Why to consider getting your BSN

Hospitals and practices across the country are pushing for enhanced patient outcomes and care quality. As a result, more care settings are looking for nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing degree. As employer demand for nurses with BSNs continues to climb, it may be time to consider advancing your career. Here are four reasons to consider getting your BSN.

1. You don't want to get left behind
The American Nurses Association passed a resolution in 2008 that highly recommended registered nurses who graduated from a diploma program be required to receive their BSN within 10 years after receiving their nursing license. The proposal still enables nurses to enter the workforce upon licensure, but turns associates and diploma degrees into starting points to nursing careers instead of degrees for permanent jobs. 

According to NursingLink, certain states have strongly considered different versions of the bill, including New Jersey and New York. This bill, along with state proposals, are shifting the expectations for nurses among employers. Don't get left behind as more nurses get their BSNs and employers begin placing higher value on candidates with more experience.

2. Employer demands are changing
Researchers from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine have called for a raise in the number of nurses hired throughout the U.S. with a BSN so that 80 percent of licensed nurses have BSNs by 2020. The health care industry is in desperate need of nurses with advanced skills to fill the gaps left by the baby boomer generation of nurses that are soon to retire.

A large portion of nurses are over 50 years old.A large portion of nurses are over 50 years old.

NursingLicensure.org explained that an estimated 900,000 of the 3 million nurses currently working in the U.S. are over 50 years old, so the nurses who replace them may have to have more in-depth knowledge of technology, leadership experience and more advanced research skills than new nurses have had in the past. It's best to be ready for this shift in employer demand with a BSN that properly prepares you for these emerging expectations.

3. Shortage of nurse educators
It's becoming increasingly difficult to get into nursing school due to a shortage of nurse educators. For this reason, the number of openings for jobs for this particular nursing career is increasing. Now is the time to pursue your BSN if you've been considering pursing a career as a nurse educator, as a BSN is the minimum requirement for most universities and nursing schools. While a Master of Science in Nursing is often a requirement, BSN-prepared nurses are usually able to conduct clinical rotations as adjunct faculty members.

4. Higher income
It may sound obvious – get a higher degree and earn more. However, the gap between what ADN and diploma nurses make and what BSN-prepared nurses earn may be larger than you think. According to PayScale.com, the current median annual salary for nurses with a BSN is more than $72,000 and about $64,000 for ADN nurses. This is likely due to the fact that BSNs are preferred for nursing management positions. Some of the highest paid nursing specialties, including nurse research and pediatric endocrinology, also require a BSN.

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