Despite the benefits of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, many nurses hesitate to do so given demands on their time like raising a family, caring for elderly parents and managing full-time careers. At Youngstown State University (YSU), the online RN to BSN program uses an accelerated, flexible format that enables busy nurses to complete the program in as little as one year.
Why Are Accelerated RN to BSN Programs Necessary?
Many RNs choose to initially pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) due to the shorter program lengths and the ability to gain quicker entry into the workforce. However, as the needs of patient populations become more complex and technology further intersects with nursing practice, employers are seeking RNs with baccalaureate-level education. According to the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 88.4% of employers strongly prefer BSN program graduates, while 45.6% of employers require new hires to have the degree.
The goal to have 80% of the nursing workforce earn BSNs by 2020 has also spurred a need for accelerated RN to BSN programs. Introduced in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now called the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report established the goal to ensure nurses have the necessary skillsets to practice in a more diverse and demanding healthcare landscape. Although the number of nurses with a BSN or higher is greater than ever before, the 80% goal has not yet been reached. According to data accumulated by the Campaign for Action, the national average of BSN-prepared nurses is only 56% as of 2019 — up from 49% in 2010.
How Is a BSN in 12 Months Possible?
Time constraints are often cited as reasons nurses choose not to pursue a BSN, even when the degree is critical to expanding career opportunities. A 2014 survey in the Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA) found that inflexible work schedules, multiple priorities and an overall lack of time due to personal and professional commitments were primary barriers.
An accelerated online RN to BSN program can overcome many of these concerns by minimizing the overall time commitment and providing the flexibility to complete coursework online without frequent travel. YSU offers a block credit transfer option, which further shortens the length of the program by allowing RNs to transfer 65 general education and nursing credit hours from a previously completed ADN or ASN degree. RNs with an unencumbered nursing license are also granted an additional 10 hours of experiential credit.
Nurses who qualify for both the block transfer and experiential credits can finish the online RN to BSN program at YSU in just 12 months when taking two courses at a time. Each course is only seven weeks in duration, enabling rapid progression through core content that focuses on leadership, disease prevention, intervention strategies, community health and documentation methodologies.
As employer demand for BSN-prepared nurses grows, RNs who are interested in advancing their education often perceive the barriers as too great. Between rigid work schedules, raising a family and other restrictions on their time, many nurses require an online program with a flexible format to reach this goal. With courses lasting just seven weeks and both transfer and experiential credits available, the online RN to BSN program at YSU offers a streamlined 12-month pathway for nurses with challenging schedules.
Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online RN to BSN program.