While multiple paths can lead to a nursing career, the need for highly educated nursing professionals is on the rise. Navigating today’s complex health care industry has led to an increased demand for nurses who hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing (BSN).
Registered nurse employment will increase by 19% from 2012 to 2022, faster than other occupations nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, career opportunities vary widely, depending on whether you’re a registered nurse with a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Schools like Widener University offer an online program to earn a BSN at the student’s own pace. Here are six reasons why earning a BSN is a smart career move:
Earn more money
Registered nurses earned an average of $65,470 in 2012 while nurses with a BSN in management positions (such as nursing supervisor and nurse case manager) made an average of $88,580 in 2012, according to federal labor statistics.
Greater career opportunities
A BSN program goes beyond teaching basic clinical care skills. With a BSN, you’ll develop communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills that are essential for moving into higher-paying positions (e.g. nurse supervisor, clinical nurse specialist, nurse case managers) with more responsibility. If you’re thinking about eventually earning a Masters or Doctorate nursing degree, you will need a BSN first.
In today’s competitive marketplace, an increasing number of clinical jobs are listing a BSN as a prerequisite. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 39.1% of hospitals and other health care settings require new hires to have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing while 77.4% of employers express a strong preference for BSN program graduates.
Nurses who hold a BSN have more opportunities to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, community clinics, outpatient care centers, physician practices, nursing care facilities, and schools.
The nursing degree of the future
The BSN is fast becoming the degree of choice. The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing has adopted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees from 50% to 80% by 2020. In addition, nurses with Associate degrees and diplomas are being encouraged to enter baccalaureate programs within five years of graduation.
Provide better patient care
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing cites extensive research that shows care provided by nurses with higher education degrees leads to better clinical outcomes, lower mortality rates, and fewer adverse events.
'Magnet' hospitals need nurses with BSN degrees
Hospitals across the country are seeking nurses with BSN degrees in greater numbers. Fueling the demand is the increasing number of hospitals that are striving to achieve the coveted “magnet” designation awarded by the American Nurses Association. The ANA requires all nurses who are nurse managers, or nurses who hold higher positions, in a magnet hospital to hold a BSN or higher degree.
Online nursing degree programs
Earning a BSN is now easier than ever. Online programs such as Widener University’s RN-BSN program give you the flexibility to earn a bachelor's degree while balancing work and family responsibilities. In addition, some hospitals offer stipends or tuition reimbursement to nurses who want to earn a Bachelor's or more advanced degree. The opportunities are abundant for nurses who take the leap to earn a BSN.
To learn more about Widener University’s Online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program, call (844) 386-7321 or complete the request more information form and a Program Manager will contact you right away.