Nursing is a calling for most who enter the profession. However, it’s also one of the most stable career choices a person can make.
The need for nurses has never been higher. An aging population needs more healthcare than ever, and more people are making use of preventative medical care more than ever before. All this means more hospitals, more clinics, more community health centers – and more nurses.
For those already in the profession, it’s likely already clear that earning a RN-to-BSN degree helps their career in many ways.
In the past, committing to earning the degree was difficult because of the time needed to go to school. However, online programs make doing so more convenient than ever. Nurses now can schedule classwork around working in their current job and busy personal lives.
What are the advantages to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? They include the following.
Nurses who earn a bachelor’s degree make more money, on average, than those with a two-year degree. This is the case across every profession. It holds true with nursing. According to data compiled by Payscale.com, nurses with a two-year degree earn an average salary of $66,000 in the United States. Those with a BSN make an average of $78,000.
In South Dakota, the annual mean wage for nurses is $57,010, with the top 10 percent making more than $77,000 a year.
Better Job Opportunities
As is probably clear to all working nurses, many of the best jobs are only open to those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A BSN is needed for those who want to move out of basic clinical care and into different jobs, such as management or teaching. The BSN not only prepares you for better jobs, but also prepares you to enter a Master of Nursing Science (MSN) program if you choose. That can lead to some of the top jobs in the nursing profession, including nurse practitioner.
Become a Better Nurse
Every RN knows how to provide quality clinical care. A BSN program offers further education in critical thinking, leadership and communication. A good program essentially grooms nurses for leadership. Many organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), have reported that those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing end up producing better outcomes for patients.
The AACN recommends that nurses earn their BSN. So does the American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing.
The AACN recommends a BSN as part of its overall goal of continuing education for nurses. They note that those with a BSN are “well-prepared to meet the demands placed on today’s nurse.” Those include critical thinking, leadership skills, case management and health promotion.
For nurses, there has never been a better time to pursue a higher education. The combination of a rapidly expanding healthcare system and the ease of online RN-to-BSN programs offers nurses a great chance to better their career and, more importantly, make themselves better nurses.