What Are the Advantages of a BSN over an RN?

As you begin thinking about a career in nursing, you may be looking at many different types of educational and work paths and wondering all sorts of things, including if there are advantages of a BSN over an RN. If that question is foremost in your mind, it may help to define the terms carefully so you can understand whether or not you need to make this particular comparison, and if not, what comparisons and questions would be more helpful to consider.

Defining Some Important Terms

RN stands for registered nurse. You become an RN by taking the national exam for registered nurses, the NCLEX. In order to take and pass that exam, you will need some nursing education. Some people go into a diploma program, while others get college degrees. Associate degrees in nursing last for two years, while bachelor degrees in nursing — the degree called BSN — takes four years to complete. So as you can see, you can’t really say you will either get a BSN or become an RN, as though one has an advantage over the other. You can get a BSN degree in order to become an RN, though it’s not entirely necessary. However, it’s probably good to know that in recent years, the BSN degree has become one of the more appreciated and sought after degrees than an RN can have. Because of that, some people who became RNs without a BSN have been encouraged and helped to go back to school to earn the degree.

More Precise Questions

The question you might want to ask is not whether a BSN degree has any advantage over becoming an RN, because one is a degree that helps lead to the other. The more precise questions you may want to ask are: is there an advantage to being an RN instead of obtaining a lesser nursing role? And is there an advantage to getting a BSN over becoming an RN without the BSN degree?

These are big questions worth asking if you’re just starting to explore your options. There are nursing roles you can take on before becoming an RN, such as becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or even a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). While these opportunities pay less than working as an RN, and won’t allow you to do as many things, they can be good beginning roles if you want to enter the nursing field quickly and learn on the job or if you’re not yet sure if you want to commit to becoming an RN. As mentioned earlier, there are other shorter educational routes to becoming an RN, but if you already have some nursing experience and/or work as an LPN or CNA, you will likely want to look into some of the many advantages of continuing on for your BSN degree. Some of those advantages are greater pay, more complex job opportunities, and the chance to get a graduate degree.

Related Resource:
Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Learning about your various work and educational options is an important first step as you contemplate your nursing career. While the advantages of a BSN over an RN aren’t really what you need to consider, there are plenty of other things you do need to think about as you move forward.