A guide to help you distinguish the different paths to becoming a nurse

Understanding the Difference Between an RN and a BSN

A guide to help you distinguish the different paths to becoming a nurse

A guide to help you distinguish the different paths to becoming a nurse

You might think all nurses are the same; all operating on the same level of certification and education. The truth is, there’s a distinction between being a registered nurse and having your ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree. Every nurse has their own journey that leads them to their preferred field of nursing. This journey, however, depends on their level of education and experience.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview on the differences between an RN and a BSN. Understanding this nursing license and this degree will better prepare you for a bright future in nursing.

What Is an RN?

Registered nurses (RN) often hold a BSN degree or an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing), and have passed the NCLEX-RN exam. RNs provide medical treatment to those in need. Depending on their location, work setting, and level of education, an RN may perform a variety of duties. These different areas of care include, but are not limited to, oncology, pediatrics, and geriatrics. RNs also work in various locations besides hospitals and doctors’ offices.

What Is a BSN?

BSN stands for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It’s usually a three or four-year educational program for those who are looking to become registered nurses (RNs), or for those who already have their Associate Degree in Nursing and would like to take their nursing education to the next level.

While RNs with associate degrees are still licensed nurses, a BSN degree has become standard for most entry-level nursing positions. Also, nurses who hold a BSN degree are more likely to be hired than nurses who hold an associate degree. Furthermore, nurses who hold a BSN may continue their education with a master’s degree or a doctoral degree.

RN vs. BSN: Job Responsibilities

RN vs. BSN Job Responsibilities

Nurses who earned their ADN share some similar job responsibilities with nurses who hold BSN degrees. Registered nurses with either an ADN or a BSN might have the following job responsibilities:

  • Review and maintain medical records
  • Administer direct care to injured, disabled, or ill patients
  • Educate patients about their medical conditions and treatment
  • Monitor patient health statuses

Job responsibilities begin to vary between an ADN-RN and a BSN-RN because a BSN-RN has more job opportunities in the nursing field. Having a BSN under your belt can provide more opportunities for career growth, which may lead to a greater set of job responsibilities over time.

RN vs. BSN: Educational Requirements

It’s important to recognize that an ADN-RN and a BSN-RN are both registered nurses. They are required to complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX is the national test required for licensing and practice as a nurse in the United States. With that being said, the educational requirements for these two degrees will often affect program length and cost.

You can become a registered nurse by obtaining your ADN or BSN degree. Students can earn their Associate Degree in Nursing through a college or university program. ADN programs can typically be completed in as little as 18-24 months, and cost significantly less than a four year BSN program. For those looking for a cheaper and faster route to becoming a RN, earning an ADN might be the best move for you.

However, due to their higher educational status, a BSN-trained nurse can meet more complex demands of healthcare. In order to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, you must have already completed your ADN, or you must have already committed to the four-year BSN program after graduating from high school. Overall, BSN students receive more training in managerial and administrative roles compared to ADN students.

Students who already hold their ADN but are looking to continue their nursing education might earn a BSN degree through a bridge program while still working as an RN. If you didn’t have the means to earn your BSN immediately after high school, an RN-to-BSN bridge program allows you to continue working while simultaneously furthering your education and preparing yourself for greater job opportunities down the road.

RN vs. BSN: Job Outlook

Nurses will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for healthcare services will increase because of the aging population as well as the increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.

There are more job opportunities with a higher range in salary available to nursing students who have earned a BSN versus an ADN. The BLS states that registered nurses with a BSN will have better job prospects than those without one. Some of the specialized jobs for BSN-qualified nurses might include:

  • Educator roles
  • Departmental coordinator roles
  • Management positions

Many employers now require that all nurses hold a BSN degree prior to employment. The AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) reports that 39.% of hospitals and other healthcare settings now require a BSN for new hires, and 77.4% favor BSN graduates over other nursing credentials. They also found that there was an 88% job placement rate for entry-level BSN graduates. There’s also a significant body of research showing that BSN-qualified nurses are linked to better patient outcomes. While there are still plenty of job opportunities for ADN-qualified RN’s, there is significant data to prove that the workforce heavily favors BSN-qualified nurses.

