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Prepare for Nurse Leadership With a BSN

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can greatly enhance your nursing career. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, many hospitals are seeking nurses with leadership skills not necessarily taught in an associate degree program. In fact, a committee appointed by the Institute of Medicine recommended an 80 percent increase in the proportion of nurses with baccalaureate degrees by 2020.

The online RN to BSN program offered by St. Thomas University focuses on the principles and practical applications of nurse leadership through coursework, discussions and even a clinical leadership project that students complete in their own work environment. Not only can these courses teach you how to manage people, projects and technology, but they can also help you understand your ability to effect change in the industry and the community you serve.

Practical and Interpersonal Management Skills

In an article published by the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, the authors argue that health systems need stronger management in areas such as finance, technology and human resources.

Nelson Tuazon, the author of "The 'Makings' of a Good Manager" in the Journal of Excellence in Nursing Leadership notes that strong managers focus on patient safety. They also prioritize robust relationships with patients and physicians. St. Thomas University's RN to BSN program is designed to cover both practical and interpersonal management skills with courses that focus on:

  • Examination and discussion of management and leadership theories as they relate to nursing.
  • Healthcare system issues related to policy, finance and regulation.
  • Nursing informatics designed to improve management of knowledge and dissemination of information.
  • Analysis of the nursing metaparadigm, which includes nurse, client, health/illness and environment.
  • An understanding of how to deliver safe, cost-effective, quality care in a collaborative environment.
  • Preparation for complicated situations and ethical dilemmas -- especially those related to end-of-life care -- that inter-professional teams may encounter together.

Leadership in Healthcare Transformation

When it comes to transforming the healthcare system, the Institute of Medicine suggests that nurses should be equal partners with all other healthcare professionals in effecting change. Your RN to BSN program can help you understand and prepare for such opportunities by introducing you to the following topics:

  • Examination of current and emerging factors affecting the quality of health care.
  • The need for advocating reform in healthcare at local, regional, state, national and global levels.
  • The importance of advancing and promoting the nursing profession.

Leadership Skills for Diverse Communities

Creating a safe, patient-centered environment requires a good understanding of the people in your community. In The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Barbara J. Leonard points out that nurses are serving a growing number of cultures whose health values may conflict with Western medicine. Leonard urges nurses to learn about diverse groups of people so they can practice greater cultural sensitivity on the job. The St. Thomas University RN to BSN program can help you develop this kind of knowledge with courses that explore the following:

  • The impact of diverse cultural beliefs, values and practice on caring for individuals, groups and communities.
  • The study of community health measures, which maintain the health of the community.
  • Development of individualized healthcare plans that meet the cultural needs of patients, families and the community.

As you progress in your nursing career, the leadership skills you learn in St. Thomas University's RN to BSN program will help you remain sought after by healthcare organizations. Some of the positions for which a BSN will qualify you include assistant director of nursing, assistant nurse manger and nurse supervisor.

No matter which path you choose to take with your BSN, managers will recognize your varied management capabilities, your knowledge of diversity and your willingness to promote a more successful healthcare system. In addition, they will appreciate your commitment to professional development, continuing education and the advancement of nursing.

Learn more about St. Thomas University's online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

The Wall Street Journal: Job-Seeking Nurses Face Higher Hurdles as Hospitals Require More-Advanced Degrees

National Academy of Medicine: The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education

IJHPM: Management Matters: A Leverage Point for Health Systems Strengthening in Global Health

Nursing Management: The "Makings" of a Good Manager

NCBI: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing: Quality Nursing Care Celebrates Diversity

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