Right now you are probably weighing your options about what nursing school to go to and what degree path to follow. Becoming a nurse involves plenty of research, especially for those who are making a career change. If you have some non-nursing college education or a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may be the best fit for you. Not only will it leverage your existing education so you can earn a degree in less than two years, but you will earn a degree that employers are desperately seeking.
Below we will explore the advantages of earning a BSN in the nursing profession, specifically through Misericordia University’s Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
How Does an ABSN Program Work?
Before addressing the advantages to earning a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree, let’s first look at how an accelerated nursing program like Misericordia University’s works.
Misericordia University’s ABSN program offers students a hybrid, comprehensive learning model that combines:
- Online curriculum
- Hands-on labs
- Clinical rotations
In as few as 16 months, this comprehensive learning model provides students with the experience needed to graduate and sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Because Misericordia’s ABSN program includes online and on-site learning, you must live in or near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to enroll.
The online section of Misericordia University’s Accelerated BSN program features a dynamic e-Learning platform to deliver core nursing coursework. You will be able to complete this coursework wherever and whenever is best for you, so long as you complete it by the deadline set forth by your instructor.
Online is only one portion of Misericordia’s ABSN program format. What you learn online will be put into in-person practice through hands-on skills and simulations labs at Misericordia University’s new, state-of-the-art nursing learning center in Pittsburgh.
Once you have practiced your nursing skills in a safe environment during labs, you will apply those skills to real-world situations through diverse clinical rotations at top health care facilities in the Pittsburgh area.
Advantages of a BSN
As you explore different pathways toward becoming a registered nurse, it is important to know the advantages each option offers you. At Misericordia University, the Accelerated BSN path provides students who have a least 60 non-nursing credits from an accredited institution or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree a path that provides them with multiple advantages — from career opportunities to better benefits to job security.
Earning a BSN affords you diverse career opportunities inside the hospital, outside the hospital, and even in advancing your education.
Opportunities inside a hospital setting
The demand for nurses who have BSN degrees is at an all-time high across the country. Misericordia’s ABSN program is an effort to help fill that demand by leveraging your education so you can earn a quality BSN degree.
The BSN degree you will earn will open up so many opportunities within a hospital setting that other degrees do not provide. For example, a BSN will allow you to work as a:
- Pediatric Nurse
- Surgical Nurse
- ICU Nurse
- Obstetric and Gynecological Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
- Critical Care Nurse
Opportunities beyond the bedside
If you prefer to work outside of a traditional hospital setting, there are plenty of opportunities beyond the bedside. But many of those opportunities require a BSN degree. Some of the top nursing careers outside of a hospital setting include:
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Forensic Nurse Consultant
- Case Manager Nurse
- Hospice Nurse
- Travel Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
- School Nurse
Earning your BSN is also the first step toward an advanced degree. For example, if you want to become a nurse leader, educator, or nurse practitioner, you must first have a bachelor’s degree. Why would you want to earn an advanced degree like an MSN? Because nearly all of the top-paying specialties require an MSN. But, again, it all starts with a BSN, which is required to apply.
Another advantage to earning a BSN degree is the pay and benefits that come along with it. Overall, BSN-educated nurses have access to better rewards than those nurses who possess an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). According to some, the pay difference between nurses with and without a BSN is nearly $30,000.
As stated earlier, the demand for BSN-educated nurses is increasing and now more hospitals require a bachelor’s in nursing as a minimum requirement. This is because hospitals are held to new standards that they must meet, including that they must increase their nurse staff to 80% BSN-educated nurses by 2020.
Even for healthcare jobs that do not require a BSN, having a bachelor’s degree in nursing can give you the edge over a candidate with an associate’s degree in nursing.
Better Outcomes for Patients
What may be the most important benefit in earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree has nothing to do with you, but rather your future patients. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) collected research that shows nurses who have earned a BSN degree have better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates and lower failure to rescue rates. It also concludes BSN holders have higher proficiency in accurate diagnoses for patients.
Begin Your Path to a BSN
Now that you have a better understanding of the advantages to earning a BSN in the nursing profession, it is time to get started on earning your degree. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 60 credits from a regionally accredited institution, you may qualify to apply to the Misericordia University Accelerated BSN program in Pittsburgh.
Other requirements to Misericordia’s ABSN program include:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (based on all transferable credit).
- Successful completion of all prerequisites
If you have these requirements, then it is time to contact a Misericordia ABSN admissions counselor who will help you with your next steps toward earning a BSN through the program. You will be assigned a dedicated counselor who will work with you throughout the application process.