Nursing has always been a job path that united long-term growth potential with the chance to make a caring, compassionate impact on people’s lives. But the way you start this healthcare career might be changing, as many nursing students choose to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree versus an associate nursing degree program.
Why might that be? We take a look at seven of the reasons why you might decide to pursue your BSN.
It could mean a wider variety of opportunities, both now and in the long-term
While both ADN and BSN programs teach you clinical competency, a BSN degree goes into greater depth in some critical areas, like community health and patient education, nursing research and informatics, the unique medical issues facing specialized populations, and more. A well-balanced BSN curriculum builds up your critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills and demonstrates a comfortability with making data- and evidence-based care decisions. All of this can make you better prepared for a wide variety of job opportunities upon graduation and licensure, including chances to step into specialties like pediatrics and hospice.
It can make you more competitive in the job market
A survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that 88% of employers survey strongly prefer candidates who already have their BSN. And another survey they did found that 94% of entry-level BSN graduates secured a job offer within 4-6 months after graduating. A BSN degree can stand out and potentially make you a more appealing candidate when you’re applying, including at Magnet-recognized hospitals.
It might be a requirement soon in some states or hospitals
That same AACN survey found that 46% of healthcare employers currently require new hires to have a BSN, and that number is only likely to go up. Just five years ago, New York passed a BSN in 10 law, requiring all New York nurses to earn their BSN within 10 years of their initial licensure. Other states may be considering similar legislation, and still more hospitals might be switching “BSN preferred” to “BSN required” on their job postings. Getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree straight out of the gate could put you ahead of the trend.
It often leads to better patient care
A lot of recent research has found that a greater number of BSN-holding nurses on-staff can lead to more positive health outcomes for patients. A big one, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in 2014, found that a 10% increase in BSN nurses was associated with lowering patient mortality by 10.9%. And increasing the amount of care these BSNs offered to 80% resulted in lower readmission rates and shorter lengths of stay. Other studies have repeated this research with similar results, finding that patients recover faster and are at a lessened risk of death as the number of BSNs employed rises.
It can give you the chance for more leadership and autonomy
The past few years in healthcare have clearly demonstrated that nurses not only want more chances for leadership and autonomy, but that our medical system would largely benefit from expanding their role, too. The additional levels of coursework and education in a BSN curriculum that we mentioned above can prepare you to take on a broader range of responsibilities and step into a more leading role when it comes to the care of your patients.
It can ready you for graduate school or specialty certifications
Depending on where you see your nursing career going, you might be interested in sitting for specialty certification exams or eventually getting your master’s degree in nursing in order to become a nurse practitioner or nurse educator. Have your BSN puts you in the position to pursue this further education right away, without having to complete a BSN completion program first.
It might raise your earning potential
Talking money can be a bit iffy, since it can vary so much depending on where in the state you work, what kind of nursing job you take, and a variety of other factors. But on the whole, throughout the years, BSNs have reported higher average salaries than ADNs. ZipRecruiter.com, for example, lists the average wage for a full-time ADN in California as $41/hour (about $78,984/year) and the average wage for a full-time BSN in California as $50/hour (about $97,670/year). This tracks with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which consistently finds that bachelor’s degree holders earn more on average than those with an associate degree.
Now is the time to train to become a nurse
Right now, California is experiencing a state-wide nursing shortage, with tens of thousands of job openings becoming available. Which means now is the perfect time for anyone who’s thought about pursuing a career in nursing. CNI College has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program that uses residential, hybrid, and distance learning and can be completed in just 33 months.
To find out more, contact CNI College to talk to us about our programs and get started on the enrollment process.