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How RN to BSN Programs Can Help the U.S. Nursing Shortage

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a valued credential.

As the baby boomer generation ages, more RNs reach retirement, and the U.S. places growing emphasis on preventative care, America is facing a looming nursing shortage that higher education is helping to address.

By 2030, the U.S. is projecting a shortfall of more than 510,000 RNs.1 To meet this urgent need, nursing schools are increasing capacity2 so that RNs can earn in-demand degrees. And for 82% of employers in one survey, the most requested degree is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).3


Online BSN programs, like the RN to BSN, are helping many nurses earn this valuable credential. From offering RNs a convenient way to pursue higher education to training nurses to meet the needs of an aging population, here are five ways online RN to BSN programs are helping address America’s nursing shortage.

1. They provide a convenient path, making continuing education more achievable for busy RNs.
Nursing is a rewarding career, but it’s also a busy one. With the ability to attend classes from the comfort of home, online RN to BSN programs provide nurses with the opportunity to complete a BSN degree while balancing work and family commitments. These online programs offer rigorous academics, cutting-edge technologies, low teacher-to-student ratios, and much more, all without the need to travel to class.

2. They meet RNs where they live.
Many nurses are interested in RN to BSN programs but can’t pursue a BSN degree simply because a program isn’t available at a local brick-and-mortar institution. This can be especially relevant in rural areas. Online RN to BSN programs enable nurses, even those living in remote areas, to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing without the need to travel long distances to class or to move closer to a university.

3. They help provide the qualifications nurses need to care for an aging population.
By 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 or older.4 Since older adults are at a higher risk for chronic diseases,5 the U.S. will need skilled nurses to meet the needs of an aging population. BSN degrees—including those earned via online RN to BSN programs—can equip nurses with the advanced skills they’ll need to keep America’s aging population healthy.

4. They help nurses assume leadership roles in a rapidly changing field.
Online BSN degree programs provide nurses with a convenient way to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to take on leadership roles, many of them supervisory, in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Top online RN to BSN programs that offer well-rounded, relevant coursework can help you make your mark as an innovative, effective, and compassionate nursing leader.

5. Postgraduate education
Research shows that higher levels of nursing education yield improved patient outcomes.6 For example, one study found RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing were “significantly better prepared than associate degree nurses on 12 out of 16 areas related to quality and safety, including evidence-based practice, data analysis, and project implementation”.6

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can help you deliver quality care while preparing you for next-level education opportunities. When you’re ready, you may choose a BSN to MSN track to level up your nursing education and skills. Nursing schools also may offer BSN to DNP or BSN to PhD in Nursing online learning tracks.

Earn an RN to BSN Online

Walden University, a leader in distance education for over 50 years, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree program that’s accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

As a Walden nursing student, you’ll learn from faculty members who are practicing clinicians and have earned doctorate degrees. You’ll gain practical experience and practice health assessment skills through realistic, interactive simulations. And with Walden’s Practicum Advantage™, you’ll get the support you need at all stages of your practicum experience.

A BSN degree can help prepare you for a wide range of nursing jobs and settings—and to meet future employment demand. Gain your competitive edge by advancing your education in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing online degree program.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.