Why Choose a BSN Over Other Nursing Degrees?
There are three major routes to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). First is a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) program which takes four years. Next, is an Associate Degree in Nursing, which takes three. Finally, there is a three-year hospital training program, which earns you a hospital diploma.
All three paths to a degree in nursing prepare students for the same state licensing exam. However, if you’re tempted to take the quickest path to a nursing career, you may want to consider your options more carefully. There are more to the differences than you might suspect. In this article, we’ll explore those differences in how they relate to your career.
Basic Nursing Degree Programs (BSN, ASN, and Hospital Degrees)
Let’s start with the basic differences in the focus of the degree programs. ASN and hospital diploma programs are the quickest routes to becoming an RN. These focus on gaining the skills and knowledge for state certification exams. The focus is more like vocational training than theoretical exploration.
This is their main difference from Bachelor’s programs which also include a liberal education. This means Bachelor’s recipients are better prepared for graduate school and other high-level healthcare careers. Their broader studies help them succeed in their profession and make them more flexible to changing contexts. While ASN and hospital diploma earners can work in hospitals, BSN students are also able to work in public health or become a nurse educator.
Changes in Healthcare
Complex technology is changing the way we provide healthcare. Recent advances in medical procedures, record-keeping, and safety procedures have made nursing more sophisticated. Hospitals and other medical service providers are adjusting hiring practices to accommodate these changes. Leading experts recommend that two-thirds of the nurse workforce hold a BSN. Recent trends show that RN’s with a BSN are often hired before candidates with a lower degree. In response, many RN’s with only an associate’s degree or hospital diploma are returning to school to earn a BSN. In fact, many universities now offer RN to BSN degrees to meet these demands.
Any nursing program you take will help you pass your state certification exam. Only the BSN degrees will open you up to more job options. If your goal involves working more independently or becoming a manager, this is something you ought to consider. In a certain sense, your BSN degree tells employers you are serious about nursing.
Earning your BSN also makes it easier for you to earn your Master’s at a later date. Should you choose to pursue your Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), many more career options will be available to you. Examples include: Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Midwife, (CNM), Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), or Nursing Instructor/Teacher.
Earning your BSN will open far more options for you than ASN’s or hospital degrees. Why limit what you can achieve? If you are serious about a career in nursing, it’s worth your while to take the extra time required to earn your BSN.
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