RN to BSN Expands
Career Opportunities


 

By Kimberly Quiet, RN, DNS

Nurses who are engaged in their profession from a Christian worldview look at their patients not as a room number or as a disease, but as someone created in the image of God and worthy of excellent care. Our nursing students at LeTourneau University learn that everything we do is to honor our Lord and Savior, and that puts a different light on how we do what we do—because we realize we need to be the best. That attitude promotes quality care and excellent outcomes. We see that in our nursing students every day.

Beginning in the Fall of 2018, LETU is launching a new, fully online program for registered nurses already working in the health care field to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN)–in as few as 12 months, in some cases. 

The new online RN-to-BSN program is especially valuable to nurses who seek career advancement. The nurse who wants to get into a leadership position needs a BSN to compete for those jobs. It is becoming more common for the BSN to be the minimum expectation.

Many hospitals are first choosing only BSN educated nurses to fill patient care and management positions. By the year 2020, it has been proposed by nursing credentialing organizations that 80 percent of nurses have a BSN. Some hospitals and healthcare organizations are requiring a mandatory BSN within five years of hiring.

Health care is continuously evolving in complexity and technology, and the BSN educational curriculum prepares nurses for critically thinking through complex situations and developing a lifetime of learning. BSNs are prepared for practice in a variety of settings, from hospitals and homecare situations to ambulatory care and case management.  

Because nursing is hard work physically, older nurses may especially be attracted to the RN-to-BSN program to enable them to shift from bedside care roles to other roles that require the additional education in leadership and communication skills that a BSN provides. The experience of years of practice combined with the BSN education is certainly valuable to the profession of nursing.

Studies have suggested that patient care outcomes are improved when nurses have a BSN degree. Published research summarized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the 2014 story “Building the Case for More Highly Educated Nurses” indicates that patients cared for primarily by nurses who had their BSN were less likely to die, stayed in the hospital for shorter periods and faced lower heath care costs.

LETU first began offering a residential Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree after a comprehensive evaluation and approval from the Texas Board of Nursing in 2014. The residential program was accredited by the Commission on College Nursing Education (CCNE) in September 2017, an accreditation that extends for five years through June 30, 2022. 

Today, LETU nursing graduates from our residential program have achieved a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is a measure of how well nurses are prepared to provide safe, quality care for health care consumers. Not many schools can claim a 100% NCLEX pass rate.

Our nursing faculty and our university are dedicated to graduating exceptional nurses. When someone is spiritually formed, they realize that everything they do is inspired by their faith.

LETU’s new RN-to-BSN program is currently pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. To learn more, go to www.letu.edu/nursing

Dr. Kimberly Quiett has been the Dean of the School of Nursing at LeTourneau University since August 2013, when she began the proposal documentation for the Texas Board of Nursing application to launch the nursing program at LETU. A specialist in oncology nursing, Quiett has 22 years of experience in medical/surgical nursing. She has taught nursing at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, serving as an assistant professor at both the U.S.A. College of Nursing and the University of Mobile, Ala. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Samford University, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, and her Doctorate of Nursing Science from Louisiana State University.