If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we owe our lives to nursing and medical professionals. Without their support, millions would struggle to live from day to day – and many of us wouldn’t be here right now. There’s always going to be a healthy demand for qualified, motivated nurses. At the same time, nursing students are in a fantastic position to access some interesting career opportunities.
Nursing is challenging yet extremely rewarding work. It’s a career where every day will provide you with a new set of problems to solve, and you’ll feel secure in the knowledge that your hard work helps to save lives. Of course, this type of work demands more than just a cool head and a willing attitude. That’s why studying for an appropriate degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), can help to open all kinds of doors for you.
Thankfully, there is a very promising BSN job outlook for the upcoming decade. If you’re considering studying nursing in order to get into the wide and wonderful world of modern healthcare, let’s take a closer look at some of the potential outcomes you might expect from your studies.
You can expect competitive salaries
BSN-qualified nurses are in a prime position to earn more than graduates with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), according to statistics. At the time of writing, you may even expect to earn just short of $90,000 per year once established in a role.
The fact is that BSN courses go deeper into what nurses and medical professionals actively practice from day to day. It’s an established fact that US hospitals hire plenty of BSN graduates. These graduates are trained in a wide array of specialties, stretching from treatment to research. Crucially, this means healthcare bodies can expect to hire a multi-skilled professional from the start. There is no need to upskill you on the job, and you may expect a high degree of autonomy.
For those looking to progress in nursing, a BSN offers you an edge over competing candidates with arguably more routes open to you for career progression. For instance, a BSN graduate may expect to start at entry level in healthcare upon graduation, leading to a lucrative management spot after only a few years on the job. Coupled with appropriate management experience and/or education as well, BSN holders may even be able to scale the ladder at a faster pace than they’d generally expect.
This all translates to highly competitive rates of pay. You may expect to receive over $15,000 more than the average competing candidate if you apply to a hospital or healthcare body with this degree to your name.
You’ll be able to travel
Many prospective nurses choose to study for BSNs as they’re internationally recognized. This means you don’t have to work and progress in the US alone. A BSN may be an appropriate ticket for you to work in hospitals across Europe, Africa, and South America — the world is wide open to you.
Ultimately, this means you’ll have access to more opportunities than non-BSN holders too. Those with ADN qualifications may not be able to transfer so easily overseas, thus putting you at the top of the hiring list for far-flung positions.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure you’re able to travel with an appropriate visa if you wish to work in nursing overseas. That, and the flexibility to fly is a must, but a BSN is effectively your passport to nearly unlimited healthcare opportunities all over the world.
You’ll study intensively
Studying intensively is a good thing, as a full BSN will help to prepare you for some of the more technical and sensitive moments you’d expect from a day-to-day healthcare operation. A degree won’t teach you how to solve every problem, but it’ll allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and understand how to treat people under your care.
Some students choose accelerated programs; however, you can generally expect a BSN degree to take you around four years to complete from the very start to finish. That means you’ll have hundreds of hours on the job, learning while actively applying your skills. It’s an amazing opportunity to not purely learn from a textbook or an online guide but also to put what you’re learning and building upon into practice.
BSNs are overseen by licensed, trusted practitioners in healthcare, so you can expect to learn from the best of the best.
You’ll have a variety of roles available to you
One of the most appealing reasons to study for a BSN degree is that it’s a key to opening all kinds of doors. As established, this type of degree can take you worldwide and help you compete for highly desirable positions. However, a BSN degree will also enable you to apply for different nursing roles — many of which you may not have even considered before.
For example, BSN degrees can help students access public health roles. A public health nurse works in a predominantly community setting, essentially helping to curb the spread of disease and to assess where facilities and programs may be best positioned to support large groups of people. This role allows you to work with a variety of patients, not only helping individuals get back to full health but also helping change the local healthcare landscape.
You’ll also have the chance to work in telemedicine and telehealth. If these terms are alien to you right now, don’t worry. Telemedicine has exploded in recent years and is only set to become more popular in the decade to follow. This type of healthcare focuses on remote diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, you’ll be able to deliver care through telephone and video conferences. This care standard has become popular thanks to distancing methods introduced during the pandemic, but just as millions prefer to work from home, they’re opting to get care at home too.
You can also consider the possibility of becoming a triage nurse. A BSN qualification will help you move into face-to-face patient evaluations, where you’ll be crucial in ensuring individuals get the care and treatment they require. This role requires a head for organization and will appeal to students who look forward to the social aspects of nursing. It’s also one of the most varied roles you can experience with your BSN degree, given that every patient will have a different history and needs!
Nurse educators also benefit from what they learn through BSN degrees. Educators are more than just teachers; they’re mentors for the next generation of nursing and medical professionals to come. Nurse educators typically support teaching hospitals and help those who have recently graduated, or who may be undergoing on-the-job training, to find their feet in a working healthcare setting.
This type of role will likely appeal to BSN graduates who want to help more than just patients. This position requires more than a BSN degree alone, of course, so you may need to put in a few years on the job, and perhaps earn a leadership or management degree, to further bolster your chances of getting into this career path.
These are just a few careers you may be able to access through a BSN degree. Nursing is a highly diverse field that covers more than simple diagnosis and treatment. In the modern age, BSN holders are in demand to help plan and devise solutions to wider-reaching problems across hospital floors and beyond. You can always expect a working day where no two challenges are the same.
You’ll learn a great deal
As you’d expect, with intensive study and on-the-job experience comes abundant new skills and knowledge. BSN degrees allow you to explore more than simple care practices alone, though patient interpersonal care is something you’ll learn as a standard.
