Is nursing worth it? Is nursing a good career? Only you can determine if nursing is right for you, but it's definitely a meaningful career that allows you to help others. Plus, it offers strong earning potential and a robust job growth rate, both in Virginia and around the nation.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current career and thinking about going back to school, you may be wondering, “Is nursing worth it?” Nursing school is certainly an investment of time, energy and financial resources, yet it can open up an incredible new world of possibilities for you. You could make it your life’s work to help others in need, while also enjoying many career perks for yourself, such as opportunities for career advancement and strong earning potential.
Is nursing school worth it? Absolutely, if you’re willing to put in the hard work to earn your nursing degree and licensure. Of course, you won’t be doing it alone. If you choose to enroll in Averett University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you’ll receive extensive student support from start to finish. Plus, you could earn your degree in as few as 16 months.
Is Nursing Worth It?
Those who are thinking of entering the healthcare field often do so with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others in their community. In fact, for the past 21 consecutive years, nursing has been ranked as the most trusted profession in the eyes of the public. Only you can determine whether your answer to the question, “Are accelerated nursing programs worth it?” is “Yes,” but if you do decide to enroll, you can trust that your future career will be a meaningful one.
Healthcare Employers Prefer BSN-Prepared Nurses
There are different paths someone may take to become a nurse. Some decide to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), while others choose a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The former is typically a two-year program, while the latter is traditionally a four-year program (with the exception of accelerated nursing programs like the one at Averett). So, which one should you choose?
Well, if you opt to earn a BSN via the ABSN program at Averett, you can look forward to brighter employment prospects. Hospitals and healthcare providers value a BSN when considering a nurse for employment. In fact, many hospitals are moving to hire only registered nurses who hold a BSN degree — as Magnet® hospitals require nurse managers and leaders to hold a bachelor’s in nursing.
Compared with ADN programs, BSN programs feature more in-depth and immersive nursing curricula. As such, Averett students graduate with exceptional confidence in everything from basic nursing skills to everyday issues that lead to significant disparities in health and treatment.
In addition, it’s becoming clear that nurses equipped with a BSN end up providing lifesaving care to patients who need it. In fact, there’s a growing wealth of research indicating hospitals and other healthcare settings that employ higher percentages of BSN-educated nurses yield better outcomes for patients. Consider these statistics from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN):
- Hospitals with a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses have lower rates of 30-day inpatient surgical deaths, regardless of whether the BSN-prepared nurses earned a four-year or accelerated degree.
- For every 10% increase in the percentage of BSN-prepared nurses, patients who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest have a 24% greater chance of surviving.
- BSN-prepared nurses are “significantly better prepared” in 12 out of 16 competency areas pertaining to patient safety and healthcare quality compared to ADN-prepared nurses.
That’s exactly why in 2010 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) set an aggressive goal for 80% of the U.S. nursing workforce to hold a BSN degree by 2020. While this goal was not met due to factors such as the unexpected COVID pandemic as well as the nursing shortage, it’s clear a BSN degree is the future of nursing and can make a big difference for patients.
Is Nursing a Good Career? Consider the Versatility
Another reason earning your BSN is worthwhile is that it provides you options. Not only can a BSN give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs at respected hospitals, it can also set you up for success in jobs outside the hospital.
If you’re not interested in working in hospitals, physicians’ offices or outpatient facilities, or if you just want to shake things up and branch out, you might consider careers such as school nurse, forensic nurse or telemedicine nurse.
A BSN can also offer you varied career options in the form of a diverse array of specializations, including:
- Intensive care
- Emergency room
- Labor and delivery
- Medical-surgical nursing
Curious to learn more about career options for nurses? Check out these top 10 alternative careers for nurses away from the bedside!
The Strong Demand for Registered Nurses
When considering the question, “Is nursing school worth it?” it’s a good idea to consider your future job prospects. There has been a strong demand for qualified health care professionals over the years, and the demand for RNs nationwide is expected to continue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for RNs from 2022 through 2032 is expected to be 6%, as fast as average. This indicates healthcare employers expect to hire about 177,400 new RNs through this period.
Opportunities for Career Advancement
Another reason why the answer to the question, “Is nursing a good career?” is an emphatic “Yes!” is the potential for career advancement. After completing your degree, obtaining licensure and gaining a few years of clinical experience, you may decide to head back to school to further your education. If you choose to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you might decide to become a nurse manager or a healthcare administrator.
