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 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for registered nurses is $77,460 per year ($37.24 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:
Average BSN salary by state
|District of Columbia
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.
I’m already a registered nurse. Do I need to earn my BSN?
A BSN is increasingly becoming the industry standard for registered nurses. In 2008, the Institute of Medicine issued a mandate calling for 80 percent of the nursing workforce to hold at least a bachelor’s degree by 2020. As the deadline nears, hiring and training BSN-prepared nurses has become a top priority for many healthcare organizations.
Additionally, hospitals aspiring to Magnet status are more likely to hire BSN-prepared nurses, whose depth of experience in quality patient care has been shown to produce better patient outcomes. Hospitals earn Magnet status by demonstrating exceptional quality of care and strategic nursing leadership.
While earning your BSN might not be required by your employer, it is a worthwhile investment that can help you stay competitive in the field. According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 45 percent of hospitals and other healthcare settings are requiring new hires to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and nearly 90 percent express a strong preference for BSN-educated nurses.
Discover the biggest differences between BSN vs. ADN, including pay, patient outcomes, NCLEX pass rates, and much more.
What is the job outlook for BSN-prepared registered nurses?
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.
What skills set the BSN-prepared nurse apart from other registered nurses?
“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.
Can I earn my BSN while working?
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 RN-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.
How long does it take to earn a BSN?
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).
*Not all programs are available at every campus – you can find campus availability by clicking through to each program for further detail.
With Herzing University, you are possible. Take the next step and leap towards advancing your career.