There are many options available to future nurses, but a BSN holds many advantages over other nursing paths. Read on to learn why a BSN in nursing is important, including career advancement opportunities, higher salary and greater diversity of employment options.
Nursing is truly a calling and an act of love. That’s what makes nursing such an appealing career for those seeking more than just stability or opportunities for growth — though it certainly offers both.
Of course, the degree path you choose plays a big role, too, which is why a BSN in nursing is important. Read on to learn about the advantages of a BSN in nursing over other nursing education paths.
What Is a BSN?
A BSN is not a requirement to become a nurse, but it certainly adds a world of opportunities over an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or nursing diploma to those seeking to enter nursing as a career.
Keep in mind that not every nursing degree offers the same level of knowledge and skills or the same access to career opportunities. There’s good news, though. If you already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible for the Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Notre Dame of Maryland University, which can help you earn your degree in as few as 15 months.
Let’s take a closer look at the “gold standard” of nursing degrees — the BSN.
Why Get a BSN?
Like any profession steeped in scientific knowledge, the role nurses play has evolved considerably since the days of Florence Nightingale, or even over the past half-century. As such, it is important that the nursing industry adapt to modern needs and higher levels of education.
Nurses are often the first to notice when a patient’s condition changes. They’re also likely to be patients’ biggest advocates — a byproduct of the amount of time they spend with patients compared to physicians — and the ones to comfort and console patients, as well as to educate them in terms they can understand.
As we mentioned above, multiple paths exist to enter the profession. Here are seven benefits of BSN-prepared nurses:
1. Magnet Status
Hospitals and health care providers know why a BSN in nursing is important. It’s why so many hospitals are moving to hire only registered nurses who hold a BSN degree — and why hospitals that have achieved Magnet® status, a designation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) that demonstrates they meet certain standards of nursing excellence, require nurse managers and leaders to hold a bachelor’s in nursing.
Recent data from the American Association of Colleges of Nurses indicate BSN-educated nurse graduates are far more likely to find a job shortly after graduation than are new nurse graduates overall (which includes RNs with associate degrees).
Decisions like these aren’t based on conjecture or mere preference toward higher learning, either. Compared with ADN programs, BSN programs feature more robust nursing curricula. As a result, students graduate with a greater breadth of knowledge on everything from crucial nursing techniques to cultural, economic, and societal issues that lead to health disparities.
3. Better Patient Outcomes
Even more apparent to health care decision-makers is the growing body of research that shows hospitals and other care facilities with greater percentages of BSN-educated nurses yield better outcomes for patients. It’s why in 2010 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) set a lofty goal for 80% of the U.S. nursing workforce to hold a BSN degree by 2020. While this goal has yet to be reached — the result of a persistent shortage of nurses nationwide — it’s clear a BSN degree remains the future of nursing.
If you want to learn more about what it means to provide excellent care, here are 5 ways to promote patient advocacy in nursing.
4. Higher Salary
One of the most prominent advantages of earning a BSN in nursing is the increase of salary. By earning your BSN, you will likely be first up for higher-paying positions, so you’ll be able to increase your earning potential significantly more than your counterparts who have an ADN.
In fact, the average annual wage for registered nurses was $82,750 in May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
5. Career Advancement Opportunities
A BSN degree benefits your career significantly in the long-term, in addition to giving you a great start in the field after you graduate. BSN-educated nurses begin their careers on an equal footing with their colleagues who hold ADNs, but they are far more likely to progress into management and specialized posts that pay significantly more later. This is mostly because BSN programs cover more in-depth material on the profession than ADN programs do in their fundamental skills training.
Furthermore, if you opt to pursue higher-paying nursing roles like nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife — all of which call for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and advanced practice certification — you'll be well-positioned with a BSN.
6. Greater Diversity of Employment Options
Having more variety of employment options is another of advantage of earning a in nursing. Because nurses with a BSN have a more expansive knowledge base, they can pursue more advanced career opportunities.
Positions available to you as a nurse with a BSN include:
- Pharmaceutical nursing
- Informatics nursing
- Operating room nursing
- Public health nursing
If you are seeking a specific nursing position or would like to explore wider avenues of nursing, a BSN may be of more benefit to you than other degree programs such as an associate’s or diploma.
If you are uncertain that the traditional career in nursing is for you, one of these 10 non-bedside nursing jobs might be a perfect fit.
7. High Accessibility
With NDMU, a career in nursing is closer than ever. While a typical ADN program spans two years, you can complete your BSN in as few as 15 months with NDMU’s ABSN program. With start dates in January, May, and September, we can help you jump right in to fast track your nursing education. This way, you will enter the field with more opportunities for career advancement and a more well-rounded knowledge of nursing practices.
Are You Ready to Become a Nurse?
Now that you know why a BSN in nursing is important, it’s time to put your dream into action. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Notre Dame’s ABSN program, you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to pass the NCLEX and enter the nursing field with confidence.
Reach out to our team of dedicated admissions counselors today to learn more about why enrolling in our 15-month ABSN program in Maryland is worth it for your future nursing career.