Whether you’re considering returning to school to advance your career in nursing, or you’re changing your major to pursue your passion, pursuing a BSN—Bachelor of Science in Nursing—is a worthy use of your time, energy, and effort.
Unfortunately, some undergraduate programs only accept freshmen into their BSN programs. At the University of Bridgeport, however, our program is open to transfer students, no matter their age or career experience. No matter where you intend to work after graduation, our BSN nursing program has options available for all.
If you’re curious about how a BSN might improve your life and career, here are six reasons others are making the commitment and transferring into nursing school.
Key Benefits of Earning Your BSN
#1: Excellent Quality of Care
Nurses who earn an associate degree in Nursing are equipped with the basic skills they need to provide clinical care to their patients. However, there is evidence that more advanced education elevates the quality of care they can provide. A study published in an issue of Health Affairs showed that hospitals that increased the number of BSN nurses on staff experienced a reduction in post-surgical mortalities. Similarly, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Administration showed that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs holding BSNs experienced lower rates of congestive heart failure mortality, medication errors, failure to rescue, and overall shorter length of stay for patients. In other words, medical care teams perform more effectively when their nurses hold BSN degrees.
If you are an RN already, you may consider a flexible RN-to-BSN program, which can be completed online while you maintain your career. If you are new to the field, and transferring schools to start a nursing program, a traditional BSN degree program can help prepare you for high levels of patient care.
#2: Program Flexibility
Whether studying alongside a full-time job, balancing family commitments, or whatever else you’re juggling, not every program will be a perfect fit for your life. Choose a BSN program that allows space and flexibility so you can be successful in both your personal life and chosen career. Depending on your level of education and experience in nursing, you may qualify for:
- A pre-nursing program and traditional BSN degree path, which typically takes four years to complete
- An RN-to-BSN program, which can be completed online and on your time, for already licensed nurses
- An accelerated BSN program, designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another, non-nursing major
Typically, transfer students who are new to nursing fulfill pre-nursing coursework and the traditional BSN route. This provides the fundamental nursing skills needed, as well as clinical experiences for transfer students to apply learning to practice.
#3: Specific Study Focus
Transferring into a BSN program, as opposed to starting out as a BSN student from the get-go, means that you’ve likely had more time to consider your motivation behind completing your BSN and how you’d like to use your degree after graduation. You can use this knowledge to take specific courses related to how you’ll serve your community throughout your career. You may decide to study health policy, family nursing, or the humanities alongside your nursing classes. These interests can weave quite naturally into a healthcare career as you advance into leadership positions later down the line.
#4: Leadership Opportunities
At the University of Bridgeport, and many other BSN programs, you’ll have options to not only get hands-on hospital learning and experience, but leadership training as well. In their final year, UB students take a course in Leadership in Management that prepares them for higher-level roles in nursing and increased career opportunities.
Additional courses that nursing students may take in their final year include:
- Current Issues and Trends in Nursing
- Transition to Professional Practice
- Nursing Capstone
#5: Getting Ahead of the Curve
The AACN advocates for a bachelor’s degree in Nursing to be the minimum educational requirement for RNs. More and more, hospitals are following this suggestion. In 2020, the AACN published the results of a survey that showed that over 41% of hospitals and healthcare facilities now require newly hired RNs to hold a BSN. Hospitals that want to qualify for American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition will be required to show plans to increase their BSN workforce. Additionally, in 2017, New York state passed legislation that requires nurses who received their license after 2017 to obtain a BSN by 2027. It’s clear that there is a trend in the nursing field. Very soon, a BSN may be required for new nurses. Rather than opting for the expediency of an associate degree program, it may be wise to complete your bachelor’s degree instead.
#6: More Money!
Listen, we didn’t put it at the top of the list, but everyone loves a raise! Obtaining your BSN puts you in a position to ask for more money in exchange for the investment you’ve made in your career. In fact, many hospitals offer programs and financial support for their staff to complete a degree. PayScale reports that RNs with associate degrees earn an average annual salary of $70,700 while RNs with bachelor’s degrees can earn an average of $86,520 per year.
Wherever you live, you can guarantee that qualified nurses are in demand. If you’re ready to make the courageous decision to transfer schools, pursue a BSN, and join the healthcare workforce, then the University of Bridgeport is ready to help you every step of the way.
The University of Bridgeport is a recognized institution in Connecticut, guiding many toward the life they imagine through higher education. Learn more about how UB’s School of Nursing can help you achieve the career of your dreams.