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5 Benefits of a BSN: What Nurses Should Know

Written by: Wilson College   •  Jan 9, 2024
A Nursing Student Takes Notes During a Lecture in a Classroom With Other Nursing Students.

5 Benefits of a BSN: What Nurses Should Know

Nurses know the value of education, and an increase in the number of registered nurses (RNs) who’ve earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree reflects their respect for higher learning. According to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, in 2015, a total of 39% of RNs had earned a BSN when they applied for their first nursing license. By 2022, a total of 47.2% of RNs applying for their first nursing license had earned a BSN.

From career advancement to specialization opportunities to rewarding work, the benefits of a BSN are substantial. Exploring how earning a BSN can enhance a nursing career is a valuable exercise for any RN who may be considering enrolling in an RN to BSN degree program

What Nurses Do and Their Role in Healthcare

Nurses are the bedrock of healthcare, and they form the largest segment of our healthcare workforce. They provide most of the patient care in hospitals, as well as the majority of care in long-term care facilities.

Nurses are involved in providing almost any type of healthcare service. While it’s natural to think of nurses as working primarily in hospitals, they can work in a wide variety of settings. For example, nurses are valued team members at:

  • Community healthcare facilities

  • Private medical practices

  • Home healthcare organizations

  • Nursing homes 

  • Outpatient centers

  • Mental health facilities

  • Hospice organizations

  • Organizations that conduct healthcare research

In addition to treating their patients’ health issues, nurses are responsible for monitoring their patients’ health and educating patients on maintaining good health. The role they play in healthcare finds them performing responsibilities such as:

  • Observing and recording patients’ behavior and vital signs

  • Coordinating with other healthcare professionals to develop patients’ treatment plans

  • Administering patients’ treatment plans

  • Performing diagnostic procedures

  • Promoting preventive healthcare

  • Advocating for their patients

The Expertise Nurses Gain from a BSN

The knowledge and skills that individuals acquire through BSN programs demonstrates the value of earning a BSN. Both a BSN curriculum and an RN to BSN curriculum offer nurses the opportunity to acquire a broad set of skills and expertise. For example, these programs educate nurses in subjects such as the following:

  • Health assessment. Through health assessment courses, nursing students learn about interviewing patients, recording patients’ health histories, and conducting physical assessments of patients.

  • Health promotion. Promoting good health is a large part of a nurse’s job, and health promotion courses teach nursing students about interventions that promote health and approaches for helping patients adhere to health promotion and illness prevention strategies.

  • Human anatomy and physiology. Learning about human anatomy and physiology enables nursing students to develop an understanding of organ systems and processes such as metabolism, knowledge that’s critical in providing healthcare services to patients.

  • Healthcare informatics. Technology plays a large part in healthcare, and healthcare informatics courses teach nursing students about healthcare-related technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and their role in patient care.

  • Healthcare research. Nurses are lifelong learners, and courses in healthcare research enable nursing students to form an understanding of research techniques and the principles of research.

  • Nutrition. Courses in nutrition offer nursing students the opportunity to acquire expertise in the relationship between nutrition and health, as well as the health effects of nutrition from a clinical point of view.

  • Role transitions. Learning about role transitions enables nursing students to form an understanding of leadership in nursing and how issues such as healthcare policies and healthcare financing can affect nursing practice.

Exploring the Career Advantages: 5 Benefits of a BSN

Learning about the benefits of a BSN can help individuals better understand the value of earning the degree. The information below highlights examples of those benefits.

1. Opportunity to Work in a Rewarding Profession

Individuals who have a desire to help others can find rewarding work in nursing. The opportunity to assist patients and their families through a health issue can be incredibly fulfilling. When consulting firm McKinsey & Co. surveyed nurses worldwide in 2022, it found that performing meaningful work was a significant factor in nurses’ decisions to continue working in their current positions.

2. Attractive Job Prospects for an In-Demand Field

The ongoing nursing shortage in the U.S. has resulted in attractive job prospects for nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that the U.S. healthcare system will have 193,100 openings for RNs each year through 2032. Factors such as increases in chronic disease and an aging population have resulted in growing demand for healthcare services. 

In addition, new nurses will be needed to replace nurses who decide to retire or move into new fields. The results of the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey showed that in 2020, a total of 22.1% of nurses planned to retire or leave the profession in the next five years; in 2022, 28.7% of nurses stated that they planned to retire or leave nursing in the next five years.

3. Ability to Specialize in an Area of Interest

Nursing is a field that offers tremendous opportunity to specialize in an area of healthcare that aligns with a person’s interests. According to the Washington Center for Nursing (WCN), nurses can choose from more than 100 specializations. From emergency nursing to pediatrics to public health, nurses have the opportunity to work in the types of healthcare that match their preferences.

4. Multiple Avenues for Career Advancement

One of the most significant benefits of earning a BSN is that it builds a solid foundation for career advancement and offers the chance to progress to nursing positions with greater responsibility. For example, RNs can capitalize on their experience and expertise to move into positions such as nurse manager, a role in which a nurse supervises and oversees other nurses. Nurses who pursue graduate degrees can also move into nursing education or become nurse practitioners.

5. Attractive Compensation

Nurse compensation levels are attractive. As of May 2022, RNs earned a median annual salary of $81,220, according to the BLS. Of course, salary levels can vary based on factors such as years of experience, education, and geographic location.

Earning a BSN Can Lay the Groundwork for a Fulfilling Career

The benefits associated with a BSN can make earning the degree a valuable endeavor. Equipped with a BSN, nurses can chart a course for rewarding work in a field that offers opportunity for specialization and advancement.

RNs who are interested in earning a BSN can explore Wilson College Online’s RN to BSN degree program to learn how the program can help them achieve their career goals. Offering flexible schedules and the chance to expand nursing expertise, the program can be the starting point for a fulfilling career. Take the first step on your journey to a BSN today.

Recommended Readings

How to Become a Nurse Manager

LPN vs. RN: Comparing Nursing Roles

Why Earn an Advanced Degree in Nursing?

Sources:

American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Nursing Workforce Fact Sheet

American Nurses Association, Three Types of Nurses and What They Do

ANA Enterprise, Nursing Career Pathways

Indeed, Nurse Manager: What They Do, Skills and Job Requirements

Journal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research, “Nursing: The Heartbeat of Healthcare”

Journal of Nursing Regulation, “The 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey”

McKinsey & Co., “Around the World, Nurses Say Meaningful Work Keeps Them Going”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses

Washington Center for Nursing, Career Paths/Nursing Specialties

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