher salary.
- Nurses with a BSN are prepared with skills that go beyond basic nursing.
- BSN-prepared nurses are eligible for a greater number of nursing jobs.
- A BSN is a required criterion for admission to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.
How Do Patients Benefit From Having a BSN-Prepared Nurse?
Research correlates BSN preparation in nurses with better patient outcomes such as lower rates of mortality, fewer complications from illnesses and lower failure to rescue, as well as shorter patient stays. Nurses with a BSN are also proficient in making diagnoses. Here are some of the studies that correlate BSN preparation and improved patient care:
- Nurse Staffing and Education and Hospital Mortality in Nine European Countries: A Retrospective Observational Study
- Educational Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality
- An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degrees Is Linked to Lower Rates of Postsurgery Mortality
- Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes
Nurses should consider completing a BSN program if they want to advance in their career. But, they may be hesitant about pursuing a BSN because of limited time and finances. Fortunately, nurses have the option of completing an online RN to BSN program.
Online programs are flexible and affordable. Nurses can complete Texas A&M International University's online RN to BSN program in as few as 12 months. Doing so will provide them with comprehensive and relevant evidence-based preparation to work in a variety of professional nursing roles.
Learn more about the TAMIU online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Scrubs Mag: Wanna Be An Influencer? Here's 5 Things You're Doing Wrong
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.