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Online Nursing Education Programs Becoming More Popular

St. Thomas University (STU) offers an online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The convenience of this online degree can be ideal for working RNs looking to advance their education, careers and nursing practice.

Online RN to BSN programs are an increasingly appealing option for nurses wanting to continue their education. They offer ideal flexibility and increase nurses’ income potential and job opportunities, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the widespread need for qualified nurses while demonstrating the safety benefits of online education.

The Need for RN to BSN Programs

Nurses have always been valued and respected professionals in the healthcare industry. However, during and after the pandemic, their contribution to the well-being and survival of people worldwide became clearer than ever.

Factors like the pandemic stressed healthcare resources revealed the degrees to which nurses are overworked and stretched thin. In many cases, there are simply not enough nurses to go around. This shortage of qualified nurses has inspired many people to enter the profession and driven former nurses to re-enter the workforce, lending their skills to help combat rising healthcare needs.

These factors have only emphasized the need for quality higher education nursing programs like STU’s online RN to BSN. The program’s online format is particularly relevant to working professionals. Plus, virtual learning promotes the safety of teachers, students, patients and other colleagues in the workplace.

Additionally, the online model helps nurses fit study time around their chaotic schedules. This allows nurses to continue their essential role in supporting health outcomes while advancing their education and nursing practice.

Job Opportunities for Nurses With a BSN Degree

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has reviewed extensive research on nursing education levels. This review found that having more BSNs in the nursing workforce leads to numerous positive patient health outcomes.

Many such associations are banding together to call for increased education of nurses to promote BSNs in the workforce. This is reflected in the bachelor’s level educational requirements for leadership positions, promotions and even entry-level positions at many hospitals and agencies such as:

  • Magnet hospitals
  • The U.S. Army
  • The U.S. Navy
  • The U.S. Air Force
  • The Veteran’s Administration

States like New York are also starting to require that nurses obtain a bachelor’s level nursing degree within a certain timeframe of entering the profession. Speaking globally, countries like Iceland, Korea, Canada and Sweden now require all practicing registered nurses to hold a four-year degree, according to the AACN.

To summarize, earning an RN to BSN degree expands opportunities for nurses in numerous healthcare organizations, regions of the U.S. and worldwide.

What Kind of Return on Investment Can I Expect?

Advancing your education requires financial investment, so it is important to consider factors like tuition and the potential return on investment (ROI).

The STU RN to BSN program’s online format allows students to continue working and earning a salary while getting their degree. This means no lost income while in school, representing substantial savings versus other education models, especially considering the program’s affordability. Due to in-person clinical requirements, only students currently residing in Florida and Georgia can enter this program.

Regarding income increases, salaries vary widely according to the job, region and employer, but BSN-prepared nurses qualify for higher-level positions and generally command higher wages. According to ZipRecruiter data from April 2024, BSN-prepared nurses earn an average annual salary of $102,363, while RNs average $87,868 annually. This equates to an average yearly pay bump of nearly $15,000. Earning an RN to BSN online from STU can lead to a rapid and substantial ROI for graduates.

Clearly, an online RN to BSN can be a beneficial investment, allowing nurses to advance their education and qualifications. Obtaining a BSN can improve career opportunities for nurses, and increasing the number of BSNs in the workforce can lead to improved patient outcomes for healthcare organizations. This supports the fundamental purpose of nursing: To ensure the health and well-being of the people nurses serve.

Learn more about STU’s online RN to BSN program.

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