The Case for a Nursing BSN Degree
Today, a growing number of health care employers are only hiring nurses with baccalaureate degrees. Take, for example, those hospitals working toward Magnet® status to showcase their commitment to nursing excellence. These hospitals must have a BSN-educated Registered Nurses in leadership roles and a plan in place to employ an 80% baccalaureate-educated nursing workforce by 2020. If the BSN hiring trend continues, there could come a time when an associate degree in nursing becomes obsolete.
An Education that Works
According to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing fact sheet, health care authorities, practice leaders, and policymakers recognize that a baccalaureate education makes a difference in nursing practice. There is also a growing body of evidence that shows our nation’s desire for nurses with a BSN degree or higher as a way to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes.
A baccalaureate education goes far beyond the fundamental nursing skills taught in an associate degree program. BSN degree programs cover a broader scope of nursing practice by including in-depth courses in humanities, nursing research, nursing management, and community health.
Through this additional coursework, students gain:
- Critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills that lead to increased job opportunities.
- Better understanding of the issues that impact health care delivery and patient outcomes.
- Skills that make it possible to practice nursing in diverse inpatient and outpatient settings.
Furthermore, if you ever want to become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist, a bachelor of science in nursing is a precursor for the advanced degrees required for these top paying positions.
A Stronger Say in Health Care
In the past, nurses usually weren’t involved in care management discussions. Today, however, as our health care system continues to evolve and grow in complexity, an increased number of medical providers are maximizing the knowledge and skills of their BSN-educated nurses.
Nowadays, several providers are relying on nurses to help close the nation’s primary care gap, which has come as a result of health care reform. As noted in an H&HN magazine article from 2012, when nurses have more responsibility over care management and a louder voice in workflow design, not only does public health improve, the entire health system becomes leaner and more effective.
Contact us to learn more about the value a BSN degree brings to the nursing profession.