Many nurses earn an ADN to get started in an entry-level nursing position. However, earning a BSN later on can help to improve job security, create opportunity for leadership and career advancement, and allow for specialization. Carson-Newman University’s online RN to BSN program gives nurses the chance to get their degree at their own pace entirely online. The program is a great fit for working professionals seeking flexibility.
There are many benefits to choosing an online RN to BSN degree program. Here the top advantages of a BSN in nursing.
Those with a BSN Have Higher Earning Potential
At the top of the list of advantages of a BSN in nursing is earning potential. Nurses with a BSN degree earn far more over the course of their lifetime than their counterparts who do not work toward an advanced nursing degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average licensed practical nurse in the United States earns about $44,000 per year. However, the BLS notes that those who earn a bachelor's degree in nursing are able to earn about $68,000 per year.
This is because higher-paying positions often require nurses to have a bachelor's degree. In addition, nurses with a BSN are better able to pursue specialized positions, which generally pay more than clinical nursing positions. It is an investment in the nurse's time and resources to earn a BSN degree, and the vast majority find that this investment pays off.
A BSN May Become the New Norm
Nursing institutions are exploring making a BSN a requirement. The American Nurses Association recommends that all RNs who graduate from an Associate Degree in Nursing program or diploma programs be required to obtain a BSN within 10 years of the initial licensure.
More than a dozen states are considering adopting this resolution, referred to as “BSN in 10,” meaning you could eventually be required to have a BSN to sustain your professional nursing practice. As a result, preemptively earning your BSN through an RN-BSN online program may put you ahead of the professional curve.
With a BSN Degree, Nurses Can Accept Specialized and Leadership Positions
With an associate's degree, an individual still is eligible to take the nursing certification exam and become a Registered Nurse. However, those with an associate's degree in nursing typically qualify for entry-level positions and have limited opportunities for growth.
With a BSN degree, nurses are able to take on some of the most coveted nursing positions available such as emergency nursing, pediatric nursing, nursing in schools, and more. They also may be able to earn a leadership position, such as a team leader, nurse manager or office manager.
BSN Students Complete a Well-Rounded Curriculum
Students working toward a nursing certificate or associate's degree learn only the basic clinical skills required to complete their job responsibilities. However, those who go on to earn a BSN degree find that they are required to complete a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that explores a variety of topics related to the nursing field.
In addition to learning expert clinical skills, BSN students will delve into topics such as patient advocacy, community health, health coverage, diversity in nursing and specific conditions, diseases and illnesses and may later pursue a nursing specialization after graduation. The BSN curriculum allows for a better understanding of the intricate nursing field, as well as the healthcare field as a whole.
With Advanced Education, Nurses Can Better Care for Patients
Nurses with a BSN degree often have a better understanding of the impact of illness or injury on an individual patient. Not only do they possess the clinical skills required to properly care for their patients, but they also have a solid understanding of the challenges the healthcare industry faces as well as the social, emotional and psychological impact that health conditions may have on an individual patient.
The American Nurses Association feels that nurses who go on to earn a BSN degree are better prepared to deal with the ever-changing healthcare industry and ultimately provide their patients with the superior care they deserve. Recognizing that patients need more than basic care and comfort from their nurses, the American Nurses Association strongly recommends ADNs nurses complete a BSN degree within the first 10 years of their career.
With an online RN to BSN degree program, such as Carson-Newman University’s Online RN to BSN degree program, this is easier for nurses to attain than ever before.
BSN-Educated Nurses Improve Patient Outcomes
Increasing the proportion of BSN nurses directly helps a facility or organization reduce patient mortality. In Educational Levels of Hospital Nurses and Surgical Patient Mortality, researchers revealed that just a 10 percent increase in the number of nurses with a BSN correlated with a 5 percent decrease in patient mortality.
The bottom line? Increasing the proportion of BSN nurses can help a facility improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Other studies support this as well, citing reduced patient mortality, fewer hospital-acquired infections and even lower risks of postoperative deep vein thrombosis for facilities with more BSN nurses.
There Is a High Demand for Nurses with a BSN Degree
Job demand is another of the key advantages of a BSN in nursing. More and more hospitals as well as medical clinics and physician practices are looking to hire nurses with a BSN degree. They understand that BSN nurses are not only well-qualified for the nursing positions available, but that they also are prepared to take on increased responsibilities and more significant roles in the years to come.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses with a bachelor's degree is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the nursing field will grow by 16 percent throughout the next decade, which is significantly faster than most other job opportunities and fields in the United States.
Nurses who earn their BSN degree online will be able to quickly secure a position that not only pays well but also allows them to feel fulfilled in their work.
Increased Long-Term Job Satisfaction
Nursing is amazingly rewarding, but it can be stressful as well. A recent Medscape study on nurses and job satisfaction found – surprisingly – that nurses who earned higher salaries were not more engaged and satisfied with their careers.
More surprising was the finding that the higher the education level the nurse achieved, the more likely he or she was to be happy and feel satisfied with the work. The study specifically mentioned the tie between earning a BSN and more engagement and satisfaction with the chosen career.
Explore the Possibilities of an RN-BSN Degree With Carson-Newman
At Carson-Newman, we understand the challenges faced by nurses who are already working but want to enhance their career possibilities. Our versatile online program is designed with working nurses in mind.
When enrolled in Carson-Newman University’s Online RN to BSN degree program, students are able to balance their professional and personal obligations while continuing their educational experience. The BSN degree is a popular choice amongst LPNs and RNs who want to move their career to the next level and gain further expertise in their field. A flexible online program allows them to complete their coursework while also taking care of their patients at the same time.
To learn more about the benefits of earning a RN to BSN degree program online and to find out what opportunities may be available to you at Carson-Newman University, contact our advisors today.