A Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) provides a registered nurse (RN) with greatly improved career opportunities. While all nurses, regardless of qualification or skill level, are expected to be able to deliver basic nursing services, a BSN prepares an RN for possible future leadership roles with more responsibilities.
An online RN to BSN degree program presents an ideal opportunity for a nurse to study while continuing to work. The curriculum covers a wide range of courses to equip RNs with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on extra responsibility and advance their careers.
Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities An RN to BSN Completion Program Can Provide
A typical RN to BSN curriculum focuses on the following skill sets and concepts related to nursing:
- Leadership in the workplace. Leadership is the ability to influence others to improve their performance and achieve better results for an organization. In nursing, senior nurses must know how to take the lead and manage junior healthcare staff in providing better patient care. Effective leaders need to build meaningful relationships while displaying strong management capabilities, integrity, confidence, adaptability, and the capacity to delegate efficiently.
- Interpersonal communication with patients and their families. Effective nurse-patient-family communication is critical for delivering quality healthcare and building sound relationships based on compassion and respect. Communication can be a challenging aspect for some students, and so this area of the curriculum focuses on techniques and strategies that can help develop students’ interpersonal communication skills.
- Caring for aging patient populations. Advances in healthcare and medical technology have led to increased life expectancy. Consequently, caring for an aging patient population is becoming an increasingly important aspect of nursing. Students can learn about the special needs of the elderly and how to care for them effectively.
- Advanced healthcare technologies. This area of the curriculum covers clinical informatics, which focuses on the implementation, support, and optimization of electronic health records (EHRs). Nursing professionals may gain an appreciation for the importance of accurately recording patients’ information in the EHR to improve the accuracy and quality of healthcare.
Common Courses for RN to BSN Students
The RN to BSN curriculum typically includes the following courses:
Nursing Informatics. Students require basic computing and word-processing skills for this course. Post-licensure nursing students are provided with an overview of informatics in this course. Students may learn how to integrate nursing practice, education, and research with computer technology and information science to identify, gather, process, and manage information. The course focuses on technology-based health applications that support clinical, administrative, and research decision-making and the use of such applications in evidence-based practice. Current trends and issues in nursing and healthcare management are also examined.
Family Assessment. Only in recent times has the family been widely recognized as a critical element in patient care, even though families have been part of nursing care for many years. This course focuses on the importance of broadening the practice of healthcare professionals to serve the family as a unit, as well as each individual family member. During this course, students may gain a sound theoretical foundation for family nursing assessment and intervention.
Leadership Contemporary Health Care. The current healthcare environment provides many opportunities for professional nurses to assume a leadership role. In this course, students can learn the responsibilities of a professional nurse while gaining an understanding of historical and contemporary nursing issues. The course emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, principles of management, and nursing practice models.
Nursing Care at End of Life. This course addresses the critical aspects of palliative nursing care. Students may gain knowledge and skills in clinical nursing assessment, symptom management, ethics, cultural influences, and spirituality. The needs of special populations and nursing management are also covered.