This paper explores my reasons for obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. I believe the BSN should be the minimum requirement for the professional nurse. The BSN is the gateway to advancing the nursing career, but is also prepares one for the newest opportunities in nursing outside of the hospital. Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Currently , there are three types of Registered nurses: the diploma nurse, the associate’s degree nurse and the Bachelor’s Degree nurse. The diploma nurse attends a hospital based program which varies from 18-24 months.
The Associate’s degree nurse attends either a community college or university and is about three years. The Bachelor’s Degree is a four year program at a university. There have been copious debates about the minimum required education of being a professional nurse. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), American Nurses Association (ANA) and other leading nursing organizations recognize the BSN degree as the minimum educational requirement for professional nursing practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013).
With the health reform, the healthcare system is using more evidence based, cost effective goals. To ensure the goals are met, health care professions should be educated and have advanced skills. Having a nurse with a BSN shows that this nurse has education, some advance skills, and is able to be further educated. However, there are still diploma and Associate Degree nurses practicing. They should be encouraged to continue their education to help fulfill the nursing gap between new nurses entering and seasoned nurses retiring. I agree that a BSN should be the minimum requirement for professional nursing.
As we look at the word professional. “Professional means following an occupation as means of livelihood or for gain” (Professional | Define Professional at Dictionary. com, n. d. ). The nurse cannot advance a career in nursing very far without having a BSN. Most hospitals today are even posting BSN preferred in order to staff with nurses capable of caring for the complex demands in healthcare (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2013). Having a BSN means I am not content with just meeting the minimum requirement of being a nurse. It is the thin line to becoming a professional nurse and just having the title as a nurse.
It means that not only do I have great bedside manner but, I am also and effective leader. I am knowledgeable about current events in nursing. I can provide quality and cost efficient care for my patients. I can critically think outside the box. Last but not least, I am determined to continue my education to stay current with the ongoing changes and improvements in the healthcare industry. Once I have completed the BSN program, I will be better-rounded. My skill set will supersede the basic bedside manner. I will be aware of the different cultures and alternative therapies.
I will be in a better position to communicate with these patients and their families. I will also be updated with the latest research in nursing. I will be able to follow trends and determine what is improving or hindering the quality of care in my own workplace. I will also become a better leader and manager. I can become a better advocate for the patient and share with them resources in their community that they can utilize. Also, knowing community resources to help poor and low income families with basic needs and preventive services is very helpful.
Overall, I will be better equipped to think out of the box and keep up with the expanding opportunities. Nursing today is expanding far from typical hospitals. There are opportunities for nurses in home health, nursing informatics, case management, and outpatient community clinics. Between 1996-2008, the number of registered nurses in community health settings, including home health care rose to 14. 2 percent (American Association). Having a BSN will prepare you with the knowledge you need to be successful in this multitude of opportunities by giving you that extra boost of information not obtain in any of the other programs.
The BSN is the welcoming into the “Profession” of nursing. It is different from having just a nursing job. I am sure one will feel much more fulfilled when they know they actually make a difference and can contribute to a cause. The BSN is the best route to a successful claim in the healthcare industry and a solid step to climb the career ladder in nursing.