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12 Reasons to Start Your Nursing Career With a BSN Degree

Published on: January 2, 2024

In 2011, the聽Institute of Medicine聽called for a substantial increase in the number of practicing registered nurses with Bachelor of 快活视频 in Nursing (BSN) degrees in its influential report聽.聽Since that time, the聽BSN聽has been the desired standard, if not an official requirement, for the most sought-after entry-level聽registered nurse聽(RN) positions in the United States.

To learn more about the聽BSN聽degree and the various reasons to pursue one, read on.

What Is a聽BSN聽Degree?

The聽BSN聽is a four-year college or university-level degree that aspiring nurses complete before taking the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed RN in their state of choice. In addition to preparing you for licensure, a聽BSN聽from a reputable聽nursing school聽gives you the comprehensive base of nursing knowledge and skills you need to demonstrate your exceptional value to employers and provide outstanding聽patient care. Beyond helping establish a firm foundation in the biological and medical sciences, the typical聽BSN聽program will include聽clinical rotations聽or research elements (or both) along with general liberal education courses in areas ranging from communications to sociology.

Why Choose a聽BSN聽Degree?

The聽BSN聽nursing聽degree聽is only one among several different routes to obtaining state licensure as an RN and entering the聽nursing field聽as a professional. In fact, many of these routes鈥攕uch as earning an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or an undergraduate diploma in nursing from an accredited hospital鈥攃an be substantially easier, faster, and less expensive than earning a聽BSN.

However, a聽BSN聽education comes with numerous pronounced, distinct advantages. Below, we detail 12 of these advantages and divide our list into personal, industry and professional categories.

Personal Reasons to Start With a聽BSN聽Degree

1. Better Job Stability

The increased employment opportunities for聽BSN聽nurses provide them with greater access to the best available jobs at the best healthcare organizations. For this reason, you are likely to find both better job stability and higher levels of job satisfaction with a聽BSN聽over an ADN.

2. Higher Salary

Recognizing the bachelor鈥檚 degree as the typical level of education required for nurses to become established in their chosen profession, the聽聽(BLS)聽reports a relatively high median salary for RNs at more than $81,000 per year. In its complex analysis of聽BSN聽and general RN salaries,聽聽echoes the findings of the BLS while expanding on them. Specifically, it divides RNs into ADN graduates and聽BSN聽graduates to note the significant difference in earning power between them. While the average ADN nurse makes roughly $74,000,聽BSN聽nurses can take home more than $80,000 annually.

3. Higher Earning Potential

聽further demonstrates the BSN鈥檚 earning potential by showing how the gap in earnings between ADN graduates and聽BSN聽graduates tends to grow over time. While ADN nurses may expect to begin their careers with a salary around $49,000 per year, new聽BSN聽nurses may expect to earn around $54,000. This $5,000 gap expands to roughly $6,000 with five to nine years of experience and roughly $7,500 with 10 to 19 years鈥 experience. ADN nurses with two decades or more of experience can command a considerable annual salary of $106,380鈥攂ut with an annual salary of $115,280,聽BSN聽holders make just under $9,000 extra year upon year.

Identifying and succinctly summing up these salary trends, Indeed.com contributor聽, writes that RNs with an ADN and RNs with a聽BSN聽may share similar starting salaries, but the potential for higher pay is significantly better for RNs with a聽BSN.

4. Ability to Travel the U.S. and World

Because nurses are in great demand both domestically and abroad, nurses with all types of educational and professional backgrounds can find many unique opportunities to travel and live in new places (while earning good money doing so). And because they have a distinct competitive advantage in the job market,聽BSN聽graduates are uniquely positioned to secure the very best national and international travel nurse positions.

Industry Reasons to Start With a聽BSN聽Degree

5. Increased Career Advancement Opportunities

Beyond increases in pay potential for聽BSN聽nurses over ADN nurses, notes the 鈥減otential for advancement鈥 that goes hand in hand with a聽BSN聽education as well. This means that, as聽BSN聽nurses work their way up through higher salary levels, they are also accepting promotions to various supervisory, managerial and administrative positions while constantly refining their abilities in their chosen areas of expertise.

6. Changing Industry Expectations and Demands

As noted, the聽BSN聽has long been the aspirational industry standard for both students who are seeking positions as nurses and the healthcare organizations who seek to employ them in entry-level positions. Published by the National Academy of Medicine in 2011,聽聽drew upon multiple sources to report, 鈥淎cross the globe, the proportion of聽BSN-educated nurses is correlated with better health outcomes, and there are clear differences as well as similarities between ADN programs and聽BSN聽programs.鈥 With evidence like this, employers are increasingly establishing the聽BSN聽as the base level of acceptable nursing education in the U.S. and beyond.

