Moving Away from the Bedside

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BSN-prepared nurses have more opportunities for career diversity in health field


Nurses at the heart of the health care market make up the industry’s largest employee sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported that 2.7 million nurses were employed in 2010. Nursing professionals can work in a variety of health care settings but hospitals are by far their largest employer, staffing 48 percent of all nurses. And, in these clinical settings, nurses serve on the front lines of patient care and often have the closest relationship to the patient as a result of being stationed at their bedsides. However, years spent delivering direct patient care can cause burnout and can leave qualified and experienced nurses looking for a change. Continued education can help reignite your nursing passion and help you move away from the bedside and into a new nursing career.

To Leave Bedside Nursing or Not to Leave

Bedside patient care makes up a large portion of a nurse’s duties when in a hospital or alternate care setting. Nurses working in these settings are often a patient’s first line of contact delivering quality patient care and health services to patients in a variety of conditions. This direct patient interaction offers nurses the unique opportunity to make valuable connections with their patients that can help enhance overall treatment through positive interactions. These interactions could help solidify trust between the patient and caregiver, promote cooperation, and help elevate the patient’s mood and overall outlook. Bedside nurses often cite these positive relationships as a leading reason that they remain at the bedside throughout their career. Bedside nurses are able to journey with patients along their road to recovery and can help a patient go from hopeless to hopeful.

Bedside nursing can also be demanding and may cause burnout among even the most dedicated nursing professionals. Nurses have recently been feeling the crunch caused by a vast nursing shortage in health care markets across the country, which has resulted in a drastic shift in the nurse’s role as a care provider. Nurses, even new ones, have been required to take on more responsibilities that includes greater patient case loads along with longer and more frequent work shifts. Nurses are being forced to work faster, longer and harder to keep pace with patient demands, changing technology and operational standards and an accelerated work environment. As a result, many health care facilities are seeing high turnover rates. Some studies report that 57 percent of new nursing graduates will leave their first nursing position within two years. This changing health care environment has put an increased burden on bedside nurses providing direct care services contributing to professional burn out.


Continuing Your Education for Career OptionsNurse Helping Patient

Continuing education may prove to be the best option for those nurses experiencing burnout or looking for a career change within the health care industry. As the nursing staff continues to grow in health care facilities across industries to keep pace with patient demand and shifting industry trends, health care facilities will be in need of qualified and educated nurses to take on management roles and leadership positions. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help transition your nursing career from the bedside to the front office. With a BSN, you will be qualified for advanced nursing roles within a hospital or other health care facility, including:

  • Primary care nurse manager
  • Nursing staff development director
  • Nurse case manager
  • Clinical nursing manager
  • Clinical audit manager
  • Hospice care program administrator
  • Nurse manager
  • Nursing director
  • Behavioral health program manager

Many BSN-prepared nurses can pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) along with specialized certifications for further career advancement, which could qualify you for high-level nursing positions, including:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse-Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

Nurses who are passionate about direct patient care services may also continue their education to enhance their current level of bedside practice to move into emergency or surgical medicine.

The need for nurses is set to increase through at least the next decade with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 26 percent growth for nurses through 2020. Earning a bachelor’s degree presents you with more diverse career options, which will allow you to move away from bedside nursing and into a more suitable health care role.

King College has a reputation for academic excellence that goes beyond the classroom. Our online degree programs position graduates for an exceptional career or continued education opportunities. More than 80 percent of King graduate survey respondents indicated they receive admission to their first choice of graduate programs. Make an investment in your future with an online degree from King College.