Reasons to Earn a BSN Degree

Reasons to Earn a BSN Degree

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The nursing profession is well regarded as a purposeful career that draws individuals who often feel a calling to serve humanity through their kindness, care, and compassion. Being on the front line of healthcare delivery, these professionals play a vital role in direct patient care, establishing practice standards within nursing, and promoting and educating healthy lifestyles to their patients and communities.

With the U.S. currently facing a critical nursing shortage, the need for skilled nurses has never been so pressing. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this demand is projected to lead to a growth of 40% in the employment of nurses over the next decade, far exceeding the average in any other occupation.

Along with greater opportunities for newly qualified nurses to enter the profession, this also signals a favorable time for nurses already in this profession to advance their careers. One of the ways the nursing profession and many employers are encouraging registered nurses (RNs) to develop their knowledge and their ability to deliver quality patient care is by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. You can find out more about online accelerated BSN programs available in Iowa by visiting this site.

In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why RNs should advance their nursing skills by studying for a BSN degree.

What Is a BSN Degree in Nursing?

A BSN is an undergraduate-level degree for RNs and refers to someone who has earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The degree program is designed to expand on the knowledge gained in the RN program and teaches topics such as health promotion, patient care technology, research, and safety and quality within the healthcare system.

According to key nursing statistics and trends, 65.2% of RNs in the U.S. have earned a BSN degree. The BSN often paves the way for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, which many BSN-qualified nurses pursue to further advance their careers. Below are some of the reasons to consider gaining a BSN qualification.

Improved Patient Outcomes

The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has conducted extensive research on the impact of education on nursing practice, with some of their findings as follows:

  • Increasing the amount of hospital care provided by BSNs to 80% results in shorter lengths of stay and greatly reduced readmission rates.
  • A 10% increase in the percentage of BSN nurses within hospitals led to a 4% reduction in the risk of death.
  • Healthcare facilities with a higher proportion of BSN nurses enjoy significantly lower mortality rates and better patient outcomes.

This growing evidence shows that BSN graduates bring unique skills to the workplace, thereby playing an important role in the delivery of safe patient care.

Greater Employment Opportunities

According to a 2020 AACN survey, 94% of BSN graduates have secured employment within four to six months of completing their programs. In addition to this, 82.4% of employers express a strong preference for nurses with a BSN degree, and 41.1% of hospitals and other healthcare settings now require new nurse hires to hold a BSN degree.

In addition to these statistics, many hospitals prefer hiring BSN-qualified nurses as a requirement for achieving Magnet status. This designation now requires that 100% of nurse managers hold a BSN or higher if the hospital is seeking Magnet Recognition. With greater weight being placed on such credentials, holding a BSN degree will make you more marketable and better able to serve the needs of your patients.

Greater Earning Potential

A career in nursing offers great earning potential and job security throughout your working life. Gaining a BSN degree can lead to a higher income potential over your career compared to less qualified nurses. Nurses who hold a BSN degree can expect to earn more than RNs without this degree as well as associate degree nurses (ADN).

Data from PayScale shows that nurses with BSN degrees earn an average annual salary of $89,000, compared to $73,000 for ADN nurses. Many of the highest-paying jobs within nursing such as clinic nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and nurse midwife also require a BSN.

Career Advancement

The specialist skills and knowledge gained from meaning a BSN degree also open the doors to greater opportunities to further your nursing career. Depending on their field of interest nurses with BSN degrees have the option to pursue a specialism in fields like pediatrics, perioperative nursing, obstetrics and gynecology, informatics, oncology, and hospice and palliative care.

They can also take on advocacy and leadership roles in management, education, and research. From critical care to management, a BSN degree opens the possibility of a wide range of career paths in a variety of healthcare settings.

As highlighted in this article, from higher earning potential and opportunities to specialize to improved patient care, there are several reasons to pursue a BSN degree.