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Rochester's Mayo Clinic Setting Standards: RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota

Many professional nurses aspire to work in premier facilities like Rochester’s Mayo Clinic. It’s not an easy goal. To be hired there, you don’t necessarily have to have your BSN in hand, but you should at least have plans to earn it. Starting in September of 2010, registered nurses hired at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic have had a new requirement: They must attain their BSN within six years.

In holding the baccalaureate as the standard for professional nursing, the Mayo Clinic is scarcely alone. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is a staunch supporter of baccalaureate education. The organization has collected a body of evidence that supports the premise that facilities with high proportions of BSN nurses have better patient outcomes; this includes fewer patient deaths. Organizations like the American Nurses Association support the diploma and the ADN as entry points to registered nursing, but believe nurses should achieve their BSN within ten years. Healthcare facilities hire -- and indeed need to hire -- nurses with lower degrees, but they often differentiate roles and positions according to education level.

A BSN isn’t a substitute for aptitude or caring, but it can make a person a better nurse. Advanced nursing coursework can improves nurses’ decision making skills in those complex situations that sometimes arise on an acute care ward. The classes also give RNs the skills they need to work in less structured situations in the greater community. Nurses learn to carry out holistic assessments of the patient’s family as well as the patient. They learn to use community resources to serve the needs of individuals and to contribute to health at the population level. Other topics include nursing leadership and evidence-based practice.

BSN Career Mobility

Sometimes nurses pursue their baccalaureate degree because they want to explore challenging roles outside the hospital. Minnesota requires a bachelors for the position of Public Health Nurse.

Nurses may also pursue the higher degree because they want to move into a management position or make a lateral move to one of the state’s premier healthcare institutions. Magnet hospitals are consistently able to not only recruit but retain excellent employees. Minnesota has eight institutions with magnet recognition. These include two pediatric facilities, Gillette Children‘s Specialty Healthcare and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.. Gillette Children‘s Specialty Healthcare lists the baccalaureate degree as a preferred qualification for a wide range of RN clinical positions.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

Working nurses often wonder how they can juggle, work, school, and other responsibilities. If this is the case for you, remember that you are not alone in this situations. Both schools and employers have put a good deal of thought into putting programs in place that accommodate working professionals. Some facilities, like Redwood Area Hospital, create flexible schedules to allow nurses to attend college. Some hospitals even have partnerships with specific schools. One of the most flexible schooling options a nurse can choose is distance learning. Other options include evening courses or hybrid programs, which combine distance learning with on-campus intensives.

The amount of time you spend getting your degree is up to you. At the University of Minnesota-Mankato, students spend anywhere from three to nine semesters. There are accelerated distance options available from other institutions that allow a nurse to do a program in as little as two semesters.

Employers value the higher degree so much that they often give monetary assistance. You will want to check to see if your facility has a tuition reimbursement program.

RN to BSN Programs in Minnesota

Augsburg College

Bemidji State University

Bethel University of Minnesota

Crown College

Metropolitan State University

Minnesota State University (Moorhead and Mankato)

Saint Catherine University

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

The College of Saint Scholastica

Walden University

Winona State University

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