What are the Benefits of Getting a BSN?

It is no secret that the nursing profession is booming. However, even in these halcyon days for the nursing job market, a registered nurse (RN) who has obtained a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree has a recognized advantage over one who has not. Although there are still several undergraduate degree paths to a nursing career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or even an RN, employers have made it clear that the BSN is the nursing degree of the future. Here are some of the many advantages of getting a BSN:

You Will Be Prepared for BSN in Ten

The American Nurses Association (ANA) passed a resolution in 2008 recommending that all RNs who graduate from non-BSN programs be required to obtain a BSN within ten years of gaining RN licensure. This resolution, which was quickly dubbed “BSN in Ten,” recognizes that many nurses wish to enter the workforce as quickly as possible but also acknowledges the need for highly trained and educated professionals who possess the critical thinking and research skills necessary to be successful as an RN. Pursuing a BSN right away will alleviate the stress of having to go back to school and make you an attractive potential employee.

Salary Increases and Career Flexibility

As a general rule, RNs who have BSN degrees are compensated at a higher rate than their non-BSN-holding colleagues. This pay discrepancy likely stems from the fact that BSN-educated nurses are better prepared for managerial, administrative and other high-paying nursing positions within any specialty. In fact, many organizations require a BSN for many managerial positions. BSN-holding nurses are also more qualified to work in nursing research, pediatric endocrinology, orthopedic nursing and neonatal nursing—four of the highest paying nursing specialties—than their sub-BSN counterparts. Obtaining a BSN also prepares you for non-hospital positions in research and development departments, professional services and consulting firms, pharmaceutical companies and higher education. Even if these non-hospital positions do not interest you, you can use their availability as leverage in negotiations with your current or future employer.

You Will Be Better Able to Help Your Patients

As a general rule, a facility’s patient mortality and the percentage of its nurses who hold BSN degrees is inversely proportional. That is, patient mortality decreases as the percentage of BSN-holding nurses increases. In highly regarded and renowned nurse researcher Linda Aiken’s 2003 study, Education Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality, she found that a ten percent increase in the number of nurses with a BSN was associated with a five percent decrease in

You Will Be Prepared to Take the Next Step Educationally

A BSN is a prerequisite for admission to master of science in nursing (MSN) programs, nurse practitioner (NP) programs, doctoral programs awarding doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) or PhD degrees and other graduate-level nursing programs. These degrees will lead to increases in both pay and the number of available professional options. BSN-holding RNs who are interested in pursuing a career in a managerial nursing or non-nursing position, academia, research, teaching and other positions that allow for increased professional autonomy should consider enrolling in a post-BSN degree program such as one of those listed above.