BSN for Registered Nurses
In order to pursue your career as a Registered Nurse, there are three primary paths available. You can either follow RN diploma or Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Each of these programs has its pros and cons regarding criteria such as time period, cost and career benefits etc. However, Registered Nurses with a BSN earns a higher salary than those with associate’s degrees or diplomas. Therefore, there is increased enrollment in pre-licensure BSN programs, despite the extended time period and cost of the degree program.
This is because BSN program opens up more opportunities to explore in your nursing career rather than ADN or diploma program. Registered nurses are responsible for recording patient symptoms, operating simple medical equipment, educating patients and family members and working closely with doctors, physicians, and other medical staff. But with a BSN degree, nurses can explore other options such as becoming a nurse educator, a public health nurse, or to specialize in a specific disease or specific age group. As this job role comes with more responsibilities and work, in return BSN holders get a higher salary than others.
BSN Salary and Wages
There is a wide range of career opportunities for BSN holders other than Registered Nurse. Each job role has a specific set of duties and therefore salaries differ according to that. Give below is the summarized information regarding wages and salaries of BSN holders in USA.
BSN Salary (Avarage)
|Job role||Average salary|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$61,765|
|Nurse Case Manager||$69,795|
|Clinical Nurse Manager||$79,957|
|Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$90,719|
|Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor||$70,772|
(Employees with a BSN Degree – Hourly Rate Ranges by Job)
|Job role||Hourly rate|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$22.46 – $40.05|
|Registered Nurse (RN), Emergency Room||$22.81 – $41.66|
|Registered Nurse (RN), Operating Room||$23.97 – $42.46|
|Staff Nurse||$23.71 – $41.91|
|Registered Nurse (RN), Critical Care||$25.12 – $43.72|
|Charge Nurse (RN)||$24.85 – $44.03|
|Nurse, Intensive Care Unit (ICU)||$22.78 – $41.44|
BSN Degree – Median Bonus by Job
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$1,142|
|Clinical Nurse Manager||$1,500|
|Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$5,243|
|Nurse Case Manager||$2,750|
BSN degree for Registered Nurses – Salary Potential
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurse job opportunities are expected to grow by 16% from 2014 to 2024. Also, a recent study has been conducted over 90 days time period to recognize the educational requirements for nursing careers. The end results are broken down as below.
- Diploma or associate’s degree – 51%
- Bachelor’s degree – 37%
- Graduate degree – 23%
- High school – 6%
This study indicates that 88% of BSN degree holders are eligible to apply for various career opportunities whereas only 51% of Diploma or ADN holders can do the same. Therefore, along with better job roles, BSN holders have the power to earn a better salary and benefits compared to RNs with an ADN or a diploma.
Typically, all registered nurses earn the same level of salary at the beginning, in spite of their educational background. But after few years of experience, the difference in earning potential begin to appear. Give below is the comparison of RN salary with and without BSN qualification according to PayScale.
|Years of experience||RNs with an ADN||RNs with a BSN|
|Less than 1 year||$59,721||$59,736|
|1 to 4 years||$61,360||$69,697|
|5 to 9 years||$66,326||$74,371|
|10 to 19 years||$68,889||$80,389|
|20 years or more||$71,567||$82,747|
As you could see, there is almost no gap between both Registered Nurses within the first year. Thereafter the gap continues to increase with between 1-4 years’ experience, the median salary for RNs with an ADN is $61,360 and BSNs with the same level of experience earn a median salary of $69,697 which means BSN holders earn extra $8,337.On the other hand, this motivates nurses who start by having an ADN or a diploma to earn a BSN within next few years to achieve a greater salary.
Importance of earning a BSN
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has been conducting various studies to identify whether higher education has an impact on quality clinical practices at U.S.A. According to them, nurses holding a BSN has proven to be competent than others in terms of patient care and respective patients have shown better results as well.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), sub-institute of AACN, recently released a report recommending that the number of nurses with a BSN increase from 50% to 80% by 2020. Therefore, many hospitals and other medical facilities also encourage ADN or diploma holders to complete their studies and earn BSN degree qualification.