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Prepare for Nurse Leadership With a BSN

Nursing leadership is a sought-after trait in healthcare today. Those with strong leadership capabilities can expect to be part of redefining the effective delivery of patient care in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Nurse leaders can also positively impact the working environment for their staff, encouraging a healthy work-life balance and self-care practices while helping to reduce persistent burnout, stress and attrition in the nursing workforce. The online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program from La Salle University introduces foundational leadership and managerial principles and builds nurses’ confidence and skill sets in these areas.

Why Are Nurse Leaders Needed?

Given the aging Baby Boomer generation and the increasingly diverse U.S. population, projected healthcare trends indicate that nurses will be caring for more culturally and ethnically diverse, older and chronically ill patients. Between the immense strain this will place on the healthcare system and the number of experienced nurse leaders considering or intending to leave their jobs — roughly 38% of working nurse leaders, according to a 2022 study from the AONL Foundation — demand will increase for nurses that can fill vacant leadership roles.

Nurse leaders will also be instrumental in restructuring healthcare delivery, especially in terms of meeting the growing needs of such a complex patient population. Skilled nurse leaders will be influential in the development of key healthcare policy reforms that help fulfill the “Triple Aim” of high-quality care, improved patient outcomes and lowered costs.

How Does a BSN Contribute to Nurse Leadership?

BSN degree programs are designed to expand on key clinical knowledge and expertise as well as build leadership, managerial and organizational skills. These are the skills nurse leaders need to competently manage staff and care for a more diverse, older and chronically ill patient population in an increasingly complex healthcare system. As the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) explains, BSN-prepared nurses “are well-prepared to meet the demands placed on today’s nurses. BSN nurses are prized for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.”

AACN also notes that a wide variety of employers, credentialing bodies, nursing associations and even regulatory bodies value and promote BSN preparation through employment and credentialing requirements, position statements and, increasingly, laws and regulations. As one example, Magnet hospitals — known for their outstanding nursing standards and exceptional patient outcomes — must require all nurse leaders and managers to hold a BSN degree or higher in order to maintain eligibility for Magnet designation.

The Flexibility of Online RN to BSN Programs

The emergence of accredited online RN to BSN programs provides a flexible and convenient avenue for nurses already working in the field to advance their education and further develop these in-demand skill sets. Coursework in La Salle’s online RN to BSN emphasizes the importance of culturally competent care, disease prevention and risk reduction. It also focuses on the combined use of critical thinking, decision-making skills, clinical judgment and evidence-based practice.

La Salle’s RN to BSN curriculum promotes a commitment to lifelong learning, positioning BSN graduates to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in the future and move into other clinical, research or academic leadership roles.

In addition, La Salle’s online RN to BSN program includes a course called Nursing Leadership, Management, and Organizational Dynamics, designed to help nurses prepare for success in these types of positions. This course investigates how socioeconomic, cultural and political factors influence nursing care across several healthcare settings and prepares nurses to navigate these issues, as well as create favorable organizational structures, reimbursement strategies and budgets.

Leadership principles are reinforced throughout the curriculum, and the streamlined timeline enables nurses to complete the program in as few as 12 to 24 months.

Leading Nursing Care

Nurse leadership is instrumental to the successful and efficient delivery of patient care. As the composition of the patient population changes and current nurse leaders retire or leave the workforce, the remaining vacancies will need to be filled by capable nurse leaders. A BSN provides nurses with a foundation from which to grow into leadership careers as well as the opportunity to be closely involved in the transformation of the healthcare system.

Learn more about La Salle’s online RN to BSN program.

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