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Aug 30, 2019 04:15 PM EDT

Benefits of Having a Nursing BSN Degree

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Registered nurses (RNs) play an essential role in society. They not only offer and coordinate patient care but also educate and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their loved ones. RNs need to have extensive specialized knowledge to plan, assess, and intervene to enhance good health and prevent infections. That's why many RNs choose to pursue a BSN Degree.

So, what is a BSN?

A BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a degree program in nursing that needs four years of study. So, one completes their standard nursing curriculum but enrolls in other general courses. Unlike students who complete diploma nursing and associate's degree programs, BSN graduates have more job opportunities and ability to climb up the career ladder.

Here are some advantages of having a nursing BSN degree

More job opportunities

As mentioned before, BSN graduates have more career opportunities than other nursing diploma and associate degree holders. Many nursing jobs, particularly the top positions, need applicants to hold a BSN or more. A BSN is now a necessity for most nursing careers. In fact, four of the highest paying nursing careers - nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist - need one to have a bachelor's degree. BSN holders are also able to move into teaching or administration jobs. For example, if you hold a BSN you can earn a certificate in healthcare administration and shift your career path. 

Learn more than clinical skills

Registered nurses with a diploma only learn the basics of clinical care - which is excellent. But as a BSN nurse, you'll learn so much more, including critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills. All these are vital skills if you aim to scale to better positions with more responsibility. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes a bachelor's degree in nursing as the least educational requirement for professional nursing practice.

A bump in your salary

A brief look at the average salaries of nurses with RNs vs. those with BSN will reveal that the latter has higher salary margins. In fact, some RNs get a pay raise as soon as they complete their BSN program. However, this is not always the case when one stays in their current position after graduation. The real financial advantage to a baccalaureate, though, comes from your ability to get better-paying jobs. So, simply put, a BSN may not increase your pay overnight (in some cases), but it places you on a pedestal for higher-paying positions.

Provides job security

The healthcare requirements keep shifting from time to time and are bound to become more demanding. Advancing your education allows you to expand your knowledge and skill level, thus putting you ahead of the curve. It also ensures that you remain relevant and up-to-date with industry development. Further education makes you an asset at your workplace, making it hard for your bosses to replace you with someone better - that's peace of mind.

Gives you a seat at the table

There is something about further education that makes you a gem in your workplace. Your juniors will always look up to you. Your peers will come to you for advice and instructions. And your superiors will be inclined to listen to your opinion. BSN makes you an invaluable asset at your workplace and will get you involved in care management discussion.

It is the pathway to a master's degree

If you are thinking about furthering your studies to the master's level, then you have no option but to go through a bachelor's degree. A BSN is a requirement for a Masters in Nursing (MSN). Other than a master's, a BSN will also open you up to exciting specialties in surgery, gynecology, diabetes, oncology, psychiatry, and so on.

You may not have an option

If all these reasons haven't convinced you to pursue your BSN degree, then this last point may. Many state legislators have set things in motion. As the leading healthcare facilities require nurses to have a bachelor's degree, BSN in 10 law has been introduced in New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. This law requires all registered nurses to complete their BSN within ten years of obtaining a license to go on practicing. And although these states haven't mandated the law, many believe that it's only a matter of time before it materializes and other states follow suit.

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