When medical professionals gathered in 2008 to determine the future of nursing, they set a goal of transforming the profession to meeting the changing needs of patients, the globalization of healthcare, and the outlook of the profession. Today, registered nurses (RN) are seeking Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees to meet these goals.
The largest healthcare-advocacy groups, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Institute of Medicine (IoM), called for the majority of RNs to have BSN degrees by 2020. To meet this goal, many RNs are utilizing online RN-BSN programs for professional advancement and expanded expertise.
Having a BSN degree is becoming an increasingly common requirement for employment. The IoM recommends that eighty percent of the three million nurses in the United States should have a BSN by 2020.
“Although a BSN education is not a panacea for all that is expected of nurses in the future, it does, relative to other educational pathways, introduce students to a wider range of competencies,” the IoM said in its “The Future of Nursing; Focus on Education” report. Competencies include health policy, health care financing, community and public health, leadership, quality improvement, and systems thinking, the organization said.
An online RN-BSN program, sometimes called an RN bridge program, provides RNs with essential classroom work and clinical experience for their degree. When seeking an online RN-BSN program, applicants have several considerations:
Nursing Program Entry Requirements
Most quality higher education institutions seek applicants who have graduated from an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program or those who hold a diploma degree in nursing and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam.
Students are also required to meet the demands of a nursing program, deliver safe and effective nursing care, and utilize problem-solving skills. The requirements include the ability to meet the emotional demands of the profession, remain sensitive to cultural differences, and be flexible in providing care.
A BSN curriculum focuses on upper-level coursework to expand experiences in population-based healthcare, information technology, nursing ethics, and practice, advocacy and policy issues. At Duquesne University, typical classes are eight weeks and are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Prerequisites for entering top nursing programs may include coursework in statistics, critical writing, literature, and philosophy.
Student nurses are expected to complete clinical hours, which allows students to gain hands-on experience with live patients. Student nurses work in a healthcare institution, such as hospitals, medical centers, or nursing facilities. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) said, at the basic level, clinical experience should provide student nurses with experience in direct and indirect patient care.
“Practice experiences are embedded in baccalaureate nursing programs to prepare students to care for a variety of patients across the lifespan and across the continuum of care,” the AACN said.
Earning an RN-BSN Degree at Duquesne University
At Duquesne University, the RN-BSN program prepares students with skill sets in critical thinking and clinical reasoning.
Duquesne University students work one-on-one with faculty mentors who are experienced in the academic, administrative, and clinical sides of healthcare. Students are expected to complete ninety clinical hours during a sixteen-week period.
Duquesne RN-BSN students also have the option to enroll in master’s level coursework while working in the RN bridge program.
About Duquesne University’s Online RN-BSN Program
A leader in nursing education with a strong reputation as a leader in online learning, Duquesne University offers an online program that allows students to complete coursework in a flexible setting. The school’s 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.” For more information, visit Duquesne University’s RN-BSN program website.