When someone asks registered nurses about the benefits of being a nurse, the answer that usually rises to the top is the ability to help people when they need it. Although providing this kind of care at the bedside is incredibly meaningful and valuable, becoming a bachelor’s-prepared nurse through an online accelerated BSN program can open the door to even more rewarding professional opportunities.
An online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) is designed for those people with a bachelor’s degree in any field of study who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
ABSN programs are “accelerated” because students don’t have to spend time with the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree—those were taken care of with their first degree. Therefore, students can concentrate all their time on nursing coursework and quickly earn their ABSN degree in just one year.
Look for a good online ABSN program
Accredited ABSN programs, such as the one offered by Wilkes University, welcome students who may have started on a different career path but now want to prepare themselves to become registered nurses with a bachelor’s-level education.
With two term starts throughout the year—including one in September—Wilkes University offers students greater flexibility for moving into their nursing career.
This blog will give you an overview of how an online accelerated BSN program can meet your needs to make that career switch and offer you advantages in the profession. Here are 5 of the top benefits we’ll cover:
- Job security
- Higher salary
- New work environment opportunities
- Advancement potential
- Better patient outcomes
1. Job Security—The demand for nurses is rising.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that registered nurses will be among the jobs in greatest demand through 2029, with a faster-than-average job growth rate of 7%.
Since the mid-1960s, there has been a push in various state legislatures to encourage—or require—a BSN degree for licensure as an RN While your state may not yet require a BSN for RN licensure, many employers strongly prefer nurses with the BSN degree. Nurses with a BSN are better positioned for promotions and are poised to start graduate school to continue their nursing education.
In the interest of providing the best care and leadership possible, major employers such as the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force require a bachelor’s in nursing to serve as a military nurse. And the nation’s largest employer of RNs, the Department of Veterans Affairs, also requires a bachelor’s degree for nurses who seek promotion past the entry-level.
Moreover, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), employers value graduates of accelerated BSN programs because the group tends to be more mature, more dedicated to the profession and has skill sets from previous jobs that transfer well to nursing.
2. Higher Salary
According to BLS, RNs earn a median annual salary of $73,300 nationally. Of course, this figure encompasses a wide range of health care settings and spans the entire country. For example, BSN-prepared nurses in Washington (the state with the highest average) earn an average of nearly $94,000 while those in Hawaii (10th highest average salary) earn close to $77,000 per year.
Nurses with a baccalaureate education are able to advance into other positions. From hospitals, ambulatory care centers and physician practices to home-based care, schools, community-based clinics and nursing homes, many clinical settings need RNs. Achieving a BSN is more important than ever as the role is, in essence, the center point between the patient and physician relationship.
3. New Work Environment Opportunities
There are a number of positions nurses who have graduated from online ABSN programs can pursue that are beyond the bedside. Some require experience practicing as a clinical nurse, while others do not. Many of these roles are performed in hospital settings, while others may be under the supervision of a pharmaceutical company, health insurer or non-healthcare-related business organization. Here are some typical positions found on RN.com:
- Nursing Managers act in a supervisory role, overseeing other nurses and making sure they deliver high-quality care. Average salary: $84,000.
- Nurse Case Managers help patients interact with nursing and medical providers as well as with insurance companies or employers. They may also coordinate home care services and conduct case review conferences. Average salary: $69,000.
- Research Nurses assist investigators in clinical studies by gathering data from participants, managing selection protocols and other key tasks. Average salary: $70,700.
- Quality Specialists improve patient safety and patient experience in the hospital setting, using and developing processes that ensure the best outcomes for patients. Average salary: $78,900.
- Nursing Informatics Specialists implement and assess electronic health records and related systems, working with nursing and information technology teams to ensure data systems can be accessed efficiently by clinicians. Average salary: $102,000.
4. Advancement Potential
Nurses with a BSN degree have the option to take the next step and pursue graduate-level training. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree allows nurses to advance their careers in clinical or leadership positions. Depending on the role, nurses with MSN degrees may operate within collaborative environments or with greater autonomy and independence.
On the clinical side, nurses can become advanced practice registered nurses with specialties in emergency care, critical care, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified midwifery, nurse practitioner and other roles across the continuum of care.
Master’s-prepared nurses who become nurse practitioners can provide patient care in alignment with a concentration of their choosing, such as family care, adult-gerontology primary care or psychiatric/mental health care.
Nurses with MSN degrees who choose to work in nonclinical settings can seek out positions in administration, education, policymaking or informatics.
5. Better Patient Outcomes
You can feel good knowing that pivoting your career to nursing will positively affect your patients. Online Accelerated BSN programs are designed to prepare their students through grounding in evidence-based clinical care, leadership education and the importance of community. This ultimately translates to better patient outcomes.
Several studies cited by the AACN showed that patients who were cared for by nurses with bachelor’s degrees had lower in-hospital mortality rates and enjoyed a “substantial survival advantage.” In addition, BSN-educated nurses were rated as “significantly better prepared than associate degree nurses in 12 out of 16 areas” ranging from quality and safety to data analysis and project implementation.
How to Select a Reputable Online Accelerated BSN Program?
Finding an online accelerated BSN program that can meet your needs as a student is critical to your future success. Wilkes University offers a rigorous academic program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is consistently ranked highly by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, the Brookings Institution and others.
If you are ready to begin, Wilkes is ready to hear from you! Unlike other online ABSN schools, Wilkes has two terms throughout the year for your convenience.
Wilkes University’s online Accelerated BSN program will fully prepare you in one year in the following areas:
- Nursing Foundations — Understand the principles of nursing from theoretical, ethical, scientific, and historical standpoints
- Clinical Skill-Building—Develop your capability to provide evidence-based care for patients through immersive clinical experiences
- Professional Preparation and Collaboration — Grow as a leader and effectively collaborate with other health care professionals in real-world scenarios
- Population-Specific Care — Understand cultural and economic factors when caring for individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds
Learn more about Wilkes University’s Accelerated BSN program.
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