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RN to BSN Programs Can Enhance Your Nursing Career

Are you a registered nurse (RN) with an associate degree? Do you want to expand your nursing role with an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree? Completing an RN to BSN program like the one offered fully online by Lamar University can be an effective way to do this. Online RN to BSN programs build on what you already know and prepare you for the ever-changing healthcare environment.

How a BSN Degree Affects the Quality of Healthcare

As a registered nurse, you are one of the nation’s frontline healthcare workers. Your responsibilities affect the day-to-day functioning of the health organization where you are employed. You are involved with direct patient care, resource management, legal documentation and more. The quality of your work is tied to the health of your patients, your healthcare facility and the nursing profession as a whole.

Earning your BSN can expand your role and career as a nurse. In fact, it can improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. In 2010, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) — known then as the Institute of Medicine, or IOM — issued a landmark report on the Future of Nursing. According to the report, healthcare facilities where most nurses have a bachelor’s degree consistently achieve higher patient satisfaction, better outcomes of care and lower mortality rates.

Because of these findings, the report recommended that the number of baccalaureate-degreed nurses increase to 80% by 2020. This initiative was taken up by many of the nations’ leading medical associations and spurred regulatory developments like New York’s “BSN in 10” law. While this target has not yet been fully achieved, it remains a major goal for the field, evidenced by the positions of organizations like the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

NAM’s most current Future of Nursing report focuses on achieving health equity. Again, BSN-level preparation for nurses will be essential to achieving this goal. Students in programs like Lamar University’s online RN to BSN explore subjects such as holistic health assessment, social determinants of health, caring for diverse populations and explicit and implicit biases in nursing. The advanced study of topics like these can prepare students to promote health equity through their nursing practice and in leadership roles.

Common RN to BSN Requirements and Curriculum

Online BSN degree programs incorporate the nursing standards set by organizations like the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Two national organizations accredit nursing education programs: the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (which accredits Lamar University’s nursing programs) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accreditation ensures students they will receive a quality education, affords them access to certain financial aid, educational and licensure opportunities and can give graduates a competitive edge in the job market.

Before you explore RN to BSN programs, you should understand the admission requirements, application process and completion requirements. Most online programs require proof of your registered nurse license, immunization records, a health assessment and transcripts from your associate degree program. Other RN to BSN requirements include personal, professional and academic references.

Additionally, bachelor’s degree programs in nursing may include general education requirements that you did not encounter with an associate degree. Some programs require you to take courses in literature, speech, philosophy and other topics before you can take the upper-level nursing courses.

Most courses in RN to BSN programs expand on your current skills and knowledge of nursing. They focus on building leadership and management skills. All of the courses are designed to prepare you for the complex healthcare environment of the 21st century.

Learn more about the Lamar University online RN to BSN program.

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