In the past, most nurses only obtained a two or three-year associate’s degree in nursing before becoming a registered nurse and starting their career, but more and more up-and-coming nursing students are opting to earn a four year Bachelor of Science in nursing instead. A Bachelor of Science in nursing can open up more potential job opportunities for nurses, as well as better prepare them to take care of patients across a variety of ailments and medical fields.
However, not everyone has the time to attend a traditional full time four year college or university in today’s day and age. We all have a lot on our plate, and many people studying to become a nurse have to juggle day jobs and other personal responsibilities on top of their education. Consequently, online colleges that offer bachelor’s programs for nursing degrees are becoming more and more popular. Excelsior College, a regionally accredited not-for-profit online institution, is a great option for prospective online nursing students.
Let’s take a look at five reasons why Excelsior College is the perfect place to earn your Bachelor of Science in nursing degree on your own time and at your own pace.
More job opportunities
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of registered nurses in the United States between 2016 and 2026 is expected to increase by 15 percent. That is a significant increase, and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing can help keep new nurses competitive in a rapidly changing job market. There are only so many nursing jobs available, and candidates with a bachelor’s degree will be more attractive to potential employers than applicants with an associate’s degree.
Many job current job listings are already listing bachelor’s degrees as requirements, or at least preferred traits, in potential job candidates. Some U.S. states, such as New York and New Jersey, have even passed legislation requiring all registered nurses to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing within 10 years of their licensing.
Enrolling in nursing courses with Excelsior College gives students the added flexibility of building their class schedule around their own lives, and not the other way around. Students can opt to take night classes if they work a typical 9-5 day job, or enroll in early morning classes if the rest of their day is spoken for.
Registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees also earn more on average. For example, 2019 statistics released by PayScale state that first year nurses with a bachelor’s degree make around $70,000 per year, while first year nurses with an Associate’s degree make around $57,000 per year. On top of this, nurses with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to be considered for promotions and positions with more responsibility.
Enrolling with Excelsior College also gives nursing students an opportunity to improve their computer skills and expertise. While computer and software knowledge isn’t usually associated with nursing, it is essential these days for nurses to be computer literate. Patients’ information and medical histories are now shared electronically between medical offices and hospitals, thanks to widespread health information exchange organization development and adoption across the medical field. Knowing their way around a computer and typical information and file sharing services will give nursing students an advantage when the time comes for them to learn how to use one of these platforms.
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Excelsior College can also save students money on expenses such as book fees and commuting costs. Online colleges eliminate the need to commute to class every day, so you will be saving money on factors such as gas or train tickets.
There are many reasons to pursue a degree in nursing, and thanks to modern technology, a quality education can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. If you’re interested in a career in nursing, be sure to study all your options and choose the path that best fits your schedule and needs.