If you are an aspiring nurse, there are many reasons why we recommend obtaining your BSN. Because the role of nurses in healthcare is evolving, this qualification will not only help you stand out to employers, but it can also improve outcomes for your patients and lead to higher wages.
As our nation’s health care system continues to grow in complexity year after year, it’s important for nurses to have their voices heard. After all, these professionals are at the heart of patient care. Over the past decade, there has been a push to make a BSN the preferred entry degree for professional practice.
But before we get into why a BSN in nursing is important, it helps to understand how the profession is evolving. In 2021, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published a report that deemed nurses a critical component in remaking the nation’s health care system.
The report, titled The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, suggests that a stronger nursing workforce will give Americans better access to care. Due to the baby boomer generation’s advancing ages, it is likely that the number of people needing increasingly complex care is going to rise in the coming years. And with many older RNs who are expected to retire, it is critical that they are replaced with new nurses who are highly trained and skilled.
Let’s look at five reasons why a BSN in nursing is important for both you and the nation’s health care system. By earning your BSN, you get to be the nurse who:
1. Stand Out with Employers
Nurses are in high demand all over the country, but not just any nurse. Health care employers are increasingly hiring nursing school graduates who hold a BSN or higher over those who don’t. Not to mention, many hospitals now require their associate degree nurses to go back to school and earn a BSN within a certain timeframe. Why? Because a growing number of employers have started to realize the value of having more educated nurses on staff.
An August 2021 survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), asked nursing schools about employer preferences in relation to education levels. Of the 645 schools that responded, 40.6% reported that health care employers require their newbie nurses to have a BSN, while 77.4% reported they had a strong preference for BSN program graduates.
In some areas of the country, having a BSN may even be required by law. The state of New York passed a law in 2018 that requires newly licensed registered nurses to obtain a BSN within 10 years of initial licensure.
Furthermore, health care employers place a higher value on nurses who studied the liberal arts. These caregivers tend to have stronger skills when it comes to assessment, cultural sensitivity, communication and resourcefulness.
2. Lead the Charge for Change
A BSN education, which features courses such as management, leadership and public health, plays a pivotal role in helping nursing students develop the competencies necessary to become leaders in the field as well as advocate for patients and the profession.
While there are still institutions where nurses face barriers when it comes to patient advocacy, more and more employers are rethinking the role nurses play in health care. It is becoming increasingly common for nurses to hold leadership roles and participate in decision-making when it comes to patient care. A BSN degree can be a mechanism to help you get into some of these higher-level positions and is the first step toward an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree or PhD.
3. Improve Patient Outcomes
On its website, the AACN showcases a growing body of evidence that points to the fact that the more BSN-prepared nurses a health care facility employs, the better the patient outcomes and the lower the mortality rates.
For example, a study titled Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes found that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs with baccalaureate or higher degrees had lower congestive heart failure mortality, lower failure-to-rescue rates and lower postoperative deep vein thrombosis.
These positive patient outcomes and emphasis on nursing excellence are some of the characteristics which qualify a hospital for receiving a Magnet designation. This prestigious title not only assures patients that they will be receiving outstanding care, but these hospitals also tend to be a great work environment for its nurses.
4. Earn Higher Wages
Whether you earn an ADN or BSN, you graduate from nursing school prepared to take on an entry-level role in the profession. However, baccalaureate-prepared nurses have higher earning power than those at the associate level.
According to PayScale, registered nurses with an ADN and less than one year of experience earn a median salary of $73,000, whereas a registered nurse with a BSN at the same experience level has a median salary of $89,000. While it may take an extra investment of both time and finances, this large jump in pay will make it worth your while.
5. Gain More Opportunities
Nursing is among the most diverse and in-demand occupations available today. And the more education you have, the more opportunities there are for career growth and advancement.
A BSN makes it possible for you to practice the profession in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings as well as pursue certification in any number of specialty areas.
And last but not least, a BSN enables you to pursue a more advanced degree in the future, which can open the door to some of the highest-paying jobs in nursing such as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist.
Looking to earn a BSN in nursing?
Because our focus is on accelerated nursing programs, we can give you the low-down on what you need to get into an ABSN program (a learning path that targets individuals who have a non-nursing undergraduate education).
While some nursing schools require a bachelor’s degree in another field of study, others just want you to have a certain amount of college credits. Either way, most nursing schools require their ABSN applicants to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
If you meet these academic requirements, we can put you in direct contact with non-profit nursing schools that offer ABSN programs matching your qualifications. This is a free service and you’re not obligated to any of the schools that contact you. Simply complete our quick online form.