If you are thinking about pursuing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you may be wondering if it is worth your time and money in the long run. You're probably already an RN earning a good income, and the prospect of returning to school may seem overwhelming. Plus, you likely have bills to pay, a family to care for or other commitments.
Why Should I Consider Getting My BSN?
Having a BSN can open doors for your career as well as offer you new and exciting opportunities only available to those with the degree. The good news is, you can earn your degree through an online RN to BSN program around your current job and other responsibilities. The flexibility of the online format makes it convenient for busy working nurses. Plus, with program tuition less than $9,000 at William Paterson University (WP), earning your BSN online is now easier and more affordable than ever.
How Will Earning a BSN Improve My Nursing Career?
- Career Mobility
After working as an RN for a while, you may be interested in pursuing other nursing jobs and positions later in your career. However, you may have discovered that some of the nursing roles that caught your eye require that you hold a BSN degree. Whether you want to work as a public school nurse or nurse educator or in a managerial nurse role, these positions and many others often require a BSN at a minimum.
- Employer Preference
In 2019, researchers with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) asked nursing schools if employers in their region require or prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor's degree. They received completed responses from 653 schools of nursing and found that "43.2% of hospitals and other healthcare settings [require] new hires to have a bachelor's degree in nursing, while 82.1% of employers [expressed] a strong preference for BSN program graduates." Having your BSN gives you an advantage when job searching because employers and hospitals prefer to hire nurses with a BSN.
- Higher Pay
BSN-prepared nurses earn significantly more than their RN-diploma colleagues. ZipRecruiter reports, as of October 2020, that BSN nurses earn an average annual salary of $81,249 with top earners making up to $137,000 while RNs earn an average of $70,335 annually and up to $106,500. Because BSN-prepared nurses earn between $11,000 and $30,500 more than RNs a year, they may be able to recoup what they spend on an online RN to BSN program within the first year of working with a BSN degree.
- Magnet Recognition Requires Highly Educated Nurses
Magnet Recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is highly sought after by hospitals since this designation recognizes their commitment to excellence in healthcare. As a result, magnet-recognized organizations attract patients, nurses and physicians more easily because they are acknowledged as some of the best places to receive care.
However, to achieve Magnet Recognition, healthcare organizations must meet the criteria of providing quality patient care — one of which is a high proportion of nurses in the organization who hold BSN degrees. Research shows that a higher number of BSN-prepared nurses in an organization relates to better patient outcomes overall.
- BSN Preparation May Be a Requirement in the Future
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), announced that by 2020, 80% of practicing nurses should be BSN-prepared. This was not a legal requirement but rather a strong endorsement from nursing leaders about the importance of BSN preparation for the increasingly complex roles nurses now work in. Some states, such as New York, have embraced this recommendation.
For example, in 2017, New York passed a bill requiring nurses to obtain their BSN within 10 years of becoming an RN. Nurse leaders and educators agree it is only a matter of time before a BSN will be required of all practicing nurses.
Nurses with a BSN have more opportunities for professional advancement and are in high demand with employers, particularly those seeking Magnet Recognition. BSN-prepared nurses also earn higher salaries than their RN colleagues. These benefits, combined with the increasing possibility of a BSN requirement to practice, makes obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing a smart career move.
Learn more about William Paterson University's RN to BSN online program.
Sources:National Center for Biotechnology Information: Assessing Progress on the Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing
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