Consider a Bachelor’s Degree – Now or Later

August 24, 2012 in News

bachelor of science in nursing

All over the nation more and more hospitals are requiring four-year degrees for new nurses.  There has been talk about if this is the correct way to go.

It is of consensus that nurses who obtain their bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) are better prepared to confront the challenges of today’s healthcare system.  The preparation it takes to obtain a four year degree benefits patients, colleagues and the entire community.

Statistics show that nurses with a bachelor’s degree or higher, tend to do better when it comes to passing the NCLEX-RN.  The NCLEX is an exam testing nurses’ basic proficiencies.  This alone is an indicator of the higher caliber of nurses that is turned out when a four-year degree is pursued and obtained.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, jobs in healthcare are growing faster than almost any other occupation.  Most of those jobs in healthcare will require some form of postsecondary education.  The pursuit of a bachelor’s degree ahead of time will make sense not only for current job prospects, but for future career options.

Those thinking about a career in nursing and those nurses with associate’s degrees that are thinking about going back to school should make sure and research where they want to go to school.  There are many nursing programs out there, but they are not all of the same quality.  Check on their accreditation status using the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).  It is of utmost importance that the school you choose be accredited.

A nursing program at Mountain State University in Virginia (MSU) is in the middle of a class action lawsuit by students.  Students claim that the school deceived them by not keeping them informed when the nursing program lost its accreditation.  The NLNAC put the school on probationary status in 2008 and in 2010 the NLNAC voted not to renew accreditation for MSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Accreditation is of utmost importance when choosing a nursing program.  If the school is not accredited, you may not be qualified to take many certification exams.  Hospitals and other healthcare facilities assure that their nurses have their degrees from accredited schools, since accreditation means that the schools are held to certain educational standards and have quality nursing program.

Take the time to weigh your options when it comes to nursing degrees and your education in general.  Certification and license renewals require nurses to have continuing education credits, so why not a bachelor’s degree.  Sooner or later that BSN will come in handy.  Good luck to your future nursing endeavors.

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