Bloomberg recently reported on the growing need for nurses in the U.S.—and for more nursing schools to educate them. This is nothing new. Nurses have always been regarded as the backbone of our healthcare system, and with more positions becoming available every day, we continually need more nurses to fill them.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, the United States is facing a nursing shortage due to multiple factors that were only exacerbated by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This demand for nurses is ongoing as evidenced by an HHS study that states that 50,000 new registered nurses should be added to the existing workforce every year since 2014 just to meet the growing need. Despite this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that registered nursing employment will grow by 6% in the next decade.
Joyce University is proud to help meet the rising demands for well-trained nurses by offering accelerated, year-round education programs that enable new nurses to become licensed faster than traditional programs. Registered nurses are required to have a minimum of an associate’s degree in nursing to become licensed. However, for nurses seeking to grow in their careers, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing can open more doors for nurses looking for career advancement, increased salaries, and improved patient outcomes.
A BSN degree opens more employment doors. Jobs for BSNs include leadership positions, management roles, traveling nurse contracts, and other specialty positions. A bachelor’s degree is widely accepted as essential for many nursing careers, but a BSN is also becoming a requirement for many nursing positions at certain hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Recognizing the value of more educated nursing staff, many institutions now require all of their nurses to hold a BSN, even for positions that previously requires an associate’s degree only. This practice is becoming more common, so to remain competitive for the majority of posted nursing jobs, nurses are encouraged to continue their education and become BSN-prepared.
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Every person has to start somewhere, and almost every career begins with an entry-level position. There’s an egalitarian nature to nursing, the sense that all nurses are in this together, but there’s still some hierarchy. When looking at jobs for BSNs, you’ll notice that leadership, management, and higher-level nursing staff positions require a BSN degree. Meaning, if you want more upward mobility in your nursing career, earning your BSN will give you broader opportunities for career growth.
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As a whole, BSN-educated nurses receive improved benefits for their labor. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree can earn a higher salary, enjoy a better work-life balance, and have more control over their work schedules. As a leader and an expert within the field, you also pull more influence over internal processes and workplace culture with a BSN.
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Some nurses spend their whole careers in direct patient care positions and wouldn’t dream of doing anything else; others find the idea of teaching, case management, informatics, leadership or policy more appealing after they’ve put in a few years bedside.
While you may be okay with the high-impact physical activity you do as part of your nursing job today, this may not be the case five, 10, or 15 years down the road. Earning a BSN will open the doors to non-clinical jobs in the future, so you have the option of teaching or administration.
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Online education has come a long way. Joyce University’s RN to BSN program is designed for working nurses with 100% of the didactic coursework completed online and asynchronously. This means you can complete the program in as little as one year so you can balance coursework with the rest of your life. It allows you to keep your current job and be more present for your family and friends. You can do the schoolwork when it fits into your schedule, wherever you work most comfortably, and you don’t have to commute to campus.
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The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has aggregated numerous studies reporting on nursing care. Some of the many benefits of a BSN degree include:
This research, though impressive, shouldn’t be too surprising. The purpose of higher education in nursing is to increase your workplace knowledge and proficiency. This evidence simply proves its effectiveness and that earning your BSN will make you a better nurse.
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A glance at the median salaries of nurses with an ASN vs. nurses with a BSN shows that you can earn quite a bit more money with an advanced degree. According to research, the pay difference between nurses with and without a BSN was over $6,000 a year. Some nurses see an immediate pay increase after obtaining their BSN depending on their current position and work benefits. However, others may not see a raise until they apply for higher-paying positions that are only available to those with higher education.
Higher-paying nursing positions often require a BSN, as do some graduate programs, which can open the door to many different career paths. The real financial benefit is that you can apply for the highest-paying BSN jobs. Earning a BSN might not increase your salary overnight (though it might!), but it will open the door to a higher salary.
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Even if it’s your first day as a nurse, you’re contributing to the nursing profession. But if you want to claim a stake and help bring some definition or further change to the evolving world of healthcare — through educating others, shaping policy, or conducting research — a BSN will help get you there.
It is valuable for nurses to constantly continue the pursuit education, notably to have a stronger voice and impact on how the nursing profession evolves. Earning a BSN can solidify your authority and enable you to contribute in more meaningful ways to the nursing industry.
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If the previous reasons didn’t convince you, many state legislators have already made up their minds. While many top hospitals and healthcare systems already require their nurses to be bachelor-prepared, or to get their BSN within a certain amount of time after hire, legislation like the ‘BSN in “10”’ bills are being introduced in various states and has been passed in New York state requiring RNs to earn their BSN within 10 years of licensure to continue practicing. While New York is the only state to approve this rule, it is likely other states will follow suit by requiring nurses to earn their BSNs to help improve patient outcomes.
Related Resource: Why Some Hospitals Already Require a BSN Degree
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can provide nurses with a better work-life balance for several reasons. Because BSN-prepared nurses receive a more comprehensive education and advanced skills, they often have access to a wider range of job opportunities, allowing them to choose roles that align with their personal preferences and family commitments. Additionally, healthcare institutions increasingly value BSN degrees, offering more favorable work schedules, higher salaries, and improved job satisfaction for nurses with BSN degrees.
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If you’re interested in expanding your career choices as a nurse by earning your BSN, learn more about our 1-year RN to BSN program. You can complete schoolwork when it fits into your schedule, keep your current job while attending, and be more present for your family and friends. Request more information online or call us a (801) 890-4704.