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6 reasons getting your nursing degree can help grow your career

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This article was written and paid for by West Coast University.

Have you ever thought about becoming a nurse, but for whatever reason, you've just kept putting it off?

You were right to consider it. We’ll tell you all the reasons you should dive in and take your first step toward advancing your career today. West Coast University’s Miami campus can help.

1. People who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing are in some of the most sought-after positions.

Here's a statistic for you: 86.3% of employers express a strong preference for BSN program graduates.* And while hospitals and other locations need licensed practical nurses, there are many advantages to becoming a nurse with a bachelor's degree.

Furthermore, research shows that nurses with a bachelor's degree are linked to better patient outcomes, including lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates.*

2. Need more proof? Look at these numbers.

The number of nursing jobs is expected to grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026 -- much faster than the national average of other professions.** Over those 10 years, that means a potential of 438,100 new nursing jobs -- which is 3 1/2 times the capacity of Marlins Park, Hard Rock Stadium and American Airlines Arena combined.

Needless to say, as a nurse, you'd likely be in demand.

3. You'll be growing your career -- without putting your life on hold.

Everybody is busy. And sometimes, it feels as if you can't handle anything more on your plate. But some places make it easier than others to go back to school or pursue a degree in the first place.

For example, at WCU, administrators want to make it simple.

With evening and weekend class options, you can use your spare time to launch your education or continue your education; therefore investing in your future. The knowledge you will gain only benefits you and your future patients. By pursuing a degree in nursing -- or taking advantage of WCU's bridge program to turn your LPN into a BSN -- you're furthering your career.

4. You can get your bachelor's degree in as little as 39 months.

You should look for a school where you can get the knowledge you need quickly -- especially if you're eager to take that first job or if you have another career you're balancing in the meantime. Even without any nursing experience or a health care background, you could have a degree in 39 months at WCU. If you're already a licensed practical nurse, the school has a bridge program you can complete in 34 months.

Administrators have included all the prerequisites in the programs, so you don't have to go elsewhere to get the courses you need.

Often times, students miss semesters because they lack a prerequisite or didn't hit a lottery to get into a certain class. At WCU, classes start at multiple times per year, and there aren't any waitlists. Don't ever worry about not getting a spot in that critical class again. If you need a certain course, you're in. It just makes sense.

5. Class schedules are flexible, so there's almost no excuse.

The university strives to work around its students' busy schedules so that they can focus on their classes. Nobody wants to juggle the stress of a tricky or complicated enrollment process.

At WCU, the school works with all types of students -- professionals, working parents, full-time students, you name it -- so people can pursue a degree at a time when it’s truly convenient. Visit the university’s website if you’re curious about how this might work with your current situation.

6. Your BSN can lead to bigger and better things, career-wise.

Want a promotion? Want to switch jobs? Want to land your first nursing gig and then slowly but surely work your way up? It all starts with your degree.

At WCU, the school sets the framework for your success, offering dedicated faculty members and support. The university's Career Services Department also partners with top employers in the industry to assist graduates. This is a school that loves seeing students succeed.

The university is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Universities Commission, and the nursing programs are programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Disclosure: WCU cannot guarantee employment.

*Source: American Association of Colleges of Nursing

**Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics