There are multiple paths you can take to become a nurse. Some people earn a Registered Nurse Diploma, which takes one to two years, and others earn a two-year associate degree. Still others prefer to go for the gold and earn a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. While each path has its merits, those looking to hire nurses are beginning to favor BSNs over RNs without bachelor’s degrees.
How Is a BSN Different?
The primary difference between a BSN and an RN diploma or an associate degree is the amount of knowledge gained in school. Nurses who earn an RN diploma typically learn only the most important clinical skills. While the RN diploma and associate degree both provide excellent training that will make you a skilled and competent nurse, your options for the future may be limited.
When you earn a BSN degree, you will learn more than standardized clinical care. You will learn effective communication, multicultural skills, critical thinking and leadership. Many BSN degrees also offer administrative and management courses, which prepare you for a future as a nurse leader or supervisor.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurses with BSN degrees provide better patient care. A 2014 study conducted at the University of Michigan found that greater numbers of BSN-trained nurses on a hospital staff mean significantly shorter patient stays and reduced readmission rates. Essentially, nurses who earn a BSN degree are more effective in their roles due to better training and development of skills.
Why Should I Earn a BSN?
In addition to being more effective healthcare professionals with a wider array of skills, nurses who earn a BSN degree are more sought after by employers. In fact, many employers require the nurses they hire to have at least a BSN degree. Also, if you plan to go on to earn a graduate degree in nursing, you will need a BSN degree before you can start graduate school.
Because nurses with a BSN degree are considered more qualified for certain jobs than nurses with an associate degree or diploma, they earn more on average. There are more jobs available when you have BSN and there is more opportunity to move up in your field. In fact, with a BSN, you could be the Director of Nursing at a hospital or serve in another highly ranked position. If you hope to increase your income over time, then a BSN is an investment that will make that dream possible.
Finally, as higher education becomes more available to people all over the world thanks to the internet, employers will expect more from applicants. Just a few decades ago, people did not need a college degree to secure a good job, but today, employees have a better change with a bachelor’s degree or higher. The same principle is true for nursing; over time, professional standards rise, and you may need a BSN to qualify for the job you want.
How Can I Earn a BSN?
It is easier for ADN-prepared RNs to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing than those with no prior training. The demonstration of skills and knowledge in the field is a great benefit for BSN applicants. Typically, RNs who are seeking a BSN degree can apply for an online RN to BSN degree program like the one at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Such a program gives you the flexibility to complete your degree online while building on your existing skills and knowledge.
Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is an investment in your future. Nurses with a BSN degree are the future of the nursing profession and earn higher compensation than lesser-trained RNs. Not only will a BSN make you more marketable to prospective employers, you will also be a more competent nurse for your patients.
Learn more about the UTPB online RN to BSN program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.