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Where Will a BSN take You? | RN to BSN Programs in Tennessee

The American Nurses Association encourages nurses to complete their BSN within ten years. Other nursing organizations also encourage the higher degree, citing the increasing complexity of the healthcare system. What can you expect to learn in a BSN completion course? One very important topic is health assessment. Although a baccalaureate level nurse takes the same licensing exam as the associate level nurse, they often work in settings that require a little more autonomy. At the baccalaureate level, assessment may extend beyond merely noting the physical condition of the patient; it may also be necessary to assess the needs of the family. Baccalaureate level nursing takes a more holistic systems approach, and this extends to the community as well. You can expect to take at least one course in community or public health nursing. You will learn health prevention and health education strategies. There will be coursework in nursing management and scholarly research. There may be extras. You may have a senior project and/ or a seminar where you discuss current issues in the field.

Programs typically do include some clinicals or practicum work, but the demands are less than in a pre-licensure program. The field experience may be about collecting data and completing projects rather than fulfilling a set number of hours. Aquinas College describes it as an out of class assignment. Some schools do require a set number of hours. If you are an experienced nurse, though, you may be able to submit a portfolio in lieu of some of those hours.

Tennessee BSN Career Mobility

Tennessee has five magnet hospitals. Magnet hospitals have quotas regarding the educational level of their nurse managers. Other Tennessee facilities, though, also have BSN-preferred positions. This sometimes includes more specialized clinical positions. Lincoln Memorial University recommends the bachelor’s degree for those interested in management positions in either hospital or community settings as well as for those who plan on continuing their education at the graduate level. Some of the specific positions you may see advertised for BSN graduates include case manager, associate clinical leader, quality standards manager, and unit manager.

What types of duties might a BSN level nurse perform? At Baptist Memorial, a navigator conducts support groups for cancer patients and their family members. They also coordinates care and referrals and provides patient education.

Tips: Selecting an RN to BSN Program

A common question that prospective BSN completion students around the nation ask is “Will I get credit for my past coursework or am I starting over again?” You should indeed expect credit for lower level nursing courses plus some general studies. It is not uncommon to transfer more than seventy total units under the Tennessee Mobility Act.

Your BSN completion course will probably include 30 to 40 units of upper division nursing coursework, plus some liberal arts classes or prerequisites. If you have the prerequisites complete, your course could take as little as 12 months. You have the option of doing evening classes or an online program. Middle Tennessee State University notes that you get to interact with instructors at least as much in an online program.

Depending on the program you select, you may pay by the semester or by the credit hour. If you pay by the credit hour, expect to pay several hundred dollars. A cost of $500 is not uncommon. A big portion of your expenses may be reimbursed, though. Some Tennessee employers do offer tuition assistance. If a program gives you what you need educationally and allows you to continue working full-time and maintaining your lifestyle and priorities, you’ll likely want to check it out.

RN to BSN Programs in Tennessee

Aquinas College

Austin Peay State University

Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences

Belmont University

Carson-Newman College

Cumberland University

East Tennessee State University

Freed-Hardeman University

King College

Lincoln Memorial University

Martin Methodist College

Middle Tennessee State University

Milligan College

Southern Adventist University

Tennessee State University

Tennessee Technological University

Union University

University of Memphis

University of Tennessee (multiple locations)

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