Careers in the medical industry are highly sought after and competition for available positions is tough, especially for entry-level openings. Having a higher education such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can greatly increase the chances of a candidate’s potential to be hired. Even distance learners have the opportunity to tap into this degree program as there are many online general nursing bachelor programs, such as the BSN, available today. With this degree, a student can begin their career as a general nurse and determine later on if they wish to specialize in a specific area of health care.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
If a student is confident they want to pursue a career in the medical field as a nurse, but undecided as to whether or not they want to specialize in a specific aspect of the field, a general nursing bachelor’s degree is a great way to prepare for an entry-level general nursing job. As a starting place in nursing education, a bachelor’s degree will allow a student to gain a fundamental understanding and working knowledge of the nursing basics. Although a candidate could get a job as a Registered Nurse with only an associate level of education, a bachelor’s degree in general nursing would greatly increase their chances of being hired in the competitive work force. Additionally, the general nursing bachelor’s degrees lay a solid foundation for further studies later on if a student chooses to continue their education.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Although the exact requirements vary by degree type and institution, there are a few standard criteria students are typically expected to meet to be considered for admission to bachelor’s nursing programs. The following requirements reflect those of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program:
- Transcripts from high school showing completion of all necessary credits, or proof of completed GED
- Acceptable SAT/ACT scores (depending on the institution)
- Official transcripts from any previously completed college course work
Inside a General Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Program
General nursing bachelor’s degree programs provide a foundational understanding of the nursing profession as a whole. Although electives and certain courses may focus on specific aspects of nursing careers, the curriculum in general takes an overview approach to the subject of nursing and includes topics such as family health care, nutrition, illness detection and prevention, and more.
Distance learning students will have the flexibility of conducting much of their course work online, but will still gain valuable experience in the nursing environment by working with affiliated clinics and organizations for a portion of their degree program. Similar to internships, these clinical work opportunities allow students to put their education into practice and develop the skills necessary for success in their medical career. Additionally, depending on the pace of the student, course work can be completed at an accelerated rate for faster degree completion. With a general nursing bachelor’s degree, a student will be fully prepared to enter the work force as a qualified medical professional with many options for future career development.
What’s Next for General Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of a general nursing bachelor’s degree program typically pursue a career in the nursing field, such as a registered nurse, and advanced practice registered nurse, or a medical assistant. With a BSN, students stand a better chance at a higher paying job as a licensed practical and vocational nurse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects 22% job growth from 2010-2020 for this particular career, which is faster than average for other jobs.
From a general nursing bachelor’s degree, there are a number of options available to students interested in pursuing their education further. Post-baccalaureate certificates give students slightly more expertise in a specific aspect of the nursing field, enabling them to expand their professional employment opportunities or further progress in their current position. Master’s degrees will open up even more options in the job market, such as physician assistants or occupational therapists. With a doctoral degree in nursing it is possible for graduates to find employment as audiologists, physicians, or physical therapists. Additionally, doctoral graduates can conduct high levels of research and make significant contributions to the medical industry, as well as teach in colleges or universities and pass on the knowledge they have acquired.