October 4, 2010 | | Leave a comment Advanced nursing degrees are becoming more important in the healthcare industry. Furthermore, more hospitals are requiring nurses to make business decisions that affect patient outcomes, in addition to completing their established clinical and acute care duties. According to the American Sentinel University, as the current ecomony forces nursing facilities to downsize staff, more nurses are looked upon to take on the operational tasks, which may require additional education. Employers need registered nurses (RNs) who have attained a bachelor’s degree of science in nursing (BSN) for health planning, marketing and consulting. “The acuity level in hospitals is such that nursing leadership is demanding that RNs have BSN degrees,” says Catherine Garner, PhD, RN, Provost and Dean, Health Sciences and Nursing at American Sentinel. “Patient care is too complex today, and nurses need more education.” Online schools provide those practicing in the field the opportunity to take the required courses to achieve a BSN. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that RNs make up the largest occupation within the healthcare industry by employing about 2.6 million nurses. They predict that employment of nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent in the next eight years, and over 80 percent of new jobs will be available in offices of physicians and home healthcare services.