How a BSN Enriched My Career: Chamberlain Grads Share Their Stories

chamberlain grads

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is an exciting and rewarding step for registered nurses (RNs). And, it’s increasingly becoming a requirement for RNs looking to advance their careers and secure the jobs they want.

A study found that hospitals employing more nurses with BSN degrees can significantly lower patient readmission rates and shorten lengths of stay. That’s why the AACN says over 43% of hospitals and other healthcare settings have begun requiring incoming nurses to have a BSN, and over 78% of employers say they have a strong preference for BSN program graduates.

But the degree offers more than just job opportunities. Nurses who attain advanced nursing degrees such as a BSN are often rewarded with a broader knowledge base of patient care and healthcare standards. The Institute of Medicine lists leadership and collaboration as core competencies for today’s nurses, and for many nurses providing a higher level of care ladders up to a sense of pride and a rewarding career.

Recently, four Chamberlain RN to BSN option graduates reflected on their reasons for enrolling in the program, and how it changed their careers for the better.

Kelli Mowrer



Registered Nurse, Cross Roads Community Hospital 

Why did you choose Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option?
It was accredited and because of what it could offer me. It has been an easy process to get in contact with the College faculty any time I need them and they have always been incredible.

What was your experience in the RN to BSN option?
The Chamberlain faculty are always incredibly helpful and supportive. The personal attention I get every time I call exceeds expectations. Evidence-based practice was an eye-opening class that improved my practical work the most. I have recommended Chamberlain to three people already, and will probably recommend it to many more. I have now started the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with Chamberlain to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

What’s been the most rewarding part of having your BSN?
Completing the BSN program has improved my nursing judgement and also enabled me to see how other parts of the country handle patient care. Personally, I am more confident today as a practitioner, and I also feel like I’m setting a good example for my children by continuing my education.

Theresa Peters

Survivorship Support Registered Nurse, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Why did you decide to pursue a BSN?
I had a lot of encouragement from family and friends. I also was awarded a scholarship through Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Without the scholarship, I don’t think I could have gone back to school.

What was your experience in the RN to BSN option?
The scholarship I applied for was to attend Chamberlain. Another very important factor was being able to do the program at my pace online. I really enjoyed communicating with nurses from all over the country at various stages in their nursing careers. There is so much that we can learn from each other. My instructors challenged me, which was very stimulating to an old nurse’s mind!

What’s been the most rewarding part of having your BSN?
It helped me grow in multiple ways: I became very acquainted with my computer, so developing computer skills was a plus. Also, my thought process is different. Having my BSN has opened other doors for me professionally.

Laura Gilmore 



Magnet® Program Director, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Why did you decide to pursue a BSN?
I didn’t need a bachelor’s degree to be hired as an RN when I started working in 2007, but the industry today is changing quickly. I knew I needed to go back to school to stay competitive and to improve the quality of care I provide to my patients.

Why did you choose Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option?
My employer has a partnership with Chamberlain, and my co-workers spoke highly about the program. The coursework is 100 percent online with eight-week class sessions, so I was able to continue working and take classes when my schedule permitted. I loved the program so much that I decided to continue my education at Chamberlain by enrolling in the MSN program, which I’ll complete soon.

What’s been the most rewarding part of having your BSN?
Personally, I’ve witnessed many benefits of a BSN, most notably when I was selected as Magnet Champion Coordinator at my Cancer Treatment Center of America. I’ve also been asked to develop patient and nursing education materials and review hospital policies, as well as making clinical improvements. I’m excited to see what the nursing profession will look like a decade from today.

Kathleen Hill

Nurse Manager, Cardiac Services, Glens Falls Hospital

Why did you decide to pursue a BSN?
I have been a nurse since 1975. I became certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse in 1985, but that certification never gave me the professional validation I was seeking as an RN. As time went on, I realized that I wanted to take on more professional responsibility. So, at the age of 56, I began working on my BSN so I could retire feeling fulfilled in my career and patient care abilities.

Why did you choose Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option?
I was able to continue to work full time and manage my home life because the support was there from Chamberlain. I did well in classes because the software was easy to use, the professors were available and I was able to learn at my own pace. The Algebra professor began calling me once a week to make sure I was doing well with homework! I loved this attention. My daughter was in college at the same time and she didn't have any more on-campus attention than I had as an online student.

What’s been the most rewarding part of having your BSN?
Immediately following graduation from Chamberlain I had to acknowledge that I had changed, radically changed, and I needed to work in a role that utilized my new professional status. For the last two years I have been the Clinical Nurse Manager of a 46-bed Telemetry unit. I love feeling the pride that comes with having my BSN. My BSN says to my coworkers that I study, analyze, interpret and demand evidence that supports my nursing practice. I wish I had returned to school 30 years ago.

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