A Call to Action: RN to BSN Programs in Wyoming
Why is the BSN so important to healthcare in Wyoming? In order to effectively manage care in a frontier state, professional nurses need a high level of skill. This includes far more than just clinical competency in nursing care across the lifespan. Health assessment skills are vital to nurses who work outside of major medical centers. So are professional collaborative skills. Rural health is a big reason that organizations like the Institute of Medicine have called on nurses to further their education. The IOM has a goal of having 80% of the nursing workforce educated at the bachelor’s level by the year 2020.
Other healthcare organizations are also issuing strong calls to action. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has compiled a number of studies that indicate that the higher degree is an asset in hospital settings as well. Facilities that employ more BSN nurses have fewer adverse events like medication errors and falls. The end result is that, while healthcare centers do hire ADN nurses, they reserve some roles for those with baccalaureate education.
What are the components of a BSN completion program, and how do they relate to Wyoming’s nursing workforce needs? One of the cornerstones is health promotion. Rural areas have higher incidences of some chronic illnesses, like some forms of heart disease. Prevention can reduce the need for acute care. A related concept is community and public health nursing. If you enroll in a BSN completion course, you can also expect to learn evidence-based nursing practice. This can aid you in a number of baccalaureate-level positions including patient educator and staff educator. It can also give you a solid foundation for graduate school.
BSN Career Mobility in Wyoming
A higher degree can enhance career mobility. Wyoming’s medical centers prefer the BSN for positions in case management, risk assessment and patient care management. The degree may also be preferred for triage and for some clinical positions on acute care wards. The Department of Veterans Affairs requires a baccalaureate for many positions.
The BSN can also bring a variety of leadership roles within the reach of a competent and experienced nurse. Recent postings have included patient care services director, critical care supervisor, and director of home health. Some nursing positions favor candidates with a BSN and certification in a specialty area. One example would be nursing informatics. Wyoming employers sometimes specify that a candidate must be working toward a BSN if she does not already have one.
RN to BSN Program Selection Tips
Geography does not have to be an obstacle. The program at the University of Wyoming can be completed entirely online (with the exception of a practicum that you complete in your own community). The program is open to registered nurses who have completed their studies. ADN students at Wyoming colleges are also welcome to apply.
Money does not necessarily have to be an obstacle either. You may pay less than $150 per unit. Scholarships, moreover, are not just for pre-licensure students. The UW has multiple awards that you may be eligible for. Employers like Laramie’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital also offer financial assistance to nurses seeking their BSN.
There may only be one RN to BSN program physically located within Wyoming, and spots may be limited, but this doesn’t mean you have only one option. There are also distance learning programs around the country that you may be eligible for. Since RN to BSN programs are post-licensure, they are subject to fewer regulations. You do want to make sure that your program has a good reputation, but you don’t necessarily need to be concerned that it’s not located in the same state.
RN to BSN Programs in Wyoming
University of Wyoming
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