A couple of years of education may separate RNs with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), even though they both take the same exam for national licensure. So why go after a BSN, especially if you're an RN who is already employed? It turns out that earning a BSN comes with some serious added benefits.
For working RNs, juggling a job along with school may seem daunting. The good news is that an increase in the number of online RN to BSN programs is making it easier for RNs to earn their BSN.
Northern Kentucky University (NKU) offers an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program that students can complete in as few as 10 months. The online format adds flexibility and convenience, making the program accessible to RNs who are balancing coursework with their jobs and other responsibilities. Affordable tuition is another attractive feature of NKU's RN to BSN program.
Can a BSN Lead to Career Growth?
A BSN degree is becoming the current standard for registered nurses according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), with BSN-prepared nurses often having a competitive edge when it comes to job offers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for nurses is expected to grow at a faster than average rate with approximately 221,900 job openings for nurses per year projected through 2029.
Some hospitals now require new hires to have a BSN. Others require ADN-prepared RNs to obtain their BSN within a certain period of time. BSN-prepared nurses may also enjoy better job options, which might include working as nurse leader or an RN case manager.
he opportunity to work at a highly ranked Magnet Hospital is another benefit of a BSN, which is required for nurse managers and nurse leaders employed in these credentialed facilities. Nursing Times reports that hospitals with the Magnet designation have the following benefits:
- Higher percentages of job satisfaction
- Lower RN turnover and vacancy
- Greater nurse autonomy
- Improved clinical outcomes
- Improved patient satisfaction
A BSN also prepares RNs for the graduate-level education they need to pursue the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) certification. Becoming an APRN provides further opportunities for advancement.
What Is the Salary Outlook for BSNs?
As of May 2020, BLS reports that RNs were earning a median annual salary of $75,330, which is well above the median salary for all healthcare occupations ($41,950). The BLS does not differentiate salaries for RN degrees. However, because employers are increasingly seeking to hire more highly educated nurses, BSNs may see a salary bump, especially as they take on new roles and responsibilities.
Another good reason to earn a BSN is that patient outcomes improve with BSN-prepared nurses. As a result, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) called for 80% of the nursing workforce to have a BSN by 2020 in its seminal report on the nursing profession. This initiative continues to influence the move to BSN as the standard for nurses as indicated in the National Academy of Medicine's report, "The Future of Nursing 2020-2030."
Earning a BSN may not be easy, but the many benefits are worth the effort. This includes the personal satisfaction that can come from contributing at a higher level to improved patient outcomes.
Whether you want to have a competitive edge in a job search, earn a higher salary, have more career options, or satisfy personal goals, NKU's online RN to BSN program provides a convenient and affordable way for RNs to take that step.
Learn more about NKU's online RN to BSN program.
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