There are different ways to become a registered nurse (RN), but most paths take at least a couple of years to complete. If you wish to earn more than an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you can apply to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at a private or public college. One of the biggest benefits of the BSN is that it allows you to become a nurse and earn a four-year degree.
When you finish your degree and gain some experience, you can apply to advanced jobs and leadership roles that require education from a four-year university. To get you started, the following list provides you with a few of the careers that usually require a BSN. Let these roles inspire you as you apply to bachelor’s degree programs, complete your coursework and envision yourself wearing your nurse’s stethoscope for the very first time.
1. Nursing Management
Many of the experienced nurses with a BSN will work in some type of management position. They may oversee other registered nurses, as well as licensed practical nurses (LPNs), interns or technicians. While nurse managers are well-paid, they are also critical to the operations of every patient care team. When you become a nurse manager, you get the opportunity to lead other nurses. You may work in a hospital, an outpatient facility or another clinical environment.
To begin a career in nursing management, you will need to spend some time working directly with patients as a registered nurse. Along with your bachelor’s level education in nursing and five to eight years of experience, the role requires excellent organizational and communication skills. You should also be interested in the business side of your facility.
A nurse manager’s duties include human resources efforts, coordinating staff schedules and overseeing supplies and budgets. With your responsibility will come a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Some of the most standout nurse managers will further their education and skill set to become a Director of Nursing (DON) or a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).
2. Travel Nursing
Today’s ever-changing healthcare environment means that travel nurses are in high demand. Nearly all traveling roles for RNs require at least 12-18 months of experience in a clinical care setting. However, applicants become even more attractive to healthcare recruiters and top-rated hospitals when they have a four-year nursing degree.
If you are a jetsetter who is eligible to work in different states or countries, the traveling nurse role may be right for you. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, you can also earn perks such as living stipends and free airfare. When you are not on-call, you will be free to explore your destination.
Choose a nursing role in a picturesque natural setting, a renowned patient care center or a town you have always wanted to explore. You are sure to gain valuable memories and experience both at work and outside of patient care. As a bonus, you will also be serving patients in areas with critical care needs. Begin by completing your BSN, gaining experience in the healthcare field and taking advantage of a variety of internships and practicums that show you are a dynamic nurse.
3. Telemedicine Nursing
Like many career fields, nursing is becoming more digital. The rise of telemedicine and virtual visits has created a variety of roles for telemedicine RNs. Many of these nurses will work from home, but it is also possible that you will spend your day in a hospital or doctor’s office.
Responsibilities may include consulting with patients by phone or a secure, encrypted video chat. In addition to advising patients about illnesses or conditions, you may also be charged to educate patients about medications or the management of symptoms. Additional duties for the telemedicine nurse include completing patient intakes, scheduling appointments and providing patient referrals. Depending on the technology and tools available, you may also be able to measure a patient’s vitals.
Since each of these tasks require skill and experience, many facilities prefer a registered nurse with a BSN. When you apply to a remote role, be sure to showcase that you have a bachelor’s degree. Explain how your knowledge, coursework and previous experience will make you successful in the world of telehealth.
4. Public Health Nursing
Nurses are critical in the fight against diseases like COVID-19. The field of public health nursing allows experienced nurses with a BSN to take their career even further, all while serving underprivileged populations in their town or city. When you become a public health nurse, you are responsible for assisting the community with health education and disease prevention. You will also work with other professionals in the healthcare field to improve access to care and help to prevent widespread illness.
Some public health RNs work in the field directly with patients. Others are employees of a government facility, non-profit or community health clinic. You may even be able to find a job at a home health agency, an international health agency or a hospital.
With the right combination of expertise and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can find a rewarding job at a company or clinic that meets your career goals and personal needs. Some healthcare professionals like to become Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners to bolster their resume and garner the highest-paid roles in the field.
Discover Your Ideal Nursing Career
Nursing is a dynamic career choice. As a professional, you can provide yourself with even more opportunities and flexibility when you earn your BSN. As you work on your degree, be sure to apply for internships and practicums at different types of hospitals and clinics. The experience you gain will prepare you to apply for a competitive role in the field. Whether you are interested in emerging roles in healthcare, exciting travel jobs in an interesting locale or a management position, there is a meaningful place for every nurse who earns their bachelor’s degree.