RN vs. BSN: Salary

RN vs. BSN Salary

The BLS reports that the median annual wage for registered nurses was $71,730 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent of nurses earned less than $50,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $106,530. The median annual wages for the top nursing industries are as follows:

Government$78,390
Hospitals; state, local, and private$73,650
Ambulatory healthcare services$68,320
Nursing and residential care facilities$63,990
Educational services; state, local and private$61,850

Along with better job opportunities, BSN-qualified nurses have additional earning power compared to RNs with an ADN. When entering the nursing field, ADN-qualified nurses report making around $57,000, while BSN-qualified nurses report making over $70,000. This higher earning potential becomes clearer as BSN nurses can apply for management and educator positions that pay upwards of $90,000.

The Pros & Cons of Becoming an ADN-RN versus a BSN-RN

ADN-RN Pros & Cons

ProsCons
18-24 month program lengthLess job opportunities
Begin working soonerLimited job growth
Gain work experience fasterLower annual wages

BSN-RN Pros & Cons

ProsCons
More job opportunities3-4 year program length
Greater potential job growthHigher cost of education
Higher annual wagesLonger commitment

RN vs. BSN: The Best Fit for You

The decision to become an RN or a BSN comes down to your personal preference and financial ability. Obtaining an ADN will cost you less money and save you time. You’ll also gain work experience two years sooner than BSN students. Another benefit for ADN graduates is they always have the option to advance their education and pursue a BSN later in their career though a bridge program.

However, if you have the time and money to complete a BSN program, it will give you a better chance at finding a job post-graduation. A BSN degree will also open doors for job growth and earning potential in both the short and long term.

If you decide to pursue a BSN degree, click here to learn more about our BSN program.

Profile of a BSN Holder

Profile of a BSN Holder

Profile of a BSN Holder

If you’re considering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, you might benefit from a quick snapshot of this educational choice and future career path. A BSN degree can open several doors in the nursing profession. For instance, some employers will only accept applicants with a BSN degree. In general, Registered Nurses (RNs) with BSNs receive greater salaries, management positions, and additional job opportunities.

Let’s start with the definition of a BSN degree…

What Is a BSN Holder?

All BSN holders must be RNs, but not all RNs have a BSN degree. Most do so by either earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a BSN degree. While an ADN degree requires approximately two years of study, a BSN degree usually necessitates three or four years. This is because a BSN is often necessary for RNs to advance their careers and seek leadership roles.

How Many Years Does It Take to Get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

It varies depending on the school and the location, but you can usually obtain one in three to four years. If you are already a Licensed Vocational Nurse or a Registered Nurse, then it might take significantly less time.

What Courses Must Be Completed to Earn a BSN Degree?

Like the length of a BSN program, this answer is dependent on the school and the individual program. To give you a better idea, though, below are some of the BSN courses you’ll find at Eagle Gate College:

+ Anatomy and Physiology

+ Microbiology

+ Fundamentals of Nursing

+ Medical-Surgical Nursing

+ Pharmacology

+ Maternal/Newborn/Pediatric Nursing

+ Mental Health Nursing

+ Health Assessment of Individuals and Populations

+ Healthcare Systems and Quality Outcomes

+ Complex Nursing Care

+ Healthcare Ethics, Policy, and Regulation

+ Aging Populations

+ Community Health

+ Global Health

+ Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

+ Nursing Leadership

What Is the Career Outlook for RNs?

The Fastest Way to Become a Registered Nurse

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow 15 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

They attribute this increase to the below:

+ Demand will increase because of the aging baby-boomer population, as they will create a greater need for preventive medical services. Nurses will also be needed to “educate and care for patients with various chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and obesity.”

+ Job growth is expected in “facilities that provide long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients, and in facilities that treat people with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, because many older people prefer to be treated at home or in residential care facilities, registered nurses will be in demand in those settings.”

+ Growth is also expected to be “faster than average in outpatient care centers, where patients do not stay overnight, such as those which provide same-day chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery.”

What Is the Salary of a BSN Holder?

According to BSNedu.org, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics from 2014 disclosed that the average salary of an RN was $66,620, while the average for BSN-equipped RNs was $75,484. The BLS also states that, generally, Registered Nurses with a BSN degree will have better job prospects than those without one.

What Kind of License Can Graduates of Eagle Gate’s BSN Program Pursue?

Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and practice as a Registered Nurse in a variety of settings. These include positions in long-term care, acute care, complex and critical care, school nursing, home health, and community health nursing. In addition, graduates are prepared for leadership and quality improvement positions.

