In the nursing world the push to require RN’s to get their BSN has been around for a while.  Many health systems and hospitals are working towards 80% of their nurse staff to have a BSN. But it’s not a requirement for designations such as the Magnet status. So why the push? Because many in leadership believe nurses with a BSN provide better care to patients. That may or may not be true. But we want to focus on whether or not getting a BSN degree is good for you, the nurse.

First off, let’s look at the job outlooks for each. Both are expected to grow in the coming decade with estimates putting the number of new RN openings at 60% of all nurse jobs while BSN openings are expected to be around 35%.  You may think that answers the question for you but you will be competing against a larger pool of candidates for those RN jobs. Also, maybe job duties are very similar for RN’s and BSN’s so if you come to the interview with a BSN and the other candidates only have an RN then you have a leg up in getting the position.

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average RN salary in the U.S. is $73,300 per year while those with a BSN average $75,500 (some estimates show it as high as $83,000 per year.) That’s not a huge increase but you have to consider that in more competitive markets those with the BSN are more likely to get the job and to be paid more than the national average. Also, that increase in salary may not look like much in one year but over the course of a career that extra money would add up.

Getting an RN degree takes less time and costs less than a BSN. But does the extra cost of another degree outweigh the increase in salary and increased likelihood of you being hired.  With the proliferation of online RN-BSN programs you can usually find a school that fits your budget and schedule. Many courses are 100% online except for the clinicals. Also, because so many schools are offering programs the costs have come down for many AACN accredited online programs. In some cases you can get a RN-BSN degree for around $10,000. In other cases they can be as high as $30,000. Finding the right program for you is only a few clicks away. For more information on what a BSN programs entails check out our degree page here.

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