Whether you’ve been thinking about earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for months or years, there’s never been a better time to determine if heading back to the classroom is right for you. To help you make this important decision, we’ve outlined the top five signs that you should stop procrastinating and start looking for a BSN degree program.
1. You want to be a leader
To quote the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “the BSN degree is essential for nurses seeking to move up the career ladder.” Today, most managerial, research, consulting, administrative, and teaching positions in nursing require at least a BSN, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states. If you’ve been considering advancing your career by pursuing one of these roles, a BSN would be a big step to help you get there.
2. You want more job options
While a BSN can open doors to more advanced and specialized nursing positions, it can also make nurses eligible for more jobs overall. Today, about 37 percent of all nursing jobs require a bachelor’s degree, Nursing Journal reports. This number is only expected to increase, as various medical institutions continue to promote the value of a BSN. The Institute of Medicine has recommended that 80 percent of nurses hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and many hospitals and healthcare facilities are striving to meet this recommendation.
3. You want to be promoted
If you’re hoping to one day to advance your career, such as becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), earning a BSN is an excellent first step. After earning a BSN and a registered nursing license, you’ll need to earn a master’s degree in a subject related to your desired specialty. However, as the BLS points out, most of these master’s degree programs strongly prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
4. You want to increase your earnings potential
If you’re hoping to earn a higher salary as a nurse, receiving a BSN can help you achieve your goals. There’s lots of data to indicate that, across all fields, people who have bachelor’s degrees tend to earn more than those who do not—and this is particularly true in nursing. Today, nurses with a BSN earn about $6,000 more per year than their peers with only a diploma, Medscape reports. Over the course of a 20-year career, this is equivalent to an extra $120,000.
5. You want to give your patients better care
In recent years, several studies have indicated that nurses with BSN degrees provide higher-quality care to their patients. For instance, a 2014 European study published in The Lancet showed that a 10 percent increase in nurses with bachelor’s degrees resulted in a 7 percent decrease in patient mortality. Similarly, a 2013 Pennsylvania study published in Health Affairs found that when they increased the number of nurses with a bachelor’s degree by 10 percentage points, they experienced an average reduction of 2.12 deaths for every 1,000 patients.