Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Although you will be able to work as a RN with an associate’s degree you will have more advancement opportunities by obtaining your BSN. With a BSN you will be given more responsibilities, the option to supervise other nurses and of course, a higher salary. Earning a BSN better prepares you to be a registered nurse.
Registered nurses play a critical role in the healthcare system. Your tasks could range from hands-on care, research and education, quality control and management. By obtaining a BSN degree you give yourself the widest range of opportunities.
What you’ll do as a nurse with a BSN
As a registered nurse with a BSN you could perform any of the below tasks:
- Perform research
- Examine patients
- Discuss symptoms, health history and care options with patients
- Deliver medication and treatment to patients
- Work with doctors and other nurses to improve patient care
- Infection control
- Case management
- Charge nurse
- Quality control
- Nurse educator
Education needed to earn a BSN
Most BSN programs take 3-4 years to complete. If you already have your RN certification you can get your BSN in as little as 18-24 months. Many colleges are now offering accelerated BSN programs. Nurses who already have their RN certification sometimes work while completing their BSN degree as well. This can lengthen the time to completion based on your pacing.
There are usually three types of students looking to obtain a BSN. 1) a pre-licensure student who wants a RN and attends a four year college or university. 2) A working RN returning to school for their bachelors (BSN) degree. 3) A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in another field looking to change careers, typically you can enroll in an accelerated program in this case.
What will the BSN coursework be like? You will be required to do coursework and clinical practice to earn your degree. A four year BSN degree will include liberal arts/general education courses along with classes in your nursing major. Standard RN-BSN programs will skip the gen eds and concentrate on science/biology and nursing courses such as:
- Health assessment
- Emergency care
- Public health
- Family care
Learn about BSN degrees offered by our partners
Career options for BSN’s + Outlook
Labor statistics show that the need for RN’s with their BSN will continue to grow due to an aging population and the retirement of existing RN’s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics demand will grow 12% in the next 5-7 years. This is much faster than many other career paths.
By obtaining a BSN degree you will put yourself in a better position to obtain a job and advance in your career. Many hospitals are trying to achieve Magnet status which states that “80% of registered nurses in the U.S. have at least a BSN by 2020.” If you want a job in a hospital that has Magnet status, or is looking to get Magnet status, a BSN degree is highly recommended.
The average RN salary in the U.S. is just over $70,000 per year. But with a BSN degree you will stand out for highly competitive positions and standout in a crowded field of nurses. Having just a RN is not enough for high level advancement any longer.
Average Annual Salary for BSN
Data from PayScale
Average Hourly Rate for BSN
Data from PayScale
Job Market Growth
Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics