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By submitting this request for more information, you are giving your express written consent for Lindenwood University and its partners to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to the wireless number you provide. Message and data rates may apply. This consent is not required to purchase good or services and you may always email us directly, including to opt out, at [email protected].

Home Blog The Benefits of Earning Your BSN as an RN

The Benefits of Earning Your BSN as an RN

January 11, 2024

Contributing Author: Alley Bardon

8 mins read

When you earn your associate degree in nursing (ADN), you have the opportunity to complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and work as a registered nurse (RN). In your position as an RN, you are able to provide patients with more advanced and complex care, and you likely have a higher earning potential than your licensed practical nurse (LPN) counterparts.

However, you may still want to consider pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN degree. The benefits of a BSN in nursing extend beyond your career, allowing you to enjoy a greater sense of personal fulfillment from your nursing practice.

Why Earn Your BSN?

Across the country, there is an ongoing nursing shortage to be addressed, and the healthcare system are more stressed than ever before. As a result, nurses are required to go above and beyond the call of duty to provide patients with comprehensive care. The best way to improve patient outcomes while simultaneously supporting nurses is for as many nurses as possible to earn their BSN.

The National Academy of Medicine is encouraging nurses to pursue a BSN, noting that the benefits of RN to BSN degree programs both help individual nurses achieve their career goals and minimize the nation’s health equity gap.

Why is a BSN Important?

BSN degree programs provide aspiring nurses with a comprehensive education, touching on a variety of topics within the nursing profession and equipping students with the nursing skills required to deliver patients an advanced level of care. A BSN can increase your earning potential over the course of your career and let you pursue specialty areas within the nursing field.

Benefits of Earning a BSN

By earning a BSN degree, you gain more insight into the nursing field and develop enhanced nursing skills that improve your practice. Most graduates feel that a BSN offers both personal and professional benefits that help them reach a more rewarding nursing career.

Personal Benefits

On a personal level, there are several advantages to pursuing a bachelor's degree, even if you already have an RN license. Some of the personal benefits of a BSN include:

Higher Salaries

Investing in your education can pay off in dividends, as RNs with a BSN degree tend to earn more than RNs with an ADN degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of registered nurses is about $81,000—but the BLS data includes both ADN-prepared and BSN-prepared nurses.

To highlight the earning potential of RNs with a BSN, Nurse.org compiled a survey, the results of which underscored the increased earnings of BSN degree holders. The data revealed that BSN-prepared RNs earn an average of $3.89 more per hour than those with an ADN.

Increased Job Autonomy

With a BSN degree, you have more control over your career path. A BSN is often required for supervisory or leadership positions, and you will definitely need a BSN if you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in nursing.

According to NurseJournal.org, nurses with an RN license and BSN are able to pursue higher-level positions in the nursing profession, including those in specialty areas. After earning your BSN degree, you have more flexibility and control over your nursing career.

Networking Opportunities

If you are looking to carve out your own path in the nursing profession, you will be pleased by the networking opportunities available as part of your BSN program. Not only can you connect with classmates who have a wealth of professional experience in the healthcare system, but you may also seek guidance and counsel from instructors and professors with in-depth insight into the nursing field. They can introduce you to lesser-known specialty areas, help you hone your nursing skills, and introduce you to unique opportunities in the industry.

Personal and Career Fulfillment

Nurses with a BSN degree are equipped to provide patients with more detailed care, which can be more personally rewarding than solely focusing on basic treatments and procedures. The opportunity to connect with patients on a personal level and deliver the empathetic care they deserve can bolster your sense of career fulfillment that would be difficult to find otherwise.

Career Benefits

Taking the next step forward and earning your BSN degree unlocks new opportunities within the nursing field. There are numerous career benefits associated with a BSN, such as:

Higher Unemployment Rates

RNs with a BSN are able to seek employment in a wide range of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, offices, long-term care facilities, and schools. Generally speaking, nurses who earn a BSN have higher rates of employment than those without one.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more than 84 percent of BSN graduates in 2022 received employment offers upon completing their degree program. Furthermore, within six months of graduation, more than 96 percent of BSN graduates had secured entry-level nursing positions.

