Nursing is a growing field, especially in the US. As baby boomers age and the population continues to grow older, the job outlook for nurses is bright – with a 16% increase in nurses predicted by 2024.
Because of this, many registered nurses are wondering how they can differentiate themselves from the the influx of RNs just passing their NCLEX, and are curious about both the future of nursing, and how they can secure a great job in their chosen career.
A BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is one way to do this. These programs are often conducted online nowadays, and offer a more extensive nursing education in administration, hospital relations, leadership, and supervision, providing nurses with a comprehensive knowledge of not just patient care, but of nursing techniques and other important information.
Here are 5 of the ways that a BSN can boost your career.
- Improve Your Knowledge Of Nursing Methods
This may seem obvious, but a BSN improves your knowledge of nursing methods dramatically. This is because, unlike an RN, a BSN focuses on more than just patient care.
A BSN program will also focus on other aspects of nursing, like legal information about the healthcare industry, clinical decision-making and the supervision of registered nurses, devising patient care plans, assisting doctors during surgeries and procedures, and many other aspects of the healthcare industry, depending on the specialization you choose.
The in-depth knowledge you gain of nursing methods allows you to become much more than just a registered nurse, and provide better care to your patients.
- Increase In Pay
This is a big one. We know that most nurses aren’t in it for the money, but money is still a crucial factor in many of our lives. More money is always a good thing – especially if you’re still in student debt from nursing school.
A BSN can boost your earning potential quite a bit. In 2010, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an RN with an associate’s degree earned an average of $64,690. Not bad, but a BSN can boost your earning potential dramatically. Depending on your specialization, a BSN provides nurses with an average salary of $72,000-$75,000 a year.
- Diverse Job Opportunities
RNs don’t really have a great way to advance in the workplace without an advanced degree. This wasn’t always the case, but in today’s hyper-competitive work environment, a BSN or another more advanced degree is often a requirement for a nurse to move beyond simple patient care and other lower-level nursing positions.
When you take a BSN, you get the chance to choose a specialization – this is a great way to choose a path forward in your career. Are you interested in anesthesia? Surgical assistance? Becoming a nurse practitioner? Supervisory roles?
Your BSN can help determine the course of your future in the healthcare profession – by taking a BSN and choosing a great specialization, you can open yourself up to a huge number of job opportunities.
- Great Stepping-Stone To A Master’s Program
If you’re truly interested in furthering your education, a BSN is a terrific start towards a master’s program in nursing. Acceptance to almost all MSN programs requires a BSN, as your BSN specialization will often determine your focus for your master’s degree.
If you’re not sure about going for an MSN, a BSN can still be useful – if you go back to school and you find yourself loving it, you may wish to continue to further your education. And if you finish your BSN and decide you never want to go back to school again, you’ve still earned an advanced credential that can give you a path forward in your hospital or clinic, and boost your career earning potential.
- A BSN Improves Patient Outcomes
BSN-trained nurses improve patient outcomes. The depth of knowledge, treatment options, and expertise provided by a BSN program can help you become a better nurse – it’s estimated that a 10% increase in BSN-prepared nurses lowers mortality rates in hospitals by up to 10.9%, Knowledge truly is power, and by studying for your BSN degree, you can help your staff, hospital, and doctors deliver exceptional patient care, and improve the health outcomes of your patients.
Hit The Books – And Boost Your Career
If you’ve ever thought about going for a BSN, now is a great time to do so. There are many online courses you can complete at home in your pajamas – and some hospitals and clinics even offer tuition reimbursement for nurses pursuing baccalaureate degrees, so if you consult with your hospital administration, you may find that you can get your BSN free of charge.
So don’t wait. The future is bright for nurses.
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.