What Can Nurses Learn From an RN to BSN Online Curriculum That They Don’t Already Know?

Written by Madison School of Healthcare On Tuesday, 10 July 2018. Posted in Academic Advice, Nursing

What Nurses Learn in an RN to BSN Online Curriculum

Nurses work hard to earn their RN license. And after years of successful practice, they may wonder what a BSN completion program can possibly tell them about how to be a great nurse.

The evidence shows that BSN-prepared nurses, including those who expand their education through RN to BSN completion programs, strengthen core competencies in critical thinking, communication, and research/evaluation. As an added bonus, earning your BSN can make you eligible to move up the leadership ladder into more lucrative jobs. Let’s delve into the Madison School of Healthcare BSN Completion program to see how the curriculum can help you take your nursing practice to the next level.

Improved Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make decisions based on the best available data. Researchers Joyce Newman Giger and Ruth Elaine Davidhizar refer to critical thinking skills when they state one of their studies found a strong correlation between “…educational preparation and degree of proficiency to which the nurse makes nursing diagnosis, executes and implements the nursing process, and evaluates the effects of nursing interventions.

Madison School of Healthcare weaves critical thinking components through every course in the BSN curriculum by requiring students to evaluate the information presented and synthesize beliefs or practices from what they’ve learned.

  • NS310: Professional Issues in Nursing set the stage for applying critical thinking to dissect the ever-changing healthcare environment and develop strategies to navigate the nursing role.
  • NS410: Health Assessment for the RN course fine-tunes your ability to analyze health information gathered from patients across the lifespan in order to aid in clinical judgment and decision-making regarding interventions.

Better Communication Skills

Communication is a core skill for nurses. They must:

  1. Effectively communicate to patients the goal of interventions and do so with cultural sensitivity
  2. Give accurate and succinct report to relief nurses
  3. Interact verbally and in writing with doctors and other clinicians
  4. Be able to communicate diplomatically with their peers and the organization’s leadership regarding workplace issues

And much more! In fact, several studies have correlated nurse educational preparation with a higher incidence of medication errors and practice violations. The truth is BSN-prepared nurses make fewer of these errors, which may be attributable to their stronger ability to parse written and verbal communications.

The Madison School of Healthcare RN to BSN curriculum emphasizes communication skills development in several different ways. Writing papers and receiving feedback allows students to hone their written communication skills, and courses like NS330: Cultural Issues in Nursing bring to light population-specific communication needs that every nurse should take into consideration. Through the course MA260: Statistical Analysis I, nurses learn how to accurately translate numeric concepts and communications in order to help avoid common practice errors.

Improved Research/Evaluation Ability

All nurses seek to provide the best possible care for patients, and improving their research and evaluation skills can enable them to do that at a higher level.

One study from 2002 showed that nurses who completed an RN to BSN program improved their competency in research and evaluation as compared to associate-prepared nurses. You may be able to see how this could improve your clinical practice skills, but you might be surprised to learn that competency in research also can improve the quality of your overall professional life.

That’s because the concepts employed in clinical research can be useful in a wide variety of everyday situations. Through courses like NS430: Research and Evidence-Based Practice, you’ll learn skills like population sampling, data collection, and analysis that can be applied to any problem-solving situation, such as evaluating the workplace environment or choosing a career path. Strong research and evaluation ability can allow you to flourish both in clinical practice and professionally within your organization.

Prepare for Leadership Roles

Beyond these three core competencies, the RN to BSN completion program provides you with valuable knowledge that prepares you to advance your career through leadership roles. Fascinating courses like SO245: Social Impact of Technology allow you to consider a contemporary issue from an unusual angle. NS450: Informatics will give you a strong foundation in how to understand and apply informatics to patient care and safety. And NS480: Leadership and Management provides an in-depth study of principles like ethics, legal policies, and finance so you can confidently move into supervisory positions.

Many associate-prepared nurses with years of clinical practice experience serve as experts in their departments and as mentors to other nurses, so they wonder how additional education can improve their practice or their professional life. Completing the BSN degree can only enhance your professional talents through upgraded critical thinking skills, improved communication strategies, and better research and evaluation ability – and make you eligible for leadership positions that allow you to influence organizational policy and procedures to make nursing life better for everyone.

Learn more about the affordable online RN to BSN completion program at the Madison School of Healthcare: Talk to an admissions advisor today!

About the Author

Madison School of Healthcare

Our community comes first – explore our student- and alumni-contributed content to get the inside look at online learning, healthcare careers, and beyond. We share real perspectives from healthcare students, professionals, and industry experts to keep you up to date on the healthcare space and set you up for success in your career.