When becoming a nurse, several degree options are available. The reasons why a BSN in nursing is important include better skills, job security, more specialty and employer options, higher pay, more leadership roles and eligibility for advanced education. With an ABSN program, you can earn your bachelor’s degree faster.
If you’re considering changing careers to nursing, you want to be sure about the path you take. There are several nursing school program options that would put you on the path to become a nurse, so what sets them apart? What are the advantages of earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN)?
It’s important to consider your nursing path carefully so you can make the best long-term decision for your career. We’ll explore exactly why a BSN in nursing is important and how it will help you get ahead.
Now more than ever, nurses are vital to keeping communities healthy and safe, so there’s never been a better time to make the change to nursing. If you already have at least 60 non-nursing credits or a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, specifically Averett University’s 16-month ABSN program, may be an ideal option for pursing your nursing education.
Why is a BSN in nursing important? We’ll delve into eight reasons why earning a bachelor’s degree is a great career move for an aspiring nurse.
What Is a BSN?
You have multiple educational routes to consider if you want to transition into the nursing field — each with its own merits — but it’s strongly encouraged for those who desire a career as a registered nurse to pursue a BSN.
The primary reason? Baccalaureate nursing programs go beyond the basic nursing skills training covered in associate nursing degree programs, covering key leadership, management and community health nursing concepts. As a result of their more in-depth nursing studies and critical thinking skills, BSN-educated nurses are in a much better position to advance in their careers.
Why Earn a BSN?
Pursuing a BSN requires a certain level of commitment (and rightfully so, as being a nurse takes major dedication), so it matters to know why putting in the extra effort to earn a BSN is important. We cover eight of the key reasons why a BSN in nursing is important.
1. Better Nursing Skills
If you’re considering going back to school to become a nurse, you likely aspire to be the best nurse possible. For the sake of your patients, developing excellence in your field is key. After all, you’ll be responsible for the lives of others, and your patients will need to trust you in the most difficult times.
Therefore, as you’re considering the educational path you should take, earning a BSN stands out. A bachelor’s degree program will provide you with an intensive, well-rounded, clinically rigorous education so you can be confident as you step into your nursing career.
It’s been shown through numerous research studies that nurses with a bachelor’s degree provide better care to patients. Better educated nurses have been shown to promote a decrease in patient mortality rate, better safety preparation and shorter patient hospital stays.
Earning your BSN sets you up to provide excellent patient care, and this will also help you professionally because health care employers know the value of having competent nurses.
2. Job Security
If you’re looking for a career where you can be assured of high job security in an in-demand profession, being a BSN-educated nurse is ideal. Because of the nursing shortage and the strong research backing education in nursing, employers have a high demand for nurses who hold BSN degrees.
Because nurses with a bachelor’s degree produce better outcomes for their patients, it comes as no surprise that more and more employers are making a BSN a job requirement for registered nurse positions.
The Institute of Medicine even recommended that 80 percent of nurses on hospital staffs should hold a BSN by 2020. As of April 2021, 65.2% of registered nurses have a bachelor’s degree, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Although the 80% goal has not yet been met, the health care industry has made great strides in continuing to improve the lives of patients nationwide. Therefore, with this strong push for higher education in nursing, earning a BSN will increase your job security well into the future.
3. More Specialty Choices
With a BSN, you can choose from countless nursing specialties. Bedside hospital roles, clinic-based roles and non-clinical roles all become available with a bachelor’s degree. That means you can find the specialty that best matches your interests and personality.
In the clinical realm, nurses with a BSN can enter fields such as emergency nursing, critical care nursing, medical/surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, obstetric nursing and much more. You can also choose to work in a clinic or outpatient treatment center.
If you don’t find your exact fit in a clinical setting, as a BSN-educated nurse, you have plenty of other career options that go beyond the bedside. While by no means an extensive list, just a handful of them include:
- Psychiatric mental health nurse
- Nurse case manager
- Nursing informatics
- School nurse
- Legal consultancy nurse
- Research nurse
Learn more about a few of the many nursing specialties beyond the bedside.
