One of the most pressing questions that RNs ask these days is this: “Should I go back to school for my BSN?”
There are very good reasons why you should consider getting your BSN:
- In recent years, many health care employers have begun requiring nurses to have at least a BSN. Having a certain percentage of the nursing workforce educated at the BSN level is critical for hospitals applying (and re-applying) for Magnet status.
- A growing body of research shows that nurses with a BSN education can make a positive impact on patient outcomes. They contribute to decreases in mortality rates, medication errors, infection rates and falls, among other measures.
- You’ll enhance your critical thinking, decision-making and communication skills. You’ll also begin to see the “big picture” of your role in health care.
- The Institute of Medicine advocates for nurses to pursue higher levels of education to meet the increased demands in health care. A BSN gives you a solid foundation needed to pursue specialty areas in nursing management, research, teaching or advanced nursing practice.
Let’s hear it from someone who just got her BSN. Sara Kimmel, BSN, RN, graduated from our RN to BSN program this past summer. She is currently a staff nurse at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.
What motivated you to pursue your BSN?
I realized that to move forward in my nursing profession, I would be required to possess either a BSN or MSN. Employers are now able to pick and choose whom they feel bring the most potential to the table. When the opportunity to attend an RN to BSN program at the Missouri Baptist campus became available, I thought: no time like the present. The classes met once week, which allowed me to continue to work full time while furthering my education.
What was the best part of the program? The most challenging?
I had the opportunity to develop new relationships with my fellow nurses. Most of the members of our class were “adult” learners and brought years of experience with them. I found that we gained so much more from this program by having that experience as a foundation on which to apply what we were learning. The most challenging part was remembering to balance home life with school.
Now, after finishing the program, how are you applying what you’ve learned in your daily work?
I was an LPN for many years before returning to school and obtaining my RN degree in 2009. Being an RN allowed me to care for my patients with knowledge. But now, my BSN has given me the vision to see beyond just patient care. I have a better understanding of health care management in today’s economy. When I read research articles, I’m now able to determine if it is a “good” article based on facts rather than just opinion.