The Importance of Nurses Having a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

Registered nurses who are looking to earn a degree that will make them more competitive in the marketplace can do so with an online RN to BSN program. BSN-prepared nurses have the advantage of additional nursing courses. They are trained in-depth in the areas of critical thinking and research and are usually preferred by employers.

Institute of Medicine Recommends Increase in BSN-prepared Nurses

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine issued a recommendation urging for the number of BSN-prepared nurses to grow to 80 percent (up from today's 50 percent). The push for more nurses with a bachelor’s degree is recommended because of four main points:

  • Highly complex environments require higher knowledge skill sets
  • There is research evidence to support that a higher percentage of BSN graduates mean better patient outcomes
  • Current educational models support the movement of RNs from associate to bachelor’s degrees
  • Europe has already moved nursing education to the BSN level

BSN-prepared Nurses and Patient Outcomes

BSN-prepared nurses have better patient outcomes, commit fewer drug errors and have lower patient mortality rates. According to a 2003 study published in the JAMA network, “In hospitals with higher proportions of nurses educated at the baccalaureate level or higher, surgical patients experienced lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates.” Studies such as this are leading employers to hire more nurses with BSN degrees. BSN-prepared nurses also have more opportunities to take on leadership positions.

RN to BSN Programs Can Be Completed Online

BSN-prepared nurses are better prepared, receive a more holistic education, are better equipped to compete in today’s marketplace and are preferred by employers. Many nursing positions are only available to BSN-prepared nurses. So what is stopping registered nurses with associate degrees from obtaining their bachelor’s degree? Nurses who are working full time may find it difficult to go back to school, especially if they are juggling other responsibilities. An online program may be the best option for a working professional.

Louisiana State University of Alexandria offers an online RN to BSN program that is most convenient for adults with busy schedules and little or no time to commute back and forth to classrooms. In addition, students can complete their coursework at a time that fits around their other personal obligations. Students can acquire their bachelor’s degree in as little as 14 months.

Learn more about the LSUA online RN to BSN program.


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