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Be prepared for the health care system of tomorrow! RN to BSN Programs in Texas

Why are registered nurses choosing to complete their bachelor’s degrees? To be prepared for the health care system of tomorrow! The Tri-Council for Nursing, made up of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, recently published a joint statement to this effect. They called for RNs to further their education at the baccalaureate level -- and for governments to institute policies to make it easier to do so. At issue is the growing complexity of patient needs and of the healthcare system itself.

It is a common misconception that the primary difference between an associate’s and a bachelor’s is the liberal arts and the leadership courses. Nursing coursework in the BSN completion program can prepare you for a variety of healthcare roles. You can expect some advanced coursework in patient care: for example, health assessment and pathophysiology. You will also learn the fundamentals of community and public health nursing. The program does include healthcare management; this can prepare you to coordinate care for patients as well as to supervise other nurses. There may or may not be a separate course in geriatrics.

Your program may also include one or more nursing electives. This can be an opportunity to explore a personal interest, like complementary therapies, or develop further competencies in a particular setting, e.g. rural health. Clinical hours may or may not be included in the program. Some schools, like Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, require field work to be completed in conjunction with course assignments, but allow nurses to use their own place of employment.

BSN Career Mobility

A BSN can be an asset for obtaining various hospital positions as well as jobs in the larger community. These can include specialized clinical positions like wound osometry as well as positions in health education and management. Diabetes educator, clinical educator, quality control director, outreach coordinator, and case manager are among the roles that may request a BSN.

Magnet hospitals have quotas when it comes to hiring nurses to manager positions. Some prefer to hire BSN nurses for a range of other RN positions as well. Texas has 26 facilities with magnet designation. Some, like Shriners, advertise clinical positions as BSN-preferred. During difficult economic times, more big city hospitals narrow their selection and focus on candidates with baccalaureate degrees (at least in the case of those who don’t have a lot of prior experience).

RN to BSN Program Considerations

There are a number of choices, and your selection may depend on where you are in your career. Some nurses choose to go straight from an ADN program to one for BSN completion. Nurses generally receive credit just for having completed the program and having become licensed. A challenge exam is sometimes required. In certain cases, experience may allow you to challenge an additional course. Some Texas RN to BSN programs are completed in as little as a year of full-time study. A nurse may choose a longer program, though, that includes more classes and enriching experiences. She may also choose to enroll as a part-time student and extend her education over several years.

Program costs, like so many other factors, are variable. If you are a part-time student paying by class, expect to pay several hundred per unit -- or at least to be billed for that amount. Many Texas employers, though, do offer tuition reimbursement to nurses who are completing their bachelor’s. Some hospitals even have partnerships with local schools.

RN to BSN Programs in Texas

Angelo State University

Houston Baptist University

Lamar University

Lubbock Christian University

Midwestern State University

Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing

Prairie View A & M University

Southwestern Adventist University

Stephen F. Austin State University

Texas A & M (multiple locations)

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Women’s University

University of Houston - Victoria

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

University of Texas (multiple locations)

University of the Incarnate Word

Wayland Baptist University - San Antonio

West Texas A & M University

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