It’s Never Too Late to Earn Your BSN
Posted On: January 21,2015
You may have researched plenty of reasons to get a BSN but are still be hesitant to make the commitment. While the career is appealing, you may feel that your age is a barrier to returning to school to earn an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
No matter how long you have been working in your current field, whether it’s only been a couple of years or a couple of decades, feeling unsatisfied in your career should not be acceptable. While some people may know right away that the field they are working in isn’t satisfying, for others it may take some time to come to that realization. Perhaps the business has changed since you first started your career. Maybe you are unhappy with the same work after years of repetition. Regardless of your reasons, you shouldn’t feel trapped in your current career.
You may find that your experience could be hugely beneficial to your nursing education and career.
Will I Be Accepted into a Nursing Program?
Your age is not going to be factored into your nursing school application. In fact, if you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for many accelerated BSN programs, which allow you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in about 16 months. You will have to meet the standards established by the school prior to acceptance, which may include a minimum GPA and successful completion of certain prerequisites.
Will I Be Able to Keep Up with the Classes?
Most nursing programs are time-consuming, and accelerated ones can be even more demanding than traditional four-year nursing programs. You may even be worried about returning to an academic environment after a long hiatus. However, you will get a taste of education while you complete your prerequisites. This will help you establish a study routine prior to starting nursing courses. If you are hard working and driven, you are just as likely to pass your nursing courses as your classmates.
Consider these tips to help you excel as a nursing student:
- Develop a Routine: After so many years in your field, you have certainly developed habits that help you succeed at work. School requires a routine as well. Establish a set time to study every day and develop good study habits. Don’t cram for exams last minutes, and be organized with your notes and textbooks.
- Develop Relationships: If you end up in an accelerated BSN program, you may find that you will be a part of a cohort. Your cohort moves as a single unit through all of your nursing classes. This will help establish a built-in network for you to reach out to during classes. Regardless, it’s important to create study groups and establish friendships, or at least professional relationships, with your classmates. Not only will this help you while you are studying and completing your nursing degree, but you will also develop a professional network that could help you find a job once you graduate.
- Get Support: Nursing school requires dedication, so it’s important to have support from your family and friends. It’s good to have a network of people who will encourage you throughout your journey.
What Can I Do After Earning my BSN?
Earning your BSN offers you plenty of opportunities in a nursing career. A BSN allows you the chance to work as a nurse manager, ICUs, ERs, and many other places. Earning your BSN also allows you to expand your education and continue on to earn your master’s or PhD in case you want to hold an even more advanced position, such as a nurse anesthetist.
Can My Current Career Help?
If you have graduated college within the past ten years, some of your credits may be transferable to your nursing degree. However, this depends on the school you are applying to. Your current career can also help you decide on where you want to go as a BSN-educated registered nurse.
- Teacher: If you are a teacher and are burnt out from being in the same environment day after day, you may find that nursing is a great opportunity for you. Nursing requires constant learning, whether in formal programs or informally on the job. You have already lived in an academic environment, so this transition will be a bit smoother for you than others. You may also feel the calling to become a nurse educator, where you teach future generations of RNs in classrooms, at simulation labs, and in clinicals.
- Healthcare: Many students who return to school to earn a nursing degree do so after already starting a different healthcare career, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or medical assistant, among many others. You may already be familiar with the clinical environment you will work in as a nurse, have a great professional medical network, and be familiar with the terms, situations, and procedures you will be expected to do as a nurse.
- Business: No matter where you work, business is a multifaceted career. Being able to understand the various roles teams play in the whole project is an important part of a career in both business and nursing. Working as a team is a crucial component to a patient’s health.
How do I go About Earning my Degree?
It’s probably been quite a few years since you have been through the college application process. Applying to a college is different when you aren’t in high school. For example, you will not be expected to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT.
So what is the application process?
- Speak to an academic advisor: Some schools have advisors that will be with you throughout the application process. He or she will help you determine your eligibility for the nursing program, necessary prerequisites, and establish a start date. Your advisor will also be able to answer any questions you may have about the classes you are expected to take, your clinicals, and your simulation labs. He or she will guide you through the entire application process.
- Research and apply for scholarships and financial aid: Whether you plan on paying for your education through student loans or out of pocket, be sure to look up any scholarships or grants that can help curb the expense.
- Stick to deadlines: Write down all important deadlines. You don’t want to have to delay your education by six months because you forgot to turn in a form on time.
- Complete any prerequisites: You may have a couple or none. Either way, be sure to complete this as soon as you can.
- Apply for the nursing program: Do this as soon as you are eligible. Some programs even allow you to apply to a nursing program while you are completing your prerequisites.
Are you feeling more confident about your ability to earn an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing? Let us help you find the nursing school that’s best for you and get started on your journey towards a successful career in nursing.
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