Is Getting a BSN Worth It?

Is Getting a BSN Worth It?

Deciding on the right academic path in nursing isn’t easy. While an Associate’s Degree in Nursing offers a whirlwind entry point, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing unlocks a world of benefits. From superior earning embryonic to diverse career options and improved patient outcomes, the merits of a BSN are undeniable. This article explores why investing in a BSN could be the most brilliant move for your nursing career.

Reasons Why Getting a BSN is Worth It

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can offer several benefits and is often considered a worthwhile investment for various reasons. Here are some key reasons why obtaining a BSN is worthwhile, including:

  • Higher salaries
  • Higher employment rates
  • Increased nursing practice-area opportunities
  • Graduate school preparation
  • Career advancement
  • Increased autonomy
  • More comprehensive education
  • Earning a BSN may become mandatory
  • Improved outcomes for patients
  • It’s easy to get started

Higher Salaries

A BSN is worth it as it sets you up to earn a steady income for your nursing career, especially over time. In addition, holding a BSN enables you to pursue leadership roles and specialization, making it a more lucrative option than if you enter the workforce with an associate degree.

Moreover, nurses with bachelor’s degrees are prepared to perform more multifaceted tasks and are given more autonomy on the job than nurses with associate degrees. Furthermore, research indicates that BSN-educated nurses have a higher earning potential over time.

Higher Employment Rates

Currently, more healthcare employers require a BSN as a minimum requirement to apply for open nursing positions. Why? Part of the requirement stems from the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 study, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which recommended that 80% of nurses on staff hold a BSN by 2020. Currently, only about 57% do. While this goal has not been met, it has seemed to spur hospitals in the right direction and elevate the demand for BSN-prepared nurses.

Additionally, even if you’re considering a healthcare career in which a BSN isn’t required, having one will make you stand out from others applying with an associate degree.

Increased Nursing Practice-Area Opportunities

In the last four decades, the landscape of nursing has shifted dramatically. From a mere 22% of nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1980, the proportion has skyrocketed to 57% by 2018. This surge reflects a switch in graduate preferences and aligns with evolving healthcare needs. As hospital admissions fall and shorter stays become commonplace, the industry shifts toward outpatient settings.

These dynamic environments demand the broader skillset a BSN program fosters, equipping nurses for diverse roles beyond hospital walls. BSN graduates thrive in settings like home health, community clinics, and leadership positions, their knowledge applicable across critical care, public health, and mental health realms. This versatility positions BSN nurses as critical players in a healthcare system where demand for services outside traditional hospitals is steadily growing.

Graduate School Preparation

The changing focus towards primary and preventive healthcare, combined with the threefold higher number of registered nurses (RNs) compared to physicians, suggests that nurses will persist as primary care providers. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with specialized training at the master’s and doctoral levels are the logical progression for RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Opting to become an APRN offers notable benefits, such as substantial salary hikes and expanded job prospects, with many graduate programs mandating a BSN as a prerequisite for admission.

Career Advancement

A BSN degree unlocks doors beyond basic nursing jobs. Leadership positions, specialized roles in cardiology or pediatrics, and coordinator roles in case management or quality improvement become accessible. Plus, many nursing certifications, which boost career options and pay, demand a bachelor’s degree.

Imagine specializing in critical care, women’s health, or diabetes – BSN opens that door. With numerous potential certifications within each specialty, like the 15 options in critical care alone, your career path becomes much broader and more rewarding.

Increased Autonomy

Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) play an integral role in healthcare facilities, as their advanced education equips them to take on more autonomy and responsibility in patient care decisions. This autonomy allows BSN nurses to make critical choices to benefit patients promptly. These include determining appropriate post-operative and preventative care, managing home healthcare, coordinating comprehensive care plans throughout a patient’s admission, and discerning how to utilize new health technologies best.

With the healthcare system facing strains from nursing shortages and an aging population, the decision-making abilities of BSN nurses are essential. Their broader scope of practice enables them to efficiently address patient needs, potentially lowering mortality rates and improving patient satisfaction. In short, the advanced critical thinking and leadership skills gained through BSN education prepare nurses to take on more autonomous roles to deliver high-quality, timely care.

More Comprehensive Education

Beginning as an ADN comes with the immediate benefit of enrolling in a shorter, more cost-effective program, allowing simultaneous work while pursuing a BSN later. The BSN program’s comprehensive education enhances your readiness for delivering high-quality care and ensuring safety, ultimately fostering increased autonomy.

Nursing extends beyond the clinical proficiency shared by ADN and BSN graduates. Opting for a four-year baccalaureate education brings advantages such as a broader perspective on a global scale and a curriculum encompassing patient education, decision-making, community health, and leadership preparation.

Earning a BSN May Become Mandatory

Hospitals prefer hiring nurses with a BSN as a criterion for achieving Magnet status. Additionally, the American Nurses Credentialing Center gives this title for nursing excellence, innovations in nursing practice, and quality patient outcomes.

Moreover, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed the BSN in 10 law in 2017. This requires all New York nurses to receive a BSN within ten years of becoming a nurse. Other states, such as Rhode Island and New Jersey, are considering similar bills.

Improved Outcomes for Patients

A wave of research points towards a positive link between nurses holding Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees and improved patient outcomes. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing highlights several compelling findings: BSN graduates demonstrate significantly more vital skills in critical safety and quality aspects of patient care than their counterparts.

Notably, a 10% increase in BSN staffing translates to a 10.9% decrease in patient mortality odds. Additionally, hospitals with a higher share of BSN nurses report benefits like lower mortality rates from heart failure, shorter hospital stays, and reduced instances of complications like pressure ulcers and blood clots.

Even beyond US borders, a study involving six European hospitals revealed similar connections between increased BSN proportions and better patient outcomes with enhanced quality of care. Furthermore, the broader scope of education and greater autonomy associated with BSN degrees appear to be critical factors contributing to this improved level of care delivered by BSN-prepared nurses.

It’s Easy to Get Started

Being an RN with an active license opens doors to unique ways of earning your BSN, even though nursing programs are typically not online due to the required clinical expertise. As you already possess those skills, online options become available!

With your ADN, you can pursue a fully online BSN program. In addition, several schools even offer specific “bridge programs” designed for RNs with either ADN or LPN degrees, allowing you to complete them in just one year, and some of these are entirely online! So, your existing experience unlocks faster, more flexible pathways to a BSN, even in the digital realm.


While both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing open doors to rewarding careers, the advantages of a BSN are undeniable. From more substantial earning potential and broader career options to enhanced patient outcomes and increased job security, investing in a BSN is a strategic move for ambitious nurses seeking professional fulfillment and impact. So, if you’re at a crossroads, leap a BSN – it’s an investment in your future, your patients, and, ultimately, the healthcare system as a whole. However, if you are looking for the highest quality nursing essays and nursing dissertations, you can place your order here

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