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When Nurses Aren’t at the Bedside, They’re Hitting the Books

Monday, July 23, 2012

Many professions encourage continued education, advanced training, and a more knowledgeable staff. Nursing shouldn’t be considered any different, especially when an increase in education can mean the difference between life and death for patients.

Therefore it’s easy to see the benefits from more and more healthcare institutions requiring their nurses to have a bachelor’s degree. In fact, according to an article from nursefuture.com, “Nationwide, enrollment of registered nurses in bachelor’s of science degree programs soared to nearly 90,000 last year, a 76 percent increase from 2007, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.” The evident benefits from a bachelor degreed nursing staff include a higher quality of patient care. Hospitals and other institutions will also be able to attract a higher quality and higher skilled nurse for their departments. “We are concentrating on the bachelor’s-degree nurse more than the associate-degree nurse,” said Catherine Luchsinger, chief nursing officer for Mount Carmel Health System. “It gives them opportunities beyond the bedside.” This can be an easier decision for a student already on track to earn their degree, where two more years of schooling past their ASN degree is not a drastic change. But for a nurse who is already working full-time and has a family to support, finding the time to go back to school is going to be difficult. Additionally, hiring new grads simply won’t be enough to keep a sufficient staff, companies will have to look internally at their staff already on-hand. According to the article, “That goal won’t be reached through hiring practices alone, said Gingy Harshey-Meade, CEO of the Ohio Nurses Association. Working nurses would have to return to school. You have to create incentives in the workplace to get people to go back to school, she said. If you’re working full-time, it’s another big, full-time commitment.”

What other options do adult nurses have that want to return to school, continue their education, and earn their BSN, without sacrificing their family time, work schedule, or other responsibilities and leisure time? One of the best options specifically designed for adult learners and their busy lives is a BSN distance learning program from Rue Education. Rue has been helping motivated adult learners for over 20 years earn credit towards their nursing degrees. Their programs are customized for the working busy adult by providing concise directed learning material that students can study on their own time without having to leave home and then test when they’re ready. If you think returning for your BSN means changing your work schedule, missing out on family time, and completely rearranging your life, then reconsider your idea of education. Rue Education makes earning your higher degree fit into your life, not the other way around.