Online BSN Degrees Looked Upon Favorably by Employers

July 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Nurses looking to obtain a higher degree, and the increased job opportunities that come with it, face a bit of a dilemma – between 12-hour shifts, family duties, and a hectic life in general, the time required to earn a degree is just not available. Yet nurses with advanced degrees are more in demand than ever. An increased government focus on healthcare and an aging U.S. population are increasing the need for highly educated nurses. In response, many schools are now offering online RN to BSN degree programs. Online RN to BSN programs offer the flexibility that traditional RN to BSN programs could not, allowing working nurses to finally find the time to continue their education.

Employers appreciate advanced nursing degrees

Online is more commonplace than ever

Distance learning programs have been around for just as long as brick and mortar colleges. Starting in the early 1800s, teachers would send assignments to students through mail, who would complete them and mail them back to receive the next assignment. Distance learning has come a long way since then. Today more than 10 million post-secondary students are taking online college courses. That number is expected to rise, as many brick and mortar college programs are incorporating distance learning into their programs as well. Online nursing degrees are more than just commonplace; they are accepted and appreciated by employers.

Online degrees looked upon favorably

Not only are online degrees more common, they are looked upon favorably by hiring managers. Employers recognize the fact that obtaining an online degree can only be accomplished by someone who can manage time, is motivated to work hard, and can set and achieve goals.  A CNN report found that 83% of executives agree that an online degree is just as credible as one earned on-campus (Source: Data found at http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/worklife/03/29/cb.employers.online.education/index.html).

Online advantage

For most working nurses who want to pursue nurse management roles or nurse instructor opportunities, an online BSN degree offers the chance to do so. An online BSN degree offers the chance to further your education without giving up everything else in order to do so. No driving to campus, sitting in class, rearranging work and family schedules around a rigid class curriculum. Online BSN degrees offer flexibility in schedules, convenience to learn when you have time, and the same curriculum and training as a traditional nursing program.

About Unitek College

Unitek College is a healthcare training school with three convenient locations in Northern California, including Fremont, Sacramento, and San Jose. Unitek College offers various healthcare programs, for any stage of your healthcare career.  To learn more about Unitek College, and the programs offered at each of the Unitek College campuses, visit http://www.unitekcollege.edu or call 888-898-1516.

The Benefits of Obtaining a BSN Degree Online

April 30, 2013 at 8:36 pm
Online degrees offer flexibility and convenience

Online degrees offer flexibility and convenience

There are plenty of benefits to furthering your nursing education. First and foremost, you will improve the quality of care for your patients, which is ultimately the main goal.

Nurses are busy people: in addition to family responsibilities and working long shifts, nurses balance social lives, personal commitments, and just life in general. There seems like there is never enough time for all of it. So how is one supposed to add “earning an additional college degree” on top of their existing (and seemingly never-ending) to-do list? For most, the time constraints make it impossible. However, online degree programs are changing that. Online RN to BSN programs offer many benefits over a traditional brick and mortar colleges. The benefits that stand out most are: maintaining your lifestyle, receiving superior instruction quality, and saving time and money.

Lifestyle – You are already an RN. You have a job. A hard one. But you have a life outside of nursing. Attending night and weekend classes after work would completely wipe out any free time you once had outside of work. This to me seems like the greatest advantage of an online RN to BSN program. You take classes from home (or library, or coffee shop, or the beach if you get wifi, or wherever you fancy). And you take them on your time. This allows you to maintain the lifestyle you are used to, while still making headway on your degree.

Instruction Quality – There is a misconception that online college courses just can’t offer the same level of instruction as traditional college courses. This is simply not true. Online schools and brick and mortar schools accredited by the same organizations are being held to the same standards. One of those standards is instruction quality. The quality of education of any vocational school, online or in-person, hinges in part on the quality of instructors. Nursing Instructors at Unitek College bring their students years of extensive nursing experience, and a  passion to share their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of nurses. Unitek College’s Fremont Main Campus and Sacramento Branch Campus are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), it’s San Jose Satellite Campus is recognized by the ACCSC as a satellite campus of the Fremont Main Campus.

