5 Reasons of Pursuing your BSN

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Thinking of going back to school? Now might be the time. It's true that earning a BSN degree is a huge commitment of both time and money, but all of the available evidence indicates that demand for BSN nurses is on the rise. Innovative educational programs, including online options, have also made it easier than ever for working nurses to advance their education.

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons to pursue your BSN:

Reason #1: BSN in 10 legislation

At least 18 states, including New York, New Jersey and Oklahoma, are seriously considering legislation that would require nurses to obtain a BSN degree within 10 years of licensure. The American Nurses Association and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) strongly support the push toward advanced nursing education. In 2011, the IOM released The Future of Nursing, which recommends that 80 percent of all nurses have a BSN degree by 2020.

Reason #2: Increased earning potential

Statistics show that BSN nurses, on average, earn more than ADN-prepared nurses. According to Payscale.com, the median salary for BSN-prepared nurses is $62, 674; for ADN nurses, it's $50, 565.

That difference is largely because BSN nurses are prepared to take on higher-paying jobs, such as those in management. Some health care organizations, though, are willing to pay a premium for BSN nurses. Others, such as North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, are only hiring nurses with BSN degrees (or nurses willing to obtain a BSN within five years of employment).

Reason #3: Enhanced job skills

LPN and ADN programs provide a great nursing education, and LPNs and ADN-prepared nurses are highly competent nurses. A BSN education is a bit more holistic, though, and includes coursework in leadership, health policy and public health, as well as a broad base of liberal arts classes that may include psychology and economics. And while some of that stuff can seem irrelevant, the truth is that the marketplace is changing. Increasingly, employers are looking for well-rounded employees who can function in today's global economy and in an atmosphere of constant change. A broad-based BSN education enhances your tech skills, problem-solving skills and people skills.

Reason #4: Future advancement

With your BSN in hand, you're ready to advance. As a BSN nurse, you can apply for (and get) management positions. You can work in public health. A BSN is also the first step to a potentially lucrative career as a nurse practitioner or a nurse educator.

Reason #5: It's never been easier

In years past, going back to school for a BSN meant enrolling in a semi-local college, commuting to class and trying to somehow fit work and life around your classes. Getting a BSN still requires some juggling, but you now have a multitude of choices. Some nurses now select online RN to BSN degree programs that allow them to complete their degree primarily from the comfort of home. Some select combined online/institutional programs, while others prefer an on-campus experience. The choice is yours!

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