For those looking to gain an edge for a nursing career, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the first step.
The report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice, stated the education impacts the knowledge and competencies of the nurse clinician. For those with a BSN, they are not only well-prepared to meet demands, they also are valued for their critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion.
Kathryn Tart, EdD, MSN, RN, founding dean and professor, and Humana endowed dean’s chair in nursing at the University of Houston, said there are multiple paths to get a BSN, such as the RN to BSN, second degree BSN, and traditional BSN.
Applicants for the nursing program will have their overall GPA, science GPAs, and testing exams reviewed in addition to an interview process.
“All nursing programs have qualifications,” Tart said. “We have more applicants than we’ve ever had. People want to help and know there’s a need. It’s a good profession to have a job and make a difference with individuals, families and the communities they touch.”
Dr. Rhonda Bell, San Jacinto College — Central Campus (SJC) dean of Health and Natural Sciences, said they have nursing programs on all three campuses as the demand for nurses continues to stay steady.
The BSN is one more step to obtaining a position in a clinical setting.
“We’re trying to meet the demand,” said Bell. “We’re expecting lots of retirements.”
San Jacinto College’s RN-to-BSN program is one year and designed for the working RN with an associate degree looking to advance within the profession. The program follows an eight-week course model, building on previous education and experience while providing face-to-face and distance learning opportunities that accommodate an employed RN’s schedule.
Concepts covered include community health nursing, nursing research, public and global health policy, informatics, and leadership.
“We see the success of our students as they master the curriculum. This allows them to be independent in learning. The chancellor has worked on this for a number of years. It’s exciting,” Bell said.
The National Institutes of Health article, Is a Baccalaureate in Nursing Worth It? The Return to Education, 2000—2008, stated the Institute of Medicine recommended 80% of RNs attain a bachelor’s degree by 2020 as the increasing complexity of nursing care warrants a higher educational standard.