About the BSN Program at Eagle Gate College

Eagle Gate offers a BSN program that can lead to work as a Registered Nurse in these healthcare settings, among others: complex and critical care, acute care, long-term care, community health nursing, school nursing, and home health. Of course, obtaining a BSN degree will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

Graduates of Eagle Gate’s BSN program are fully trained in the following areas:

  • Patient care
  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Pharmacology
  • Therapeutic treatment interventions
  • Medical/surgical nursing
  • Leadership
  • Mental health nursing
  • Mother/baby and pediatric nursing
  • Licensure examination preparation

For more information, please contact a school representative at (801) 333-7133!

A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

A Drone Could Be Your Next Co-Worker

Robotic technology could soon change the working environment of hospitals in big, big ways. These include robots that follow doctors on rounds, robots that assist the elderly, and robots that literally lift and carry human patients so a nurse won’t risk injury while moving them.

Many of these robots are still in the testing phase and won’t be making it to your hospital halls any time soon. But the skies outside your hospital are a whole other story, and as of April, it’s no longer a test…it’s reality.

This April, for the first time in history, an organ was delivered for transplant by an unmanned drone. A patient in Baltimore, Trina Glispy, had undergone dialysis for over eight years and was in desperate need of a kidney. When one became available, Trina agreed to the drone flight—a technology that doctors and researchers believe could speed up organ delivery times, expand access to more organs, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

The flight was a success, and more importantly, so was Trina’s surgery.

“This whole thing is amazing. Years ago, this was not something that you would think about,” said Ms. Glispy.

Drones have been used to make deliveries for some time now, with companies such as Amazon investing more and more into unmanned aerial deliveries, but medical supplies—living organs in particular—require much more planning and preservation than the average cardboard box.

“As a result of the outstanding collaboration among surgeons, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), engineers, organ procurement specialists, pilots, nurses and, ultimately, the patient, we were able to make a pioneering breakthrough in transplantation,” said Joseph Scalea, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery at UMSOM, project leader and one of the surgeons who performed the transplant at UMMC. “This was a complex process.  We were successful because of the dedication of all of the people involved over a long period of time.”

The challenges the drone and the team of pilots faced weren’t small. First, the organ had to be constantly monitored during the flight, with updates being transmitted to both the pilots and the receiving hospital. Conditions within the cargo space had to be maintained precisely in order to prevent damage.

“When we started this project, I quickly realized there were a number of unmet needs in organ transport,” said Dr. Scalea.  “For example, there is currently no way to track an organ’s location and health while in transit. Even in the modern era, human organs are unmonitored during flight.  I found this to be unacceptable. Real-time organ monitoring is mission-critical to this experience.”

And the flight itself followed a course through an urban living area—a path lined with obstacles, airwave interference, and other unpredictable challenges.

“As astonishing as this breakthrough is from a purely engineering point of view, there’s a larger purpose at stake,” explains Darryll J. Pines, Ph.D., Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering. “It’s ultimately not about the technology; it’s about enhancing human life.”

As every nurse knows, any breakthrough in organ transplant and transportation is excellent news. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there were nearly 114,000 people on organ waiting lists in 2018, and only 36,500 transplants actually performed.

Hopefully with the introduction of a better delivery system, those numbers can soon begin to improve.

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Eagle Gate College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

The Advantages of a BSN Degree

Have you been looking into Registered Nurse programs, or even accelerated RN programs? Maybe you’re already an RN but you’d like to advance your career. RN to BSN programs generally provide an excellent foundation for leadership roles, greater salaries, and management positions.

An article by Nurse Journal—a social community for nurses worldwide—delves into the many benefits of obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Below we’ve included some of our favorites from their list!

1. Greater Salaries. According to BSNedu.org, “Registered nurses holding BSN degrees can expect to earn higher salaries than those with associate’s degrees or diplomas. This is a key factor driving increased enrollment in pre-licensure BSN programs, and is cited as the number one reason why licensed RNs return to school for RN to BSN completion programs.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics from January 2014 revealed that the average salary for an RN was $66,620, while the average for BSN-educated RNs was $75,484.”

2. Wider Range of Nursing Careers. Nurse Journal’s article highlights the importance of a BSN degree. They state that a bachelor’s degree is essential when it comes to enrolling in many graduate nursing programs: “Four of the highest paying nursing jobs—nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist—require you to have a BSN.” They also add that a BSN degree is usually necessary if a nurse would like to move from basic clinical care to administration or teaching roles.

