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Want to Go to Grad School? You'll Need Your BSN

When a nurse earns a master's degree, it provides opportunities beyond what most nurses experience in their careers. For nurses who want to pursue some of the highest-paying positions in the nursing field — nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists — a master's in nursing is required.

Of course, in order to qualify for graduate school, earning a bachelor's degree in nursing is an essential first step. A BSN does more than check off a prerequisite: It gives nurses in-depth knowledge across a broad spectrum of topics. In the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) online RN to BSN program, nurses take courses in community nursing and leadership in addition to courses directly connected to patient care, gaining a more well-rounded perspective than comes with associate-level RN training.

The roles that require MSN degrees typically involve leadership or education components, and in an online RN to BSN program, students are immersed in the coursework that more readily allows them to step into those roles.

Kim Sikorski started her nursing career in the early 2000s, on the recommendation of a high school guidance counselor who felt she had the aptitude for a career in nursing. More than a decade into her nursing career, she was elevated into a management role that required her to earn a bachelor's degree.

Acknowledging that "Nursing is a profession that requires a commitment to lifelong learning in order to be successful," Sikorski finished her RN to BSN program in 2015. She then entered a master's program to become a family nurse practitioner, building upon the foundation she established at EIU to her ultimate goal.

More Education, More Opportunities

A article detailing the doors of opportunity that can be unlocked with a master's in nursing degree noted, "Earning a master's in nursing opens doors to a variety of careers. With more demands being placed on nurses as a result of advancements in technology, and the expected retirements of many older nurses in the near future, those with master's degrees may be best positioned for what's to come."

Many master's candidates in the past used the incentive of a higher-paying job as justification for taking on the expense and time involved with pursuing a master's degree, but with online options, the decision is much easier. As students enrolled in EIU's RN to BSN online program know, the time and money saved in an online degree program make it more viable than an on-campus program, especially for working nurses.

As healthcare becomes more advanced, and as more demands are placed on today's healthcare system, it is likely that nurses with advanced degrees will play a greater role. Nurses with BSN degrees have the option of preparing for the future, having taken that important first step toward an advanced degree. 

Learn more about Eastern Illinois University's online RN to BSN program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners Unlock Doors of Opportunity With a Master's in Nursing

Eastern Illinois University: Nursing Veteran Kim Sikorski Charts FNP Course With Online RN to BSN

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