As nursing continues to evolve, more and more hospitals and care centers require nurses to have a bachelor’s degree. Having your BSN also opens the door to graduate programs down the road.
While some nurses may hesitate to return to school, RN-to-BSN programs offer several compelling advantages.
You’ll Be More Marketable
Many hospitals and health care centers prefer nurses with bachelor’s degrees over associate degrees. This is because studies have shown that nurses with higher levels of education perform better.
BSN programs cover many nursing topics, including healthcare policy analysis, research methods, and public health initiatives. These skills can help nurses be more critical thinkers and provide them with a better understanding of health issues.
Having a BSN also opens the door for nurses to pursue advanced degrees in nursing.
You’ll Have More Options
While some nurses opt for a less intense two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to become an RN, employees must hold at least a bachelor’s degree to work in most healthcare systems. Plus, a BSN degree allows you to pursue advancement opportunities that aren’t available with an ADN.
For instance, you could work in a research lab or become a nurse educator. Or you could explore a different career path entirely, like working with patients via telehealth.
It also helps you get closer to pursuing a graduate program, giving you even more career benefits of BSN. Even programs let you go from RN to BSN to MSN all in one, saving you time and money. Plus, it can help you advance quickly.
You’ll Be More Flexible
The nursing profession has changed, and with it has come an ever-increasing need for nurses with a BSN. Besides the usual tasks that all nurses perform, such as administering injections and inserting IVs, hospitals increasingly expect higher levels of professionalism, including making informed decisions, delivering patient-centered care, and collaborating effectively with other healthcare team members.
A BSN also opens the door to graduate-level nursing programs, allowing you to define and shape healthcare policies or pursue a career in a more specific field. This can be especially helpful if you want to work for the VA, which requires all its nurses to have a BSN.
You’ll Have a Higher Pay Scale
Nurses with a BSN degree have a higher pay scale, especially in hospitals pushing for Magnet status and only want nurses with baccalaureate degrees. Moreover, nurses with a BSN can also have more significant opportunities to move up the ladder and into management roles or specialty fields, such as nurse anesthetists or clinical nurse specialists.
In addition, many BSN students find that their skills improve with the knowledge and critical thinking gained through their nursing program. These improved skills can help them make better decisions and provide better patient care.
You’ll Have a Better Work-Life Balance
As a nurse, you know your career can be stressful and demanding. But when you pursue a BSN degree, you’ll find that the hope and opportunity of this achievement can help keep your stress levels down.
Nursing school and work have different responsibilities that can pull your attention in different directions, especially when it’s time for meetings, assignments, or class lessons. If you want to avoid burning out, it’s a good idea to set boundaries around these responsibilities so that one doesn’t overtake the other.
Setting aside a space in your home dedicated to your studies, posting a calendar, and prioritizing your tasks by due date improve your ability to manage both responsibilities simultaneously. Remember to reward yourself for milestones, like passing an exam.