7. High BSN Nurse Demand

We have already discussed that nurses are in quite聽high demand聽in the current employment landscape. The聽聽backs this statement with official government statistics reporting that the national job outlook for nurses is expected to grow by 6 percent over the next nine years. At this rate, the employment market for nurses could expand at twice the rate for U.S. positions across all industries and fields. This means that the American healthcare system could demand as many 177,500 new RNs by the end of 2032.

8. Existing and Future Regulations and Law

The benefits of a聽BSN聽education are indispensable to nursing industry experts, particularly as healthcare organizations have established the聽BSN聽as the degree of choice for nurses entering into practice. However, only one state has enacted a government law to make the聽BSN聽mandatory. The state of New York doesn鈥檛 necessarily require nurses to enter the profession with the degree, but since 2017, nurses in New York must pursue and obtain an聽BSN聽or a higher nursing degree within a decade of their initial date of RN licensure. Commonly known as the 鈥溾澛爈aw, this pioneering legislation is likely to inspire other states and municipalities to take similar action.

Professional Reasons to Start With a聽BSN聽Degree

9. Access to Nursing Specialties

From nursing education and clinical research to public health and case management, nurses can work in several fields that go well beyond the direct provision of care in a doctor鈥檚 office or medical facility. Nurses can also specialize through supervisory and administrative positions that include charge nurse and nurse manager. Their additional academic training and superior credentials give these BSN graduates a distinct advantage over colleagues holding only an ADN. With extra education and certification, a nurse can go on to become a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or nurse practitioner (NP).

10. More In-Depth Education From BSN Programs

The聽BSN聽degree represents most comprehensive nursing education available in the U.S. at the undergraduate level. The in-depth knowledge and skill that a quality聽BSN聽program instills become invaluable when you begin to practice professionally, allowing you to begin your nursing career with supreme confidence and keep pace with the sometimes-dizzying demands of daily work in healthcare. Nurses with greater levels of education and training are also better equipped to deliver desirable聽patient outcomes.

11. Qualified to Become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN)

As mentioned above in the discussion of nursing specialties, undergraduates with a聽BSN聽degree are in an optimal position to pursue careers in advanced practice nursing. By completing the right training and certification processes, a working聽BSN聽nurse聽can become an APRN, typically as a primary care provider. Advanced practice nurses may deliver preventive care and education to the public, manage acute and chronic illnesses, and stay up to date with the latest developments in healthcare. Though the educational and professional prerequisites for working as an advanced practice nurse can be substantial, many healthcare organizations will support you (and even cover a portion of your educational expenses) as you work toward a CNS, a CNM, a CRNA, an NP or another specialized certification.

12. Qualified for Hospitals, Military, and VA

We have already mentioned that most modern hospitals and medical centers prefer new nursing hires to hold a聽BSN; in fact, many healthcare organizations only hire nurses with a聽BSN. Serving military veterans and operated by federal government entities, military and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities also have stringent聽BSN聽requirements for their nurses. According to industry authority聽,聽nurses must generally have a聽BSN聽or a higher degree to enter into military healthcare practice. Although military officials may grant exceptions for individuals with a wealth of professional experience, military nurses with just an ADN may have to return to聽nursing school聽to complete additional training and secure their聽BSN.

In addition, the VA healthcare system demands a聽BSN聽education from its higher-level nurses. Nurses with a聽BSN聽 at Nurse I Level II with no prior professional nursing experience whatsoever.聽BSN聽nurses can go on to achieve Nurse I Level III and Nurse II levels faster and easier than ADN nurses. Furthermore, VA nurses cannot achieve the Nurse III level without earning a聽BSN聽degree or higher.

To Learn More

For more information about the聽BSN聽degree and how it could advance your nursing career, contact 快活视频 University today by filling out a short聽request for information online. While on the 快活视频 University website, you can also get a closer look at our聽Bachelor of 快活视频 Nursing program聽and all it has to offer. Providing access to the latest healthcare technology as well as exceptionally low faculty-to-student ratios, 快活视频 has an exceptional reputation among nursing students and the healthcare community alike.

快活视频 University is accredited聽by the聽.

快活视频 University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.