RN to BSN Online Programs: Why You Should Advance Your Career

by Ashley Eneriz

Nurses are in high demand. With more than 3 million Registered Nurses (RNs) currently employed across the nation—and a projected job growth rate of 15 percent by 2026—there is no doubt that becoming an RN is a secure career move. However, as more individuals enter the nursing field, the need for nurses with advanced college degrees is growing as well.

As an RN student or graduate, you’re already halfway to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and gaining access to more career opportunities. Exploring RN to BSN online programs to further your education is a great way to get started on gaining that competitive edge needed in today’s nursing job market.

“Becoming a BSN is now the preferred route to nursing practice,” says Lori Silao, PhD, RN, MN NNP-BC, department chair for the RN to BSN program at Azusa Pacific University. “The baccalaureate degree offers a more comprehensive view of nursing practice that can lead to better job opportunities, including advancement within an organization.”

Are you still unsure if a BSN is right for you? Here are six reasons to make the RN to BSN leap.

1. More Job Opportunities

Earning a BSN could open the door to a wider variety of career opportunities, allowing you to explore different job titles and concentrations. In fact, a number of professions require the degree. “Some career opportunities are only available to nurses with BSN or higher degrees,” Silao notes. School nurses and public health nurses both need to hold BSNs, for example.

2. Better Pay

According to PayScale, medical professionals with BSNs earn approximately $16,500 more a year than RNs. If RN to BSN online programs cost an average of $17,000 to complete, you could earn that money back in less than two years. Not many degrees have that rate of return so soon after graduation!

3. More Education Opportunities

Obtaining a BSN could be your next step toward earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees, which can lead to more professional healthcare opportunities, such as teaching nursing or becoming a nurse practitioner.

4. Fill the Nurse Educator Shortage

There is also an opportunity to educate other prospective nurses with a BSN, which is an important gap to fill given the current shortage of nurse educators. “BSN-prepared nurses are qualified to teach both certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at technical and community colleges,” explains Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN.

5. You’ll Be Better Prepared

According to Charting Nursing’s Future by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses with their BSN degree felt more prepared than their counterparts with Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADNs). The publication also reported that, “More recently, studies have supported an association between BSN staffing and outcomes such as lower incidence of pressure ulcers, postoperative deep vein thrombosis, hospital-acquired infections, and post-surgical mortality.”

6. It May One Day Be the Requirement

The present demand for nurses is high, so hospitals have become more open to hiring RNs and BSNs alike to fill the need. However, this might not always be the case.

Many hospitals are requiring hired RNs to earn their BSN degree in a certain amount of time after their start date. Other hospitals desire to obtain a “Magnet” destination title from the American Nurses Association, which requires all nurse managers and leaders to have a BSN or higher.

How to Earn a BSN with a Busy Schedule

Putting everything on hold to advance your degree and career is not a viable option for everyone. “One of the advantages of getting a BSN is that there are a variety of routes to obtain your degree,” says Silao, pointing out that the online option is ideal for working nurses and those with family commitments who cannot attend a class in person.

Pursuing an RN to BSN through an online program allows current nurses to simultaneously earn a higher college degree and continue working. BSN students can complete their school assignments and homework around their professional schedule.

Even if you are already enjoying a fulfilling career as an RN, a BSN degree could be your ticket to greater job security and other advancements. Find out just how possible earning a BSN is by exploring the RN to BSN online program offered through Azusa Pacific University. Certain ADN graduates are also eligible for a 10 percent partial tuition scholarship.

Interested in learning more about BSN programs at APU? Check out the university’s School of Nursing program opportunities.

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