Not everyone knows the difference between having an associate degree in nursing and having a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), and this can definitely lead to some questions.
Isn’t it all just an RN?
To an extent, this is true. Whether you have earned an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, you are still going to be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). However, the difference will be in your credentials upon seeking employment. If you desire a quickly achieved, technical and supportive role, the associate degree may be right for you. However, if you have aspirations of stepping into healthcare leadership or an administrative role, it would be to your advantage to pursue a BSN.
Ultimately, we believe that your career will benefit from earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing.
More career options
When it comes to jobs for RN’s with BSN degrees, there are various opportunities and a wide range of descriptions that will fit. Nurses who have completed a bachelor’s program have additional preparation and training for clinical jobs that include management, fiscal duties, medical personnel scheduling, teaching, administration, leadership and research roles. A BSN is also favored and sometimes even required for military or public health nursing and other more specialized jobs. In fact, many healthcare facilities are requiring nurses to have a bachelor’s degree by 2020.
If you wish to become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nursing specialist, you will be required to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Additionally, you might discover at some point in your career you want to transition into research or teaching, which will require a bachelor’s degree.
Nurses with a bachelor’s degree also make more money and have better employment rates than those with just an associate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who hold a bachelor’s degree earn more and are less likely to be unemployed than those with just an associate degree. PayScale.com also reported in 2018 that nurses with a BSN earned a median wage of $61,742, compared to just $57,276 earned by RNs with associate degrees.
You’ll be a better nurse
According to a study by the American Associate College of Nursing (AACN), nurses with a bachelor’s degree are able to provide better quality of care to their patients–meaning they have lower mortality rates and better patient outcomes. Since making a difference in patients’ lives is a main reason many people are interested in nursing careers, providing better care is a huge reason to consider a BSN.
Advantages of RN or LPN to BSN Programs
Participating in a RN or LPN to BSN program allows you to advance your nursing education in less time since you have already mastered basic nursing skills. You will also find that your experiences as a certificate or associate-prepared nurse will be invaluable as you apply them to your class work.
Build upon your skills as a nurse by earning your bachelor’s in nursing degree with our RN to BSN program. Apply today!
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on 11/18/15 & has been updated to include the most up to date information.