How to Advance Your Career and Achieve an Ideal Work-School-Life Balance with an Online RN to BSN
Many registered nurses (RNs) approach a point in their career where they want to secure their professional future, discerning whether or not to take the next step by pursuing an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
The decision to return to school is typically followed by contemplative reflection. Can I simultaneously balance this degree program with my many other work and life responsibilities? What are the benefits of this type of degree? And ultimately: is it worth it?
Approaching these questions requires analysis of the true professional need for a BSN degree as well as an examination of how the features of an online degree could benefit a busy, mid-career RN.
Gold Standard for Secure Nursing Careers
The demand for nurses is booming with available positions growing in diverse public and private settings, including hospitals, assisted living and nursing homes, private medical practices, hospice care, schools, and community health centers - to name just a few.
With this ever-increasing demand, a bachelor’s degree in nursing has quickly become the gold standard. This academic credential represents a diverse, well-rounded knowledge and specialization in higher level medical concepts.
For mid-career professionals, a BSN can be the gateway to long-term job security, higher salaries and earning potential, and consideration for promotions. As a result, RNs frequently face the professional hurdle to find a degree program to satisfy this professional advancement prerequisite without compromising their current full-time employment and home responsibilities.
In-Demand Soft Skills
Beyond increased specialization and cross-functional nursing experience, BSN degree holders are also coveted by employers for their refined soft skills. These are the essential skills that pertain to the personality attributes that enable people to work well with others and achieve success within a professional environment.
They include critical thinking, leadership, time management, and communication skills, as well as the ability to navigate and positively influence team dynamics. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in nursing are sought after because of their knowledge that goes beyond just the coursework that can contribute to an efficient and effectively run medical team.
The Evolution of Online Education
Online education has evolved greatly since its inception, where it often was met with resistance from institutions with only a physical presence. During these early years, online college degree programs were assigned an unfair reputation of being lower quality or “not prestigious enough” to be placed on a resume.
However, with the rapid advancement of the Internet, improvement of educational technologies, and overall increase in internet accessibility, the perception of online education has steadily transformed. Many long-standing institutions—like Ohio University, which has nearly a 200 year history of academic excellence—now offer a wide-range of online degree programs that are fully accredited and highly valued by potential employers.
Online Nursing Student Community
Higher education institutions have also started to offer a more dynamic online student experience that parallels what is offered on campus with elite faculty, academic support services, student social media outlets, and a breadth of academic options.
To exemplify these improvements, Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions has fostered a strong and connected community of online students that provides a supportive peer environment especially for those reentering the academic space for the first time in several years. As part of this, the University has created student Facebook groups that are highly interactive communities where students can collaborate, get to know one another, and provide support throughout the degree programs.
Benefits of Access and Time to Bachelor’s Degree Completion
The increased access that an online RN to BSN degree provides relates to the need for many prospective students to balance a multitude of work, life, and academic responsibilities.
The flexibility in an online program eases the apprehension many have regarding these concerns. With online education, students can eliminate the timing and cost worries associated with commuting as they are able to access their coursework from any location that is convenient for them.
This flexibility with regard to learning location means that scheduling concerns with on-campus courses are nonexistent. This is a vital benefit for busy nurses that are often working long, non-traditional shifts while still needing to keep up on at-home and life responsibilities.
Online learning also caters to those with varying levels of needs for degree completion time with individualized schedule building that can be paced according to personal needs. A testament to the needs of its students, Ohio University’s online RN to BSN degree features eight start dates for immediate degree pursuit; is 100% online with no on-campus requirements; and can be started, stopped, and resumed for completion within 10 years. This online degree takes into account the evolving realities of life and the demanding work of an RN.
Immediate Professional Impact
A bachelor’s completion degree like the online RN to BSN program shines in its immediate applicability of degree curriculum. Students are often seasoned nursing professionals who can immediately apply course concepts to their daily roles, supporting rapid career growth.
Not only is an online degree not disruptive to a career, the applicability and relevance of the online RN to BSN degree curriculum supports a commitment to learning and becoming more influential in the workplace. It allows RNs to advance in their career in real-time as they are studying, applying the knowledge gained through the degree continuously at their jobs.
Online RN to BSN Degree: The Path to a Balanced Life and Career Advancement
Is it possible to balance your professional responsibilities, personal life, and education while pursuing an online RN to BSN degree? Absolutely. An online RN to BSN represents the gateway to career advancement and security and also a pathway to balance in work, life, and education. If you are interested in learning more about taking your nursing career to the next level at your own pace, request more information about Ohio University’s online RN to BSN program to get started.