There are many reasons why a BSN is important, but the top advantages of a BSN include better patient outcomes, strong job growth prospects, opportunities to work for a variety of healthcare employers and the potential for career growth. So, is a BSN worth it? Absolutely!
When you envision yourself working in the field of nursing, what do you see? Perhaps you’re wearing scrubs and a stethoscope while caring for patients at the bedside. Or maybe you’re wearing a power suit while advocating for patients behind a desk. The good news is, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, you have all the advantages of a BSN, and may be qualified for either a nursing career, or many more outside the hospital setting.
What can you do with a nursing degree? Earning a BSN will give you the advantage to change and adapt your nursing career as you go. You can also look forward to many other BSN benefits, such as contributing to better patient outcomes and enjoying strong job growth prospects.
CSP Global’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can help fast-track your nursing career, regardless of where you choose to take it. If you have a minimum of 54 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you can earn your BSN in as few as 16 months.
The Top 4 Advantages of a BSN
A BSN—whether earned via a four-year program or on an accelerated timeline—is one potential pathway toward becoming an RN. It’s also possible to become an RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).
However, an ADN does not confer the same advantages of a BSN, as it’s considered a less comprehensive program. In fact, there are many BSN benefits, but here are the four main reasons why a BSN in nursing is important for healthcare professionals.
1. Job Growth Projections for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses (RNs) enjoy strong job growth prospects in the healthcare field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth outlook for RNs from 2021 through 2031 is expected to be 6%, as fast as average.
Although 6% is an average job growth rate, there will be a remarkable number of job openings for RNs, given that the workforce is already quite significant. Healthcare employers are expected to hire about 203,200 new RNs each year from 2021 through 2031, according to the BLS.
While job prospects remain strong, there may be a difference between job prospects for ADN-prepared nurses versus BSN-prepared nurses. The industry has been gradually shifting toward a stronger preference for nurses who hold a BSN, as they tend to be better prepared to tackle nursing challenges and contribute to better patient outcomes.
In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Magnet hospitals now require nurse managers and nurse leaders to hold a minimum of a BSN.
2. Better Patient Outcomes
As previously mentioned, better patient outcomes is among the predominant reasons why the answer to the question, “Is a BSN worth it?” is a resounding “Yes!” There is a growing body of scientific evidence to substantiate this assertion. Consider the following studies compiled by the AACN:
- Hospitals with a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses have lower mortality rates among 30-day surgical inpatients. Significantly, this held true regardless of whether the BSN-prepared nurses graduated from a four-year program or an ABSN program.
- Patients who suffer a cardiac arrest have a 24% greater chance of surviving with good cerebral function with every 10% increase in the proportion of BSN-prepared nurses in the hospital.
- BSN-prepared RNs are “significantly better prepared” than ADN-prepared RNs on 12 out of 16 areas of patient safety and quality.
- Among surgical patients, there is a 5% decrease in the risk of patient death and failure to rescue associated with every 10% increase in the proportion of BSN-prepared nurses.
Curious about what you’ll do in nursing school that leads to better patient outcomes? Learn what to expect in nursing school here!
3. Opportunities to Work for a Range of Healthcare Employers
Because a BSN benefits patient outcomes, many employers prefer to hire nurses with that degree over nurses with an ADN. This means that when you graduate and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), you have the potential to choose from a wider range of jobs to apply to including those in population health and leadership. In particular, certain employers are moving toward requiring nurses to have a BSN.
Some nurses aspire to work at hospitals that have achieved a Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) hospitals, which “recognizes the invaluable potential of nurses to lead healthcare change.” However, Magnet hospitals will only hire nurse managers and nurse leaders who hold a minimum of a BSN.
In addition, the AACN notes that nurses who would like to work for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy or the U.S. Air Force must have a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The Veterans Administration (VA), which is the largest employer of nurses nationwide, requires nurses to hold a BSN if they seek a promotion beyond an entry-level position. Similarly, commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service need to have a BSN.
4. Opportunities for Career Growth
What can you do with a nursing degree at the baccalaureate level? Quite a lot! Earning your BSN can open the door to pursuing a nursing specialty and advanced opportunities. For example, your BSN can prepare you to pursue specializations such as the following:
- Home health nursing
- Hospice care
- Ambulatory Care Acute care
- Critical care
- Population Health
- Public Health
- Tribal Health
- Military Nursing
These are just a small sampling of the nursing specialties available. You could also decide to go back to school later to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD).