Increased Nursing Opportunities

The BLS notes that there will be heightened demand for qualified nurses, particularly as the population continues to age and healthcare needs across all demographics become more complex. According to recent data, the nursing field is projected to grow by about 6 percent between 2022 and 2032, with about 193,000 nursing positions expected to be available each year in the coming decades.

Career Advancement

Nurses with a BSN degree have more opportunities to explore specialty areas in the nursing profession. Some specializations to consider include:

  • Pediatrics
  • Cardiology
  • Labor and delivery
  • Trauma care
  • Oncology
  • Post-operative care

BSN-prepared nurses also may have the chance to take on leadership positions, such as:

  • Case manager
  • Care improvement coordinator
  • Supervisor or manager

Additionally, with a BSN under your belt, you can pursue further certifications in order to specialize. Most certification programs require nurses to have a BSN before they begin pursuing an advanced certification.

Meeting Industry Standards

Increasingly, healthcare employers are requiring nurses to have a BSN to obtain a job at their facility. In order to meet industry standards and expectations, nurses who currently hold an RN license and an ADN should consider pursuing a BSN degree.

Increased Demand

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing notes that the nursing shortage across the country is reaching crisis levels, especially as older and more experienced nurses head into retirement age. The increased demand for qualified nurses coupled with the incredibly complex needs of the current population is adding significant stress to the healthcare system. By earning a BSN, you will be more likely to pursue a position that interests you and quickly secure employment in a setting that is right for your career.

Nursing Skills and Education Benefits

In addition to enhancing your personal life and advancing your career, a BSN degree elevates your nursing skills, equipping you to provide patients with the personalized, quality care they require.

Some of the educational and professional benefits of earning a BSN include:

Improved Patient Outcomes

The scope of a BSN education provides nurses with the clinical skills needed to offer patients well-rounded care. Recent research reveals that BSN-prepared nurses can improve patient outcomes across all areas of practice.

For example:

  • A 2022 article in Nursing Outlook highlighted that hospitals with a higher proportion of nurses with BSN degrees were able to lower their inpatient surgical mortality rates.
  • A 2019 article in Health Affairs stated that hospitals that increased their BSN-prepared nursing staff by more than 10 percent could increase survival rates of patients who had suffered from cardiac arrest by more than 24 percent.

More Complete and Comprehensive Education

A BSN degree typically entails a four-year program including a comprehensive curriculum that requires students to complete courses on various advanced nursing topics. Focusing on a more thorough education, the BSN degree program uniquely prepares graduates for a long-term career in nursing.

According to the Nursing License Map, some required course topics as part of the BSN curriculum include:

  • Foundations of nursing
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Public health
  • Nursing theory
  • Emergency care
  • Health assessment
  • Nursing ethics

Keep Up with Best Practices

Advancing your education will help you keep up with the best nursing practices of today. In the modern era, the field of nursing is constantly changing and evolving to meet dynamic patient needs. By being aware of the shifting best practices in nursing, you can better provide your patients with the expert, empathetic, and culturally-relevant care they require in order to trust their healthcare providers.

Preparation for Advanced Degrees

Depending on your career goals within the nursing profession, your BSN degree may only be a stepping stone to bigger and better things. If you are interested in pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in nursing, you first must earn a bachelor's degree, as most graduate degree programs require applicants to have a four-year degree.

Easy to Get Started

Fortunately, there are many RN-to-BSN degree programs that can expedite the time it takes to earn your BSN. These innovative programs are designed specifically for licensed RNs pursuing a bachelor's degree, and they allow students to apply their existing college credits as well as professional experience toward their degree program requirements. These streamlined degree programs have been created to entice more nurses to pursue bachelor's degrees and bridge the nursing gap.

Flexible Classes and Programs

Online BSN degree programs allow you to further your education at your own pace, which is ideal for RNs who are currently working in a healthcare facility. Flexible classes and programs help minimize the stress of balancing your education along with your career and can make it easier to graduate with a BSN degree.

Enjoy the Benefits of a BSN at Lindenwood University Online

At Lindenwood University Online, we are working to develop the next generation of health leaders through our thoughtful, skills-based approach to the health sciences. Our online health science degree programs prepare students for a number of careers within the healthcare system, including nursing.

Request more information about our online degree programs today.

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