What Does RN To BSN Mean: 6 Reasons Why Nurses Should Consider A BSN Degree
As a registered nurse, you benefit from a high average salary while only needing a diploma or associate’s degree. But if you’re looking into continuing nursing education or want to advance in the field, earning an RN to BSN degree is a good next step.
So, what does RN to BSN mean exactly?
This program stands for Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Designed for practicing nurses, the program includes more advanced courses in leadership and health care than your diploma or associate’s degree program did.
If you’re wondering why a BSN in nursing is important, read about these six benefits of earning this credential.
1. You Can Become a Better Nurse
While you likely already provide your patients with excellent care, did you know that a BSN degree can keep your patients safer? These programs include significant research where you’ll learn the latest best practices in patient care and disease prevention. Using this knowledge can even cut down on patient deaths.
The benefits go beyond clinical skills, too. BSN programs heavily focus on healthcare management and communication. You’ll learn to work better with medical staff, patients, and families.
2. You Can Find It Easier to Get a Job
There’s no doubt that nursing is an in-demand career with a high rate of employment growth. But with so many new nurses looking for work, finding your first nursing job or switching jobs can become difficult. You have so much competition that you need a way to stand out.
Having a BSN degree alone can give you an advantage during the application and interview processes. Employers prefer nurses with advanced training. If you’ve got experience and have specialized, you can expect to have even more job opportunities.
3. You Can Specialize in Your Passion
While you’ve worked as a general registered nurse, you may have noticed areas that particularly interest you. For example, maybe you enjoy working with newborn babies or treating patients who need critical care.
Qualifying for a specialist nursing position usually requires extra work. You might need to take courses, do clinical training, and pass a specialty certification exam. To meet these requirements, you can pursue a degree that allows a nursing specialization.
Some common BSN specializations you’ll see include cardiac care, pediatric care, and emergency care. You can also find programs focusing on case management, genetics, and hospice care.
4. You Can Get Higher Earnings
Recent salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that registered nurses in various healthcare settings earn attractive wages. In fact, the median salary in 2018 was $71,730.
But if you want to boost your earnings potential, a BSN degree could help you get a higher starting wage for your advanced expertise and management skills. You also have more leverage when dealing with competing job offers.
To see the earnings difference, consider PayScale’s salary data that estimates an $83,000 average salary for a registered nurse with a BSN compared to $65,000 without one. Using your BSN to move into healthcare management can also boost your paycheck.
5. You’ll Open the Door to New Career Options
Even if you love your career as a registered nurse, you probably still want to have options in case your interests or needs change. You might also think about a decade or two from now when you may want a less physical job but still want to make an impact in the nursing field.
Perhaps you like the idea of teaching new nursing students, performing research, or managing nursing staff. You might also dream of working as a nurse in private care. These kinds of roles would all require at least a BSN to qualify.
Earning a BSN degree can also set you up for a new medical career later on. If you’ve ever thought of becoming a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or even a doctor, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for admission into such programs.
Along with expanding your career opportunities, a BSN can also provide a lot of personal enrichment. Even if you spend your whole career as a registered nurse, you’ll have the satisfaction that you can provide the best patient care thanks to your additional training.
6. You Have Flexible Options to Get Your BSN
When considering a BSN degree, you may feel reluctant and worry about the work involved. After all, attending class, doing clinical, and handling homework can seem like a lot when you’re still working as a nurse.
Thankfully, you have flexible options like online RN to BSN programs that let you study around your work schedule. You can personalize your program to take a course load you can handle and even possibly attend some classes in person if you want. These programs often have accelerated options for those who want to graduate in a year or less.
While you’ll take your classes at your convenience from home, you don’t miss out on hands-on training. Online RN to BSN programs usually connect you with local healthcare facilities for practical training. This work experience can help you network and even open up future work opportunities.
If studying online doesn’t fit your style, you can often find part-time on-site BSN programs. These may hold classes in the evenings or on the weekends so that you can still work your usual hours.
What Does RN to BSN Mean for Your Career?
Whether you’ve just entered nursing or have worked for years, it’s worth considering heading back to school for a BSN program. You’ll expand your nursing expertise and set yourself up for more opportunities no matter where your medical career takes you.
Consider exploring BSN programs at both local universities and online. You’ll want to research specializations offered, check for state approval, and explore financial aid options. Also, find out what type of clinical training you’ll have and make sure you’ll have a convenient practicum site.
Now we’ve answered the question, “What does RN to BSN mean?” So, go check out our other posts about continuing education.
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