If you have always wanted to get a BSN degree (Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing) but wondered how – you are on the right page.
A BSN degree could be helpful in many ways but most importantly it provides you a clear route to an RN and if you want to upgrade to higher level positions, it would help you a great deal.
So, to help you out, in this article we will discuss about BSN degree, why should you get one, how to get one, the available scholarship options, their skills, and much more.
Let the exploration begin –
What is a BSN?
A BSN is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. With it you will unlock the full potential of a nurse; and be sought after by employers, as well. A BSN will not only help you with high earning potential but also helps you in upgrading your education and position to higher level ones.
Here is the full article -> What Is a BSN?
Here, we have discussed the BSN degree, the requirements, the roles and responsibilities of a BSN nurse, and we have tried to end some of the common misconceptions that you probably might have.
You may also like -> Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Here we have discussed the BSN course overview, different programs (ABSN, RN-BSN, etc), course curricula, pros and cons, the career opportunities, and revealed how could you become a nurse with any degree.
Why to get a BSN?
You must have been thinking, if I could become a Nurse by just getting an Associate degree why should I get a BSN? You are right, but getting a BSN is highly recommended because there are some employers who seek RNs with only BSNs.
Also, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), in 2010 evaluated the state of the healthcare system in the USA and suggested that hospitals should hire nurses with advanced training to improve the quality of patient care.
To make that possible, the NAM asked the organizations to make sure 80% of nurses hold BSN degrees by 2020. It was due to this report that healthcare employers these days seek more RNs with BSN degrees.
The AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) in 2021 stated that post-NAM report almost 77% of employers seek to hire BSN graduates, while almost 40% of healthcare facilities made RNs with a BSN degree mandatory.
So, all these data and facts only suggest that it would be very smart of you to go after a BSN degree without paying much heed to other associate or diploma programs.
How to get a BSN?
If you are convinced by now to get your BSN degree, that’s great. Actually; there are 3 ways you can get a BSN degree depending on your current education qualification.
- A high school passed out
- After acquiring an RN with an ADN
- If you are an LPN or LVN
Let’s start with the first point – after high school –
After a High School Diploma or GED
You possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent. A BSN program might require you to have studied subjects like English, Math, Science, and Social Studies; before enrolling.
The next step would be to do your research and apply and gain admission into an accredited four-year BSN program.
Now, all you need to do is study hard and complete the BSN program.
Post-completion of your BSN program, it’s time for the clinical hours. Most BSN program requires you to complete 300-700 clinical hours.
The next step would be to apply and pass the NCLEX-RN exam and become an RN.
Post-becoming an RN you may start finding employment opportunities for you.
To finish all these steps, you might require 4-5 years depending on your learning pace and time commitment.
RN to BSN Program
As the name suggests, if you are an RN with an ADN, this program is for you. You must possess an active RN license while applying for this program. You might also be asked to complete any coursework and maintain a healthy GPA.
The program equips you with specialized training and superior patient management skills and it might require you about 18 months to two years to complete depending on your program length or your learning speed.
LVN/ LPN to BSN
If you hold an LVN or LPN license and wish to acquire a BSN degree this bridge program is for you. Some colleges also offer accelerated BSN (ABSN), if you opt for full-time study.
- General Prerequisites:
- Valid LVN or LPN license
- Completion of pre-nursing coursework
- Transcripts from any previous institutions
This program might require 3 years to complete depending on your time commitment and learning pace.
Are there any Scholarship Options?
Yes, there are several scholarship options to help you acquire a BSN degree. They are –
Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association General Scholarship – $10,000 per academic year
For – students with a specialization in oncology, critical care, or emergency nursing.
Frances L. Moore Scholarship – depends on available funds
For – any students in financial need.
Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship – one-time $2,500
For – students in financial need and are enrolled in an accredited school of nursing.
Geraldine Polly Bednash Scholarship – $5,000
For – students with high GPAs, only the best 2 get awarded.
Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship – annual $1,000
For – students accepted into an accredited nursing program, with a 3.0+ GPA, and hold U.S. citizenship.
American Indian Nurse Scholarship Award Program – $1,500 each semester
For – students of American Indian descent willing to work in American Indian communities post-graduation.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund – from $500-5,000 depending on financial need
For – students with U.S. citizenship, or eligible non-citizens of Hispanic origin with a minimum of 2.5 GPA, if completed ADN and with 3.0 or higher GPA in high school or GED.
Skills you require to succeed as an RN
To succeed as an RN, you need to possess or hone a variety of skills that will help you achieve excellence and make a positive impact in the field.
The skills are –
You need to develop strong Clinical Competence with medical knowledge and practical skills to provide effective patient care.
Critical Thinking is another skill you need to hone to analyze complex situations and make informed decisions, and adapt to changing conditions.
You need to possess Effective Communication skills to clearly interact with patients, families, and the healthcare team.
You should be adequate with Technological Proficiency in using electronic health records and medical devices effectively.
You should be Emotionally Resilient with the ability to manage your stress and maintain emotional well-being in high-pressure situations.
You should be Physical Fit as well to handle long shifts and challenging situations.
Apart from these skills, some other skills are – Problem-Solving, Patient Education, Attention to Detail, Time Management, Empathy, Teamwork, Adaptability, Ethical Decision-Making, Leadership, and Cultural Sensitivity.
Can you get a BSN in two years?
If you choose to enroll in some ASBN–accelerated BSN programs available you can earn a BSN in just two years. But there is a take, you can enroll in these accelerated programs if you already have earned a bachelor’s degree, in any discipline.
Most of them take almost 12-18 months with maximum stretching to 2 years, depending on your time commitment, program, and learning pace.
How to get a BSN without being an RN?
As mentioned earlier, if you have passed high school you can opt for a BSN program directly without needing to get an RN.
However, if you have completed your ADN, you can go ahead to get an RN or get a BSN. It is not mandatory to acquire an RN licensure to get a BSN degree.
You only require to have an active RN license when you are looking to enroll in an RN to BSN program.
How long to get a BSN?
The BSN program length depends on the education qualification you possess.
If you are just a high school pass-out you require 4-5 years to get a BSN.
If you are an RN with an AND, you require 18-24 months to get a BSN.
If you are an LPN/LVN, you will require almost 3 years to get a BSN.
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