Better your earning potential with a BSN
For future nurse leaders like Nabeela Rehan, earning a bachelor’s degree is a logical way to ensure career advancement.
“I worked as a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) for eight years. I loved my job and I knew that nursing was the right career for me,” she recalls. “But I wanted to be more hands-on with patients. My co-workers encouraged me to enroll in a BSN program.”
Now, Rehan is a registered nurse at a local hospital and volunteers her time as head nurse at a camp for children who are victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Earning her BSN changed her life and allowed her to make a difference in more ways than she could have imagined.
You don't necessarily need a BSN to be an RN - you can become an RN with an associate degree. However, whether you’re new to nursing or looking to advance your career, there’s never been a better time to advance your education to the bachelor's level. Hospitals and healthcare organizations are looking for nurses who are prepared to become leaders, and earning your BSN can help you do that.
Not sure if a BSN is right for you? Wondering if it’s worth the investment? We have the answers to all of your most important questions.
What is the average salary for a registered nurse with a BSN?
According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for registered nurses is $80,010 per year ($38.47 per hour), with the highest 10 percent earning more than $100,000. BSN-prepared nurses might have the opportunity to advance into higher-paying leadership and management roles more quickly than ASN nurses. How much you can make will vary based on your state of employment:
|State||Per hour||Per year|
|District of Columbia||$43.29||$90,050|
All salary data courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Earning your BSN also means that you have the option to accelerate into graduate nursing programs and onto advanced practice, management and nursing faculty positions in the future.
“You can expect a better financial return on your investment if you choose to pursue your BSN,” says Susan Austin, program chair of the online RN-BSN program at Herzing University.
Frequently Asked Questions
It can take anywhere from 12 months to 3 years to earn your BSN depending on your prior education and experience. Herzing University offers many unique degree pathways to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing and advance your career (time estimates will vary by campus).
- I am new to nursing. Earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing in 3 years. We offer both on-campus options and an online BSN program. If you already have a BS degree in another field you may be eligible to enroll in our accelerated BSN nursing program.
- I am an ASN nurse. Enroll in our RN to BSN online bridge program to earn your bachelor’s degree in as little as 12 months.
- I am an LPN. You may be eligible to enroll in our LPN to BSN bridge program and complete in 28-32 months. Discover the biggest differences between LPN and RN.
- I am a paramedic. You could earn your degree in 28-32 months by enrolling in our Paramedic to BSN bridge program.
*Not all programs are available at every campus – you can find campus availability by clicking through to each program for further detail.
“Community-based work makes the difference between a BSN and ASN nurse,” says Joan Neave, a clinical coordinator at Herzing University. “Most of the healthcare happens outside of the hospital walls. Providing public health education and increasing access to health services in the community ensures a healthier future for everyone.”
The clinical experience you complete in a BSN program is very different than that of your ASN program. Through community-based clinical and volunteer work, you’ll gain hands-on experience in providing holistic, personalized care to a diverse patient population. This not only prepares you to become a leader within a healthcare setting, but also a driver of community change.
The advantages of a BSN can include:
- Increased autonomy in decision making while on the job
- Open doors to more specialties in the nursing field
- Become a more attractive candidate for hospitals seeking Magnet Recognition
- Build a foundation to grow into education or leadership pathways
- Positions you better for nursing jobs with higher pay
- Qualify to enroll in an MSN program
- Become more familiar and educated with evidence-based practice opportunities
- Increase knowledge and understanding of RN specialties and skills
- Transition from “technical” to “professional” RN
- Gain a deeper knowledge of nursing theory and leadership theory
A 2017 study from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) indicates employers have the level of education at top of mind in the hiring process. Based on results from 586 schools of nursing, the study revealed 49% of hospitals and other healthcare facilities require new hires to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and 86.3% of employers show a strong preference for BSN graduates.
The ultimate benefit is bettering yourself, becoming the best nurse you can be and following the career path of your choosing.
Yes! Many schools offer flexible or online nursing programs that make it easier for you to fit education in to your life. At Herzing University, much of the coursework for the BSN program is online, allowing students to advance their nursing careers while balancing a full-time job and/or family commitments. New nurses enrolling the BSN program can also take advantage of night classes to fit education into their schedule.
“Being able to earn my bachelor's degree while working as a registered nurse was a huge advantage. It was a challenge managing a full-time job and new courses every eight weeks, but the classes were set up nicely, allowing me enough time to complete my assignments and projects,” says recent Herzing University graduate Lindsey Van Galder.
As a registered nurse with a BSN, you’ll be able to do more of what you already love most while leading the way in the future of healthcare.
BSN-prepared nurses are most desirable in the job market for registered nurses. Registered nurse positions are expected to grow 7 percent through 2029, adding more than 200,000 new jobs.
Additionally, as more new nurses join the workforce, healthcare organizations must rely on skilled and experienced nursing leaders to guide them in achieving the highest quality of care. For many BSN nurses, this opens up the opportunity to move into leadership positions or specialized roles, including becoming a pediatric nurse, traveling nurse, surgical/perioperative nurse, oncology nurse or advance to a master’s degree program to grow into higher paying specialties.