With an MSN, you might pursue a position as a nurse educator or nurse leader, such as a job in healthcare management or administration. If you opt to earn a DNP, you might pursue a career as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or nurse educator. With a PhD in nursing, you can design and conduct original research to generate new nursing knowledge that improves patient care and our understanding of nursing as a discipline.
It’s also currently possible to become an APRN with an MSN, but the industry is shifting toward the DNP as the minimum qualification. You’ll also need to pass a board certification exam and meet any other requirements for your APRN specialty.
APRN specialization paths are as follows:
- Nurse practitioner (NP)
- Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
- Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
Explore Alternative Nursing Careers
In addition, earning a BSN and potentially pursuing graduate-level nursing education may also open the door to some alternative nursing careers. Below are six alternative nursing careers you can explore with a BSN or higher degree.
1. Travel Nurse
If you enjoy adventure, freedom of choice and flexibility, then travel nursing may be for you. Travel nurses accept short-term assignments at hospitals around the country, enabling them to become immersed in a different geographical region and culture.
Along with achieving your BSN, it’s best to have at least one year of experience working in a hospital, clinic or other healthcare facility before applying to a travel nurse agency.
2. Informatics Nurse
If you enjoy clinical IT systems, health records and data, and improving patient outcomes, then informatics nursing may be for you. The AMIA defines informatics nursing as the “science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide.”
As an informatics nurse, you will spend your day managing, illustrating and communicating important medical data. In addition to working in hospitals, you could work in pharmaceutical and research facilities or healthcare consulting firms.
3. Nurse Risk Management
If you enjoy communicating with others and learning new things, then nurse risk management may be for you. As a nurse risk manager, you will be responsible for identifying high-risk areas that could cause harm to patients, employees and visitors. You will have the opportunity to pursue work in a wide variety of settings including private medical practices, long-term care facilities and insurance companies.
4. Forensic Nurse
If you are detail-oriented and enjoy investigative problem-solving, forensic nursing may be for you. You can learn more about this specialty through the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). You can think of forensic nursing as a cross between a healthcare profession and a judicial system profession. As a forensic nurse, you will spend your days investigating sexual and physical assault crimes, as well as accidental death. In addition to working in hospital emergency rooms, you can expect to work in laboratories or in court.
5. School Nurse
If you enjoy working with kids, then school nursing may be for you. As a school nurse, you will provide direct care to students and spend the majority of your day promoting health and education. You can even teach health and nutrition classes at the junior high and high school level. You can learn more about this nursing specialty at the National School Nurses Association (NSNA).
6. Nurse Recruiter
If you have a passion for the human resources side of healthcare, then nurse recruiting may be for you. As a nurse recruiter, you will be responsible for executing and filling job openings, negotiating salaries, staying up-to-date on the latest job search trends and more. Along with achieving your BSN, it’s crucial that you understand human resource laws along with healthcare facility policies and procedures.
Are you curious about the other nursing specialties you can explore? Read more to learn about 10 nursing specialties in demand.
Is a BSN Worth It?
As you can see, there are many reasons why a BSN in nursing is important. The advantages of a BSN include professional benefits, as well as benefits for patients. If you have your heart set on becoming a nurse so that you can make a positive difference in your community and build a worthwhile career, then it’s clear to see that earning a BSN is the ideal pathway.
Yes, it requires hard work and a strong commitment to succeed, but here at CSP Global, we’re confident that you’ll be happy with your decision. Plus, you’ll enjoy significant student support at the ABSN program at CSP Global, including attentive instructors, a comprehensive curriculum, realistic skills lab settings and extensive clinical learning.
Getting Started on Your BSN
As you can see, there are a variety of ways a BSN from CSP Global can expand your career opportunities within the field of nursing. Wherever your nursing degree takes you, our ABSN curriculum will teach you the clinical and critical thinking skills needed to succeed in any type of environment. So what are you waiting for?
If you’re ready to make the first move toward a nursing career, contact an admissions advisor to find out how you can get started.