Why Go Back to School to Be an RN?
Going back to school can be a difficult decision. If you have already put forth the effort to complete a prior course of study, active engagement in a second curriculum may seem redundant. Nursing school is unique. The work of a registered nurse (RN) is a professional calling that can be deeply meaningful and rewarding for those interested in nursing as a second career.
Completion of a rigorous program of study to pursue a new career is a major decision. Long study sessions, financial commitment, and the personal sacrifice of your time warrant an honest evaluation of the reasons you might consider going back to school for nursing.
Not only is nursing a rewarding career, but RNs are in demand. Nursing has many benefits including job stability and a variety of employment settings where you can help others. The purpose of this blog is to provide several reasons why you should go back to school to become an RN. You may leave inspired and renewed by the possibilities for your future.
Reason #1: Nursing is an In-Demand Profession
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on the career outlook for RNs. This profession is projected to grow at a fast rate of approximately 6% between 2021 and 2031. The financial outlook is also favorable for nurses. The median salary for RNs in 2021 was approximately $77,600 per year with a bachelor’s degree as the typical entry-level education.
For those interested in becoming a nurse, there are benefits to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree rather than an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN). Many employers require or strongly prefer the BSN degree as baccalaureate-level nursing education has been associated with better patient outcomes.
Reason #2: Efficient Program Completion is Possible
Many traditional BSN programs take four years to complete, while the ADN routes are often two-year degrees. However, with an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you can obtain your BSN degree in as little as 15 months.
ABSN programs are fast-paced with high expectations for student engagement in the educational environment. The strategic incorporation of information technology within online programs creates an educational landscape where innovative teaching strategies can help students learn the practice of nursing and maximize learning outcomes.
A hybrid nursing program, such as the online ABSN at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, allows for efficient program completion in less than a year and a half. Hybrid nursing programs typically include a combination of online coursework, in-person clinical experiences, and hands-on learning with faculty on campus. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field are ideal candidates for a second-degree distance education program where they can leverage prior education and become a nurse in just 15 months.
Reason #3: Going Back to School is Worthwhile
The idea of going back to school sometimes carries with it a feeling of reversal. Why return to the past activity of education when you’re already done? There are many reasons why going back to school for nursing is a worthwhile endeavor:
- Students with prior education and work experience are more motivated
- An understanding of prioritization has already been developed through time and practice
- Skills learned in a prior degree program are applied to nursing
When changing careers, it can seem as though you are starting over when in reality, you are building on a foundation of your unique preparation. Nursing school is an opportunity for networking and collegiality. You will learn from the diversity of experiences that your classmates bring forward and you will also have useful perspectives and value from your prior training to share.
Reason #4: Specialization in Nursing is Rewarding
Motivation for a career can be found when you have a passion for your work. As a potential nurse, there may be a specific patient population or health care area in which you have an interest. Through specialization, a nurse may have the opportunity to:
- Educate patients and families with empathy and seasoned understanding
- Collaborate with other disciplines within the chosen specialty area
- Utilize community and agency resources for patient advocacy
- Monitor clinical outcomes and improve the quality of life for others
- Recognize the need for process improvements
Nursing is more than a job. Specialization in nursing is especially rewarding when a nurse has committed to the work ahead. When you examine your own heart and passion for caregiving, there are endless ways to grow and maintain motivation. A team of nurses dedicated to continued development and collaboration will rise and make a difference in the world.
Reason #5: Commitment is a Virtue
Only through immersion in the care of a specific patient population will a nurse truly progress from a novice caregiver to a seasoned expert. Humility and a continual desire to learn and develop professionally are essential for this transformation. There is an element of personal growth and an element of professional growth mixed into the daily heart of a committed nurse. Commitment is a virtue, and specialization is an opportunity to see that virtue in action.
If you are ready to take the next step and explore options for you to become a nurse, it is time to evaluate the educational program options available to you. Respected accreditation, dedicated student support, and trusted faculty are just a few important indicators of a quality academic program offering.
Become a Registered Nurse at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Going back to school for nursing with an online ABSN program is an exciting way to reach your career goals. With the hybrid ABSN program at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, you have the chance to participate in a quality academic experience that has earned programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Additional features of this program include:
- 100% online coursework
- Two on-campus immersions for learning hands-on clinical skills
- Direct patient care clinical hours with clinical placement support
- Pass rates for the nurse licensure examination (NCLEX) above 90%
Visit the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine online ABSN program registration page today for more information and details on how to enroll.