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Influential Figures on Your Side: RN to BSN Programs in Washington D.C.

If you are thinking about returning to school for your BSN, you have some influential figures on your side! Key healthcare organizations, from the AACN to the Institute of Medicine, are encouraging nurses to return to school for their baccalaureate degrees. Why? BSN nurses are prepared to take on expanded duties in settings around the community. Their critical thinking and decision-making skills are valued in both management and bedside positions. The AACN reports that hospitals that employ more baccalaureate level nurses have lower mortality rates. For this reason, a lot of hospitals differentiate roles by educational level.

What can you learn in a BSN completion program? You can expect classes in health assessment and nursing scholarship. Other courses will focus on leadership and community nursing. Some programs have a geographical focus; in a D.C. program, urban community health may be emphasized. You will also study health assessment and pathophysiology. There may be a final capstone project, done in conjunction with clinical hours or service work. You can expect clinical requirements to be much less than they were in your initial RN program. Many nurses value the opportunity to put in time in new settings like public health, but it is possible to find a distance program that doesn’t require additional clinical hours.

BS programs are generally at least 120 units, so you may have some courses outside the nursing major to complete as well. Your school may require specific pre- or co-requisites like statistics and professional writing.

BSN Career Mobility

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing can lay the groundwork for some exciting and challenging positions. Examples include research nurse coordinator, clinical educator, and case manager. Some employers also prefer BSN candidates for a wide range of clinical positions.

DC has two hospitals with magnet designation, Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital. Magnet hospitals are required to hire baccalaureate or master’s candidates for nurse manager positions. A scan of job postings reveals that each of these institutions also has some BS-preferred direct care positions. Examples include pediatric trauma/ emergency room, RN II, and operating room.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

Whether you have an ADN or a diploma, chances are you are well on your way to a baccalaureate degree. D.C. has an articulation model to make sure that registered nurses receive credit for courses that they did in their initial program. Registered nurses who do not have college credits can have their learning validated by exam under the District of Columbia Educational Articulation Competency Model. (This applies primarily to nurses from old-style diploma programs.)

Some programs are approximately 60 units long and are comprised of upper division nursing courses and general studies. Others include only nursing courses (but may have considerably more prerequisites). Non-nursing courses can generally be done at any institution; some schools even accept challenge exams. You can expect to take approximately 30 to 32 units of upper division nursing courses. Sometimes you are allowed to challenge one or two additional classes. If all general studies have been completed beforehand, a program can be completed in as little as a year. Some students, of course, prefer to enroll part-time.

You have the option of attending classes on- campus or doing a program that is entirely online. There are three schools in the District of Columbia that offer RN to BSN programs, but your choices extend across state borders.

Employers can be generous when it comes to offering financial support for education. Children’s National Medical Center, for example, will offer reimbursement for classes at any accredited college. Georgetown University Hospital will pay up to $6,000 a year toward the education of a full-time hospital-based RN.

RN to BSN Programs in Washington D.C.

Howard University

Trinity University

University of the District of Columbia

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