Do you want to join the ever-growing, ever-evolving field of Nursing? A bachelor’s degree in nursing is all that you need to not only join the force but also to secure career advancements and financial security.
Currently, over 70% of Registered nurses in the United States hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher as their highest education. This stat suggests that a Bachelor’s degree is the most popular and sought-after in the field of Nursing.
In our previous article titled – “What is a BSN?” – we discussed the BSN degree, admission requirements, and their roles and responsibilities post becoming an RN, and we have tried to clear out some common misconceptions regarding the BSN degree.
So, this article will be the BSN 2.0 where we have compiled additional information for you.
In this article, we will discuss ways to earn a BSN for those with an RN or ADN or any other degree, course curricula, the pros and cons, the career opportunities, and everything beyond that to help you affably earn a career in nursing.
Let’s start –
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Course Overview
|Credits||120 to 130|
|Course Duration||4 Years|
|Course Cost *Per Year||Between $12,930 and $61,156|
|License to RN||NCLEX-RN|
Can I become a Nurse with any Bachelor’s Degree?
If you already have a bachelor’s degree and are thinking to switch to a career in Nursing, you must be wondering if that’s possible or not. It’s both a Yes and a No.
If you are thinking to become an RN by appearing in the NCLEX-RN with just any Bachelor’s degree, sorry it is not possible. To appear for the RN licensure exam, you either need an ADN or a BSN.
But it is absolutely possible if you take up a 2nd degree in BSN. But, hope you understand and are aware of the time, costs, and efforts it demands.
Costs and efforts are there but talking about the time, don’t worry it won’t take you another 4 years but would require only 16 months of studies.
Now, the real question is – How? Through the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN).
Read -> How To Get A BSN?
What is an ABSN? Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
It is a program that makes you eligible for nursing by providing you required knowledge, skills, and clinical experience. The rigorous program focuses on theory, in-person skills, simulation labs, and more clinical experience with healthcare providers.
You need to understand that any nursing program has general education, science education, and clinical experience prerequisites. ASBN helps you get all of these by transferring your existing credits and preparing coursework for you and arranging the clinical experience depending upon your existing skills.
While choosing an ABSN program you should check if the program is –
- Provides Clinical Experience
- NCLEX-RN pass rate of the school – consider the highest as the better
- Costs, Location, and add-on features as per your convenience. But, the above 3 are the most important.
Can I choose ABSN Online Program?
Yes, you can choose an online route to finish the coursework and select the nearest available institution for your clinical experience.
For Non-Science Bachelor’s Degree Holders
If you held a bachelor’s degree in any background other than science this means you have already met many or all of the ABSN program’s general education prerequisites. This means all you require is to meet the science prerequisites and the clinical experience.
Also, you may be asked to take a handful of science-specific courses before applying to the ABSN programs to ensure you can handle the education that you’ll be taking from here on.
For Science Bachelor’s Degree Holders
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in any of the science subjects this should be fairly easy for you. Your bachelor’s degree credits will be transferred, and you only need to take on general education and meet the clinical experience requisite. Also, if by chance you have any clinical experience, you can further be ready in lesser time.
* It is noteworthy that the course completion timing, features, and even the online option would vary per state and school. But you should check the above-mentioned points to be on the safe side and ensure that you can take up the prerequisite coursework and manage the clinical hours prerequisite, as well. Be 200% sure before proceeding.
Can I earn a BSN after becoming an RN? RN-BSN Program
Yes. You can easily earn a BSN even after you have worked or are working as an RN with an ADN degree. There is an RN-to-BSN program that enables you to do so. It takes around 2 years of learning and you could be a BSN-RN too.
This program will use your ADN training as a foundation for your new coursework. Also, it considers the clinical experience you have as an RN. So, it is highly possible that you can complete the program entirely online. So, it’s a better deal for you to consider. Become a BSN and enjoy the perks.
What Will You Learn in Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing?
The courses might vary but here are the common subjects-
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Microbiology & Pharmacology
- Emergency Care
- Health Assessment
- Family, Community, and Population-Based Care
- Public and Global Health
- Nursing Theory & Nursing Research & Nursing Ethics
Pros and Cons of Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
There are some pros and cons of selecting this degree path and this section will help you understand whether a BSN is a good investment for your future career, or not.
Let’s explore the advantages of a BSN –
With a BSN you’ve opened a door of possibilities considering job availability. You are eligible to work in any work setting, even in a hospital, given you have earned your RN.
Also, there are some states like New York, that have made it mandatory for its nurses to acquire a Bachelor. While some employers only seek bachelors for the open positions.