Time – I’m not talking about the hours of time you save by not sitting in class, as I was in the first section. I am talking about the time it takes you to complete an RN to BSN degree from start to finish. Online courses are often much faster than traditional nursing courses. You are learning at your own speed, but the courses are accelerated and engaging, so you can get through them quickly and get on with the next step in your career. Some online BSN programs can be completed in as little as 20 months. BSN programs at traditional schools take 4 years to complete. Even RN to BSN programs tailored for post-grad working nurses can take years, as classes are only offered at night and are arranged around work schedules.

MoneyOnline RN to BSN programs are unbelievably cheaper than traditional RN to BSN programs. This is because they are taught online.  No buildings or expensive labs to maintain – yet the same caliber education – results in a much less expensive diploma.

If you would like to further explore the all of the benefits of an online RN to BSN degree, please visit us at www.UnitekCollege.edu.

New Nurses Tend to Stick Close to Home

December 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I’m a homebody. I live about five miles from my childhood home, my parents and sisters live within 20 minutes of my house, and I’ve been attending the same church for 23 years. Apparently I’m not alone in digging roots in one area. Many students in an RN to BSN nursing program like to do the same.

Reporter Gretchen Wright discusses in the Kern Valley Sun some amazing statistics on the mobility of new nurses in a study conducted by the RN Work Project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “More than half (52.5 percent) of newly licensed RNs work within 40 miles of where they attended high school. Even more nurses reported working in the same state in which they attended high school. Nearly four in five (78.7 percent) of the nurses surveyed who held associate’s degrees and more than three in four (76.8 percent) of those with bachelor’s degrees practiced in the state they had attended high school.”

For rural areas, areas that don’t provide nursing programs, and those communities that don’t have many students who want to enter a nursing program, this can cause a serious shortage. “Given the strong tendency for nurses to practice close to where they attended nursing school and to attend nursing school near where they graduated high school, it’s not surprising that parts of the country with few or no schools of nursing are struggling to find nurses,” said Christine Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor at the College of Nursing, New York University. “We did not investigate the reasons for nurses’ lack of mobility, but this reality suggests that more needs to be done in areas with few nursing schools in order to meet the health care needs of those communities.”

Fortunately, there are some great online RN to BSN programs that students can enroll in regardless of where they live. With the convenience of working from home and around busy work and family schedules, this is a viable option for many students. Many offer financial advice and support while providing an education equal to more traditional schools.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://www.kvsun.com/articles/2011/12/13/news/doc4ee7ccbe7aabf603819749.txt

Nursing Shortage Still Looming

December 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

The nursing shortage is not a new issue or new story by any means. We all know that Baby Boomers make up almost 25% of the population and as they age, more medical care is going to be needed. Also with health care reform pending, more patients may be served. Finally, technology and new medications are keeping people alive longer which causes patients to require more medical attention. With these growing numbers, those in an accredited online RN to BSN program are going to continue to be in high demand.

JoAnne Young writes in the Lincoln Star Journal about the nursing shortage in Nebraska and how that state is planning on addressing this issue. Although this article is focused on one individual state, by no means is this just a Nebraska issue and their solutions are applicable across the nation.

“A Tuesday hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services and Appropriations committees was part of an interim study (LR285) on what to do about the nursing shortage, which threatens to worsen over the decade,” writes Young. “There are ways the state can help to alleviate the shortage, said Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad, who sponsored the study… Solutions include recruiting and retaining nursing professors, addressing infrastructure needs, improving access in rural and underserved areas and addressing health care reform issues.”

A lack of educators still is one of the main problems that contributes to the nursing shortage. In higher education institutions across the nation thousands of nursing students are being turned away because universities can’t supply professors to meet the demand. However, online programs are going strong and are a viable option to those who are turned away from a traditional program or need a more flexible schedule to fit into their life.

Young explains that having adequate medical care is vital. “Sebastian said researchers have found the ratio of nurses to patients is related to quality of care, patient mortality, hospital infections and falls, and the ability to save a hospitalized patient’s life when he or she experiences a complication.”

