The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is designed for a person who is currently a Registered Nurse and is seeking to complete the requirements for an earned Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum provides registered nurses with a better understanding of the ethical, cultural, political, economic, and social issues that affect patients and influence healthcare delivery. Critical thinking, leadership, management, research, physical assessment, and health promotion across a variety of community-based healthcare settings is emphasized in the program.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing
(BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one. Bachelor’s degree programs usually include
more training in the physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking, which
is becoming more important as nursing practice becomes more complex. They also offer more clinical
experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative
positions, research, consulting, and teaching.
As part of a joint report, the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, The Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and The Institute of Medicine (IOM) determined that nurses should achieve
higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless
The qualifications and level of education required for entry into the nursing profession have been widely
debated by nurses, nursing organizations, academics, and a host of other stakeholders for more than 40
years. Although a BSN education is not a panacea for all that is expected of nurses in the future, it does,
relative to other educational pathways, introduce students to a wider range of competencies in such arenas
as health policy and health care financing, community and public health, leadership, quality improvement,
and systems thinking. Care within the hospital continues to grow more complex, with nurses having to
make critical decisions associated with care for sicker, frailer patients and having to use more sophisticated, life-saving technology coupled with information management systems that require skills in analysis
and synthesis. Care outside the hospital is becoming more complex as well. Nurses are being called
on to coordinate care among a variety of clinicians and community agencies; to help patients manage
chronic illnesses, thereby preventing acute care episodes and disease progression; and to use a variety of
technological tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of care. A more educated nursing workforce
would be better equipped to meet the demands of an evolving health care system, and this need could be
met by increasing the percentage of nurses with a BSN. An increase in the proportion of nurses with a BSN
also would create a workforce poised to achieve higher levels of education at the master’s and doctoral
levels, required for nurses to serve as primary care providers, nurse researchers, and nurse faculty—
positions currently in great demand across the profession and within the health care system. The committee
recommends that the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees be increased to 80 percent by 2020.
While it anticipates that it will take a few years to build the educational capacity needed to achieve this
goal, the committee maintains that it is bold, achievable, and necessary to move the nursing workforce to
an expanded set of competencies, especially in the domains of community and public health, leadership,
systems improvement and change, research, and health policy.
Read the entire report at http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2010/the-future-of-nursing-leading-change-advancing-health.aspx
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