Students of nursing who also pursue a bachelor’s degree are valued by all health care institutions because the greater breadth of education and knowledge build additional skills in analysis, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving. Our society is experiencing a growing need for skilled nursing care for an expanding population. In addition, the types of contexts in which nurses will work continue to expand.
The education of the course work qualifying students for a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) brings both a breadth of exposure to new ideas and instruction and skill in developing critical, analytical, and process thinking to bear on problems and management and research challenges. As a result, nurses who have earned both the nursing skills of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or the Registered Nurse (RN) and the Bachelor of Science degree are generally considered better qualified to serve as supervisors or charge nurses or to be prepared to function more independently.
Nurses who pursue the RN-BSN program of study will add to their skilled nursing program, greater depth in research, a nursing specialty, complex illnesses and specialized treatment protocols. When the courses of the BS program are added, the result is a nurse with the same breadth of knowledge expected of all college graduates. There is also additional instruction in psychology, ethics, leadership skills and problem solving.
This breadth of knowledge is particularly valuable in settings in which nurses work with greater autonomy, such as rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, independent treatment facilities offering specific protocols for cancer treatment, physical and occupational therapy, and in medical offices. Nurses also exercise great responsibility in such settings as public health centers, schools, clinics, emergency care centers and nursing homes.