Nurses play a vital role in our healthcare system. Nurses have a range of skills that make them extraordinary in their profession. From leadership skills to working with teams to quick problem-solving, there is nothing that a nurse can’t do. Nurses are always ready for unexpected situations. Plus, they are always in high demand. For example, if you look at Northern Kentucky, there are 71,638 professionally active nurses in the area alone, and 58,756 out of those are RNs.
However, the healthcare industry is ever-evolving, and the demands of healthcare professionals also keep changing. Nowadays, there has been an immense surge in demand for nurses with BSN degrees. Even though you can become a registered nurse with ADN, your chances of accelerating as a nurse become greater with a BSN.
In this article, we go through five reasons why you, as an RN, will benefit from pursuing your BSN.
- Professional Advancement:
When you attain a bachelor of science in nursing, you become equipped with additional qualifications and credentials. These qualifications are the stepping stones for advancing in your professional life. Nowadays, there is an increasing demand for strong management and leadership roles in the healthcare industry, and getting a BSN will prepare you for leadership roles and specialty positions. Thus, with a BSN under your belt, you will have many options for higher-level roles.
The best thing about getting a BSN is that it has become very easy to attain higher education in today’s technologically advanced age. If you are busy working as a registered nurse, you can enroll in online BSN programs of any reputable institution, like getting an RN to BSN online from NKU, and get your BSN in less than ten months duration programs. Thus, you can continue working and supporting humanity with your efforts and also get advanced degrees that will enable you to pick advanced professional roles.
- Higher Employment Rates:
Your chances of getting hired increase manifold if you hold a BSN degree. An AACN survey shows that 94% of BSN graduates got employed 4 to 6 months after completing their study program. Other than that, 41% of healthcare facilities and hospitals now require candidates to hold a BSN. Moreover, 82.4% of employers prefer those nurses who have earned a bachelor of science in nursing. The reason behind this, as a study reveals, is that RNs with BSN are much more prepared to handle 12 out of 16 quality and safety issues than those with ADN degrees.
Due to the advanced education and extra credentials they receive, nurses with BSN are capable in different areas like advanced practices, data analysis, project implementation, treating chronic illnesses, preventive care, etc. Thus, with a BSN, you become more marketable as a job candidate as your abilities to meet the ever-developing demands of patients and employers flourish to a great extent. Also, there is generally an increasing trend of employment opportunities for nurses. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the employment of registered nurses will grow by 15%, which is much higher than the average rate.
- Higher Salaries:
If you compare the earning potential of nurses with ADN and BSN, you will find a vast difference. Nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing earn much more than nurses with only ADN or a diploma. Even if you have licensure to work as a registered nurse, you will find better-paying opportunities after completing your BSN. According to PayScale, nurses who have earned BSN earn $89,000 yearly, while nurses with an associate degree earn $73,000 annually. This difference is too big to ignore.
As more and more hospitals strive to meet the standards set by the National Academy of Medicine, they prefer hiring nurses with BSN degrees. Many other resources, like BLS and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, have given reports and statistics that show that registered nurses with BSN earn more than those without a BSN degree. The salary difference at entry level between BSN vs. RNs is approximately $3 per hour; this roughly makes up to $5,000 per year.
- Better Patient Outcomes:
As mentioned earlier, when registered nurses obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, they go through evidence-based learning procedures. In simpler terms, nurses with BSN have a better understanding and practice handling emergencies or tough real-life situations. Even though every nurse must complete the NCLEX exam to get their license, this test is merely multiple choice based. Thus, it only measures a nurse’s minimal competency level while entering the medical field or nursing profession. The exam does not test the nurses for their technical skills. That is where BSN steps in, as it identifies and bridges the educational gaps in safety and quality.
How nurses receive education in BSN, i.e. by using quality improvements, data analysis, etc., directly improves patient care and quality. In fact, The Institute of Medicine, now known as The National Academy of Medicine, took the 80/20 initiative to obtain better health outcomes for patients. The 80/20 goal stated that 80% of registered nurses must obtain their BSN by 2020, as higher nursing education correlates with better patient care.
- Increased Autonomy:
In healthcare institutions and hospitals, registered nurses with BSN degrees are given more autonomy. This means that RNs with BSNs have much more decision-making power. As a result of the higher level of education, they are better informed and better prepared to handle unexpected emergencies. This capability allows them to make decisions quickly and totally on their own without asking another medical professional first. This is very beneficial from the patient’s point of view as well since the nurse does not have to wait for other professionals’ approval on critical decisions.
Increased autonomy, however, also means increased responsibilities. As an RN with a BSN degree, you will also manage new health technologies, post-op discernment, home healthcare decision-making, coordinating comprehensive planning, and other duties.
If you are a registered nurse, this is your calling to pursue your BSN degree. With the advancements and changing requirements in the healthcare industry, obtaining a BSN has almost become a must. Nowadays, getting a BSN has become much easier with the help of online programs. When you get a BSN, it opens doors for many opportunities for you. After getting a BSN, you will experience many benefits, like getting employed in higher-level positions, more autonomy in your job, etc. If you are an RN, the above mentioned five reasons will surely convince you to pursue your BSN.