Students getting an RN to BSN degree are in high demand and the need seems to be getting stronger. While many are being laid off in this precarious economy, nurses are one of the few career options that is thriving.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/state-still-grappling-with-nursing-shortage/article_bbdc14db-2e21-5c30-9cbd-6bcd9aaeb8fb.html

More Education Equals More Job Opportunities

October 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Last week I wrote about how nursing jobs are on the rise, and I can’t help but write another post on this subject. I mean seriously, can anyone have too much good news? Now is certainly the time to be in an accelerated RN to BSN program.

On NurseZone.com, contributor Debra Wood writes an exciting article about the projections and outlook for nurses in the near future. Wood starts off with this fact: “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the country will need more than half a million additional registered nurses by 2018.”

“Employment in nursing looks great,” said Billie G. Blair, Ph.D., president/CEO of Change Strategists in Temecula, Calif. “There’s a growing aging population so there will be no end, in the foreseeable future, for the continued growing need for nurses. Nursing during this decade is expected to grow at least 22 percent. It’s one of the few fields in which this is happening.” Blair continued to say that there is continued growth in travel nursing, something that fills a need for talent at a certain facility and creates potential career growth for nurses.

Wood also explains that, “The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report is guiding some of the change…The IOM report emphasizes the importance of additional education and suggests 80 percent of the nurses hold baccalaureate degrees by 2020. That is leading many employers to hire nurses with BSN degrees, making it more difficult for associate-degree-prepared nurses to secure jobs.”

“Employers are in a buyers’ market these days, thus there will be a continued emphasis on the more highly skilled degree, that is the BSN,” Blair added.

Many hospitals and government agencies are also providing grants and scholarships to prevent a major nursing shortage and to help those nurses who are pursuing a higher education. “In October, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $82 million in awards to help bolster the country’s nursing workforce. Administered by the agency’s Health Resources and Services Administration, the awards include $27 million for the Nursing Scholarship Program and $55.3 million for the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program,” states Wood.

If you’re not in an online RN to BSN program, sign up today! The future looks bright and the opportunities seem endless.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/Nursing-Jobs-Outlook-Workforce-Trends-and-Actions_38108.aspx

The Need for BSN Nurses Continues to Grow

October 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Nursing is one of those professions where once you get your license it’s just the first action in a series of educational steps on your career path. Nurses who are in an online BSN degree program agree that the best way to find a job is to pursue higher certification.

On NurseZone.com, contributor Debra Wood, RN explains the importance of earning your BSN. “With a rapidly changing health care environment, more nurses are seeking specialty certification and baccalaureate degrees.”
“Lifelong learning is an expectation for nurses from the bedside to the board room,” said June Marshall, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, director of advancing professional nursing practice at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, adding, “Nurses today have many opportunities for defining their career paths and choosing a course of action that will help them accomplish their professional and personal goals.”

Nursing is becoming more competitive and earning your BSN is a great way to stay ahead of the pack. “If you want to move up in the organization, the need to continue your education and get certified in your specialty area is more compelling than it was five years ago,” said Rose Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, CNL, FAAN, director of the Nursing Leadership Institute at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

There are several reasons why hospitals are choosing nurses who have higher certification. The first is that it puts them in a position to be considered as a prestigious Magnet hospital giving them a higher status. Secondly, it gives the patients more peace of mind knowing that the nurses are highly knowledgeable. Thirdly, nurses who are certified with a specialty are a greater asset to the hospital.

Obviously nurses are choosing this course because it provides a variety of opportunities, a higher income, and more job stability. Many hospitals are looking to increase their number of BSN nurses. “The Future of Nursing report recommends increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses from approximately 50 to 80 percent by 2020,” explains Wood.

Many hospitals are trying to help accommodate their nurses as they attempt to go back to school. For example, “UnitedHealth Group takes additional education of its 7,000-nurse workforce seriously, establishing the Center for Nursing Advancement, creating career paths for RNs. Forty of the company’s nurses recently completed a pilot program, providing one-on-one mentoring and structured education about business, leadership in health care, nursing professionalism and other topics. The program was so successful–with 100 percent of nurses starting the program also finishing it–the company will offer it to a second cohort in October,” states Wood.