Another option is to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This is a terminal degree representing the pinnacle of academic achievement in the field. With a DNP, you could then pursue board certification in your chosen specialty area and become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The main types of APRNs are:
- Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
- Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
- Nurse practitioner (NP)
Strong Earning Potential
Although the salary of any given registered nurse will vary, depending on factors such as their employer, years of experience and additional credentials, RNs in general can expect strong earning potential. RNs nationwide had a median annual salary of $81,220, according to 2022 BLS data. In Virginia, RN wages can be even higher. RNs in VA had a mean annual salary of $81,860 as of May 2022, according to the BLS.
Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Worth It?
If you already have prior non-nursing college education and meet the other admissions requirements, you could earn your BSN in as few as 16 months, rather than having to attend a four-year program. Averett’s ABSN program comprises online coursework, hands-on labs and clinical placements at respected healthcare organizations to prepare you to become a confident, capable nurse. Here are a few more reasons you should consider earning your BSN in Norfolk.
Are you considering an accelerated nursing program? Read more to learn what to expect in an ABSN.
As you can tell, earning your accelerated nursing degree is worth it for many reasons, but a big one is that if you choose to enroll in the Averett ABSN program, it can bring you to beautiful Norfolk, Virginia. Surrounded by beautiful aquatic views, Norfolk is a naval port town that offers a look at history as far back as pre-Revolutionary War times. (Is nursing worth it? Another reason why it’s a good career is the strong demand for nurses nationwide, which means you could potentially live anywhere and still find work.)
Is nursing school worth it in Norfolk? Absolutely! There is good news for would-be nurses: the city also has a diverse healthcare sector. Whether you’re a student leveraging your education to become a nurse or perhaps a veteran considering a second career as a nurse in Norfolk, it is a great place to sharpen your skills.
Some of the area’s most respected healthcare organizations include:
- Sentara Healthcare, which comprises seven hospitals
- Operation Smile, an organization that gives free medical procedures to children with facial deformities
- Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
- Bon Secours
An Earlier Start Date
You worked hard to earn your existing non-nursing bachelor’s degree or college credits. So even if you decide nursing school is the path for you instead, it makes sense you’d want all that hard work to count for something. On the other hand, you also don’t want to spend any more time pursuing a new degree than necessary.
That’s why we designed our 16-month hybrid curriculum to build upon your previous learning experiences. Unlike other ABSN programs, we require:
- at least 60 non-nursing college credits
- OR a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field
Plus, our ABSN program offers three start dates per year in January, May and August.
Admissions Support for Prospective Students
Transitioning into a new nursing career can seem intimidating, especially if you have no prior healthcare experience. Having someone by your side throughout the entire process of getting into nursing school can go a long way toward boosting your confidence and making you feel like accelerated nursing school — and a rewarding nursing career — is possible for you.
However, even though you’ll have some autonomy over your study schedule and location, you’ll still have deadlines and in-person proctored exams. You’ll be responsible for taking these at the Averett University Norfolk ABSN Site.
Hands-on Experience in Skills and Simulation Labs
While you’ll complete your ABSN coursework 100% online, you still must learn the hands-on aspects of the profession in an in-person setting. As an Averett ABSN student, you’ll have access to a realistic and safe mock clinical environment at our program site in Norfolk to practice fundamental nursing skills.
Once you master key nursing skills, you’ll participate in simulation labs. During these labs, you’ll have the chance to refine problem solving, collaboration and critical-thinking skills in a safe, supervised environment.
While nursing coursework and labs are important parts of your accelerated nursing education, nothing prepares you more for what to expect as a registered nurse than clinical rotations. Starting your first semester in the Averett ABSN program, you can expect to work alongside experienced nurses in an actual healthcare setting.
Here, you’ll learn the ins and outs of caring for patients in diverse practice areas ranging from adult to mental health and maternal- and child-focused care. Under this setup, you’ll have the opportunity to “find your fit” in the nursing world and network with health care professionals across a wide variety of disciplines.
Supportive Faculty and Staff
As an Averett ABSN student, you’ll have access to the expertise and guidance of our highly experienced nursing instructors. Not only will they teach you key nursing skills and concepts, but they’ll also offer a helping hand with mentoring, advice and moral support as you embark on your nursing career.
Averett’s Accelerated Nursing Program Is Worth It
If you can’t wait to become a nurse, an accelerated nursing program is worth it. The 16-month ABSN program at Averett aims to equip you with the nursing skills and knowledge needed to pass the NCLEX-RN and enter the nursing field with confidence. Your new career as a registered nurse becomes accessible when you reach out to our admissions team.
Complete the form to chat with an admissions counselor and discover for yourself if nursing is the right career for you.