Three million registered nurses will work in the United States by 2024. This is a 16 percent increase over current numbers.

Many people enter nursing because they want a job that not only challenges them but allows them to build a career around helping others. That’s an admirable goal and the reason registered nurses command respect wherever they work.

However, once they enter the profession by becoming registered nurses (RNs), many nurses find they want to expand their skills by earning an RN to BSN degree.  A BSN is a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing.

Higher Education Standards

As more people enter the profession, the bar has risen for the education many employers expect nurses to achieve. An RN to BSN degree could open the door to more responsibilities and higher pay. The degree can also help nurses further develop some of the critical skills needed to perform their jobs at the highest level.

Many nurses possess the critical skills listed below. But an RN to BSN degree can help them further develop these necessary skills. It can prepare them to take on leadership positions in whatever area of healthcare services they choose to work in. As you are considering going back to school, here are some tips for success in an online RN to BSN program.


For many, the nursing profession is a calling. The desire to help others who experience life-changing medical situations requires nurses to have a great deal of sensitivity and compassion for others. In leadership roles, compassion and empathy for patients, families, and employees are important skills in handling emergency or sensitive situations. An RN to BSN degree program emphasizes these skills and helps prepare future leaders for the types of situations they will encounter.

Critical Thinking

As a nurse, you need the ability to quickly assess a situation and determine the course of action needed to provide the best healthcare possible. A nurse must also know when to refer whatever issue she finds to the appropriate member of the medical staff. This is something that requires multifaceted problem solving and analysis of the findings to be able to interpret data accurately.


Nurses constantly communicate with a variety of people. Possessing the ability to communicate with other nurses and medical staff remains a key component of nursing. This requires nurturing a strong working relationship with professionals in all facets of the healthcare operation, from doctors and other nurses to medical specialists. And, as mentioned above, nurses need to develop the skill of talking with and offering support to often distraught patients and their families.

Calm and Cool

Leaders do not panic in the face of adversity. Nowhere is this more important than in nursing. Nurses work in an often high-stress environment. Even those working outside of hospitals will eventually find themselves in situations where emotional stability and a calm, steady manner prove essential. Nurses need not only the ability to calm others but to keep their own emotions in check during times of high stress.


When nursing students enter an RN to BSN degree program, professors stress the need for nurses to become extremely organized in their work. As they move into more responsible positions, nurses need the ability to handle the issues that arise with many different patients, often all at once. Handling this requires strong organizational skills as nurses are often the front line in providing care for patients.

For nurses who wish to further their careers, focusing on these skills is critical. A quality RN to BSN degree program can provide the education and training they need to elevate their career to the next level.