In 2010, the Institute of Medicine raised eyebrows in the nursing community by recommending that 80% of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree (BSN) by the year 2020. Back then, only half of Registered Nurses had their BSN, but over the past nine years, the number of nurses with an advanced degree has risen to an estimated 55 - 60%. Some nurses may have balked at the time and effort required to complete the necessary education to achieve a BSN degree initially, but ongoing studies have shown that there are benefits to both RNs and the patients in their care. Let’s review the benefits of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- Improved Quality and Safety Competencies. As the health care reimbursements for services continue to be driven increasingly by quality and patient satisfaction metrics, studies have shown that nurses with BSN’s are more prepared than nurses with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). A study from NYU College of Nursing found that in the past 10 years the gaps in preparedness has doubled.
- Become a Better Nurse. You chose the nursing profession because of your internal drive to care for others. While New York was the first state to require all nurses to obtain a BSN within ten years of receiving their first RN license, more states and the healthcare organizations operating within them are going to be following suit. The additional education and training you will receive will allow you to provide your patients with a higher quality of care.
- Enhance your Earnings Power. Nurses with a BSN typically have higher salaries and better benefits overall, than non-BSN nurses. A recent salary survey showed that in many areas, a BSN can earn up to $30,000 more annually than an ADN. Another thing to consider is many healthcare organizations are willing to pay for you to complete your BSN degree.
- Expand your Career Horizons. Many nurses spend their entire career on the front lines of patient care and never imagine themselves doing anything different. As wonderful as that is for so many, you may want to explore other areas of nursing and non-clinical opportunities. Having a BSN is a minimum requirement for many of these lucrative, non-clinical positions, such as teaching, medical informatics, case management, and administration.
- Continuing Education is Easier than Ever. As the industry continues to push for more highly educated nurses, the prevalence of high-quality BSN programs has exploded commensurately. Many of today’s BSN programs can be completed through a majority of online courses with minimal campus visits. If a BSN is even the slightest consideration, it is best to get started now before it becomes a requirement of your continued employment.
Depending on how long you have been out of school, it may feel like a daunting task to dive back into classwork while you are working full-time and raising a family, but it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Once you find the right program that fits your personal and professional needs, you will be on your way to taking your nursing career to the next level.
If you are currently interested in exploring new career opportunities, Supplemental Health Care is ready to help you achieve your professional goals. Contact one of our recruitment professionals and learn about the variety of placements and care setting opportunities we have available.