8 Reasons Why a BSN in Nursing Is Important

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Why get a BSN? There are many reasons why a BSN in nursing is important. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, you can develop stronger nursing knowledge and skills, which contribute to better patient care. You’ll also have better job security and more opportunities for advancement.

stethoscope on stack of books

Nurses are essential for keeping communities healthy and thriving. If you’re thinking about making a career transition to nursing, you may be pleased to learn that there are a few different pathways to nursing. Although some nursing students choose to enroll in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, it’s actually vastly preferable to choose a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Why get a BSN? There are at least eight compelling reasons why a BSN in nursing is important, but first, consider this: In some cases, earning a BSN could take less time than earning an ADN.

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits, you may be eligible for the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Averett University. Averett’s ABSN program leverages your core education to allow you to graduate with a BSN in less time.

In other words, a BSN can be more accessible and affordable than you might think, with the possibility of graduating in as few as 16 months. Plus, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits of a BSN listed below.

nurses in simulation lab working with tools

What is an accelerated nursing program, exactly? Read more to learn whether applying for an ABSN is right for you.

1. Top BSN Advantages: Better Nursing Skills

Why get a BSN? 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 to do what’s best for them.

Therefore, as you’re considering the educational path you should take, earning a BSN is a compelling choice. A bachelor’s degree program offers academic rigor regardless of its timeline, so you can confidently 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, contributing to better patient outcomes. BSN-educated nurses have been shown to promote a decrease in patient mortality rate, better safety preparation and shorter patient hospital stays.

Earning your BSN prepares you to provide excellent patient care, benefitting you professionally because healthcare employers know the value of competent nurses.

ABSN student using stethoscope

2. Why a BSN in Nursing Is Important for Job Security

Because of the nursing shortage and the strong research backing the importance of education in nursing, employers have a high demand for nurses who hold BSN degrees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare employers are expected to hire about 177,400 new registered nurses (RNs) each year from 2022 through 2032.

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 various nursing positions.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that 80% of nurses on hospital staffs should hold a BSN by 2020. As of 2022, more than 70% of registered nurses have a bachelor’s degree, according to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey. Although the 80% goal has not yet been met, the healthcare industry has made great strides in continuing to improve the lives of patients nationwide.

3. More Specialty Choices

There are other advantages of a BSN in nursing, of course. With a BSN, you can choose to pursue a wide range of nursing specialties. Clinic-based roles and non-clinical roles all become available with a bachelor’s degree in addition to hospital roles, so you can find the specialty that best matches your interests and personality.

However, keep in mind that some specializations require additional academic credentials, training and certifications.

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

4. Additional Employer Options

Averett ABSN student standing outside with backpack

When you earn a BSN, you’ll be able to pursue positions with more healthcare employers, which expands your career choices further.

For example, according to the AACN, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) 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.

Another place where a BSN opens doors is Magnet hospitals, which are healthcare 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 have a greater ability to negotiate for a higher salary.

According to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, the median salary for nurses with a BSN is higher than the salary for nurses with a diploma or an associate degree. This alone is a compelling example of why a BSN in nursing is important.

6. Nursing Leadership Roles

The BSN advantages don’t end with salary negotiating power. BSN-educated nurses typically qualify more often for management and supervisory roles, as well as other specialized positions. Some of these nursing leadership roles may require a graduate degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). However, earning your BSN is the first necessary step toward enrolling in a graduate-level nursing program.

7. Opportunity to Become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Speaking of graduate-level education, you’ll also need a bachelor’s degree in nursing if you ever decide to pursue advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles. An aspiring APRN needs at least an MSN plus board certification, although there has been a push toward requiring the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to become the minimum academic credential for APRNs.

Averett ABSN student walking outside

APRNs practice with greater autonomy and use advanced clinical skills in their specialty position. These positions include nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. Within these four main categories, there are further opportunities to choose subspecialties. Here’s a closer look:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP): A nurse practitioner emphasizes health management and preventive care. They can choose from varying specialties, such as adult-gerontology, psychiatric health, pediatrics and women’s health.
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS): A clinical nurse specialist has advanced knowledge in a specialty area of nursing, such as pediatrics, women’s health, geriatrics, wound care or pain management.
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA): Nurse anesthetists are responsible for administering anesthetics to patients undergoing procedures and for monitoring the health of patients before, during and after operations.
  • Certified nurse midwife (CNM): These specialists provide quality care to women, with a focus on family planning, prenatal care and gynecological care.

Furthermore, APRN roles offer the potential to command a higher salary. According to the BLS, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners had a median annual salary of $125,900 as of 2022.

Interested in becoming an NP? Learn how to become a nurse practitioner here.

nurse putting her hand on patient's shoulder

8. Accelerated Timeline

With all of these advantages of a BSN in nursing, there’s really no good reason not to choose this path if you decide that nursing is right for you. Furthermore, earning a BSN can take less time than ever before. While most traditional BSN programs take four years to complete, the ABSN program at Averett allows students to earn their nursing degrees in as few as 16 months.

To be eligible, you’ll need to meet the program requirements, which vary from school to school. At Averett, our ABSN admissions requirements include taking the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam and completing prerequisites. However, no prior healthcare experience or knowledge is required.

Applicants must also have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.

Averett nursing student practicing with a patient simulator during a skills lab

Are you curious about the different types of BSN programs? Learn all about the differences between an accelerated BSN and a traditional BSN.

Earn Your BSN in as Few as 16 Months

If you’re passionate about healthcare and have prior non-nursing college education, consider exploring the ABSN program at Averett. You’ll enjoy all of the benefits of a BSN, but on an accelerated timeline. This means you can graduate sooner, sit for the NCLEX sooner and be ready to pursue your first nursing job.

Our friendly admissions counselors will help you navigate the admissions process from start to finish. In our ABSN program, we offer exceptional student support services to facilitate ideal outcomes. Contact us today to find out if the ABSN program at Averett is a good fit for you!