If you’re considering becoming a nurse, then you’ve probably already looked into the educational requirements for getting a nurse’s license. One of the questions you might be asking yourself is “Why should I get a BSN in nursing? Especially considering that earning a BSN is the most difficult and time-consuming route to becoming a registered nurse, or RN. Still, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are more popular than ever before. So what’s the appeal? In this article, we’ll discuss why a BSN is important. Here are the top ten reasons to get your BSN.
You’ll Improve Your Chances of Getting the Job You Want.
Over the last decade, healthcare employers have been slowly raising the bar in terms of the qualifications they desire in their new-hires. One of these coveted qualifications is the BSN credential. With a BSN, you’ll be pushed to the front of the applicant pool, ahead of those candidates with just an associate degree in nursing (ADN).
Although in 2020, it’s still possible to land a nursing job with an associate credential, it may not be the one you want. Prestigious healthcare facilities (including magnet hospitals) are upgrading their requirements for new nurses to include a minimum of a BSN.
You’ll Be Part of the Majority.
More than half of all nurses (i.e., 56%) in the United States now have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Center to Champion Nursing in America. This means a BSN is so commonplace that employers are beginning to expect it as part of a nurse’s resume. Even if you are hired with just an associate degree in nursing, you’d likely be the first to be laid off were there ever the need for a furlough.
Moreover, the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) is advocating for an increase in the education level of American nurses. The council wants a minimum of two-thirds of the nation’s nurses to hold at least a BSN.
You’ll Earn More Money.
Money’s not everything, but it helps. One of the reasons to get a BSN is the potential to boost your salary. Healthcare professionals with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing make an average wage of $84,000 per year, according to PayScale. On the other hand, those with an associate degree in nursing, or ADN, make a salary of just $69,000 on average. That’s a difference of $15,000 for every year you work in the nursing field.
You’ll Be Better at Your Nursing Job.
With an associate degree in nursing, it is possible to become credentialed and begin working as an RN. But will you be prepared for your responsibilities as a registered nurse? ADN programs are not nearly as comprehensive as four-year bachelor’s degree programs in nursing or even RN to BSN offerings. Thus, while you may learn the basics of nursing in an associate degree program, there will be gaps in your knowledge and competencies compared to bachelor’s-prepared nurses. This is one of the many benefits of getting a BSN in nursing. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, BSN programs place more emphasis on the physical and social sciences and also address concepts in nursing research, nursing management, and community and public health in more detail.
You’ll Be More Confident on the Job.
One of the reasons to get a BSN in nursing is gaining a deeper understanding of the job itself. The more training you have, the more confident you’ll feel once you are hired for a nursing position. A recent study found that nurses with a BSN reported being better prepared in 12 out of 16 different areas of nursing practice than their counterparts with an associate credential. Nurses who are confident in their abilities tend to have more job-related success, which leads to greater confidence and more job satisfaction. This can be considered one of the major benefits of getting a BSN in nursing.
On the other hand, nurses who lack confidence often experience anxieties related to job performance. They may fear making a mistake, which could put someone else’s health in jeopardy or cause them to lose their jobs.
You’ll Have More Opportunities to Advance in the Field.
Another of the reasons to get your BSN is more freedom to explore what your career potentials are. If you want to leave your career options in healthcare wide open, then a BSN is the place to start. This type of degree will qualify you for advanced degree opportunities in the future should you decide you want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or even Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), for instance. These graduate credentials can set you up for leadership positions in nursing as well as high-paying nurse roles like those held by family nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists.
Your Employer May Foot the Tuition Bill (Or Part of It).
Hospitals and other medical facilities have a vested interest in the academic preparation of its staff. Put simply, the more educated its employees, the better its reputation will be. That’s why many healthcare employers don’t mind footing the bill for its nurses to go back to school for a BSN. Often, these employers will offer tuition reimbursement to RNs who want to advance their nursing credentials.
Hospitals will invariably approach tuition reimbursement differently. Some will pay the entire bill while others will pay a certain percentage (e.g., 50% or 75%). Books and fees will be covered in some cases, but not in others. Some employers may place a cap on how much they’re willing to reimburse while others may require you to complete your degree requirements within a predetermined timeframe.
Most hospitals will also mandate that you commit to an employment contract upon receiving tuition reimbursement or assistance as well. After all, they now consider you an investment in the success of their healthcare operation! It’s wise to speak to someone from the human resources department at your place of work to discuss these details.
You Can Be a Military Nurse.
One of the most important reasons to get your BSN is the potential to serve your country, If you have dreams of becoming a military nurse, you’d be wise to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program rather than an associate in nursing. Three branches of the military currently require their active duty RNs to hold a BSN: the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force. When you join the Nurse Corps, you will be a commissioned officer, so you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in your field of study.
In addition, the Veteran’s Administration (VA), which happens to employ more registered nurses than any other health organization, has also raised its standards of nursing education to require a minimum of a BSN for all new applicants.
A BSN May Eventually Be a Requirement In Your State.
The current job market for nurses is shifting to require more rigid education requirements for RNs. For the last decade, the Institute of Medicine has been lobbying for registered nurses to become better educated.
Specifically, the organization set a goal for 80% of the nursing workforce to hold a minimum of a BSN by the year 2020. Though this goal wasn’t realized, the pressure is still on for RNs to pursue more advanced degrees.
In 2018, New York became the first state in the U.S. to require all registered nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree. The law, nicknamed “BSN in 10” mandates that all newly hired nurses with an associate degree upgrade to a bachelor’s within a decade of becoming employed as a nurse. Nurses who fail to comply with the legislation will have their licenses suspended.
With more and more research pointing towards better patient outcomes for BSN-prepared nurses, we can expect to see more states passing BSN in 10 laws in the future.
Earning Your BSN Is Easier Than Ever Before.
Completing the requirements for your Bachelor of Science in Nursing credential is more convenient than ever before, especially if you’re already a registered nurse. By enrolling in one of the many available online RN to BSN programs, you can work towards your degree while working full-time as a nurse. Plus, with distance learning technology, you may never have to step foot on campus. Some of these RN to BSN offerings are accelerated, meaning you could receive your degree in just one year.
Are you ready to take the plunge into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program? If so, you’ll want to do your homework first. There are many different types of BSN programs available, including convenient online RN to BSN options. Whichever path you choose, you can look forward to a rich reward in the end, and that could perhaps be considered one of the most important reasons to get your BSN. Getting your BSN can lead to increased job security while providing you with more opportunities for growth throughout your career in nursing.
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