College Tips for Nurses

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Education is the key to employment and advancement in the nursing field. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the majority of hospitals and other healthcare providers either require or have a strong preference for their new hires to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) over an associate’s degree. Research shows that nurses who have earned their BSN are associated with better outcomes for patients as well, including lower mortality rates, according to the AACN.

A nurse working on a laptop.

That means that for registered nurses (RNs) looking to elevate their careers, now is the time to earn a nursing degree such as a BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and eventually a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Maryville University’s online nursing degrees are designed to help students meet the demands of today’s healthcare providers and increase their earning potential in this rewarding, in-demand field.

Nurses Wanted!

The aging of the U.S. population is increasing the demand for healthcare services at the same time that many nurses are retiring. With the average age of nurses now at 51, the nation will need more than 203,000 new registered nurses every year through 2031 to fill the gap in care left by the retiring workforce, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Retirements, career shifts, and higher demand for healthcare services are creating ample opportunity for the next generation of nurses equipped with the right education to fill the gap and help to transform healthcare.

Become Part of the Solution

Aspiring  and practicing nurses who want to advance in their careers understand that education is the key to success. Still, some wonder how they will go back to school for nursing and still fulfill their day-to-day obligations like working and raising a family. That’s why at Maryville University, our faculty and staff designed our programs with the built-in support and flexibility you’ll need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

“We understand our nurses’ and nurse practitioners’ hectic schedules,” says Danay Chapel, a senior enrollment advisor (EA) at Maryville. “We provide flexibility and unique support so that they can continue working the hours they need to while ensuring they still have a healthy balance between work, responsibilities at home, and being successful in their studies.”

Chapel worked in healthcare prior to joining Maryville, where she’s focused on student success. In her role as an EA, she has some valuable tips for nurses looking to pursue a nursing degree:

Talk with an Enrollment Advisor

Danay: Making time to talk one on one with an EA at the start of the enrollment process can ultimately save students time and money. Maryville EAs can answer many questions — or connect applicants with someone on staff who can — preventing missteps and demystifying the enrollment process.

Let Us Help Prepare Your Application

Danay: Our EAs can assist prospective students in preparing a strong application and transferring any eligible credit hours they may have from another school.

Let Our Faculty Help Plan Your Schedule

Danay: We help our full-time and part-time students succeed by devising class schedules they can manage alongside their other obligations. Our staff can help enrollees choose start dates and course loads that work for their unique needs, and our student success coaches keep Maryville students on track with personalized support from application to graduation. Plus, the coursework is 100% online and clinicals can be arranged in the location of the student’s choice.

Talk with Maryville Alumni

Danay:  Many of our students have worked with graduates of our nursing programs and found them to be knowledgeable about patient care. Maryville graduates are respected by their peers, and alumni connections can serve as valuable resources for BSN students.

New Opportunities for Nurses

It’s hard to understate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers and the broader U.S. population. While the pandemic revealed shortcomings in healthcare preparedness, healthcare access and equity, and our public health system, it also uncovered opportunities for those seeking to enter the nursing profession. Since the start of the pandemic, senior enrollment advisor Danay Chapel has noticed a marked increase in interest in advanced nursing degree programs from individuals who recognize those opportunities and who are seeking a career where they can have a positive impact on the lives of others.

For instance, Chapel says Maryville’s psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and family nurse practitioner (FNP) post-master’s certificate programs are seeing increased interest among nurses looking to move from the bedside to more specialized care. The rise in depression and anxiety in children and adults during the COVID-19 pandemic also created a greater need for nurses in these fields. In addition, nurses now have more opportunities in telehealth, including telepsychiatry.

Adding a degree or certificate credential can help nurses meet the requirements for a wide range of nursing jobs with higher salaries. Nurses with more credentials are also able to take on more responsibility and are eligible for management roles that aren’t available to RNs without a bachelor’s degree or higher. Individuals may qualify for jobs such as:

  • Nurse manager: Median annual salary of around $91,500 according to January 2023 PayScale data
  • Nurse educator: Median annual salary of around $81,000 according to January 2023 PayScale data
  • Nursing informatics specialist: Median annual salary of around $86,000, according to November 2022 PayScale data
  • Clinical nurse manager: Median annual salary of around $86,000 per January 2023 PayScale data

Advance Your Career with an Online Nursing Degree from Maryville University

Maryville University’s online RN to BSN degree program offers nurses an ideal opportunity to study while continuing to work. The 100% online curriculum — supported by personal attention from Maryville faculty and staff — includes a wide range of courses including Transition to Professional Nursing, Nursing Research, Leadership in Contemporary Healthcare, and a capstone project that equips RNs with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on greater responsibility and move up the healthcare ladder.

Additionally, Maryville’s online MSN, DNP, and certificate programs include nurse practitioner and leadership specializations to help advanced practice nurses excel in their chosen fields. Find out how our flexible schedules and easy eligible credit transfers can put you on track to complete your online degree sooner than you may expect.

Recommended Reading

How to Apply to an Online Certificate Program: Enrollment Advisor Tips

Online Undergraduate Admission Requirements: Ask an Advisor

Your Future in Nursing: RN vs. BSN vs. MSN


American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses”

PayScale, Average Clinical Nurse Manager Salary

PayScale, Average Nurse Educator Salary

PayScale, Average Nursing Informatics Specialist Salary

PayScale, Average Nursing Manager Salary

U.S. News & World Report, “The State of the Nation’s Nursing Shortage”