BSN Programs Pave The Way For Professional Nursing Practice

BSN programs offer the bachelor of science degree in nursing, which is considered the basic entry-level degree for professional nursing practice. Professional nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association and state boards of nursing have stated this in their guidelines and practice acts. Nursing authorities feel that the BSN is the most adequate preparation for future professional nurses who will take care of the aging population as healthcare becomes more challenging in the years to come.

Many employers have expressed their preference for hiring BSN nurses over diploma or ADN nurses because of the higher level of BSN education. This bodes well for those who opt to earn their BSN rather than diploma or ADN degrees. BSN graduates will find themselves facing the most number of job opportunities and earning the maximum amount of salary for entry-level registered nurses.

The BSN is also the platform for higher education in nursing. Colleges and universities require the completion of the BSN before they admit nurses into their MSN programs. Even RN to MSN programs require that students earn their BSN first before proceeding to MSN courses.

BSN programs generally take 4-5 years to complete. The first two years are spent fulfilling requirements in liberal arts and science courses. There are a few introductory nursing courses included in this period such as anatomy, ethics and microbiology. These subjects are prerequisites of BSN core subjects. The last two to three years of BSN nursing programs consist of nursing courses. Students begin to study subjects like foundations of nursing, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, then advance to more focused nursing areas such as medical-surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, obstetric and pediatric nursing, intensive care nursing, and nursing administration.

Classroom discussions and tests are complemented by clinical sessions first done in the nursing laboratory then later in actual medical facilities like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. There are minimum
clinical hours required to complete per subject as well as for the whole program. Tuition costs vary from place to place and traditional in-campus, online, or blended modes of learning are offered by colleges and universities. Enrollees must do their research to find out what program would best help them achieve their goals.

BSN programs are increasing in number all over the United States. These programs are one of the most time-consuming and relatively expensive nursing programs available. If students are unable to enroll
in full BSN programs, they may enroll in diploma or ADN programs in schools which offer a ladder scheme where they can transfer units later if they want to bridge towards a BSN degree.

Like diploma or ADN-educated students, BSN graduates can become licensed registered nurses or RN’s when they pass the NCLEX-RN exam. After getting licensed they can apply in a variety of practice settings like hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes. They can also opt to practice in the community as school nurses or home health nurses.

BSN nursing programs offer a comprehensive and holistic learning experience for students which translate to a high level of nursing competence. After graduation, they are able to contribute immediately in
patient care delivery in their practice settings because of the knowledge and training they received from their BSN programs.

The acute shortage of registered nurses in the United States favor BSN educated nurses. Most entry-level nursing positions require BSN degrees. Labor estimates show that nursing would experience one of the fastest job growths among all professions in the next ten years. Because it has become the standard for beginning professional nursing, career opportunities will remain abundant for graduates of BSN programs.

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