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Place Nursing Within its Broader Social Context: RN to BSN Overview - Rhode Island

Are you considering completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree? The degree could lead to new opportunities. The associate degree is an important pathway into professional nursing, but this level of education doesn’t prepare an RN for nearly as many roles within the community. A nurse needs additional education to serve as a health educator, for example, or a care coordinator. Nursing organizations also feel that the BSN is better preparation for many hospital roles. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, hospitals that employ a high percentage of baccalaureate nurses have fewer incidents of failure to rescue. For this and other reasons, large medical centers often reserve many RN positions for BSN level nurses.

A BSN completion course includes approximately 30 units of upper division nursing classes. These courses build decision-making skills and also place nursing within its broader social context. Courses like health assessment, pathophysiology, and elder care are valuable to nurses in a wide variety of roles. Nursing leadership and public health classes give you a broad range of career options.

As a BSN student, you won’t need to repeat past learning. Not only are you given credit for past coursework, but you may be placed into a track where learning experiences are specifically tailored to the needs of registered nurses. Clinical requirements are generally quite low compared to pre-licensure programs. There may be service opportunities, though, and a capstone project. If you are enrolling in a BSN program in preparation for graduate school, you may even have the opportunity to write a thesis.

BSN Career Mobility in Rhode Island

Your BSN can increase your career options in traditional medical facilities and also around the community. In Rhode Island, school nurses are required to hold a baccalaureate degree. (Three years experience as an RN is also required, but if you don’t have that now, you might by the end of your program.) The BSN is also good preparation for public health positions. If you do have a specific career in mind, you will probably want to look for practicum experiences that place you into your desired setting.

A baccalaureate can also be an asset for hospital positions, clinical as well as management. Recent examples have included clinical leader, quality outcome coordinator, and case manager. Employers like the Care New England Health System list the BSN as a preferred qualification for a variety of patient care positions.

Magnet hospitals have new quotas with regard to educational levels of nurse managers. Rhode Island may be little, but the state has two magnet facilities, one in Newport and one in Providence. The Miriam Hospital was 9th in the nation to earn magnet status.

RN to BSN Program Selection Tips

If you desire the four-year degree, it may be well within your reach. RN to BSN programs are designed for career professionals. There are both day and evening options. You may also opt for e-learning. There are schools in Rhode Island, but your program does not have to be physically located within the state. You can opt for a school in a neighboring state or a distance program located anywhere within the nation.

There are a lot of things to take into account when selecting a program. The pacing does vary. Programs may take as little as a year, or they may take several. If you do see graduate school in your future, you may opt for a school that allows you to substitute one or more master’s level courses for baccalaureate level ones.

The total credit requirement (including transfer and residency hours) for a completion student could be as little as 120. Policies vary from institution to institution, but you may begin your program with more than half of the total units already complete.

RN to BSN Programs in Rhode Island

Rhode Island College

Salve Regina University

University of Rhode Island

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