Nursing is a rewarding and lucrative career path. Nursing is projected to grow exponentially within the next few years. Entry level and registered nurses (RNs) who have not yet obtained their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are missing out on many opportunities in the field. Making the transition from RN to BSN is one of the smartest things nurses can do for their careers.
It is very beneficial for currently employed entry level nurses and RNs to enroll in a BSN program, so they can start earning their BSN as soon as possible. Employers are quickly making the BSN a requirement. Many nurses with lesser degrees may inadvertently be putting their careers at risk or on hold by not continuing their education. Here are eight reasons why entry level nurses and RNs can benefit from enrolling in RN to BSN programs.
1. Opens the Door to More Career Paths
It is very difficult for RNs with a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to advance beyond working on the patient floor. BSN holders can choose from more career opportunities. Many upper-level nursing jobs require nurses to have a minimum of a BSN. Nurses that have this degree enjoy being able to work in a variety of healthcare settings in the field, especially in the government, private and public sectors.
2. It’s Becoming a Requirement
Many of today’s employers are now requiring all RNs to have a bachelor’s degree. Enrollment into an RN to BSN program is an easy way to obtain a BSN quickly. Having a BSN increases job security in a field where skills, experience, and credentials are quickly becoming the norm. It is recommended for RNs who have lesser credentials to enroll in a BSN program within five years of earning their diploma or an associate’s degree.
3. Improves Skills
Nursing is a job that requires professionals to have a wide variety of skills to improve the health and comfort of patients. Nurses who only hold a diploma or ADN are only knowledgeable enough to deliver entry-level clinical care. Individuals who are enrolled in a BSN program learn more advanced nursing skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and leadership so they can advance into more lucrative jobs that require more skills and responsibility.
4. RN to BSN Online School Options
Many RN to BSN programs offer online RN to BSN classes to help nurses who are already working to continue their education while working full-time. Many nurses can complete these programs within two to three years of enrollment. Some nurses take longer because of family and work obligations. Some employers offer incentives to RNs who enroll in a BSN program. These incentives often include tuition reimbursement.
5. BSN Holders Command Higher Wages
According to Payscale.com, nurses who hold a BSN will make an average of $30,000 more each year than nurses who hold only a diploma or an ADN. Some of the most financially rewarding nursing positions, such as midwives, practitioners, and administrators, require a BSN. Employers are willing to pay their nurses well if they have the right credentials. BSN holders make far more money than their lesser degree-holding counterparts. Of course, salary and benefits vary greatly according to geographical location, employer, position and years of experience.
6. More Qualified to Offer Better Care
Entry level nurses who only have an associate’s degree in the field are not as skilled, knowledgeable or qualified to provide patients with better quality care. This makes it hard to improve patient and professional satisfaction. According to a study by the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing, healthcare facilities that had nurses with higher education had better clinical outcomes. BSN holders are more suited to deliver better care. As a result, they have better patient outcomes and lower mortality and failure to rescue rates. BSN holders are also able to properly diagnose their patients more often than RNs who do not have a bachelor’s degree.
7. Foundation for Pursuing Advanced Degrees
Registered nurses who want to pursue higher education may choose to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or even a Ph.D. in the field, but they must have a BSN first. There are far more opportunities in the nursing field, and many of them require candidates to have an advanced degree. Many of the concepts and skills that are learned while obtaining a bachelor’s degree provides the foundation for the skills and concepts that are learned while pursuing an MSN or doctorate in nursing. RNs who enroll in BSN studies are exposed to a variety of courses ranging from liberal arts to genetics. Nurses with a BSN are not limited in their choice of career options while they are learning concepts that will enhance their skills, so they are able to be the best nurse possible.
8. Personal Satisfaction and Marketability
One of the best and easiest ways to increase one’s level of personal satisfaction as a nurse is to get an advanced degree. It doesn’t matter if that degree is a bachelor's degree or higher, there is nothing like having an education credential that gives one more control and flexibility over their career and future. Having a BSN also makes one more marketable which helps to boost one’s confidence when they’re applying for positions in the field.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the demand for qualified nursing professionals continues to increase, RNs who hold a BSN will be in a prime position to take advantage of any employment opportunities that present themselves. Remember, many RN to BSN programs offer online courses so students can complete their studies without having to go to a campus. Students can earn their BSN from home, work or anywhere.