If you are already a Registered Nurse (RN), earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an online program like the RN to BS in Nursing offered by the University of Rhode Island can take your career to the next level. Having a BSN in addition to your current nursing experience makes you eligible to apply for positions that require the degree. More employment opportunities including leadership roles combined with higher average salaries are all good reasons to consider obtaining your BSN.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a BSN?
Here are some advantages:
- Increase and build upon your current nursing skills
BSN programs teach nurses advanced assessment and communication skills as well as the importance of critical thinking and evidence-based practice (EBP) to improve patient outcomes.
- Employers prefer to hire BSN-prepared nurses
Earning a BSN is also smart since an increasing number of employers prefer to hire bachelor's-prepared nurses. Research from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) notes that "41.1% of hospitals and other healthcare settings are requiring new hires to have a bachelor's degree in nursing, while 82.4% of employers are expressing a strong preference for BSN program graduates."
- Some career opportunities are only available to nurses with a BSN
If you want to pursue leadership roles like nurse manager, nursing director and beyond, you will need to have a bachelor's in nursing as well. A BSN is also required if you want to pursue graduate education and advanced practice roles such as clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist, or if your career goals include becoming a nurse educator.
- Better patient outcomes
Research shows that having a higher complement of BSN-prepared nurses caring for patients corresponds with improved patient outcomes, including lower failure-to-rescue rates and lower mortality rates.
- Possible job requirement in the future
Earning a BSN is also a wise move since it may become a requirement to work as a nurse in the future. For example, states like New York have already made it a law that all nurses must complete a BSN within 10 years of obtaining their initial licensure to continue practicing as a nurse.
- Hospital Magnet recognition requires more BSN nurses
Magnet recognition is highly sought after by hospitals and awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (AACN). Only hospitals that demonstrate improved patient outcomes and an ability to attract and retain highly educated nurses and physicians receive Magnet status. Nurses who work at Magnet facilities highlight "a commitment to education, innovation, and patient care" as benefits, according to Nurse.com.
What Kinds of Jobs Can You Get With a BSN?
Career opportunities for BSN holders are plentiful as more employers prefer to hire nurses with the degree.
Because nurses learn advanced skills in areas like physical assessment and communication as well as the importance of evidence-based practice (EBP), they are well prepared to work more independently in healthcare settings.
Nurses with a BSN work in a variety of roles including:
- Nurse manager and director positions
- School nursing
- Patient care coordinator or navigator
- Quality improvement or quality control coordinator
- Patient care educators
- Case managers
Do Nurses With a BSN Earn More Money?
Yes, nurses with a BSN typically earn a higher hourly wage and yearly salary than RNs with a diploma or associate degree. ZipRecruiter reports RNs without a BSN earn an average salary of $70,355/year (approximately $34/hr.) while BSN-prepared nurses earn $86,790/year (approximately $42/hr.), as of April 2021.
NurseJournal notes that, "Four of the highest paying nursing jobs – nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist – require you to have a BSN."
There are many advantages to earning your BSN including increased career mobility and eligibility for leadership positions, increased salary and more educational opportunities. Plus, having your BSN will ensure you can continue practicing as an RN should a bachelor's become the minimum requirement in your state.
Learn more about URI's online RN to BS in Nursing program.
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