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Arkansas State University

Fun Electives for an RN to BSN Online

Accelerated RN to BSN programs are usually highly structured. Courses are, for the most part, pre-determined and well-defined. This strategic approach helps RNs streamline their education and complete the degree in a manner that’s timely, cost-efficient and conducive to their current work or family schedules.

And while the core courses of an RN to BSN program are more or less fixed, upper-level electives offer students wiggle room to explore aspects of nursing they may find interesting.

3 Diverse Areas of Study Allow for Career Exploration

Nurses are curious by nature. Their innate and learned ability to identify problems, seek out solutions and help their patients make them an integral part of any care team. It’s no surprise they find supplemental education valuable.

At Arkansas State University, the three upper level nursing electives offer a dive into three areas of health. Each addresses key challenges in healthcare, both now and into the future.

1) Aging and the Older Adult (NRS 3353)

With a population that’s living longer than ever before, understanding the unique needs of seniors is becoming increasingly important. The overall scope of this elective is the aging process itself. For example, it’s important to understand how increasing life expectancy projections will impact current and future support systems.

In their CNN Health article, “The Darker Side of Living to 100,” Paul Higgs and Chris Gilleard write, “the focus of most social care is on people aged 80 and over — a group for whom care is needed because health cures have failed them. The morbidities and infirmities that beset the extremely aged are not so much ignored as abandoned to the efforts of medical services and social care.”

This elective also focuses on the biopsychosocial changes of aging — how biological, psychological and social factors all combine to impact one’s overall health and wellness. Additional topics include theories of aging and certain ethical considerations that accompany the aging process.

2) Women’s Health: Past, Present & Future (NRS 3333)

Studying women’s health from a traditional and contemporary perspective is a core focus of this elective. In order to meet the current needs of the female population, the healthcare community needs to understand where positive changes in healthcare have occurred — and where, perhaps, they haven’t.

For instance, while the medical field has identified differing heart attack symptoms in women and men, women still experience higher fatality rates than their male counterparts. The emphasis of this elective is to ensure health professionals have adequate information to help women achieve optimal health, no matter their age or level of wellness.

3) Forensic Nursing (NRS 4223)

Forensic nursing is a growing specialty within healthcare. Described as “bridging the gap between law and medicine,” the field is much more than what you see on popular television shows like CSI. Forensic nurses play an essential role not only in death investigations but also in sexual assault cases, often training to be sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE). Citing a national shortage of forensic nurses, journalist Denise Lavoie explores what this means to assault victims in her recent article.

Regardless of the scenarios in which forensic nurses are employed, the core skills required include detection, collection and preservation of evidence. The elective allows nurses a sneak peak into forensic nursing by addressing the sensitive nature of various situations, concentrating on the recognition and management of forensic patients — whether living or dead.

3 Solid Choices

The online RN to BSN program at A-State requires nurses to complete two of the above three electives. With each covering a vital contribution to the future of healthcare, there really is no bad choice.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online RN to BSN program.

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