With a rising emphasis on continued education in the nursing field, many registered nurses are returning to school to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. But, going back to school isn't always a simple decision, especially if you're a nurse who is already working full time in a setting you enjoy.
It becomes even more complex if you're located in a geographic area that doesn't offer an RN to BSN program. An added concern is cost, which prohibits some individuals from furthering their education. Many RN to BSN programs are quite expensive, charging upwards of $500 per credit hour, on top of increased tuition for out-of-state students as well as other miscellaneous fees.
However, the benefits of earning your BSN are plenty. For RNs who are thinking about cost, commute and convenience, an online program can be the ideal solution. And now, RNs in the six-state region of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Idaho can enroll in the online RN to BSN program at Southern Utah University (SUU) with no out-of-state penalties.
Benefits of the SUU Online Program
The RN to BSN program at SUU provides the flexibility that working RNs can appreciate, but also the option for an accelerated pace. Nurses who want to earn their degree in a relatively short amount of time can complete the required 30 credit hours in as few as 10 months. It is also affordable, with total tuition coming in at $9,000 — including all fees. And tuition can be paid by the course ($300 per credit hour), making it budget friendly as well.
Additional benefits include access to the nursing librarian, online tutoring and the writing center.
Why Is a BSN so Important?
An increasing number of organizations are leaning toward hiring nurses with a BSN over those without. While the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) does not discount nurses with only an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), it and other entities like the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), formerly the Institute of Medicine or IOM, strongly advocate for RNs to earn their BSN due to the growing complexities of a rapidly evolving healthcare industry.
Certain nursing positions require a BSN. Examples include school nurses, military nurses and nurse managers who work in Magnet hospitals. In fact, the Veterans Administration (VA), which is the largest employer of nurses in the United States, now requires BSN degrees for RNs to be promoted from entry-level positions.
A BSN is also becoming a basic qualification for nurses who hope to move into leadership, administrative and instructional roles.
Additional positions for RNs who complete the RN to BSN program at SUU include:
- Travel Nurse
- Flight Nurse
- Correctional Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
- Quality Improvement Coordinator
- Nursing Research Assistant
Preparing for Future Challenges in Healthcare
The expansion of opportunities will only continue to grow as the IOM/NAM's original 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, is revisited. NAM leaders are looking ahead to 2030 and how current and future challenges will need to be addressed. RNs who embrace these challenges by earning their BSN may be better poised to fill lucrative positions now and well into the future.
Learn more about Southern Utah University's online RN to BSN program.
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