Top 10 Reasons to Get a BSN Degree

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Becoming a registered nurse is an excellent achievement. Now you can take your nursing knowledge and skills to the next level by completing the online RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program at PennWest California. 

In today’s ever-changing healthcare environment, the RN to BSN online program at PennWest California offers you a convenient and affordable way to earn your degree – and be ready for new job opportunities, future promotions and an enhanced professional path. Given the serious national nursing shortage, you’ll be fully equipped to choose from even more opportunities here in Pennsylvania or across the country.

Here’s a closer look at the top 10 reasons to get your BSN degree – and choose PennWest California: 

1. Sharpen your knowledge: Courses in the BSN curriculum prepare PennWest California nursing students for today's increasingly complex healthcare experiences and settings. You’ll also receive a sound foundation in the arts and sciences that prepares you for graduate studies, if you choose, and for career advancement.  You’ll be ready to move into leadership with an MSN degree, or pursue graduate study to go into research, consulting, teaching, advanced practice or clinical specialization.

2. Get ahead where you are. The online RN to BSN degree program at PennWest California is designed for registered nurses who already have completed a diploma or associate degree in nursing. PennWest California’s fully accredited RN to BSN is a 100% online degree program that can be completed full time in three terms and part time in four terms. This means you can continue working and managing the rest of your life, while earning your BSN – and an important career advantage. 

3. Fill a need. Our country is facing an unprecedented shortage of nurses, as more nurses are set to retire and more aging Americans will need healthcare. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2022 there will be more than 1 million jobs open for registered nurses. A recent article in The Atlantic magazine reported that, by 2025, the nursing shortfall is expected to be more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s, according to researchers at Vanderbilt University.

Older Americans typically have more medical problems than younger people. Nurses will be needed to educate and care for patients with various chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes and obesity, and to staff a wide range of healthcare facilities and settings across the country.

4. Benefit from online learning: So many students at PennWest California are just like you: Working full time, handling family and personal responsibilities, and eager to move ahead in their life and career. Global Online programs at PennWest California are designed especially for you, providing a 100% online education that meets your unique needs:  

  • The opportunity to study for a top-quality degree any time, anywhere.
  • Flexibility to fit in classes around your professional and personal commitments.
  • An affordable and accessible education.Global Online students do not pay fees for on-campus services and, in many cases, are eligible for a reduced, competitive, non-resident tuition rate.
  • Access to course content in easy-to-use ways that let you interact fully with professors and classmates, and form a network of professional peers. Attend PennWest California anywhere, any time, as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection and a modern computer. 

5. Transfer easily. Start on your career path to become a registered nurse through one of PennWest California’s educational partnership programs – and know that your credits will transfer easily to PennWest California's RN to BSN program. Choose to study to become an RN at these institutions:


PennWest California also has articulation (credit transfer) agreements with the following schools, ensuring a smooth transition of your college credits to our RN to BSN program:


6. Find your niche. Other nursing programs just incorporate RNs into generic courses, often making the RNs repeat previous nursing education. At PennWest California, RNs can expect to build upon and expand nursing knowledge at a higher level.   

You’ll take courses that focus on vital areas to round out your knowledge, including Philosophy of Professional Nursing; Family Health Nursing; Health Assessment; Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice; Intro to Nursing Informatics; Leadership and Change in Nursing; Trends and Issues in Nursing; and Community Health Nursing.

7. Expand career options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that generally, registered nurses with a BSN degree will have better job prospects than those without one. Employers also may prefer candidates who have some related work experience or certification in a specialty area, such as gerontology. 

The median annual wage for registered nurses with a BSN was $68,450 as of May 2016, according to the BLS.

PennWest California's RN to BSN degree program enables graduates to advance with their current employers or move on to a wide range of professional nursing roles in diverse healthcare environments. Here is a sampling of area employers who hire PennWest California BSN graduates:

  • Allegheny Health Network.
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
  • Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  • Pennsylvania school districts.

 8Build a professional network. You’ll go through the RN to BSN program at PennWest California as part of your own student cohort. You’ll learn with these classmates throughout the program – and stay connected with them as valuable resources and contacts that will last throughout your career.

PennWest California also hosts Pi Rho, the local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nursing. Students eligible for membership must rank in the upper 35% of the class with an average grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Pi Rho promotes networking and continuing education.

9. Earn an accredited degree.The rn to bsn degree program at PennWest California is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Graduates from accredited nursing school programs, like PennWest California’s RN to BSN degree program, qualify to attend other accredited schools to pursue advanced studies, including master’s degree programs. A degree from an accredited program can make you more competitive in the job market; employers often prefer to hire accredited practitioners because they are trained under nationally established standards for nursing education.

Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and nurse residency programs.

10. Create a solid future.In addition to accelerating opportunities for new jobs and career advancement, PennWest California BSN students are also ready to go on to graduate study. Many are accepted into leading graduate nursing schools throughout the country, or they choose PennWest California's accelerated options to earn master's degrees in nursing in less time.

Choose all the reasons why you're ready to earn you RN to BSN and get started toward your goal today! Apply now!   

top 10 reasons to get a bsn degree

National Nursing Shortage

Opportunities for BSN and MSN grads

Nurses are needed now more than ever. Earning your PennWest California nursing degree online will open doors to a satisfying career and many job opportunities.

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10 reasons to get a BSN degree.

Accredited Online RN to BSN Program

Invest in your Future

Earning a BSN means you’ll be ready to accelerate your career: Gain better earnings, new job opportunities, promotions, preparation for graduate school and more. 

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree program in nursing at PennWest California are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (