If you want to get into a career as a nurse or are considering changing your current career to nursing, there are plenty of options to consider when it comes to getting the right education to start working in this rewarding career as quickly as possible. Perhaps you are already working as a nurse, and are wondering if a BSN would be a better option than the associate degree you currently have when it comes to taking your career further. The truth is that the BSN is becoming a more and more essential credential for registered nurses. New legislation such as the BSN-in-10 law in New York is making it increasingly obvious that in the future, the BSN is going to be the minimum requirement for all nurses, and associate degrees might no longer be an option for those who want to become a registered nurse. Whether you are just starting out in working towards a nursing career or are already working as a registered nurse, there are lots of benefits to working towards your BSN.
Better Career Advancement
With so many opportunities for career advancement and progression within the nursing career, it’s not unusual for nurses to have aspirations and goals for taking their career further. However, not having a BSN could hold you back in many different ways. For the most part, you will need to commit to further learning to take your career in nursing up a level. Whether you are interested in working as a nurse practitioner, specializing in trauma and acute care nursing or want to work as a nurse midwife, a BSN will usually be required before you will be able to enroll on the training programs and degree programs available to help you get the qualifications and certifications you need to work in these roles. For example, you will need to have gained a BSN before you will be accepted to study to become a neonatal nurse practitioner with NNP programs from Baylor University.
Improved Career Prospects
As the BSN gains more respect with studies finding that it’s better overall for healthcare and leads to improved patient care outcomes, getting this degree whether you’re just starting out on your nursing journey or are currently working as a registered nurse can boost your career prospects. Employers are increasingly hunting for BSN-educated nurses and will usually favor them when hiring, which can leave registered nurses that do not have a BSN at an advantage, even if you have more nursing experience than the new BSN graduates that are being hired. Hiring more BSN-educated nurses has not only been proven to have a more positive impact on patient care due to the higher level of training that these nurses have received, but it’s also a requirement for healthcare employers to gain Magnet status.
Boost Earning Potential
With more and more employers looking to encourage nurses to get a BSN, salaries for BSN-educated nurses may often be more generous compared to salaries for nurses with an ADN. Along with this, the fact that a BSN provides you with more opportunities to take advantage of when it comes to improving your career with various specialist nursing certifications and advanced nursing degree programs means that getting a BSN gives you a chance to start improving your earning potential from the moment you graduate.
Avoid Losing Your Job
While ADN nurses might be safe in most states for now, chances are that there will soon be new laws put in place that require all registered nurses to have a BSN or be out of work. This is currently happening in New York State where all nurses must get their BSN no later than ten years after starting work as a registered nurse. Already, many nurses who have more than ten years of experience in the field but do not have a BSN have had to quit their jobs while getting this qualification in order to allow them to work as a nurse again. Getting your BSN from the start will help you avoid this situation in the future and make sure that your job is safe.
Improve Patient Care
For most nurses, the very reason that they decided to work in this role is due to a desire to provide the best standards of care and be there for people who need them the most. So, when you learn that BSN-educated nurses have been proven to improve patient care, reduce readmissions and even reduce the patient mortality rate, you can see why it’s so important for RNs to consider getting this qualification. Many nurses who are dedicated to always improving themselves and the standard of care that they are able to provide can see the benefit in having a BSN in this aspect.
Refresh Your Knowledge
While registered nurses do need to stay up to date with their profession and are often tested to make sure their knowledge is current, getting a BSN can be an ideal way to refresh your knowledge if you have been working as a registered nurse for a while. If it’s been some time since you graduated with your associate degree, chances are that a lot of things have changed since then and getting a BSN gives you the chance to take the time to get a better grasp.
Finally, those working as registered nurses or looking to change their career to nursing need not worry about the prospect of losing out on income while they study. Online BSN programs are now more widely available than ever before, giving nurses the chance to study while they earn and career changers the option to get their degree while remaining in a stable job before switching to nursing. If you are working in a very different career and already have a degree in another subject, online ABSN programs can be completed in just two years. Similarly, there are bridge programs available that recognize your ADN and allow you to build on what you already know to turn it into a BSN.
Whether you’re already working as a nurse or are considering getting into nursing, getting a BSN is one of the best career moves that any aspiring or current registered nurse can make.