3. Learn More Than Clinical Skills. If you obtain a BSN, you will acquire skills beyond the basics of clinical care. BSN curriculums tend to also focus on communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills. According to Nurse Journal, knowledge in each area is essential if you would like to gain higher paying jobs with added responsibilities. Nurse Journal also notes that the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recognizes the BSN degree as an educational requirement for professional nursing practice.

4. Provide Better Patient Care. While this isn’t always the case, generally speaking, RNs equipped with a BSN degree will likely provide better patient care. Nurse Journal explains with the following: “The AACN has collected extensive research that indicates that higher nursing education makes a major difference in clinical outcomes. Nurses with a BSN have better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates and lower failure to rescue rates as well. The research also indicates that BSN holders have higher proficiency in making good diagnoses.”

5. Greater Odds of Employment at Hospitals. The American Nurses Association (ANA) awards certain nurses a “magnet” designation. This status is highly sought-after by hospitals, and one of the requirements of the designation is the education level of the nursing staff. According to Nurse Journal, the “ANA requires that 75% of nurse managers have a BSN as of Jan. 1, 2011, and 100% had to have a BSN by Jan. 1, 2013.”

6. More Opportunities for Professional Advancement. Earning a BSN degree can open your career to intriguing specialties in areas like pediatrics, gynecology, surgery, oncology, diabetes, psychiatry, etc. An RN with a BSN will no longer be limited in their opportunities for career advancement. In this increasingly competitive world, a BSN degree can only boost your chances of landing your dream job!

7. Higher Education May Be a Requirement in the Future. Another benefit of obtaining your BSN degree now is that doing so may actually become a requirement in the future. Nurse Journal elaborates on this potential prerequisite: “The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a study on the nursing profession. It recommended that BSN holders be increased from 50% to 80% by 2020. Nurses are being strongly encouraged to get their BSN within five years of earning a diploma or an associate’s degree.

The AACN is following the recommendations of the IOM and is also making the same recommendation. As these large, respected medical institutions make these recommendations, employers in the healthcare field tend to follow them as well. This means that many healthcare employers could require that their nurses earn their BSN by 2020.”

About the BSN Program at Eagle Gate College

Eagle Gate offers a BSN program that can lead to work as a Registered Nurse in these healthcare settings, among others: complex and critical care, acute care, long-term care, community health nursing, school nursing, and home health. Of course, obtaining a BSN degree will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

Graduates of Eagle Gate’s BSN program are fully trained in the following areas:

  • Patient care
  • Nursing fundamentals
  • Pharmacology
  • Therapeutic treatment interventions
  • Medical/surgical nursing
  • Leadership
  • Mental health nursing
  • Mother/baby and pediatric nursing
  • Licensure examination preparation

For more information, please contact a school representative at (801) 333-7133!

Happy National Nurses Week

Happy National Nurses Week!

Happy National Nurses Week

At hospitals around the world—and here at Eagle Gate College, of course—every week is Nurses Week. When you see firsthand how hard nurses work, how many lives they touch, and how selflessly they serve, it’s next to impossible not to be in awe of these heroes in scrubs.

This week, however, the rest of the country officially joins in, and the result can mean some fun rewards and thank-you gifts…if you know where to look. Here are just a handful of the businesses officially celebrating this year:

Cinnabon – If there’s a Cinnabon near you, stop by next week for something warm, sweet, and free. As a supporter of the DAISY Foundation, helping nurses is a priority for the Cinnabon company.

MOD Pizza – Celebrate the people everyone loves (nurses) with the food everyone loves (pizza). Nurses can visit MOD Pizza on Sunday, May 12 for buy-one-get-one-free pizza and salad.

Enlightened Ice Cream – Speaking of foods everyone loves, Enlightened Ice Cream is donating free pints to nurses, celebrating those who “make the world a little brighter.” You can collect your coupon (or send one to a nurse friend) at this link.

Uniform Advantage – Food not your thing? Want something more practical? How about scrubs? Uniform Advantage is offering 50% off everything site-wide in honor of nurses. That’s all types of scrubs, brands, footwear, and accessories.

DiscountGlasses.com – If you or one of your co-workers wear glasses, this week might be a good time to grab a back-up pair. Use the code HEARTNURSES30 sometime this week for 30% your purchase. Or go here and use HEARTNURSES15 for 15% off contact lenses…if frames aren’t your thing.

