American Sentinel University Examines How BSN Degrees Help Advance the Nursing Profession

– BSN Degrees Enhance Chances for Career Mobility and Professional Development –

AURORA, Colo. – March 8, 2013 – Nursing professionals play a vital role in transforming the U.S. health care system and those who hold advanced nursing degrees, such as a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), possess a broader knowledge base of patient care, quality standards, business acumen and other skills that result in improved patient outcomes.

“The debate of the value of having a BSN versus an ADN (associate degree in nursing) has been ongoing in the nursing industry. Although both degrees fulfill the educational requirements to become a RN, a BSN degree offers nurses greater opportunity for career advancement, improved prospects for job mobility and security and higher potential earnings,” says Cheryl Wagner, Ph.D., MSN/MBA, RN, associate dean of graduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University.

Today more hospitals are expecting RNs to be able to make business decisions that impact the bottom-line and patient outcomes, not just clinical or acute care.

“ADN programs prepare nurses for basic bedside clinical care of patients, which is slowly moving into the realm of the nursing assistant or the licensed practice nurse,” says Dr. Wagner. “Registered nurses are required to know more about the overall condition of the patient as well as being able to work independently in the community and make leadership decisions.”

She points out that with the massive explosion of health care knowledge in the last decade and the expectation that it is only going to increase, nurses would be foolish to think they are adequately prepared for what lies ahead for them in just two years.

“There is no way that nurses can get all of the needed knowledge with only an ADN degree,” adds Dr. Wagner.

In addition, many health care employers now require incoming nurses to have their BSN degree and while many employers still hire RNs with diplomas or associate degrees, Dr. Wagner says that there is a strong preference among employers today for more educated nursing candidates.

She adds that many career advancement opportunities are only open to nurses who hold BSN degrees.

A BSN degree makes RNs more desirable for advanced career options in nursing specialty fields such as pediatrics, geriatrics, forensics, informatics, case management, infection prevention and control and also offers an opportunity to explore a specific type of interest rather than just general practice.

Nurses who graduate with a BSN degree will also find it easier to enter faculty teaching positions, higher level administrative roles in hospitals or other health care environments and state and federal government nursing jobs.

“Some nurses find these roles are more satisfying, allowing the individual to affect change at a more global level than one-on-one nursing,” says Dr. Wagner.

Most importantly, Dr. Wagner notes that advanced nursing degrees are important because the industry values education and credentials as part of its culture.

“Nurses with an ADN are not as well prepared to be contributing members of the profession, which dooms nursing to a role of following doctor’s orders,” adds Dr. Wagner.

Dr. Wagner says that without the needed background in leadership, nurses cannot sit at the table with physicians, CEOs and heads of departments to make the right decisions that impact nursing.

“Without the needed background in research, nurses cannot advance the knowledge base of the profession. Without the needed background in community nursing, they cannot help the poor and impoverished – as nursing was intended to do,” says Dr. Wagner.

While an experienced, talented nurse with an ADN can move up the nursing ladder into management and leadership roles, those nurses with a BSN can make the climb a little less steep and much quicker.

“Whatever career path nurses take, the essential wisdom is for them to continue enhancing their skills and education so that their community, organization and patients benefit from their broadened view of the world,” adds Dr. Wagner. “Nurses have to step up to the plate or the ability to make decisions about the nursing profession will be taken from their hands.”

More practicing RNs, like those seeking a RN to BSN or a RN to MSN (master of science nursing) who want to advance their education and career opportunities turn to American Sentinel University’s CCNE-accredited online nursing degree programs to encourage their job retention and promotion.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s RN to BSN program.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s RN to MSN program.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online nursing degree programs in nursing, informatics, MBA Health Care, DNP Executive Leadership and DNP Educational Leadership. Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.