To outsiders, the field of nursing is inherently confusing. The position involves a wide variety of licenses, degrees, and acronyms. RN and BSN are especially likely to cause confusion, as it is possible to simultaneously earn a BSN and work as an RN—but nurses can also gain RN status long before they pursue a BSN.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing may not be strictly necessary for all registered nursing positions, but it certainly is helpful. This nursing degree equips RNs with the advanced knowledge needed to move up the career ladder. It also helps nurses provide the best possible care for their valued patients.
Still not sure if you should take on the extra commitment of obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? The following five points are among the most notable of the many benefits that an RN to BSN program can deliver.
1. Better Job Opportunities
As the demand for highly-skilled nurses increases, many employers explicitly state a preference for BSN nurses. While RNs should have little trouble finding employment, the best opportunities may be reserved for nurses with additional credentials. This consideration is especially important for nurses interested in taking on niche areas.
A BSN can open the door to jobs in specific practices such as obstetrics, oncology, or surgery. Nurses equipped with this degree may find it easier to pursue their health care passion, rather than settle for whatever RN job comes along. This, in turn, influences job satisfaction, as RNs who are able to engage with their professional interests truly enjoy their work.
2. Higher Pay
While many employers remain willing to take on RNs, they tend to offer far better pay to nurses with higher-level academic credentials. Both types of nurses can enjoy excellent earnings, as evidenced by Bureau of Labor Statistics data citing a median annual income of $73,000 for RNs. This figure, however, includes both those with and without their BSN. According to PayScale, nurses equipped with their BSN earn, on average, $84,000 per year. With proper training and experience, some even manage to reach six figures. Many facilities even provide significant bonuses in hopes of landing the most qualified nurses.
3. Leadership Opportunities
Earning a BSN could lead to a significant pay boost even without taking on different roles within the healthcare industry. Beyond this, however, the degree can provide significant opportunities for advancement. Leadership roles, in particular, are typically reserved for nurses with higher levels of education.
Nurse supervisors or directors, for example, are charged with overseeing teams of RNs and LPNs, who work together to fulfill the unique goals of a specific ward or department. This position grants them considerable influence as well as the ability to mentor fellow health care professionals.
Other BSN nurses take on the role of clinical care coordinator, which involves implementing patient policies and treatment modalities. Graduate-level education can provide even greater access to such leadership roles, but a BSN is crucial before taking this next step in academia.
4. Better Care for Patients
A stable income is desirable, of course, but few nurses enter the profession for the income alone. Rather, RNs view this career path as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients. Any additional education they obtain allows them to do exactly that by providing in-depth knowledge and skills that they can implement on a daily basis.
While RNs are perfectly capable of providing a high level of care for patients, research suggests that facilities with a greater share of BSN nurses achieve better long-term outcomes. This reality explains the efforts in states such as New York to encourage RNs to obtain their BSNs as soon as possible.
An influential American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) study reveals that, by increasing the proportion of BSN nurses by just 10 percent, hospital wards can experience an astounding 11 percent reduction in mortality risk among patients. Experts believe that facilities with more BSN nurses see fewer decubitus ulcers and are less likely to suffer high rates of postoperative deep vein thrombosis.
5. An Easy Transition
Few academic or career transitions are as seamless as that of RN to BSN. Many BSN programs are specifically designed based on the previous classes taken by current RNs looking to complete their degrees. Often, aspiring nurses complete their RN with the primary intention of working towards their BSN. During this time, they can continue to work in health care.
Many students enrolled in RN to BSN programs benefit from applying insights gained in class to their everyday work. Conversely, situations encountered on the job can be examined in class to bring valuable context to theoretical learning.
Upon gaining their degree, RN to BSN students are ready to move forward with higher pay, specialty positions, or leadership roles. Their unique blend of academic insight and work experience prepares them for a variety of situations and settings within the healthcare industry.
As an RN eager to expand your knowledge and take advantage of new job opportunities, you can benefit from enrolling in a nursing degree program tailored to your unique needs. Don't miss out on this chance to make your mark as a highly-skilled and credentialed health care professional.
If you are interested in improving your nursing career by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, consider enrolling in our online program. Request more information today.