Career Advice

Should I Get My RN To BSN?

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Nursing is one of the most rewarding and in-demand careers today. There are numerous career paths in the nursing field, but there are also different degree levels. A Registered Nurse (RN) with an Associate’s Degree generally takes courses for 2 years, while an RN with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) enrolls in a 4 year program. If both individuals are considered nurses, you may be asking: Why spend the extra time and money getting a BSN?

The most popular answer is simple: it pays more in the end.

In 2014, an RN with an Associate’s Degree was paid an average of $39,100. That same year, an RN with a BSN was paid an average of $69,00.

This vast difference in salary isn’t the only reason nurses are seeking this advanced degree. The BSN curriculum focuses on critical thinking, leadership, and communication. These essential skills ultimately help the professional excel in this field. The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has researched the benefits of a higher nursing degree. They found that nurses with a BSN have had better patient outcomes and lower mortality rates.

Not only has this advanced degree proven to have the best outcomes for patients, all nurses may be required to have a BSN in the near future. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends increasing BSN holders from 50%-80% by 2020. This may cause a nurse with an Associate’s Degree to find employment more difficult in years to come. In addition to this IOM recommendation, hospitals that are seeking a ‘Magnet’ Designation require their nurse managers to have a BSN and prefer to hire RN’s with a BSN. This prestigious nursing designation has only been awarded to 475 hospitals in the United States. Hospitals seeking “Magnet’ status will prove to endorse a higher nursing degree.

Job opportunities are also another big factor… Of 187,000 nursing jobs posted during a three-month period, nurses with a BSN were eligible for 88% of the openings, while nurses with a diploma or associate degree were only eligible for 51% of positions.

RN’s with Associate’s Degrees are in luck. There are more programs available today than ever to help you earn this advanced degree. Many of these programs work with your schedule so that you can succeed. This advanced degree will not only help you, but it will help the patients that you care for every day.


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