Nursing is a crucial occupation in the health-care industry. Doctors rely on nurses to provide the best care for patients, which makes this a rewarding profession.

A nurse is a caregiver, a decision-maker, a communicator, a patient advocate, and a teacher. Although this can be a challenging position, nursing offers job security and a competitive salary without the need for an expensive graduate degree.

Image/US Navy
Image/US Navy

A Rapidly Growing Profession

Nursing is a rapidly growing profession in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the occupation will grow by almost 25 percent through 2022. Job projections for nurses look promising and offer a lot of potential for those who wish to pursue this career.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the United States is currently experiencing a nursing shortage. This is expected to worsen as the baby boomer generation continues to age and require health care.

It’s a Great Time to Enroll in a Nursing Program

Perhaps more than ever before, now is the perfect time to enroll in a nursing program. Not every curriculum is reputable, but there are respected programs in every state.

Pennsylvania, in particular, is home to some of the world’s most esteemed nursing schools. For example, students from around the globe travel thousands of miles to attend nursing schools in PA like Gwynedd Mercy University.

The program at Gwynedd Mercy University offers an accelerated bachelors of science in nursing. The Web-based curriculum was designed for registered nurses with an associates of science in nursing or a nursing diploma.

Students can maintain their current careers due to the flexibility of the online classroom. The BSN program is also an option for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.

The Advantage of a BSN

Both ASN and BSN programs prepare students for entry-level positions in the health-care field; however, there are certain advantages to graduating with a BSN. These include job marketability and faster career advancement.

Registered nurses who hold ASNs or nursing diplomas could advance their careers through experience – regardless of the degree. However, nurses who hold BSNs have an advantage when it comes to career advancement due to the length and depth of the curriculum.

For example, a nurse with a BSN could qualify for a position as nurse practitioner or department chief, but this would not be as attainable for someone with a nursing diploma or ASN. A BSN graduate could also go on to earn a master’s degree in nursing.

Choosing the Right Nursing School for You

There are several factors that you need to consider when comparing nursing schools. First, it’s important to know what you would like to study or which specialty you want to pursue. Having this knowledge will help limit the number of potential programs.

There are certain questions you should ask before committing to any school. For example, is the program accredited by a national accrediting association? You may want to look closely at who has accredited the school because this could impact who will hire you after graduation.

Next, take a look at the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates. It’s crucial to take into consideration how other students have performed on this exam after completing the program. This rate will indicate how well the school is preparing its students for a position in the health-care filed.

The nursing profession is growing and will continue to do so. There’s never been a better time to enroll in a nursing program and pursue a more fruitful career for yourself and your family.