It’s here where a BSN further stands out from an ADN and other diplomas, as students will be able to dive more into the scientific aspects of treatment, care, and healthcare research. Graduates can expect to leave their studies with a broader appreciation for matters of chemistry, microbiology, human anatomy, pharmacology, and more.
You’ll also have a chance to learn more about standard nursing practices. In the modern age, the basic principles of nursing still hold firm. While technology and research have evolved massively over the decades, some of the standard procedures remain just as effective and relied upon. That said, BSN-related curricula are always changing to adjust to modern needs and demands, such as those established by telecare and telehealth.
A BSN degree is, therefore, a study path requiring a thirst for knowledge. Just as you’d expect from the day-to-day work of a professional nurse or medical practitioner, it’s also a study program that will require you to wear multiple hats and explore different areas impacting the industry.
This is all beneficial to the healthcare system. You’ll be a lucrative hire as a well-rounded graduate with experience in various facets of healthcare and medicine. You won’t have nursing skills alone, but will also understand how treatments work, when to appropriately diagnose and how to solve often complex problems. BSN degrees provide talented individuals with the tools they need to handle and resolve intense situations that arise day by day.
You’ll ensure patients get the quality care they deserve
BSN degrees don’t simply allow healthcare operators to hire multi-skilled nurses and operatives. Effectively, BSN modules are designed to ensure that patients receive optimum care, alongside efficient management of services, treatments, and aftercare. As the ‘science’ in ‘BSN’ suggests, you’ll get to learn more about the science behind the medicine, and how that impacts individual patients too.
BSN courses help students to learn how to manage complex situations and how to bounce back from potential issues and unexpected moments during patient care. Intensive BSN study can help to produce graduates that are less likely to make errors than the average, which can lead to lower rates of mortality and more satisfying patient experiences.
Additionally, modules designed in this way help give students the confidence and skills they’ll need to handle ‘live’ problems in healthcare environments. By learning on the job and diving deep into patient care specifics, graduate nurses will feel empowered and ready to help resolve ongoing care concerns. Confident nurses make effective carers, especially if they are receptive to processes and are willing to work in a team environment.
You’ll learn how to manage your own workload while supporting others
In many cases, nursing can be fairly solitary despite working directly with patients and being in contact with multiple departments. However, in the event of emergency situations on a hospital floor, or during a planning exercise, you can expect to work alongside fellow nurses and others to produce effective solutions. A BSN degree will help you to understand which areas of your work are likely to require solo knowledge and a self-starting attitude while also ensuring you work with fellow students and experienced nurses in ‘live’ scenarios.
On-the-job training via BSN study will frequently require you to work alongside others as part of team explorations. In a legitimate scenario, you may be expected to work with multiple people at short notice from various departments. During your course, you’ll experience internship-style scenarios where your ability to work with others will be tested. However, modules will be set up to guide you through mock scenarios before you ‘go live’.
Heading into a BSN degree with organizational skills is a requirement. Organizational skills are required to succeed as any kind of medical worker, but you’ll learn to hone these skills during your years of study. Again, your confidence will increase, as will your adaptability to handle different team scenarios and problems.
BSNs are in high demand – you may need these degrees to progress
While you can certainly enter nursing and general healthcare with an ADN or equivalent degree, more and more hospitals and providers are leaning towards majority-hire policies for graduates who possess a BSN. As a BSN delves deeper into topics than equivalent nursing courses and qualifications, top-line healthcare organizations are leaning towards hiring BSN graduates around eight times out of 10.
This means that those graduates with associate degrees are encouraged to register for and complete their BSN program as soon as physically possible. The pandemic has changed the medical landscape worldwide, meaning there is an increasing demand for highly trained nurses. In this day and age, hiring nurses purely based on aptitude isn’t enough. You’ll need to show that you have the knowledge and proven on-job skills as well as the willingness to succeed.
Thankfully, BSN degrees are easier to enroll in than ever before. It’s entirely possible to start and complete your studies online through remote modules, although options for in-person study are also simple to find and register for. Therefore, prospective students will never need to look far to get started with a BSN, and with remote programs, you can flexibly fit study into your schedule as you wish.
Is it worth studying for a BSN degree?
Studying for a BSN degree is one of the best ways to get into healthcare in the modern age. BSN modules are set up to ensure you have access to up-to-date knowledge and practice across multiple nursing disciplines. Compared to other nursing degrees and programs, a BSN will typically provide deeper and more detailed learning. That means you can graduate with a wealth of practical knowledge, experience, and confidence in how to make patients’ lives easier.
BSN degrees are easier to enroll in than they were many years ago, with remote opportunities available online through reputable organizations. A BSN degree is a skeleton key to all kinds of nursing careers too. Whether you wish to work as a bedside nurse, in triage, or on the planning side of community care, an associate degree coupled with a BSN qualification will give you access to international opportunities across the board.
Any graduate with a BSN degree will be highly attractive to leading hospitals and healthcare providers. Graduating from a BSN course will show headhunters and recruiters that you are genuinely passionate about helping others and helping to improve and uphold healthcare standards. Through four years of study, you’ll have the chance to learn more about your individual impact on patient care and healthcare overheads.
With demand increasing for talented, qualified nurses, it’s safe to assume that BSN graduates will continue to be appealing to international bodies post-pandemic. While we need more nurses now more than ever, there’s never going to be an excuse for hiring staff without provable talent and expertise.
There’s really never been a better time to study to become a nurse, or indeed a healthcare professional, period. Could a BSN degree change your life for the better?