Career Outlook For New BSN Graduates

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Nursing students earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can look forward to numerous job prospects. Duquesne University’s RN-BSN program offers graduates the education they can use to position themselves for careers that offer both excellent pay and higher levels of responsibility.

Nurse with at-home patient

Job Possibilities For BSN Graduates

BSN degree is becoming not only beneficial but also an employment requirement. The Institute of Medicine (IoM) recommends that eighty percent of the roughly three million nurses in the United States should have their BSN degrees by 2020. About fifty-five to sixty percent of nurses currently have the degree.

BSN degrees can open doors to a broad spectrum of career choices. Here are some examples:

Surgical Nurses

Surgical nurses assist surgeons during procedures and look after patients during recovery. Their responsibilities vary depending on which of the three primary positions they choose: scrub nurse, circulating nurse, and RN first assistant.

Scrub nurses prepare the operating room, lay out surgical tools, and ensure that the field is sterile. They also help physicians and other nurses put on sterile masks, gloves, and gowns, and pass the surgeon all surgical instruments when requested. After the operation, scrub nurses clear the operating room and prepare the patient for transport to the recovery room.

Circulating nurses work outside of the operating room, inspecting surgical equipment, verifying the patient’s identity, and ensuring that the patient’s family has filled out all of the necessary documents and consent forms. Additionally, circulating nurses assist the anesthesiologist and confer with the operating physician about issues that might affect the patient’s care.

RN first assistants, the highest ranking of the three positions, monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgical procedures. If a problem occurs with the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, or other vitals, the RN first assistant immediately notifies the surgeon. RN first assistants are also responsible for performing CPR, controlling bleeding, suturing wounds, and applying dressings and bandages in the operating room. They also assess patients before surgery and prior to discharge.

Outside of the three key categories is the role of operating room (OR) director. OR directors manage the business aspects of the operating room, such as budgets and staffing. Many OR directors go on to work as clinical educators and managerial accountants later in their careers.

Employment of surgical nurses is projected to increase by fifteen percent by 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in large part because of the needs of the aging baby boom generation.

Rehabilitation Nurses

Rehabilitation nurses help patients who have suffered an accident or other physical harm to regain as much mobility as possible and also help them adjust to an altered lifestyle if they become permanently disabled.

The primary responsibility of rehabilitation nurses is to design and implement treatment strategies that promote self-care and independence and encourage physical, psychosocial, and spiritual health.

BLS has no specific statistics on rehabilitation nurses, but overall employment is expected to be close to the sixteen percent increase projected for all RNs by 2024.

Staff Nurses

If BSNs don’t wish to specialize too early in their careers or are unsure of the exact direction they want to go, they can work as staff nurses to gain experience. Staff nurses work in hospitals, or locations outside hospitals such as clinics and rehabilitation centers.

Their duties typically include observing and recording patients’ behavior, administering treatments and medication dosages, and providing emotional and psychological support to patients and their families.

The increase in employment pro can largely be attributed to a population that is growing older and experiencing age-related health issues. More nurses will be retiring as well, making way for new graduates to enter the workforce.

What Lies Ahead

The employment picture for BSN graduates is bright. With steep job growth projected in every nursing situation, BSNs won’t have to worry if they can get a job, just look forward to when they can start work.

About Duquesne University’s Online RN-BSN Program

A leader in nursing education, Duquesne University’s online RN-BSN program lets students complete their coursework in a flexible setting. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and named by Forbes as one of “America’s Top Colleges” and listed among “Best Value Colleges” and “Best Value Private Colleges.”