Why Should You Bother Earning a BSN?

Many ADN-prepared registered nurses are hesitant to get back to school and earn a BSN degree. If you are one of them, you can probably say a mouthful about the reasons for your reluctance to further your education.

Your most likely reason could be the not-so-large salary difference between ADN and BSN-prepared nurses. Both are RNs and have similar, although not identical, duties and responsibilities. Therefore, hospitals tend to pay them similar salaries. Of course, this varies greatly from one facility to another. But generally, an RN’s experience, rather than whether he or she earned an ADN or BSN, is usually the basis for wages. Hospitals are always looking to cut costs and they are unlikely to pay an RN with a BSN more than what they pay an RN with an ADN, especially if the ADN has more experience.

Another possible reason you may cite is the additional time, money and effort you have to give to earn that BSN. Amid rising costs of living and personal expenses, it is understandable that you choose to devote these resources on working instead of studying. You need to earn money now to pay the bills. Being burdened by student loans after graduating may be out of the question for you.

Your view against getting that BSN may be reinforced by some of your coworkers. You hear all the drama about ADNs being better at nursing skills than new BSNs. Or BSNs complaining about why they don’t get the extra incentive for their extra years of education.

So, either you have the impression or are definitely convinced that it does not matter if you get that BSN or not. It seems there are a few incentives in doing so. Why even bother?

You might reconsider your position if you recognize the trend in the nursing industry. Standards are changing. Nursing leaders and medical facilities want the BSN to become the entry level of practice for nurses. A growing number of hospitals are urging or even requiring their LPNs and ADNs to get their BSN degrees. Schools have opened new LPN to BSN and RN to BSN programs to fill the demand.

Numerous nursing studies over the past decade have shown that patient outcomes are better in nursing units composed of BSN-prepared RNs. These nurses have been found to possess not only more knowledge but also critical thinking and decision-making skills that better impact patient care.

Given that facilities now and in the future will prefer hiring RNs with BSN, wouldn’t it be prudent to earn that degree now? Doing so will secure your future in nursing.

Having a BSN will certainly not make you wealthy at an instant. But it will increase your salary, even by just a little. In hard times, even a little extra money is welcome.

What it could also do for you is you get to pick better-paying facilities that prefer BSN graduates. You will be ahead of other applicants who do not have the BSN. The BSN is also your platform for advancement. It opens up many opportunities career-wise. You can earn a master’s degree or advanced practice certification when you have that BSN requirement.

While nothing can substitute for experience, the value of more nursing education cannot be dismissed. Nursing as a profession must be committed to constant improvement. Gaining your BSN is a step in that direction. Times are changing, standards are being updated and nursing as a profession is evolving. Keep in step and get that BSN degree.

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