4. Additional Employer Options
When you earn a BSN, you’ll be able to work for more health care employers, which expands your career choices further. For example, according to the AACN, the Veteran’s Administration requires nurses to have at least a bachelor’s degree in order to be promoted beyond entry-level positions. The U.S. military also favors the BSN, as active-duty nurses within the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army must have a bachelor’s degree.
Interesting in transitioning from military service to nursing? Learn how to become a nurse after serving the country.
Another place where a BSN opens doors is Magnet hospitals, which are health care organizations that have earned recognition for excellence and education. According to the AACN, to maintain their Magnet status, these hospitals focus on hiring a high percentage of nurses educated with a BSN. Furthermore, Magnet hospitals require any nurse managers or leaders to hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
5. Higher Salary
One of the most straightforward reasons for earning a BSN rather than taking other registered nursing paths is that you’ll likely receive better compensation with a bachelor’s degree.
According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, the average salary for nurses with a BSN is higher than for the salary for nurses with a diploma or an associate degree. Therefore, it pays off to make the investment in your education now so you can benefit from better compensation throughout your career.
6. Nursing Leadership Roles
While it’s true an associate degree in nursing (ADN) is the minimum educational credential needed to work as an RN, BSN-educated nurses typically earn more management and supervisory roles. Therefore, BSN-educated nurses also see higher salaries over the course of their careers.
Many more doors open for you when you earn a BSN compared to an associate degree in nursing. Thanks to your comprehensive nursing education, with a BSN you’re much more likely to be considered for specialized positions and supervisory or nursing leadership roles.
7. Opportunity to Become an Advanced Practice Nurse
You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree in nursing if you ever decide to earn a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) — the minimum educational requirement for such high-paying advanced nursing positions as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist and nurse midwife.
Here are the average salaries for these roles in Virginia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2020 data:
- Nurse practitioner: $111,680
- Nurse anesthetist: $183,580
- Nurse-midwife: $111,130
With advanced practice nursing roles, you can act as an independent practitioner, so it’s a good idea for nurses who aspire to have greater responsibility and scope of practice to earn a BSN. Getting a BSN sets you up to be eligible for an APRN program if you ever choose to advance your clinical career.
8. Accelerated Timeline
Earning a BSN can take less time than ever before. While most traditional BSN programs take four years to complete, innovative programs like the ABSN at Averett allow students to finish sooner.
Students with a prior bachelor’s degree or at least 60 college credits can complete the Averett BSN curriculum in as few as 16 months. We also offer three program start dates each year, in January, May and August. This means that you can make the career change to nursing and launch into your career sooner.
Interested in making the career change to nursing? Learn the five steps to start your new career.
The ABSN Program at Averett University
You can expect to receive just as comprehensive a nursing education through the Accelerated BSN program at Averett University as you would in a traditional, classroom-based BSN program. What sets it apart, however, is the amount of time it will take to earn your degree.
Because our program leverages your existing non-nursing college credits or bachelor’s degree, our accredited hybrid program dives right into nursing coursework from the very start. Over four full-time semesters, the Averett ABSN program comprises:
- Online courses that set the foundation for your nursing theory knowledge via an interactive e-Learning platform.
- Skills and simulation labs at our Norfolk ABSN program site, where you’ll apply your online coursework and hone your clinical judgment in a safe, state-of-the-art mock clinical setting.
- Clinical rotations at top Hampton Roads health care facilities, where you’ll have access to valuable real-world patient care scenarios.
Discover the advantages of online learning in an accelerated nursing program.
Leverage Your Existing Education to Make it Happen Sooner
There are many reasons why a BSN in nursing is important for your future career. Just as vital is the ability to earn your nursing degree and enter the profession as soon as possible. The health care industry continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid clip; perhaps no one is needed more than nurses are to ensure the quality of patient care.
If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits and meet our other academic requirements, you may qualify to apply to the Averett ABSN program.
Reach out to one of our dedicated admissions counselors to determine whether our ABSN program is the right fit for you and your professional goals.