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Higher Education in Nursing: Does It Make Sense to Pursue Your BSN?

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Tellakos | After being licensed as a registered nurse (RN), a nursing professional’s opportunities for pursuing a career in the medical field expand. The license should be treated as a gateway ticket rather than the final destination of an RN’s career. From that perspective, it does make sense to join a BSN course. BSN is not the final goal either, but it’s a step up in the right direction. The following points should provide more clarity regarding the importance and practicality of taking that step.

First Step Up as an RN:

To graduate as a nurse, it is necessary to complete a properly accredited MSN course. However, an RN must have their BSN certificate first to even apply for any accredited master’s degree program. Therefore, if you wish to make true progress in your nursing career, holding a BSN certificate is mandatory.

Considerable Salary Hike:

RNs without a bachelor’s degree/master’s degree earn about $65,900 per year on average. RNs that do hold a BSN certification are reported to earn a mean salary of $86,200 per year. Both pieces of information are supplied by PayScale, so the data can be put into comparative analysis. Apparently, nurses earn almost 31% more per year after completing their BSN degree. That is a huge salary boost, big enough to make the extra effort and expense of pursuing a BSN worth it.

In fact, the boost in pay is more lucrative than what BSN nurses receive on average after they complete their MSN certification course. From the same source as linked earlier, it can be estimated that nurses with a master’s degree have a mean income of $95,600 per year approximately. That is an average yearly pay boost which comes to less than 11%. Naturally, it does not seem as impressive after learning that BSN can get a nurse’s yearly pay hiked by nearly 31% (average).

There are Online Accelerated BSN Programs for Non-Nurses:

Even if you do not yet have an RN license, it might still be possible for you to become a qualified nurse by completing an accelerated BSN program directly. For example, Baylor University is offering several online accelerated BSN programs for non nurses in Texas, but only to residents outside the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex area. 

The Caregiver’s Role: Getting Better at the Job:

The nursing profession is more than just another job, as lives depend on your expertise, knowledge, and experience. A bachelor’s degree can help you grow as a professional and become a better caregiver. There is data to support the fact that patients suffer less when placed under the care of nurses with higher qualifications. We will cite a few examples next.

Decreased Post-Surgical Mortality:

According to a published article on the US National Library of Medicine (NCBI) website, it was found that increasing the number of baccalaureate RNs within the nursing force managed to reduce post-surgical mortality.

Lowered Instances of Hospital-Acquired Infections:

Instances of HAIs such as UTIs, pneumonia, surgical site infections, etc. are lowered quite significantly when adequately trained BSN nurses were employed. This is a common observation, which has been studied beyond doubt.

BSN Nurses are Rarely Associated with Deep Vein Thrombosis:

DVTs are, unfortunately, quite common in post-operative cases. It is not always someone’s fault, but in rare instances where it is indeed a case of the nurse’s negligence, those with BSN or higher degrees are seldom involved.

Boosted Employ ability:

Not only do BSN-certified nurses earn more but they also enjoy a higher employability rate. The reasons behind this can be summed up as follows:

  • No hospital or clinic wants to get sued for medical negligence and BSNs are much less likely to be responsible.
  • Establishments become more efficient on having highly qualified staff on the payroll.
  • Marketing a more qualified and better-trained workforce is easier.
  • Due to their advanced education and training, BSN nurses are also able to apply for a wider range of positions.
  • Unlike less qualified nurses, BSNs are trained to handle administrative and management responsibilities as well.

Online Education Model: Making BSN Degrees Practical for Professionals:

Designed for working professionals, online BSN courses offer more flexibility than traditional BSN courses can. If you want to pursue higher career goals, but have been finding it difficult due to financial and family responsibilities, consider the following advantages that the online model brings:

  • Online BSN programs charge lower tuition fees.
  • There is no additional cost of commuting to and from the university campus.
  • You don’t have to shift to another city or state, so there are no added living expenses.
  • Working RNs can hold onto their present jobs, eliminating financial issues that come with a sudden loss of income.
  • Working nurses can simultaneously earn a BSN degree, hundreds of clinic hours, and a steady income.
  • Although still difficult, it is possible to handle family responsibilities better when you are at home after work.
  • Paying back the student loan is easier and faster when you can maintain a full-time job.

Juggling everything can never be easy, even if the course is completed online. Nevertheless, online BSN programs are more feasible and practical for working nurses with families, as compared to traditional programs.

More Affordable, Accredited Courses are Now Available Online:

After the recent global health disaster, online courses have gained significant attention in all fields of education. Higher education opportunities for nurses were available long before 2020, but the pandemic has expanded it further. The need for more nursing professionals was felt severely across all states last year, but the shortage itself was already an old problem at that point.

The same scarcity continues to be an issue in 2021 as well, but measures have been taken to promote online nursing degrees. Consequently, BSN degree courses have become more affordable and approachable. In a few years’ time when more qualified nurses are added to the workforce, perhaps the issue can be mitigated to some degree. All these developments have only made BSN online degrees more lucrative, practical opportunities for RNs than before.

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