Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs teach students how to perform diagnostic tests, analyze test results, record patients' medical symptoms and histories, administer treatment and medication, operate medical machinery and perform patient follow-up. These programs typically include classroom lectures and labs, as well as clinical experiences where students can gain hands-on experience. They take either two or four years to finish, depending on whether it is a first-degree option or an accelerated program. Acceptance in a first-degree program requires a high school diploma. Accelerated degree programs require an associate's degree in nursing and experience as a registered nurse. Graduates will be eligible to take the licensing exam for registered nurses, the NCLEX-RN.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Students enrolled in a BSN courses learn the technical skills needed to care for patients, the knowledge of laws and ethics that guide medical care, and the communication abilities to interact with the patients and their family members as well as other medical personnel. Most programs also include a variety of practica or clinicals in a hospital or other healthcare facility where students can focus on specific areas of nursing. Courses in BSN programs usually discuss these topics:
- Health assessment methods
- Nursing management
- Empirical research in healthcare settings
- Healthcare policy
- Community healthcare
- Healthcare for young and elderly patients
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a BSN degree program can often choose a work setting, specialization and population to serve. Some career possibilities for those graduating from a BSN program are mentioned below:
- Critical care nurse
- Emergency nurse
- Home health care nurse
- Ambulatory care nurse
- Hospice nurse
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that registered nurses would see a 16% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average growth for all occupations. In May 2015, registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $71,000.
Continuing Education Information
Every state requires RNs to pass the NCLEX-RN licensing test before they can legally work. In addition to passing the licensure test, some RNs choose to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or complete specialization training certificate programs.
A BSN provides students with the training they needed to operate medical equipment, run diagnostic test, interact with patience families and preform other RN duties. There are two tracks available: a first-degree track for people new to the industry and an accelerated track for people with nursing experience.