The path towards becoming a nurse has two entry points. You could enroll in a two-year program and earn an associate’s degree or you could go to a four-year college and earn a BSN degree. After graduating from either program, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)
If you are not sure which road to choose, consider these five reasons to earn a BSN degree.
1. You will provide better patient care
Numerous research studies show a direct correlation between nurses with BSN degrees and better outcomes for patients. For example, one study in the Health Affairs Journal reports, “a ten-point increase in the percentage of nurses holding a baccalaureate degree in nursing within a hospital was associated with an average reduction of 2.21 deaths for every 1,000 patients.”
2. You will be prepared if the BSN becomes a requirement
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the number of nurses holding BSN degrees increase from 50% to 80%. Some state legislatures are considering mandating the BSN for all nurses. New York is the first state to require all RNs entering the profession to obtain a BSN within 10 years of receiving their RN license. Current nurses and those presently enrolled in a nursing program are exempted from this bill. It’s predicted that more and more states will head in this direction.
3. You will have a chance to move beyond a hospital
One of the advantages of a being a nurse is the numerous work environments available to you. After a few years of experience in a hospital setting, you might be interested in working as a forensic nurse, travel nurse, public health nurse or a hospice and palliative nurse. You’ll have a greater chance of moving into one of these areas with a BSN degree.
4. You will have increased job satisfaction
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says a more educated nursing workforce is linked to reports of increased job satisfaction. This might be attributed to more room for career growth, salary increases or a better understanding of patient care. As one nurse explained, “After going back to school, I think more critically about what we’re doing, and I have a better understanding of why we’re doing it.”
5. You will help the entire nursing professionz
Once you earn your BSN, you can continue your education at the graduate level and beyond. With a large number of senior nursing faculty reaching retirement age, RNs who earn a BSN and then continue to earn advanced degrees, can move into teaching and help educate the next generation of nurses.