Between 2013 and 2017, the number of nurses who had an associate’s degree as their highest level of nursing education decreased from 33 percent of 28 percent, while those who listed their BSN as their highest degree increased from 40 to 45 percent. Nurses appear to be responding to the call from the Institute of Medicine to increase the number of nurses who had earned at least a BSN. As we continue to redesign healthcare in the United States, the need grows for a large population of educated nurses who can help address the growing medical challenges of the aging baby boomer demographic.
Currently, more than 700 online and campus-based RN-to-BSN programs in the United States help nurses make the jump from RN to BSN. These bridge programs are ideal for RNs with a bachelor’s degree in another field who want to jumpstart their careers and for RNs who hold an associate degree or a diploma in nursing who want to earn their BSN.
A study of nurses who continued their education with an RN to BSN degree program found that these professionals reported:
- Improved self-esteem and self-confidence
- Greater career mobility and stability
- Improved assessment skills
- Better patient outcomes
- A jump in critical thinking and communication skills
Additionally, according to PayScale, a nurse with an associate degree in nursing earns an average salary of $70k in 2020. However, those who have their BSN will see the average salary jump to $84k.
If pursuing a BSN degree sounds like something you would be interested in doing to improve your own career path, here is what you should know.
What Are The Requirements For an RN to a BSN Degree Program?
To enter an RN-to-BSN program, students will generally need:
- An application for admission
- A college GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- A diploma in an RN program, or enrolled and on track to graduate from an approved RN program
- A passing score on the NCLEX-RN exam and a nursing license
These specific requirements may vary depending upon the program.
While in the RN-to-BSN program, you will attend rigorous classes that will challenge you to become the best nurse you can be. When you finish the program, you will have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which can then be used as a launching point for the rest of your career.
You can use your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to become more competitive for job openings, improve your personal practice, increase your salary, and as a launching point for any future degrees you wish to pursue.
How Long Are RN to BSN Programs?
Going from an RN to a BSN will generally take about 2 years, although some programs will allow students to transfer in credits to shorten this timeframe.
How Can I Go From an RN to a BSN?
The RN-To-BSN curriculum will focus on a range of common core courses including:
- Writing and other communication arts
- Liberal arts
These courses aim to deepen your understanding and your skill level in each area to help you become a successful and collaborative health care provider and leader. You will be challenged to think deeply about the issues at hand so that you can provide the best possible care for your patients.
You will likely find yourself taking classes that focus on subjects such as Nursing Leadership and Management; End of Life: Death, Dying and Bereavement; Cultural Influences on Health, Illness, and Health Care; and Population and Community Health Nursing.
The cost of the program you decide to pursue will be dependent upon many factors, including how long your studies take and where you complete your degree. Many quality online courses will cost between $400 and $500 per credit hour.
What Can You Do With a BSN?
Once you’ve completed your RN to BSN program, you will find that your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree opens many new professional doors. Many medical establishments specifically require that their nurses carry a bachelor’s degree, including positions with the U.S. Armed Forces, the Veterans’ Administration, and Public Health Service.
You will also find yourself eligible for more promotions and advancements in the field, as managerial positions often require a BSN at a minimum. If you feel interested in one day holding a job such as head nurse, department chief, or clinical nurse manager, you will want to have your education credentials in place.
How Much Can You Earn With a BSN?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses can expect strong job growth over the next ten years. By 2028, there is expected to be a 12 percent growth rate in the number of jobs available, which is much faster than the average job growth rate. The BLS also estimates the median annual wage for registered nurses as $71,730, with the highest ten percent of nurses earning over $106,530.
This growth rate has been propelled by the increase in demand for healthcare services for the aging baby-boomer population and the need for preventive care throughout the country.
Making the leap with a quality RN to BSN program can help you open doors for yourself and give you even more opportunities to excel in your career. Consider what you want your future to look like and how earning this degree can help you achieve your dreams.
Then, reach out to Post University and ask about our online RN to BSN program. We can help answer all your questions and get you on the road toward your BSN.