Washington RN to BSN Programs
Earning a BSN after working as an RN is not always an each choice to make. You have to invest time and money into your education and you are already working in the field you are going back to school to study for. The reasons that should drive your choice to earn this degree are easy to understand though. There is a shortage of health care professionals in the country and you will find that employers will pay a higher wage and promote you through the ranks much quicker with a BSN than if you didn’t have one. You will also find that there are plenty of areas to get the assistance you need to cover much of the financial investment an education requires. With a BSN employers will be much more interested in putting you to work and that means you will have a bigger selection of employers to choose from. Finally, you may find that later in your career you decide that you would like to move up into an even higher position which may require a master’s or doctorate’s degree. Holding a BSN will make that transition faster and easier than having to start fresh.
With only 188 medical school graduates in Washington in 2011, the number of new RNs entering the field is much lower than what the population needs. Of those 188 graduates, only a portion are entering the nursing field. With under 55,000 registered nurses working in the state, which support a population of almost 7 million people, there is a real need for highly trained registered nurses to lead the industry forward as the population grows and ages.
Income and Employment
Registered nurses in Washington earn over $75,000 a year on average. To make sure you bring in the highest income possible you need to combine education and experience. The best way to do that is to continue working throughout your education. If you are currently with an employer, you may not want to move to a new one, but you should still consider some of the largest employers in the state because they will offer better benefits, such as tuition assistance, in many cases.
Providence Health and Services in Renton, Sacred Heart Medical Center and Sacred Hearth Children’s Hospital in Spokane, St. Joseph Medical Center and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries. Each of these employers will offer unique benefits and options and you may find that career advancement may be more promising if you move to one of these employers that may be in dire need of talented RNs.
Employers will help with your educational expenses in some cases. You will also find that colleges offer unique scholarships, loans and grants to their students. Keep this in mind as you start to explore the colleges that you will attend to earn your BSN. You will also find a significant wealth of resources within the Washington State Nurses Association. Tools include political action, labor relations, nursing practice, education and a host of other important resources that you should fully explore.
You will also find a great deal of help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration site. With loans, grants and scholarships offered, you should find plenty of help through the department. Pay special attention to the loan repayment or forgiveness programs. These unique programs encourage graduates to work in underserved areas where the populace has a lack of access to even basic health care. Millions of Americans can’t get the basic health care that they need because of the shortage of health care professionals and these programs are designed to help alleviate that issue. If you are willing to work in these areas over the course of a few years, you will find significant reductions in the money that you owe.
The best way to find the right school for you is to explore the Washington State Department of Health listing of approved nursing programs. Here you will find a full listing of programs that are offered at colleges throughout the state broken down by program type. This should make it easy for you to explore each school and find the right one for you. Make sure you look at schools that offer multiple levels of education in case you want to continue your education path after you earn your BSN.