Becoming a nurse may have been an easy decision for you – something you’ve always wanted to do. On the other hand, maybe it was difficult because of the sheer number of healthcare jobs from which to choose. Regardless, the decisions don’t end after you become a registered nurse (RN). You also have to decide if you want to continue your education and earn your bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
Going back to school might sound impossible for you. Yes, you’re busy. You’re working, you have a family and you have other obligations. But if you want to earn a degree, you don’t have to go the traditional route. Consider earning your RN to BSN degree online.
Why earn a BSN degree?
Earning a BSN degree has multiple benefits for you – and your patients.
Research has shown that that patients experience better outcomes when their caregivers hold BSN degrees. Experts have yet to pinpoint the reasoning behind this finding, but they have ruled out many variables, including hospital factors, patient characteristics and nursing experience.
Job opportunities are another advantage of earning a BSN degree because some hospitals only hire nurses with a BSN degree, says Dr. Iris Cornell, dean of Rasmussen College’s RN to BSN degree program. In fact, a nationwide initiative known as “BSN in 10” calls for all nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree – despite nursing education requirements that vary by state.
Not interested in working at a hospital your entire career? Then it might be even more important to explore what kind of education is required for you to land your dream job. You’ll also need a BSN if you want to work in public health or as a nurse educator, Cornell says.
A final consideration: Your level of education is important to you and your employer. Ask your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement or have partnerships with local colleges for tuition reduction. Tuition breaks are often possible because employers want employees who are up-to-date with the latest trends, Cornell says.
Why online learning is right for you
So, now you understand the importance of a BSN degree, but maybe you’re still concerned that you don’t have time for classes. That’s understandable, and it’s why time management is critical to success.
“You have to put your goal where you want to be and you have to schedule the time,” Cornell says. “Everything should be scheduled.” That means keeping track of everything, whether class-related or not – homework due dates, exams, appointments and work hours can all go into a calendar for easy reference.
Earning your degree online will help ease the usual time constraints associated with earning a degree. One big advantage: You don’t need to drive to class, so you won’t have to worry about traffic delays and road construction and you won’t be shelling out extra money for gas and fast food dinners.
Instead, you have 24/7 access to your classes. Of course, these are classes with a set syllabus and deadlines – but as long as you complete your work by the deadline, it doesn’t matter whether you write papers at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. Sometimes that flexibility can mean the difference between completing an important assignment – or having to explain to your instructor why you weren’t able to get it done.
Just because classes are held online, don’t fall victim to the common misconception that they’re somehow easier or you’re less accountable. “There is still the rigor of following the directions and expectations of the course,” Cornell says. “[Students] have to participate and be engaged in the coursework.”
Yes, you’re busy. A nurse is always busy. If you’re serious about making a better life for you and your family, additional education is a must and earning your RN to BSN degree online is one way to make it happen. Online learning offers the flexibility you need as you attend to the other commitments in your life.
If you’ve decide to pursue your RN to BSN degree, be sure to research the nursing school of your choice. To learn more about the online learning format at Rasmussen College, check out this online demo to see what you can expect!