What Inspires Nurses to Return to School and Why You Should

return to school
What motivates nurses to return to school and why should you? An ADN-qualified, licensed nurse who is working in health care may not see the benefits of returning to school. After all, the nurse is licensed to work. The patient’s overall health is just as dependent on the medication being dispensed as it is on a nurse’s academic progression and level of knowledge.

“It’s great that you have achieved your ADN degree, passed NCLEX and became an RN. It is a dream that many have had but few have achieved. Now for the next step and that is to get your BSN. With your RN under your belt you’ll have opportunities to gain knowledge and grow in the field while you study online for your BSN. You’ll find working in the field while attending your BSN program will help you to not only do a better job but will also give life experiences that contribute to your understanding of your role as a nurse.” – Linda Flynn, MSN, RN (Manager, Associate Degree Programs)

The nursing field is continuously advancing and developing new systems and discovering new methods to treating patients. Nurses constantly are challenged to become lifelong learners to serve better patient care and improve health care throughout their community. Over the past decade, medical technology and knowledge has changed nursing practices, and as an evolving field, nursing practices will not stay stagnate. From the adoption of electric IVs as opposed to manual IVs and new patient monitoring systems, nurses require the latest knowledge and skills. Nurses without the proper training and knowledge base are left behind.

ADN Program Manager at Nightingale College, Linda Flynn, MSN, RN, reinforces and encourages her ADN Program learners to not just stop after getting an associate degree and licensed, but to push on to the next level of education: “The BSN degree will open doors for you and broaden your opportunities to explore more areas of nursing service. Health care is quickly moving from acute hospital care to acute care in community and home settings. Public health care and health promotion have been traditionally reserved for the BSN level Practitioner. It’s important as nurses that we stay in the forefront of progress and EBP. Getting your BSN is a valuable part of that process. Remember an ADN prepares you to become an RN and a BSN prepares you for the future.”

The future of nursing and a nurse’s career hinges on continuous educational improvement and a sense of accountability. Patients look to receive the best care possible during their (sometimes) most frightening time. Nurses who hold themselves accountable to always deliver quality patient care are driven to advance their level of education.

What are the benefits of returning to school to get a BSN degree?

RN-to-BSN Graduate proudThe popular perception is that balancing work and school is difficult, which hinder nurses from returning to school. (For tips on how to manage studying and work, check out our blog article How to Study and Hold Down a Full-Time Job.) Although the enrollment in RN-to-BSN programs have increased since the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold a BSN degree, nurses struggle with the allotted time needed. “The largest hurdle for pursuit of the baccalaureate degree is its availability, timeliness, and convenience to attend while working as a professional nurse. Nightingale College offers professional nurses an opportunity to pursue his or her BSN on their schedule and at their convenience,” said Suzette Scheuermann, Nightingale College’s Director of Nursing Education Services. If the timing is correct and the program provides some sort of flexibility, a nurse may be more inclined to attend a program.

Why should you, as a nurse, return to school?

Accompanying a nurse’s desire to continue advancing their knowledge, employers see the benefits BSN-prepared nurses on staff have on the overall operations of the unit. Employers understand and align with the IOM’s recommendation and are beginning to request that current nurses return to school.

“The future of nursing lies in the age-old discussion of the ‘entry into practice’ being at the baccalaureate level. That time is upon us now, and it’s only a matter of time before a BSN is the requirement to practice as a registered nurse.” – Susan Jero, MSN, RN (Area Manager, DDCs)

Medicine is constantly evolving and adapting. Patients are requiring diverse treatments and intensive hospital stays. These two facts will not change. Nurses will be asked to continue their education to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Don’t wait until you are forced to get your BSN, do it now! A BSN degree is expected to become the requirement for entry-level RN positions, will provide an array of opportunities to advance, help you pursue specific nursing specialties, and if anything, deliver the confidence to provide the best care for patients.

What to consider when deciding to return to school?

Getting licensed as a nurse is a big accomplishment, one that you should be very proud of achieving. The next step when considering returning to school is to look for an RN-to-BSN Program that allows flexibility and convenience. It does not make much sense to attend a school that requires you to travel long distances periodically throughout the week. Consider whether a full- or part-time program, accelerated, on-ground or online program fits your needs. It is a big commitment to return to school, but a commitment that, in the long run, will give you job and financial security. For a more in-depth look, check out our recent articles on The Real Difference between ADN and BSN Nurses to learn the various differences between the two degrees and Nurse Salary by State to view a comprehensive breakdown of salary per state.

Just as important as understanding the time commitment involved with attending a program, support systems need to be in place. The average time of completion for an RN-to-BSN Program is twelve months. So, for that period, you will be involved in studying and learning new material. Make sure to have the support of your family and friends as you take on the new endeavor, and don’t forget to seek support from your employer.

Nurses, Consider an RN-to-BSN Program.

Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program is a full-distance nursing program with full- and part-time options. The Program is designed with working RNs in mind. The College recognizes the importance a BSN degree has on a nurse’s career stability and wants to ensure nurses have opportunity to get their BSN degree without the need to move away. It is time to be prepared for your future as a nurse. Check out the College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

“Today, we need nurses who can help implement strategies to deliver highly technical but compassionate nursing care which contributes to self-care, health promotion and maintenance. Nurses to help build trusting relationships with clients and patients while having to navigate a constantly changing healthcare landscape. The BSN nurse enters the profession having acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes, to improve the safety and quality of patient care. These skills are used with clients across the lifespan and with acute and chronic illness; and in settings within the system and in the home. Other important skills acquired in baccalaureate nursing education include the use of data and technology to improve the working environment and the satisfaction of our clients. Further, BSN nurses are prepared to lead others to balance between personal and professional well-being, while delivering safe, high quality nursing care.” – Suzette Scheuermann, PhD, RN (Director, Nursing Education Services)

What is your motivation? Are you ready to hit the ground running to secure your future as a nurse? Click the button below to learn more about Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

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5 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination is a common struggle for learners. Sometimes there is just so much to do that we leave things for the last minute. Here are 5 tips to beat procrastination and help you schedule your day in a way that is productive with no stress.

Plan your day the night before. Having a plan will help you stay on schedule. Knowing what the next day involves can mentally prepare you for the day; not to mention, planning your day the night before gives you some time to prepare for whatever the day entails.

Make your own deadlines. If you have something due, make a deadline to get it done earlier than the assigned due date. Also, break up assignments and tasks into smaller tasks with due dates so you can work on bits and pieces at a time and not leave everything for the last minute.

Do a little morning exercise. Exercising releases endorphins and has been shown to help people be more productive throughout the day.

Make sure you organize your breaks. Try the 10/2/5 hack: 10 minutes of work, 2-minute break, 5 times an hour. Plan what you want to do on your breaks (watch a YouTube video, eat a snack, stretch, read a few pages of a book, check your phone, etc.). It is your time to recharge.

Set up an ideal working environment. Try not to work on the couch or in front of the TV. Set up an office space, go to the library, or go to a place with limited distractions. And although it may be hard, make sure all mobile devices are turned to silent and away from your work space.

If you need more help with procrastination or study skills in general, contact the LALR department. Happy studying!