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What does a BSN offer a Registered Nurse? RN to BSN Programs in Wisconsin

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine issued a report called “The Future of Nursing”. One of the goals was to increase the proportion of nurse with baccalaureate level education to 80% by 2020. The University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that in the time since the report came out, there have been many statewide meetings to address how Wisconsin can meet the challenges of the future. Currently only about 45% of the state’s registered nurses hold bachelor’s degrees.

If you are a competent, dedicated nurse with training at the ADN or diploma level, and you are considering beginning BSN coursework, you can rest assured that there are many people in the state who hope you will do just that! The IOM writes that the healthcare system of the future will require more nurse leaders, able to work in multidisciplinary teams and coordinate care across settings.

What does a BSN have to offer a registered nurse? Advanced nursing courses provide you with the skills you will need to take on a number of roles in our ever more complex healthcare system. Typical classes include health assessment, health promotion, nursing leadership, and nursing research skills. There may also be a capstone project that allows you to showcase your knowledge.

The BSN and Career Mobility

As a highly educated professional nurse, you can play a part in building Wisconsin’s healthcare future. What can you expect, on a personal level, from an RN to BSN program? One of the rewards is increased opportunity for career mobility. Perhaps you want to explore options outside of the hospital or physician’s office. Wisconsin requires a bachelor’s in nursing for public health nurses.

A BSN can also help you if your goal is to get a job at one of the state’s premier hospitals. Minnesota has more magnet facilities than the average state does. In fact, 13 of the 386 magnet hospitals (located in the US and abroad) are in Wisconsin. A majority are in Milwaukee or Madison, but you’ll also find magnet facilities in Hartford, Marshfield, and Wausuau. Magnet hospitals have quotas for nurse managers; 75% must have BSN level education. Although the BSN is not required for direct care nurses, facilities like Aurora Healthcare do advertise a number of BSN preferred positions.

Other facilities like baccalaureate level education, as well. Affinity Health System recently advertised for floaters, noting that the BSN degree was preferred. This type of position does, after all, require a high degree of professional competence!

RN to BSN Program Considerations

Wisconsin’s programs are designed to accommodate working professionals as well as new graduates of ADN programs. Some schools allow you to choose full- or part-time options. You may take one course at a time or a full courseload. Depending on the school you select, classes may be online, or they may be on-site, but offered in formats that accommodate nurses’ schedules. Clinical requirements are often minimal.

If you have graduated from a technical college, you will want to see how the state’s articulation agreement can streamline your educational experience. The various braches of the University of Wisconsin each have agreements with a number of technical colleges. Students may receive up to 30 units of nursing classes and 30 units of 100-level general studies courses. (Some students may receive a few credits at the 200-level as well.) Private colleges in the state have also chosen to enter into articulation agreements.

If you are not currently employed, you will want to ask prospective schools about their placement rates. Some do have success rates that approach 100%. If, on the other hand, you are currently employed at a major hospital, you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement -- you will want to check the policies of your particular employer.

RN to BSN Programs in Wisconsin

Alverno College

Cardinal Stritch University

Concordia University Wisconsin

Marian University

Silver Lake College of the Holy Family

University of Wisconsin

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