Moreover, some jobs at healthcare facilities require the BSN-RNs for open positions. All of the facts suggest that you have ample opportunities to find a job in your desired work setting.
You have opened multiple advancement opportunities with a BSN.
Considering education – you can pursue your Master’s Degree and then a Ph.D. for research or the highest level of jobs.
Considering specializations – you are eligible to choose the desired specialization like pediatrics, oncology, or critical care.
Considering job advancement – you can get promoted to a higher level or leadership position or can get a better salary with experience and seniority.
You have acquired more in-depth education, including coursework in healthcare policy, public health, and nursing research while pursuing a BSN, and this will help you in all the spheres of your career.
Increased salary potential
It is a fact that a BSN-RN earns around $13,000 more than an AND-RN, also comparatively the hourly pay is more. The factors that decide your salary are – level of education, experience, and skills. A BSN enables you in all three aspects.
Let’s explore the disadvantages –
The expenses besides the tuition for 4 years are a lot. Undoubtedly, this factor works as a huge disadvantage considering you can become an RN with an ADN, as well.
So, you must self-assess your career goals and check if a BSN is required or not. If it is a yes, you may try applying for financial aid, grants, or scholarships.
In some cases, investing for 4 years can be hectic. Again, if your goal demands a BSN degree it is worth it, or else you can consider an ADN and get an RN to start your career and then choose the RN-BSN program to complete your BSN later.
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Career Opportunities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing with Salary
Earning a BSN degree and then becoming an RN allows you to choose any appropriate specialization in any aspect of the field that you are interested in.
Let’s discuss some high-paying career opportunities that you can explore with a BSN with their annual average salaries.
Annual Average Salary: $77,608
They take care of child patients, from neonates to adolescents.
Occupational Health Nurse
Annual Average Salary: $68,872
Also called employee health nurses, they promote and enforce health and safety measures and standards for employees in various industries.
Operating Room Manager
Annual Average Salary: $77,280
They coordinate all operating room personnel, check equipment functionality, supervise surgical teams, and ensure patients receive high-standard healthcare services.
Annual Average Salary: $78,844
They help patients navigate their treatment processes, address their concerns, and assist them with administrative issues like financing, housing, and transportation.
Organ Transplant Coordinator
Annual Average Salary: $82,357
They perform tasks related to the transplant process, such as supporting the surgeons who collect and implant the organs and maintaining communication with the families of both donors and recipients.
Annual Average Salary: $83,254
They provide comfort and quality of life services for terminally ill hospice patients by administering pain relief medications.
Annual Average Salary: $90,734
They specialize in using technology to analyze data from medical records and other sources to make specific processes more effective and efficient.
Clinical Nurse Educator
Annual Average Salary: $92,190
They teach new nurses the required skills for the job by designing specific programs and evaluating new nurses.
Director of Nursing
Annual Average Salary: $95,829
They manage all nursing department administrative tasks.
Annual Average Salary: $104,893
They provide care and assistance throughout all stages of childbirth, including pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
Annual Average Salary: $112,445
They work in various clinical research facilities and act as the link between the medical professionals performing research and the patient volunteers they analyze.
Critical Care Nurse
Annual Average Salary: $130,643
Also called intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, they work with patients with critical injuries and illnesses.
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
Annual Average Salary: $137,715
This is the highest-ranking administrative role for a nurse, and they manage all nursing-related operations.
Emergency Room (E.R.) Nurse
Annual Average Salary: $142,137
They work in hospital emergency rooms or critical care facilities.
Utilization Review Nurse
Annual Average Salary: $146,455
They work with patients and their families to help them understand their health insurance plans and ensure that they cover their healthcare requirements.
Annual Average Salary: $153,726
They assist in treating newborn babies and educating the parents on how to care for their babies.
Annual Average Salary: $198,030
They administer anesthesia to patients during various medical procedures.
Can I get Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing online?
Yes, if you mean getting an ASBN or the RN-to-BSN program, it’s possible to complete the program entirely online. Just for the clinical experience part, you need to do it in person.
But, for RNs, since they have hands-on experience they may not require the same level of clinical hours experience as compared to those enrolled in ASBN.
How long does it take to Become a Nurse if you already have a Bachelor?
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another area of study, you can earn a BSN through the ASBN program and in 11 to 18 months you will be ready to appear for the NCLEX-RN exam. Then, it will depend on the time required for you to crack it.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing worth it after earning an RN?
Definitely. If you’re an RN with an ADN, you must look to advance your career. For career advancement, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree could be perfect for you.
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