Taking the step from a RN (Registered Nurse) to a BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing) can make a positive impact on your career and help you advance to higher salaries, more prestigious institutions and greater career flexibility. Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degrees are offered by many universities and many schools have expanded their program offerings to increase flexibility for working adults and non-traditional students. BSN degrees can generally be completed in two years or less and many universities offer credit towards a degree for individuals already working in the nursing field.
In a BSN program emphasis is placed on evidence based medicine and it's application on patient safety and well-being. Core classes may include health information technology, which teaches students how to effectively utilize health-care and medical record software as well as responsible use with regards to compliance with federal laws. Public and community health is also often emphasized, and general health care policies are examined for development and understanding of best practices in the health care field. An individual who completes a BSN will have a broader range of knowledge and be ready to apply their skills in a public health or community clinic.
Individuals will work under the guidance of a mentor while completing their BSN and may be required to complete a capstone project to demonstrate their successful integration and understanding of their studies. Critical thinking and successful patient outcomes are emphasized in universities offering this degree program, and nurses are trained to view patient cases in their entirety, rather than perceiving nursing care as simply a single component of the health care system. The development of health care procedures and policies to support patient care and comply with legal requirements will be demonstrated.
Nurses that achieve a BSN often earn over 20% more than those who do not. Institutions attempting to receive "magnet" status often require a percentage of BSN qualified nurses. The liberal arts component of a BSN education program will improve a nurse's written and verbal communication skills, as well as develop leadership traits, allowing them to advance in their careers and be confident in their skills and knowledge.
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