If you’re already working as a Registered Nurse, you might wonder if getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is worth it, because let’s face it, earning a BSN is a significant investment of time and money.
However, there are two main reasons why earning a BSN is the best next step for your nursing career. Firstly, there are many benefits that come with being a BSN trained nurse. Secondly, soon enough, becoming a BSN might not be a choice, but a requirement, as for almost a decade, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has been advocating for an 80% BSN educated nursing workforce by 2020.
In this piece we’ll explore more thoroughly the advantages of a BSN, the nursing skills you’ll advance should you decide to pursue this degree, and why hospitals lean towards hiring BSN trained nurses. Read on to find out the answers to any BSN related questions you might encounter. By the end, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the importance of a BSN, so you’ll be better equipped to decide if pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in nursing aligns with your career goals and aspirations.
Why is BSN important?
Education plays a crucial role for nurses in building the key competencies necessary to become leaders and, more importantly, public advocates for their patients and profession. BSN degrees prepare nurses to lead the charge of change and help any type of nurses develop the critical thinking skills to do so.
As a consequence, many employers (especially hospitals) now give preference to or only hire BSN-qualified nurses. In the future, it is expected that the BSN will become a mandatory qualification for nurses. This is why getting a BSN degree becomes the ideal scenario.
Watch the following video to know – benefits and why should you get your BSN
What are the advantages for nurses of getting BSN?
Better-educated nurses also learn critical thinking skills enabling them to not only keep up with the latest research but to analyze the results and to use them to promote changes in the field. With many hospitals paying their nurses’ tuition and fees, it’s incumbent upon those in the profession to educate themselves and improve their patients’ outcomes. Some of the advantages are:
- Having a bachelor’s degree is essential to be admitted to most graduate nursing programs. Four of the highest paying nursing jobs – nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist – require you to have a BSN.
- RNs with a diploma usually learn just the basics of clinical care. As a BSN holder, you will have learned much more – communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills. These are essential skills if you want to move into higher-paying jobs with more responsibility.
- Nurses with a BSN have better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates and lower failure to rescue rates as well. The research also indicates that BSN holders have higher proficiency in making good diagnoses.
- BSN will open your career up to fascinating specialties in pediatrics, gynecology, surgery, oncology, diabetes, psychiatry, and more. With only an RN, you are going to be very limited in your career advancement. It is difficult to ever advance beyond basic floor patient care with an RN diploma.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 12 percent growth for the employment of registered nurses between 2018-2028, higher than the average for all occupations. Moreover, BLS projections indicate there will be about 210,400 openings for registered nurses each year, on average, over the decade. The need for nurses will only be further accentuated by the retirement of seasoned nurses, with over one million nurses expected to retire by 2030.
- Nurses with a BSN education receive better rewards for their labor, which means that they have higher salaries as well as more benefits. A BSN degree will certainly give you an advantage when it comes to salary negotiation and will put you ahead of other candidates with the same level of experience.
Why nurses need higher education now more than ever?
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry, and with that comes tremendous responsibility. The healthcare system needs highly prepared nurses that are equipped with the skills and clinical experience to fight any major medical threats that might get thrown their way.
The COVID-19 virus pandemic has brought to light once more the unpreparedness of the American healthcare system to deal with major global pandemics and it has accentuated the severe nursing shortage that looms over our country. It has also made clear that we need highly educated nurses if we are to stand a chance in the face of medical disasters.
Not only are BSN nurses directly linked to better patient outcomes, but they are also crucial in the prevention, containment, and management of health emergencies. Due to their extended training, BSN’s have a higher level of expertise, which enables them to provide more qualitative help and guidance through devastating illnesses.
Nurses comprise the largest component of the healthcare workforce, and the better educated this component is, the higher are our chances of facing any major medical threats successfully. Higher nursing education is not only extremely beneficial for yourself and your nursing career. It is also a service to your country and to your patients, who put their trust in you in the most critical times in their lives.
There are many advantages to earning a BSN degree, whether you choose to follow a standard 4-year course or a much shorter RN-to-BSN bridge program. With a BSN, you can improve patient care in an ever-changing medical landscape, as well as earn more and take up leadership roles.
One solution is to educate nurses about the research that continues to grow in support of the BSN degree as it pertains to its benefits for nurses as well as their patients. Furthermore, hospitals should offer incentive programs to encourage nurses to advance their education.
“Learning is synthesizing seemingly divergent ideas and data.” – Terry Heick