Amazon – Grab one or all of these free Kindle books on nursing—we’ve seen everything from historical books to memoirs to educational texts and fiction.

Continuing Education Credits – Have a few CE credits to earn? Why not knock out a few courses for free, available this week courtesy of BAYADA.

Contests and Giveaways – Bring home something big this National Nurses week by entering one of the many Nurses Week giveaways, such as these at NerdyNurse.com. You can win anything from high-end footwear to next-gen medical equipment.

Play Some Cards – Nurses are expert card players…according to at least one now infamous politician. And one company is having some fun with the situation, by offering a free deck of cards to all nurses. However, they need some help designing the cards first—and if they pick your design, you could win a quick getaway as well.

The perks and rewards don’t stop here, so if you have a favorite chain, restaurant, store, or service, be sure and ask if they’re offering any discounts or freebies next week. Of course, none of these gifts even come close to showing the full debt of gratitude owed you, but it’s a start. So enjoy, and again…thank you!

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Eagle Gate College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips For The Expecting Nurse

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips for the Expecting Nurse

Pregnant and in Scrubs: Work Tips For The Expecting Nurse

Nurses are notoriously hardworking people, and very few things can change that—even pregnancy. When they learn they’re pregnant, many nurses just trade their old scrubs for maternity scrubs and keep working, sometimes right up to when labor begins.

“During my pregnancy, I worked up until the very last minute. Literally,” writes nurse Cassie in her blog. “My water broke at 38 weeks, 6 days while in a patient’s room! The shift before my water broke, I was performing CPR in order to save a patient’s life! It was exhausting, both mentally and physically, but I feel like I had a healthier pregnancy because I continued to work. Of course, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before following any advice because each and every pregnancy is unique.”

The drive to work hard and treat patients is admirable, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make the job less stressful, reduce risk to mother and baby, and address certain challenges before they arise. Here are just a few of the ways nurses can balance work and pregnancy.

  1. Keep Your OB In The Loop – Your OB should be the final word on any course of action regarding your pregnancy, so before laying out your work plan, make sure your doctor is on board. Let her know that you’re a nurse and communicate your job’s demands so that she has all the facts and figures in front of her. And if she recommends taking it easy, take it easy.
  2. Invest In Your Shoes – Two things are certain in pregnancy—you will gain some weight, and your feet will eventually start to hurt. So plan to invest in shoes that provide extra comfort while still conforming to your work and safety requirements. Compression socks are also a lifesaver.
  3. Tell Your Managers and Co-Workers Sooner Rather Than Later – Your pregnancy will impact your ability to do your job—for some, it will just be small things, like needing an extra bathroom break here and there. For others, the challenge will be more impactful—smells that drive you from a room, exhaustion, and morning sickness. So make sure your managers and your co-workers know as early as possible that changes are ahead so they can adjust accordingly.
  4. Consider An 8-Hour Shift – This isn’t a possibility at all hospitals or clinics, but it’s certainly worth looking into. If you find you’re struggling with the 12-hour shift, see if you can temporarily switch to an 8-hour to allow some extra rest. And if this isn’t an option, part-time may be something to consider.
  5. Look Into Light Duty Shifts – Again, this isn’t an option at all hospitals, but some do have the option of assigning light duty shifts to nurses. Light duty shifts typically involve more paperwork and managerial tasks rather than the more strenuous tasks of lifting patients and similar responsibilities.
  6. Fill That Nursing Bag – Before, you may have used your nursing bag for alcohol swabs and lip balm, but now, be sure to stock it with pregnancy essentials. Pack an anti-nausea pack, snacks to help keep you going when the cravings hit, and crackers to provide a little extra help when nausea strikes.
  7. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself – Every pregnancy is different, and while some nurses seem to breeze through, others may struggle a little more. Remember that your pregnancy is unique to you, so don’t judge yourself too harshly if you feel you’re struggling more than others around you. And remember, as your body changes, your tolerance may as well. Sights, smells, and sounds that never bothered you before may turn your face green now. Just know your new limits, and don’t get discouraged. You’ve got this!

For many nurses, it can be frustrating to feel like you aren’t operating at 100% capacity for 9+ months, but the most important thing to remember is that you have help and no one is expecting you to be a superhero. Ask for help when you need it, don’t push yourself beyond your limits, and most of all—take a breath and enjoy the moment. You’re going to do great!

If you are interested in beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, Eagle Gate College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us today for more information!