The benefits of an RN to BSN program
Registered nurses who hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing have the right educational foundation and credentials for continuing their education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). To earn a BSN, these hard-working professionals often need the flexibility and convenience offered through an online RN to BSN program that accommodates their personal and work obligations while pursuing higher education goals. Increasingly, healthcare employers desire to hire nurses with BSN degrees due to the level of knowledge and expertise they bring to their positions, especially in clinical settings. As a result, an affordable RN to BSN program is a worthwhile pursuit that can expand employment opportunities and lead to career advancement.
Advantages of an online bridge program
The American Association of Colleges of Nurses supports bridge programs as a way to enhance nursing competencies and patient care techniques. Specifically, bridge programs capitalize on an RN’s experience to learn new information quickly and apply it in patient care settings. The New York Times reported in 2012 that online programs have fueled enrollment in RN to BSN programs by providing easy access to state-of-the-art instruction through distance learning formats. Certain online program offers courses in flexible formats that work around a nurse's professional and personal obligations. This provides a convenient, flexible way for many nursing professionals to acquire a BSN often in less than a year.
Funding an affordable RN to BSN program
While many RNs may be interested in obtaining a BSN, cost may seem prohibitive. Fortunately, there are several funding sources to consider in addition to finding an affordable RN to BSN program. Students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which determines which loans, grants and even work-study funds are available for qualified candidates completing approved college or career programs. U.S. service members and their spouses may qualify for other college loan programs through the GI bill or military scholarship organizations. There are also college and employer partnership programs at many accredited schools that will assist with tuition needs. Employers are often motivated to offer some form of tuition assistance to assist their nursing staff to continue their education. Aspiring RN to BSN candidates can check with their employers to see what types of financial aid may be available.
Paying it forward with a BSN degree
The career implications of holding a BSN degree should be considered when thinking about participating in an online RN to BSN bridge program. These include:
- Increased career and professional growth opportunities in a competitive job market
- Increased compensation over time within the nursing profession
As the demand for nurses increases nationwide to meet new healthcare challenges, employers are seeking qualified nursing professionals to provide high-quality patient care across medical platforms. Through an affordable RN to BSN program, nurses can benefit from enhanced knowledge and advanced healthcare experiences that will make them valuable assets in their field.
Degree Completion Programs for Registered Nurses: RN to Master’s Degree and RN to Baccalaureate Programs. (2015, March 16). Retrieved April 24, 2015, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/degree-completion-programs
Pérez-Peña, R. (2012, June 23). More Stringent Requirements Send Nurses Back to School. The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/education/changing-requirements-send-nurses-back-to-school.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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