Should a highly-experienced nurse return to school for a BSN?

You’ve been out of school for 20 years. You’re older than most other RNs, more experienced, and you love your job. Should you go back for a BSN? Is it even worth it at this point? What more is there to learn?

Many experienced RNs are feeling pressure from their employers to return for their BSN, even though the employer has no complaints about their job performance. This can be frustrating for RNs who want to continue working and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of going back to school. Let us ease your mind.

Why get a BSN as an experienced nurse?

Much of this frustration with these new requirements comes from a misunderstanding of what you’ll be learning in a BSN program. Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN program doesn’t teach you how to start an IV or how to put in a traque, because you’re versed in those skills already. The RN to BSN program at Nightingale is designed to give you a broader nursing perspective.

“The BSN-prepared nurse has the ability to understand the ‘bigger picture’ in our healthcare environment today,” said Nightingale BSN instructor Kay Haw. “BSN programs engage students to critically think, it’s more theory-based vs. skill-based.”

The RN-to-BSN program helps nurses transcend from hard skills and knowledge like IVs, triaging, and human anatomy to concepts like leadership and ethics in nursing. To learn more about the specific concepts you’ll be learning about, read our blog on the content of a BSN.

What obstacles will older learners experience in an RN-to-BSN Program?

No one ever said that nursing school was a walk in the park, and for older learners, this still stands true. All learners have to overcome some obstacles in their nursing journey. Older learners might have some different challenges than their younger cohorts, however.

 

“Some obstacles older learners face are the ever-changing environment of healthcare, but the BSN programs will teach them how to manage change and be a leader, for those who struggle with change,” said Dr. Haw. “It teaches them project management and the critical nature of quality improvement.”

 

Older learners have the experience of working as a nurse, but may need to work on some new nursing concepts that have changed since they were in nursing school. There is now a whole section on learning technology associated with healthcare in Nightingale’s RN-to-BSN Program.

Is a BSN necessary?

Both our admissions department and Dr. Haw emphasized the increasing push for BSN-prepared nurses in the workplace. “In some parts of Idaho, they are only giving LPNs and RNs two years to get their Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing,” said one admissions advisor. (Lucky for them we have programs in Idaho!)

“I also feel as though our healthcare world is moving towards only advanced degree RNs in the workplace so anything less than a BSN prepared nurse will eventually be phased out,” said Dr. Haw.

So not only is having a BSN a good idea for improving your patient care and moving up in the workplace, soon it will be a requirement. In some nursing industries, it already is a requirement. Get ahead of the game and apply now.

 

How will I find time for an RN-to-BSN Program when I’m already working?

The nice thing about Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN program, and many other programs like it, is that the program is 100% online. This allows you to work around your current schedule, so you don’t have to reduce your hours or find time around work to complete clinicals. There are no labs, no clinicals, and no simulation requirements.

One thing that Nightingale College’s program has that others do not is the opportunity to GO SLOW. Many experienced nurses don’t want to go back to school full-time right away. They want to do a few credits at a time while they work. While many schools allow learners to go slow, they charge you full tuition for however long it takes you. At Nightingale, the cost is the same going slow as it is at full speed. Visit nightingale.edu/bsn/ for more information.

 

Will I succeed in a BSN Program?

Many older nurses are anxious about going back to school because they haven’t been in that environment for so long. Don’t sell yourselves short! You’ve been through some tough things on the job, and you have some motivation that younger college kids might not have – like being a role model for your kids.

“I have a few older learners now that are excelling in the program because of their willingness to learn, and the initiative they have,” said Dr. Haw. “They all strive to be role models in their families.”

 

Where do I start?

If you’re ready to elevate your career with an online, employer-focused RN-to-BSN Program, look no further. Start Nightingale College’s fully-online RN-to-BSN Program today