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Why Now’s the Time for an Online RN to BSN Degree

As we look to the future of healthcare, nurses play a crucial role in ensuring all communities receive the care they need. This concept is a focus of the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report, which centers around the role of nurses in advancing health equity.

However, for this directive to succeed, registered nurses (RNs) need to be equipped with top-level knowledge and skills — fulfilled only by higher education. So, if you’re a registered nurse contemplating a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, there’s no time to waste.

What Does a RN to BSN Program Involve?

There are plenty of RN to BSN program options available. First, however, it’s essential to consider a program that ticks all the boxes for your wants and needs.

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) RN to BSN online program is entirely online, allowing students to complete coursework around their unique schedules. It also offers multiple start dates throughout the calendar year. As a result, RNs can complete the program in as few as nine months.

Another critical benefit of UTA’s online BSN program is its affordability. The program’s total tuition is $8,995, but UTA offers a pay-as-you-go option if that’s preferable — as well as financial aid.

Those are the “logistics,” but nurses should also know that the coursework is designed to provide RNs everything they need to be successful in their careers. This comprehensive program covers all the bases, from topics like geriatric care and community health to nursing research and leadership.

Why Now?

There are many reasons why there’s no better or more urgent time than now for RNs to make the leap to a BSN degree. However, the following are a few benefits of a BSN degree to keep top of mind:

1) The path to health equity

As mentioned, the goal for this decade is to help nurses play an active role in advancing health equity. NAM’s report states, “A nation cannot fully thrive until everyone — no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they make — can live their healthiest possible life, and helping people live their healthiest life is and has always been the essential role of nurses.”

The BSN degree provides a stronger foundation for nurses to drive this movement by focuses on both healthcare skills and broader management abilities like critical thinking, evidence-based practices and decision making.

2) Achieve greater personal development and fulfillment

Nursing is a detail-oriented profession with “day-to-day” responsibilities. However, all those days add up to a career that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. Now, nurses are respected as leaders and advocates, and there’s still room for personal development and fulfillment in advocacy and leadership areas in and outside the hospital setting.

UTA RN to BSN online graduate Rose Garcia says, “The program was actually more than I expected. I really am very proud to say I’m a UTA graduate. It really helped to advance my career and myself as a nurse.”

3) Expand knowledge base

Healthcare is constantly evolving, so nurses need to level up their expertise. For example, as the aging population in the United States continues to grow, it will be imperative for nurses to understand the unique needs of older adults with chronic and acute conditions. Health policy is another area where nurses can contribute, and a BSN degree can help them familiarize themselves with legislative processes.

4) Increase employment opportunities

With greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. As a result, a BSN degree is both desirable to hiring professionals and a preferred education level for many positions. BSN-prepared nurses have the flexibility to branch out into more “specialty” roles, such as a clinical research nurse (CRN) or nurse informaticist.

5) Elevate earning potential

Significant salary differences exist between RNs with associate degrees (ADN) and those who have BSNs. PayScale reports the average annual salary of the former as $72,000, compared to $88,000 for BSN-prepared nurses. A BSN degree can help professionals reap financial reward in their careers.

Opportunities Await

Nurses discover elements of both personal and professional fulfillment as they progress throughout their careers. However, a BSN degree can provide nursing professionals with several benefits including health equity know-how, personal development, an expanded knowledge base, increased employment and specialty opportunities and elevated earning potential.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington’s RN to BSN online program.

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