Four-Year BSN Programs

There are all sorts of careers to consider as you are entering the professional working world. One of the best options today is undoubtedly the healthcare field. Did you know that there is a constant shortage in the US for all kinds of healthcare workers? The Department of Labor states that nursing jobs will grow by 19% in the next eight years.

This is happening because we have a growing population that is aging and living longer than ever. As new, breakthrough medical therapies become available, people are living longer than they did just 20 years ago. These people also want to live more active and productive lives than in the past, so all of this is causing a surge in demand for healthcare workers.

This is what is driving the demand for nurses, and there is a serious shortage of them throughout the US. This is good news for students who want to become a nurse! When you earn your four year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), you should be able to find a good-paying job in many hospitals and health centers around the country.

In fact, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges and Nurses (AACN), nursing graduates with at least a BSN have a job offer 57% of the time by the time they graduate. For students who have been out of school for six months, the job offer rate is 88%.

A four year BSN is the ideal choice for the student who does not have another bachelor’s degree and has little work experience in health care. Note – if you are an experienced professional with a bachelor’s degree in another field and are interested in nursing, you should consider an accelerated BSN or direct entry MSN program. (LINKS)

Typical Curriculum for Four Year BSN Programs

The classes that you will have to take to complete your degree will vary, but some of the classes could include these:

  • Psychology

  • Biochemistry

  • Assessment of health and illness

  • Human anatomy

  • Nursing profession overview

  • Pathophysiology

  • Pharmacology

  • Statistics

  • Childbearing and reproductive health

  • Community health nursing

  • Leadership and management

  • Nursing and caring for patients

Common Four Year BSN Requirements

Most colleges will require you to have certain prerequisites completed before you apply for their BSN program. If you have done bachelor’s degree work at another university, you may have taken some of these classes already. Some of the most common prerequisite courses include these:

  • English composition

  • Human anatomy

  • Human physiology

  • Microbiology

  • Statistics

  • Psychology or sociology

  • Human growth and development

  • Biology or chemistry

Other common requirements for admission into many 4 year BSN programs:

  • A GPA of 2.5+.

  • Complete transcripts from all previous universities you attended.

  • High school transcript.

  • Two or three academic and/or professional recommendations.

  • A quality essay describing your career goals as a nurse.

Cities With a High Demand for Nurses

As we mentioned above, there is an overall high demand for nurses in the US, but some cities have higher demand than others. Some of the cities with the most demand and their corresponding salaries include:

  • New York City – $84,100

  • Los Angeles – $92,000

  • Chicago – $71,600

  • Houston TX – $76,050

  • Boston – $88,200

  • Dallas – $70,000

Characteristics of a Good Nursing Position

While it is true that there is a high demand for nurses, you still want to ensure that the nursing job that you get is a good fit for you. Here are some ideas to keep in mind to get in a good nursing position:

  • Look for advancement opportunities: A good nursing position should offer you the chance to advance if you do good work. You should look for a role that could allow you to advance into management or leadership. You might look for the chance to be promoted to a shift leader and then possibly unit leader, and then assistant director of nursing.

  • Job security: Obviously, you want a stable position that you know will likely be there for years to come. Look for a hospital or clinic that has a long history of stable employment and a history of promoting from within. If you see high job turnover, you may want to reconsider.

  • Positive environment: Many companies now offer nurses more flexible schedules and time off. Organizations that offer this are focusing on hiring and keeping quality nurses, so this is the sort of place you want to work.

  • Good pay and benefits: Nurses are enjoying higher wages in the past. The Department of Labor reports that the 2012 median salary for all nurses was $65,400.

  • Partnered with universities: It is a good idea to choose a hospital that has generous educational benefits. Some organizations may offer generous tuition discounts and reimbursements.

After You Graduate

After you graduate from your BSN program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination. When you pass your exam, you will qualify for most entry-level nursing positions in the US.

Below are some of the best four year BSN programs to consider.

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