How to Become a Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree: Put BS in Biology toward BSN

How to Become a Nurse with a Bachelor’s DegreeLike many students who pursue an undergraduate biology degree, you likely had intentions of later going on to medical school. But you may have recently had a change of heart, due to the time commitment or costs involved with earning your MD.

But, you also don’t want your previous degree to go to waste. What to do? A great place to start is understanding how to become a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in biology through the Misericordia University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Pittsburgh. Our 16-month program has three start dates per year and incorporates online learning, onsite labs, and clinical rotations so you can apply your biology degree toward a BSN.

What are the advantages of changing your career path? Below, we outline six reasons students with biology degrees choose to pursue nursing.

1. You won’t have to start your nursing degree from scratch

The great thing about applying your biology degree toward a BSN is not having to start over on your education to change your career path. If anything, your prior science degree gives you a leg up on being successful in nursing school.

That’s because you can put some of the science courses you’ve already taken toward a nursing degree through Misericordia University’s ABSN program. We require students to complete four science prerequisites — Introduction to Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Fundamentals of Nutrition — in addition to four other general prerequisites. Because you likely completed these science courses as a biology major, you can enroll in our program sooner.

If you haven’t completed all the prerequisites yet — don’t fret! Your admissions counselor can help you determine the best and quickest path for you to meet the admission requirements.

2. You can start your new career sooner

You may have pursued a biology degree intending to become a doctor but later decided you wanted to enter the healthcare field sooner. The good news about going back to school for a nursing degree instead of a medical degree? While med school takes several years to complete before your career starts, you can graduate from nursing school and become a nurse in far less time.

Not to mention, by choosing to enroll in an ABSN program like the one Misericordia University offers your route to becoming a registered nurse accelerates. Our 16-month ABSN program combines online courses with hands-on labs and clinical experiences at top healthcare facilities through the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. Plus, with three start dates per year — January, May, and August — you can choose to begin your nursing education when you’re ready.

3. You can combine previous knowledge with applied nursing skills

Students with biology degrees coming into nursing already have experience applying disciplined problem-solving techniques — one of the most important abilities needed to succeed in nursing. Our ABSN program offers in-depth courses on nursing research, management, and community health to help you fine-tune those skills.

Additionally, you’ll also come to build on your science background and understand just how large a role biology plays in patient care during your clinical rotations in nursing school. In fact, nurses use biology every day to make informed decisions when caring for patients, including:

  • Offering treatment options based on body composition and family history.
  • Making sure patients receive the right medication for their medical status.
  • Deciding dosage calculations for giving medication to patients.

4. You’ll have more interaction with patients, sooner

Even more so than doctors or even physicians’ assistants, nurses routinely stand at the forefront of patient care. Not only do they educate patients on their health and conditions, but they also coordinate patient care with other providers and often function as the doctor-family liaison. Most importantly, nurses help address patients’ emotional needs and serve as their advocates.

Not to mention, as a student enrolled in Misericordia’s ABSN program your clinical rotations will take place at top healthcare facilities within Allegheny Health Network. During this part of your nursing education, you’ll learn how to interact with patients under the guidance of experienced clinical instructors. As a med student, you may not have the chance to interact with patients until much further along in your education.

Hands on learning

5. You’ll have plenty of career opportunities with a BSN

Nurse leaders from magnet hospitals, federal agencies, leading nursing organizations, healthcare foundations, and minority nurse advocacy groups all recognize the unique value BSN-educated nurses bring to the practice setting, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN). Among other reasons, nurses who hold BSN degrees earn such respect for “their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.”

It’s true. Holding a BSN opens the door to many diverse career paths and specialties, giving you the option to practice the profession in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to helicopters and airplanes.

With a BSN, you’re qualified to become a:

  • Surgical nurse
  • ICU nurse
  • Pediatric nurse
  • OBGYN nurse
  • Hospice nurse
  • Flight nurse
  • Travel nurse
  • Clinical research nurse
  • Legal nurse consultant

Furthermore, if you ever want to become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist, a BSN sets you on the path to earn the advanced degrees required for these positions.

6. Your nursing skills — and degree — will be in demand

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment of registered nurses will grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, making it one of the fastest growing professions in the nation. Add in the fact that the American Nurses Association predicts a nationwide shortage of 1.1 million new RNs by 2022 and you’re looking at a profession with plenty of in-demand career opportunities. That’s due to increased access to healthcare services, increased emphasis on preventive health care, an aging Baby Boomer generation living longer than previous generations, and a sharp rise in chronic conditions.

Apply Your Biology Degree toward a BSN Today!

Are you ready to put your existing undergraduate education toward a rewarding new nursing career? Through the Misericordia University ABSN program, you can give your biology degree new purpose by earning a BSN in as few as 16 months. Contact an admissions counselor today to learn more.

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