The North Carolina Nurses Association’s position statement on nursing education states that baccalaureate-educated RNs provide hospitals with leadership, research, and professional knowledge that ADN-educated RNs do not. Because of this, even though 59% of all RN graduates are only ADN-educated, the North Carolina Nurses Association believes that all RNs should work to move beyond that basic level of education to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
To achieve the Association’s goal of having at least 60% of the state’s RNs BSN-educated, the Association has called for nursing education programs to provide advanced education to employed RNs. Along with the North Carolina Nurses Association, the North Carolina Action Coalition is working to improve access to nursing education by creating a common course catalog for all nursing programs, which will allow for a flexible and seamless transition into RN to BSN programs.
Further, many North Carolina hospitals are supporting RN’s efforts to return to school. For instance, Duke University Hospital in Durham, which the U.S. News and World Report names the #1 hospital in North Carolina, offers tuition assistance, continuing education and professional development opportunities to employed RNs.
BSN-educated RNs also have the training to be eligible for higher-level nursing positions, such as those in management and education. For instance, the following list represents a few examples of the higher-level career opportunities available to BSN-educated RNs in North Carolina during February 2015:
- Clinical Nurse Educator – Novant Health, Charlotte
- Clinical Nurse Educator – Duke University Health System, Durham
- Registered Nurse Clinical Health Services Supervisor – Aetna, High Point
- Nurse Case Management – CVS Health, Greensboro
Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in North Carolina
RN to BSN programs are designed with working RNs in mind. An RN who wants to enter a North Carolina RN to BSN program will need to meet these general admissions requirements:
- Hold a Current, Unencumbered License as a North Carolina RN
- Hold a 2.0 GPA (or higher) in all Transfer Credits
- Have at least a “C” in all Required Nursing Courses
Additionally, RN to BSN programs expect applicants to be able to transfer in some of the following nursing prerequisites, which should be completed in an RN’s ADN program:
- General Chemistry
- College Algebra
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
In addition to online programs, there are quite a few North Carolina Board of Nursing-Approved RN to BSN programs throughout the state, including, but not limited to, those located in the following North Carolina cities:
- Banner Elk
- Boiling Springs
- Chapel Hill
Common Structure of RN to BSN Programs
RN to BSN programs are designed to be completed while the RN is still working part- or full-time at a hospital or medial center. To reach this goal, most North Carolina RN to BSN programs are offered mostly, if not entirely, online. Through online courses, RNs are able to work around their home and work life, completing their degree whenever they choose.
Along with this, RN to BSN programs are created to quickly and easily complement the RN’s previous ADN education. To achieve this goal, RN to BSN programs accept transfer credits from an RN’s previous ADN program.
After accepting those credits, most programs will require RNs complete the following baccalaureate-level nursing courses:
- Concepts of Professional Nursing Science
- Health Assessment for Nurses
- Aging and Health
- Information Technology: Applications in Health Care
- Leadership in Nursing Practice
- Community Health Nursing
- Design and Coordination of Care for Nurses
- Research in Nursing Practice
- Issues in Cultural Health
Clinical courses for RN to BSN programs can usually be completed at hospitals close to home, or even sometimes at the hospital the RN is currently working at. A short list of a few of the local hospitals that accommodate clinical rotations include:
- Duke University Hospital – Durham
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center – Winston-Salem
- UNC Health Care – Chapel Hill
After achieving a BSN, RNs will have a solid foundation upon which to advance their education and career, including the option to move toward a Master of Science in Nursing degree.
Employers that Facilitate RN to BSN Progression though Tuition Assistance
With the proliferation of research centering around the direct correlation between BSN-prepared RNs and better quality patient care, North Carolina hospitals are offering tuition assistance to employed RNs who wish to return to school. Below is just a short list of examples of the many organizations providing this assistance.
Duke University Hospital – Durham
As previously mentioned, the U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke University Hospital as the #1 hospital in North Carolina, and for good reason. All employees and aspects of this premier organization are dedicated to education, research, and patient care, learning how to offer the best care and make a real difference in the state. Along with the U.S. News and World Report, Duke has been recognized by the National Center for Transit Research, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Nursing Professionals, Carolina Parent, AARP, Diversity Inc., and more. And with tuition assistance, professional development, and continuing education, it’s easy to see why.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center – Winston-Salem
This hospital was the first to receive Magnet Recognition in the Carolinas, signifying nursing excellence in philosophy, practices, standards, continued competence, diversity, and patient care. This designation came about by employing some of the most highly qualified RNs, and the designation continues to attract highly motivated, capable RNs. To support RNs in their career advancement and professional development, Wake Forest offers tuition assistance to all employees.
University of North Carolina Hospitals – Chapel Hill
Here, the employers are dedicated to helping RNs reach their potential thorough continuing their education. UNC Health care offers academic assistance, including tuition and fee waivers, academic assistance reimbursement, college savings programs, and more. Along with this, RNs will benefit from being surrounded by a highly capable and motivated team, which has been recognized by Nursing Professionals Magazine and the American Association of Critical Care.
North Carolina is home to many more organizations that offer tuition assistance, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Carolinas Medical Center – Charlotte
- Mission Hospital – Asheville
- Rex Hospital – Raleigh