As you can see, now is the perfect time to be in an RN to BSN bridge program!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://nursezone.com/nursing-news-events/more-news.aspx?articleid=37776

ANA Releases Guidelines for Social Networking

September 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Social networking is a huge part of our lives and I don’t even think we’ve fully tapped into its potential. For better or for worse, I think Facebook , Twitter and its various competitors are here to stay. Fortunately for nurses in a BSN school, there are some new guidelines established to help keep you or your coworkers out of trouble. :)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not a fan. Can you say “too much information?” I don’t want to know if you’re on vacation because then I’ll be jealous. I don’t want to know that you got a latte at Starbucks because then I’ll wonder why you’re always complaining about money. I know your kid is cute but I don’t want to view a play by play of them at Disneyland. (I sure sound bitter today. Okay, now that I’m eating some M&M’s my mood has improved a little. New thought: maybe it’s my social circle and not the whole Facebook society that is bursting with useless information….hmm…)

So basically all that ranting is to say that the American Nurses Association has created some guidelines to help nurses and nursing students maintain some professional standards. Nursezone.com posted this article from the ANA which explains, “The principles are informed by professional foundational documents including the Code of Ethics for Nurses and standards of practice. Nurses and nursing students have an obligation to understand the nature, benefits, and potential consequences of participating in social networking,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. “These principles provide guidelines for nurses, who have a responsibility to maintain professional standards in a world in which communication is ever-changing.”

Neatly summed up, the ANA comments, “ANA’s e-publication, ANA’s Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse provides guidance to registered nurses on using social networking media in a way that protects patients’ privacy and confidentiality. The publication also provides guidance to registered nurses on how to maintain, when using social networking media, the nine provisions of the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements; the standards found in Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice; and nurses’ responsibility to society as defined in Nursing’s Social Policy Statement: The Essence of the Profession.”

I think a lot of these principles are things that you already know, but I still think it is a valuable resource. This guide is free to ANA members on the Members-Only Section of www.nursingworld.org. Non-members may order the publication for just $3.95 at www.nursesbooks.org. As an RN to BSN student, this could be a helpful tool.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit:
http://nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/ANA-Releases-New-Social-Networking-Principles_37850.aspx

Nurses Help in Tornado Disaster

May 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm

The news has certainly been packed with interesting, exciting and world shaking stories the past few days. From the Royal Wedding to Osama Bin Laden’s assassination to tornadoes in the South, the good, the bad and the ugly have been keeping reporters working overtime. Some RNs and BSNs are also working overtime as they eagerly try to help the injured victims devastated by the natural disaster in Alabama.

Stefano DiPietrantonio, reporter for Fox 19 news in Cincinatti, Ohio writes that several nurses from Ohio are planning on traveling to the tornado torn area to help those who need medical attention. “Several nurses from the Tri-State got some accelerated training Friday with the Red Cross. They’re volunteering for a 3-week mission to go to Alabama and lend a hand with some of the mental as well as physical recovery efforts.”

Entering into an area of devastation, this is nursing at its most intensive. The physical, emotional and mental stress can really take its toll on a nurse. “To be thrust into complete destruction, is a lot to wrap one’s head around and still be many things to many people.

“’That’s the first thing they tell you in nursing school,’ said volunteer nurse Keri Penn. ‘You’ve got to do it all, you’ve got to wear many hats…Part-time social-worker, part-time friend, part-time just an ear to listen,’ Penn said.”

As a recent nursing school graduate, Penn also realizes that helping in this disaster will help polish her skills and also be a good addition to her resume. “’I am a new grad from UC,’ Keri Penn said with a big smile. She is fresh out of nursing school looking for work and thought this would be a great way to continue her education, on the frontlines.

“’It’s definitely not going to be textbook,’ she said. ‘Throw those right out the window,’ reporter DiPietrantonio joked. ‘Exactly,’ she said. ‘You have to take your life experiences and go with it. 2 to 3 weeks, so it’s going to be rough, but I know I’m doing this for the right purpose.’”

Although disasters and tragedies are inevitable, those in an RN to BSN program can help in vital ways. Through sharing their heart, their skills, and their time, nurses can truly make a difference.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://www.fox19.com/story/14544636/area-nurses-to-go-to-tornado-torn-south

 Nursing Programs Experiencing Growth in Higher Education and Advanced Degrees

April 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

If you’re a current BSN student, chances are, you chose to go the RN-BSN route because you value the open career opportunities that come with a BSN degree.  If you’re looking to eventually move up through the ranks in the healthcare industry, or do medical/scientific research, then RN-BSN may be the best route to take.  Also, having a higher education background in nursing will also prepare you for advanced nursing degree programs — which we’re starting to see more of — if you decide to take your education further.

According to recent data released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), enrollment in doctoral nursing programs increased significantly last year, indicating strong interest in both research-focused and practice-focused doctorates. Final results from AACN’s 2010 annual survey confirm that enrollments in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs continue to trend upward.

“Bringing more nurses into master’s and doctoral nursing programs must be a priority given the critical need for nurses to serve as scientists, faculty, primary care providers, specialists, and leaders within the healthcare system,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “In response to calls for a more highly educated nursing workforce, our nation’s nursing schools are taking decisive action to expand programs that prepare expert nurses to deliver high quality, cost-effective care in a healthcare system undergoing reform.”

For a graph showing the increase in the number of doctoral nursing programs over the past five years, see http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/pdf/Docprograms.pdf.

This increase in the baccalaureate student population is welcome news given calls by AACN, the Institute of Medicine, the Tri-Council for Nursing, and other authorities to encourage academic progression for all entry-level nurses. In a 2009 report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Dr. Patricia Benner and colleagues stated that “profound changes in nursing practice call for equally profound changes in the education of nurses.” The authors found that many of today’s new nurses are “undereducated” to meet practice demands across settings and voice their strong support for high-quality baccalaureate degree programs as the appropriate pathway for individuals entering the profession.

We’re seeing that as standards for providing healthcare goes up along with demand, higher and advanced education is becoming more of a priority. Quality healthcare advocates as well as employers are looking for professional nurses who will be able to adapt to these challenges. Getting your BSN degree will thus better prepare you to work in our constantly evolving health industry.

For more information on this current trend in nursing, please visit the article referenced in this post: http://nursing.advanceweb.com/editorial/content/editorial.aspx?cc=214570

The Best Reason to go RN-BSN

April 19, 2011 at 2:47 am

As the health industry grows and the demand for quality care rises, the list of reasons to go through an RN-BSN program gets longer and longer.  We already know that BSN graduates are better prepared to do research and climb the ranks if they so wish, but perhaps the best and most practical reason to get your BSN is the hiring advantage. More studies are showing that BSN graduates are much more likely to get hired when applying for healthcare jobs than graduates from other fields.

In August of last year, AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing), conducted an online survey to better assess the experience of new graduates seeking employment in the U.S. The survey found that the average job offer rate at the time of graduation was “65% for new BSN graduates, which is substantially higher than the national average across all professions (24.4%). At four to six months after graduation, the survey found that 89% of new BSN graduates had secured job offers.”  These findings are based on data collected from 402 schools.

What’s encouraging about these numbers is that we are seeing them despite high unemployment rates and job losses in other sectors of the economy.  This is because the U.S. healthcare workforce is continuing to expand to meet the needs of the public.

In fact, AACN reported that back in November of last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that healthcare employers added 24,100 new jobs in October.  This brings the total of new jobs created in this sector to 239,300 in the past 12 months. As the largest group of health professionals, RNs likely will be recruited to fill many of these new positions.

AACN President, Kathleen Potempa provides positive feedback regarding the findings, “Despite concerns about new college graduates finding employment in today’s tight job market, graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs are securing positions at a significantly higher rate than the national average.”

So, if you’re a BSN graduate, not to fear, there should be a job out there that awaits you.  Or, if you’re an aspiring nurse and you’re not sure about the best route to take, seriously consider getting your BSN degree.  After all, as nurse employers continue to raise quality standards by hiring registered nurses who have higher education degrees, the demand for BSN-prepared nurses is expected to increase.

To read up on more key findings from the study used in this post, visit: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/news/articles/2010/bsn-grad