Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides many benefits. From demonstrating a commitment to the profession to expanding the depth of fundamental knowledge, earning a BSN degree can be a valuable next step for career-focused nurses.
BSN for the Professional Nurse
Throughout the course of their careers, nurses may be expected to fill a variety of roles. Specifically, the four distinct nursing roles frequently noted include nurses acting in the capacity of a professional, advocate, innovator and collaborative leader.
As part of the professional role and as outlined in the Scope and Standards of Practice by the American Nurses Association (ANA), nurses should be held responsible for pursuing their own continuous education and certification efforts as well as identifying career development opportunities. This commitment to lifelong learning and the advancement of professional education ensures that nurses are capable of practicing at the upper limits of their ability and scope of practice and can positively impact the greatest number of patients.
An ANA research panel has also suggested that the completion of a standardized BSN program may maximize nursing proficiency, increasing the likelihood that nurses can meet the growing demands within the professional nursing practice. The greater range of skills and experiences obtained by earning such a degree can lead to advancement opportunities and other rewarding benefits, too.
What Are the Benefits of Earning a BSN?
Besides increasing your range of expertise and probability for success in the field, earning a BSN degree can result in the realization of several other benefits for both yourself and your patients.
Greater demand for BSN-prepared nurses. There has been a rising demand for BSN-prepared nurses, especially following the release of the 2010 Future of Nursing report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now called the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The report recommended that 80 percent of nurses earn a BSN by 2020 in order to meet the needs of a more diverse and chronically ill patient population that may require more complex care.
In response to this recommendation, hospitals and other healthcare organizations have shifted their hiring practices. According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nearly 79 percent of employers expressed a strong preference for BSN-prepared nursing candidates, while approximately 44 percent required that new hires possess the degree.
Wider range of career opportunities. In addition to helping meet the growing employer demand for BSN graduates, candidates who earn the degree can open pathways to previously unattainable career opportunities. In addition to clinical skills, BSN programs generally include topics such as leadership, informatics and quality improvement, which can increase your knowledge of the administrative or managerial side of healthcare and position you for a transition to similar occupations.
Additionally, if you eventually would like to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in order to become a nursing educator or an advanced practice registered nurse, for example, then completing a BSN degree program satisfies the educational prerequisites.
Increased salary thresholds. BSN-prepared nurses generally earn a higher salary, which only grows with years of experience. According to data collected by PayScale.com, the median salary for nurses with a BSN and one to four years of experience was $69,292 as of May 2017. For nurses with the same experience and an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), the median salary was $58,129.
Better patient outcomes. Nurses who obtain their baccalaureate may be key contributors in improving the quality of patient care and outcomes. Multiple studies suggest that hospitals and healthcare entities employing greater numbers of BSN-prepared nurses may experience lower patient mortality rates as well as fewer medication errors and occurrences of postoperative deep vein thrombosis.
A Career Investment
Completing a BSN degree program is an investment in your career and future. With more employers expressing a preference for BSN-prepared nurses as well as the resulting increase in career opportunities and salary thresholds, pursuing the degree can provide distinct benefits for those who choose this path.
Learn about the Colorado Mesa University online RN to BSN program.
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