What is an RN-BSN Degree?

You can work as a registered nurse (RN) if you have a two-year nursing associate’s degree, but an RN-BSN degree is a degree program that gives you both a bachelor’s degree and nursing education. One of the main differences between a two-year nursing program that usually provides an associate’s degree in nursing and the RN-BSN is added liberal arts education. You may not need to attend a full four years of college to receive an RN-BSN. Some colleges and universities offer online and accelerated programs, especially for RNs who are already working and want to increase their skills, education and earning potential.

Higher Salary Potential

According to Nurse Journal, a 2014 study of over 180,000 nurses conducted by Payscale showed that the median salary for RNs was $39,100 a year, while nurses with BSN degrees earned a median salary of $69,000. An RN-BSN degree will allow you to apply for jobs with higher levels of responsibility than you could with just an RN degree with a diploma or associate’s degree. With a BSN degree in nursing, you could work in a nursing specialty, become a supervisor, or work assisting in medical research. All of these specialties pay more than basic hourly RN positions.

Improved Care Provision and Requests for More Education

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has conducted studies for the past ten years that show that nurses with a BSN have better patient care outcomes including lower rates of patient mortality. About 51% of nurses currently have a BSN, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is recommending that the percentage grow to 80% by 2020. Nurses are now being encouraged to complete their BSN within five years of graduating with their associates degree. Nurse Journal reports that a number of employers are requiring that currently-employed RNs complete their BSN degree by 2020 as well. An RN-BSN degree is considered valuable enough that some employers also provide funding for at least some portion of the degree program.

Opportunities for Advancement

The additional salary and responsibilities offered to nurses with an RN-BSN degree can be lucrative, but one of the most attractive parts of the degree program is the specialties that nurses are able to enter with the degree. From nurse manager to unit manager, most nurses performing management roles have a BSN degree in nursing and certification. Many specialties of practice, like pediatrics, neonatology, adult/gerontology, and emergency medicine, are open to RN-BSN holders as well.

You will be exposed to a variety of different courses, including liberal arts courses like writing, history and social sciences, if you choose to enroll in an RN-BSN program. Many RNs with a diploma or associate’s degree find programs that will allow them to work and complete their degree at the same time. Online and hybrid programs are offered by colleges and universities in almost every state. Job opportunities and salary levels will vary depending upon where you choose to practice nursing. If you are a nurse who wants to advance in skill, specialty and salary, getting a four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing will help you achieve your professional goals.

Related Resource:
Top 10 Best Online RN to BSN Programs