Healthcare workers such as emergency medical technicians and former military medics are well-versed in the world of patient care, so it’s no surprise to see more of them advancing their education and becoming licensed nurses.
Right now, there is a critical gap between the demand for healthcare services and availability of qualified nursing professionals. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for RNs will increase by as much 16 percent nationwide by 2024, much faster than average for all occupations.
If you’re a licensed healthcare professional who wants to take the next step to a nursing career, here are some questions you might have:
Why are more healthcare professionals pursuing a career in nursing?
There’s never been a better time to pursue a career in nursing. With nearly 500 million registered nurses (RNs) reaching retirement age by 2022, according to the American Nurses Association, the number of available registered nursing jobs will increase by 1.1 million.
The nursing field is best suited to those who are passionate about helping others, and there are many individuals in various disciplines of the healthcare field that do that every day, such as:
For many healthcare professionals working in emergency medicine or technical roles, becoming a registered nurse is an exciting career move that offers the potential for growth and advancement. A career in nursing not only provides job stability and increased earning potential, it also is an opportunity to direct and manage patient care, as well as pursue specialties in pediatrics, ambulatory care, oncology or other areas.
Why are more healthcare professionals earning their bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN)?
BSN-prepared nurses are in especially high demand, in part due to a 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce obtain their BSN by 2022. The focus on attaining a BSN is supported by research that shows that hospitals with higher percentages of BSN-prepared nurses produce better patient outcomes.
Today, hospitals are more likely to hire BSN-prepared nurses, making bachelor’s degree programs a popular track for both current and aspiring registered nurses.
How long does it take to earn a BSN?
Program lengths vary, but licensed medical and healthcare professionals, such as EMTs and military medics and LPNs, have the option to complete accelerated BSN degree programs. Nurses with an associate degree may bridge to a BSN degree by enrolling in an online RN to BSN program. Herzing University offers several degree pathways to BSN, allowing students to earn credit for previous coursework and professional or military experience in the medical field.
Whether you’re an EMT, military medic, LPN, or already a registered nurse, pursuing a BSN is an excellent way to advance your healthcare career. You’ll not only have more opportunities for growth and advancement, you’ll be able to do more of what you already love most while leading the way in the future of healthcare.