Nursing salaries are heavily influenced by local demand for nurses and can vary from region to region. Other factors that affect RN salaries include a nurse’s level of education, amount of experience and, to a lesser degree, area of specialization.
Nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing tend to earn more than their counterparts with just two to three years of nursing education. Some hospitals specifically compensate nurses more for obtaining higher education, and many also prefer hiring BSN nurses over those who only hold diplomas or associate degrees. Higher education also helps job security, as many hospitals push for BSNs as a minimum nursing requirement.
In addition to a higher salary, earning a Bachelor’s degree promotes job opportunity as registered nurses have access to increased jobs and are deemed more desirable to employers. According to several studies, hospitals that employ higher numbers of BSN-educated nurses have lower mortality rates. The overall quality of patient care is improved. Higher levels of education benefit both nurses and patients, and hospitals are taking note.
Where is the Best BSN Salary in Tennessee?
Areas in Tennessee that offer nurses the highest salaries include Clarksville, Nashville, and Memphis. Memphis RN salaries sit at a median of $65,560. Nurses in Nashville and Clarksville earn slightly less at $62,310 and $60,310. Metropolitan areas in Tennessee offer nurses the highest salaries compared to more rural areas. Nurses working in nonmetropolitan areas in Tennessee earn salaries within a range close to $54,000.
Nursing Specialties and the BSN
Nurses who earn their BSN obtain more education to help them care for specialized populations such as infants and the elderly. Holding a Bachelor’s degree is a measurable way for nurses to demonstrate that they have the clinical knowledge required to care for specific health issues faced by these patients. A BSN may also help an RN secure a position working for the government, such as a public health nurse.
High Paying Nursing Specialties in Tennessee
Nurses working in some specialty settings, such as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, can earn higher salaries. The average BSN nurse salary per hour for the NICU in Nashville is approximately $34 per hour or $70,804 per year.
Nurses interested in research also benefit from having their BSN, as research nurse jobs almost exclusively prefer nurses with higher education. This is another high-earning specialty area: with the opportunity to earn an average annual salary of $84,734 in Nashville. Both NICU and research nurses benefit from their experience with reviewing studies and performing highly detail-oriented work- skills that are polished while pursuing a BSN.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Earning a BSN is a worthwhile undertaking for registered nurses. It allows for higher salaries, more choices when seeking employment, improves clinical competence and quality patient care, and helps nurses gain a leg up when applying for their dream job.
Getting your BSN doesn’t mean putting your life on hold. Carson-Newman’s online RN to BSN program makes it easy for busy nurses to study while continuing to work full-time. Our program is competitively priced and our class sizes are small, providing an intimate learning environment and plenty of support.
For more information, please read our earlier blog posts on Serving the Underserved as a Community Health Nurse and The Importance of Holistic Nursing Care.