Nurses are very important assets in the healthcare industry as they benefit the medical staff as well as the patients. Nurses are responsible for helping their medical colleagues keep track of patient medical history and ensure that the correct diagnosis is made.
They give direct patient care to help with the healing process, monitor vital signs and provide education on critical health conditions. Nurses also share their expertise with the patient and family members.
These are just some of the things nurses do in general, but some nurses are more equipped with knowledge. You have your registered nurses (RN) and those who went a step further by getting one of the best RN to BSN programs.
Many institutions can help you advance your nursing career. Now it is possible to pursue this through online classes or a mixture of both in-person and online teaching.
The Line Between RN and BSN
You can find registered nurses in hospitals, different doctor offices, home healthcare services, nursing homes and nursing care centers. Many are also employed in outpatient clinics and schools.
These are licensed individuals who have passed a nursing program from a recognized nursing school. Their daily tasks will depend on the facility they work in, the clinic’s specialty and the patient’s needs.
In general, nursing responsibilities cover, but are not limited to:
- Collaboration with doctors and other healthcare professionals,
- Handling medical equipment,
- Keeping track of patients’ medical records and symptoms,
- Establishing plans of care,
- Administering medicines and treatment,
- Getting patients ready for exams or operations.
With all these duties, a registered nurse’s schedule can be light or heavy. It depends on their specialty and the work environment. All hospitals and care facilities work on a shift system which ensures care at all hours of the day. The normal load would be 10 to 12-hour shifts a couple of times in the week, but sometimes nurses can face up to 24 to 36-hour shifts.
An RN program is based on basic nursing skills that target nursing theories and clinical practices. A BSN program is an undergraduate-level degree that has more general and medical coursework.
The BSN curriculum has courses such as Foundations of Medical-Surgical Nursing Practices, Global Health Nursing, Legal and Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice and Care of Children and Adolescents. To get this degree you’ll need four years of study.
The RN to BSN program
The RN to BSN program is a bridging program that could take between one and two years to complete, this depends from one institution to another. The programs may include courses like pathophysiology and pharmacology, clinical reasoning, patient care technology, health promotion, research, safety and quality in the healthcare system.
Many employers are encouraging their registered nurses to take these BSN programs as it will firstly benefit the hospitals and other health facilities. Secondly, a nurse with a BSN degree will mostly benefit the patient. In the end, this can optimize and make the workforce more efficient, providing more safety in the health environment and preparing registered nurses for any upcoming medical emergencies.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is doing its best to reach 80% of registered nurses to have BSNs worldwide. According to the Campaign for Nursing’s Future, an initiative of the Center to Champion Nursing in America, it was reported 65.2% of registered nurses had moved up to a BSN level or higher degree as of 2021.
Now that many institutions are offering this program on an online platform, a registered nurse can study for a BSN while attending work, making this an affordable option. As the RN will be in a healthcare facility all the time this makes it simple to put into practice what was learned. If possible, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) would be the next step after a BSN.
This degree program includes specializations in areas such as nurse educator, nursing informaticist and executive nurse leader.