Career Advancement Opportunities with your RN-BS in Nursing

You have a passion for caring for others, and when it comes to your existing career in nursing, the sky’s the limit for how your career can grow. Completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing can help advance your career and have an even bigger impact on helping to support healthy living in your community.
Here are some of the benefits an RN-BS in Nursing can bring:

Job mobility

An Associate Degree in Nursing enables you to work in basic floor patient care. However, opportunities in addition to this type of care – such as more managerial tasks, added responsibility and much more – can be limited with just an ADN. An RN-BS opens many new doors for your career.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics listed a number of nurse specializations that may be possible with an RN-BS in Nursing, such as:

  • Addiction nurses
  • Neonatology nurses
  • Critical care nurses

In addition, with additional education, similar career paths can include:

  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Nurse midwives
  • Nurse anesthetists

There are many more career outcomes that could be started with an RN-BS in Nursing.

An RN-BS can also help you be a more competitive job candidate. A study by Burning Glass Technologies found that RN-BS holders were eligible for 88 percent of 187,000 nurse job postings, while those with only their RN license qualified for just 51 percent of the positions.

Magnet hospitals, or hospitals designated by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center for high quality of care, generally seek nurses that have at least an RN-BS. The magnet process can be long and expensive for the hospital, but the end result includes prestige, financial gain and the ability to attract and retain top talent. As a result, registered nurses with their Bachelor of Science degree are so highly desired that hospitals and other health organizations often offer incentives or financial reimbursement for receiving the degree, since skilled employees may help attain magnet status.

Furthermore, hospitals are reaching a point where having an RN-BS is not only highly desired, but required. Guiding bodies in nursing are encouraging a critical shift to having the majority of nurses receive their bachelor’s degree. In its report, “The Future of Nursing,” the Institute of Medicine stated its goal to increase the number of nurses with their bachelor’s degree to make up 80 percent of the workforce by 2020, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nurses who do not receive their RN-BS may increasingly find themselves having difficulty finding jobs over the next several years.

Management or administration roles

Some nurses may wish to eventually move into management or care coordination roles, and an RN-BS is key to securing these types of positions. The degree program enhances professional nurses skills in areas like leadership skills or theories of nursing practices that can help prepare them for these types of interdisciplinary roles. With an RN-BS, professional nurses can move into roles like quality control, risk assessment, public health education, care management or nursing informatics, according to Nursing Licensure.

Graduate school

An RN-BS is typically required for nurses to enter graduate programs. These programs can be incredibly beneficial to their careers, allowing them to dive into niche areas relevant to their desired specialization and become experts in their field. Nursing professionals in graduate programs study and conduct scholarly research and explore the many complex issues related to nursing in the 21st century. This in-depth education helps students develop a comprehensive knowledge base that aids in advancing in their careers and make them competitive candidates for positions at a variety of institutions, from government health organizations to the top hospitals or medical schools in the country.

The flexibility needed for today’s nursing jobs

The nature of nursing is changing, and nursing professionals need to be prepared to not only accommodate these changes, but flourish in their new positions. The role of a nurse is taking on more weight in the framework of the larger healthcare system, primarily due to changing federal regulations, the growing number of providers that a patient sees over the course of their lifetime, and reimbursement mandates that connect greater numbers of care providers and reward quality over quantity of care. Within this new system, a nurse’s role expands and takes on greater responsibility and influence.

As NursingLicensure noted, “Increasingly highly educated nurses are taking over roles that were traditionally reserved for doctors. Organizations like the Institute of Medicine believe that the nation’s healthcare future depends on this.”

Nurses will need to develop a more comprehensive set of skills beyond providing basic care. They’ll “need to be prepared for the expanding professional roles as a result of an evolving healthcare environment which is increasing in complexity,” according to NurseJournal. In addition, healthcare is also changing its focus from inpatient care to primary and preventative care that takes place in a range of locations beyond the traditional doctor’s office. An RN-BS can give nurses the preparation they need to succeed in these new and expanded roles.

Higher salary

Receiving a bachelor’s degree in nursing can help you receive a salary boost. Payscale compared the salaries for nurses with an RN compared to ones with a bachelor’s degree, and found that nurses with an RN-BS receive a salary of $69,000, as opposed to RN’s median salary of $39,100, according to NurseJournal. In addition, the site noted that a study by Burning Glass Technologies found that the mean salary for registered nurses or those with ADNs was $66,000, while nurses with a BS received a mean salary of $75,000.

An RN-BS can lead to graduate school or management and leadership roles in nursing, which can command even higher salaries. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, for example, can earn a salary of $116,775, while a Family Nurse Practitioner can receive $108,534, according to Payscale.

A new appreciation for the field

A bachelor’s degree enables nurses to explore their profession in greater depth, learning how nursing fits into the humanities, the ethics of nursing, and the thought-provoking theories that shape their practice, in addition to participating in clinicals. Many nursing professionals find this type of education to be very rewarding and fulfilling.

As NursingLicensure noted, “There is a lot more nursing theory in a baccalaureate level program than in a lower level one. Nurses exit knowing the why’s as well as the how’s. Some find that higher education rekindles their enthusiasm for the nursing profession.”

With a bachelor’s degree, nurses can reach exciting new levels in their careers and develop an even greater passion for their profession.


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