Nurses have long been recognized and respected for the leading roles they play in the healthcare system. In most cases it is nurses that provide hands-on patient care. Therefore, it is very often nurses that represent healthcare facilities in the eyes of patients and the community. Furthermore, nurses have a direct impact on the type and quality of care that patients receive. With that being said it is understandable that many healthcare organizations are becoming more selective when hiring nurses. In fact, many are now setting bachelor’s degrees as the minimal required credentials.

This helps ensure top-notch nurses will be providing state-of-the-art care for patients of these facilities. However, nurses already working at the organizations that do not have a BSN may find it more difficult to climb the clinical ladder of success.

Difference between RN and BSN Degrees

Upon graduation, nurses with RN and with BSN degrees may work in the same position and receive the same or similar salaries. But over time nurses holding BSNs will be eligible for higher-paying positions. In addition, these nurses will already have the foundation for furthering their education, should they desire to do so. There are certain duties that an RN with a BSN degree is qualified to do that RNs without BSNs are not. For example, BSN nurses are qualified to take on managerial positions and leadership roles as well as review research papers and advocate for a patient. There are many areas of specialty that require a BSN at minimum.

A bachelor’s of science in nursing degree can open the door to scores of challenging and exciting nursing positions. The true difference in these degrees is the opportunities they can offer. RNs without a BSN will eventually find that they have climbed as far as possible without furthering their education. However, an RN degree can be a great way to get started in nursing. It is also perfect for those that are simply looking for a job, a way to earn bill money. A BSN is right for those individuals seeking a long-term career that offers challenges and various nursing career opportunities.

Shift toward Nursing Excellence

Hospitals strive for what is known as ‘Magnet Status’. This an achievement awarded to hospitals that meet certain criteria. This criterion is set forth by the nursing profession and it is designed to measure both, the quality and the strength of the facility’s nursing standards and practices. Only hospitals that deliver superior nursing care, have excellent patient outcomes, have nurses have with a higher than average level of job satisfaction, and have a low nursing staff turnover rate achieve this award. The American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), awards and administers the Magnet Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing.

Thus far, few facilities have achieved Magnet Status, which makes the award even more prestigious and desirable. Hospitals are endeavoring to demonstrate the characteristics and qualities needed to achieve the award. Most facilities are encouraging employees to advance their education and they are increasing the minimum credentials for new hires.

This is one way an organization, as well as its staff can demonstrate a true commitment to the pursuit of excellence. There is now a growing trend for registered nurses to go back to school to earn a bachelors of science in nursing degree. This provides them with advanced skills and knowledge that contributes to high quality patient care which can help a facility earn Magnet Status. The nurse is eligible for new career options and higher pay scales. Everyone wins.

From RN to BSN

Although lifelong learning has always been encouraged in nursing and other professions, now more than ever, lifelong learning is expected of nurses. Technology is always changing and advances in healthcare are continually being made. New areas of sub-specialties continue to develop in the field of nursing. In addition, new laws, policies and regulations are mandated that relate to healthcare. These changes have direct and indirect impacts on the way nurses deliver care and perform their duties. It is imperative that nurses stay current. It’s been said that nurses who are serious about their nursing careers will consider a BSN as a first step in their career path.

RN to BSN online programs offer a convenient way for nurses to gain the education they need to climb the clinical ladder of success. Because the classes are online students have an opportunity to create a study schedule that works for them. They can easily build it around existing commitments to work and family responsibilities.

Audrey Whitney is an online writer and editor for websites that offer information about nursing careers. According to her RN to BSN courses are not only popular, they are also becoming somewhat trendy among nurses. Whitney contends that RNs everywhere are taking online classes to continue their educations.

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