Nursing has changed in the past decade. While nurses in the past frequently entered the field with a two-year associate degree, many healthcare organizations now want nurses with a bachelor’s degree. This shift has led to the popularity of RN to BSN programs.
For many working nurses, the best option to earn a four-year degree is an RN to BSN online program. They need the flexibility an online program offers to balance their work and school life. NMU Global Campus offers an affordable online program that allows nurses to complete their BSN in as little as four semesters.
The need for nurses has never been higher. An aging population requires more medical services than ever before. Also, people of all ages make more use of preventative medical care. The demand continues to increase for more hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and community health centers–and more nurses.
Reasons to Enroll in an RN to BSN Online Program
Most nurses consider their profession a calling as much as a career. Earning a BSN can serve both. Nurses graduate with an expanded set of skills to better treat patients. They also position themselves for the best nursing jobs in healthcare. And affordable online programs make those benefits possible to attain while maintaining a full-time nursing job.
Those who earn a bachelor’s degree make more money, on average than those with a two-year degree. This is true across every profession. It holds with nursing. According to data compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a BSN salary in Michigan reached an average salary of $73,980 in May 2020. The average salary for neighboring states includes:
- Ohio – $69,750
- Indiana – $67,490
- Illinois – $74,560
- Wisconsin – $74,760
Better Job Opportunities
Many of the best jobs are only open to those with a BSN. Nursing is also becoming an increasingly competitive field, with the BLS estimating that more than 276,000 nurses will join the profession nationwide by 2030, joining the more than 3 million nurses already working.
Nurses need a BSN if they want to move out of clinical care and into different jobs, such as management. Many also earn a BSN as the next step toward eventually earning a Master of Nursing Science or Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Some of the best Michigan cities for nursing jobs are Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit. Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Saginaw.
Improve Nursing Skills
An RN knows how to provide quality clinical care. A BSN program provides further clinical skills expertise and offers additional education in critical thinking, nurse leadership skills, and communication. Many organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), have reported that nurses with a BSN end up producing better outcomes for patients.
The AACN recommends that nurses earn their BSN. So do the American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, and the American Nurses Association. The AACN writes that “BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.”
Benefits of the NMU RN to BSN Program
The RN to BSN online program from NMU offers nurses the chance to complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as four semesters. Earning the degree requires taking at least 30 credit hours at NMU. Because nurses attend classes while also working, they can immediately use what they learn in their courses on the job.
The BSN program includes these core courses:
- Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice
- Nursing Care of Populations
- Nursing Care of Populations for the Practicing Nurse (Clinical)
- Nursing Issues Seminar
- Leadership & Management in Nursing
- Professional Nursing Practice (Clinical)
At NMU, nurses complete the clinical work in their local area. NMU designs each student’s clinicals to meet their individual learning goals and provide a learning experience relevant to their current workplace. The project-based clinicals focus on interacting with clinicians and patients, online virtual clinical simulations, and implementing evidence into practice.
The university also encourages nursing students to earn a leadership certificate or a leadership minor. Both programs feature curriculums that enhance a nurse’s leadership skills, including courses in effective communication, ethical leadership, assessment, and leadership in diverse workplaces.