One of the most important reasons for pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) is the various levels of personal opportunity that it makes available. Earning a nursing BSN facilitates advancement; yet, moving ahead is only one advantage. Having a more well-rounded education leads to increased self-confidence, which in turn advances the competence of nurses. The increasingly complex roles of registered nurses make an undergraduate education especially valuable.
In unpredictable economic times, working in a field in which you are needed is critical, and nurses with BSNs are increasingly in higher demand. In 2010, the National Institute of Medicine called for an 80 percent increase in nurses at the bachelorette level by 2020. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing is noted as among the fastest growing professions. In the next ten years, the number of nursing jobs will increase by 26 percent. Applicants with a BSN can expect a wider range of available practice settings and possess a competitive edge in the eyes of employers.
Competitive edge and higher pay
Along with greater employment opportunities and higher salaries, a nurse who has earned a BSN is often in a better position to negotiate salaries and benefits. In addition to higher pay, employers sometimes offer recruitment incentives and, in areas of greatest demand, may even pay for relocation expenses. Retaining nurses with a BSN will become increasingly vital.
Advanced nursing professions include nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and midwives, and a BSN is necessary for most advanced degrees and programs. An expected shortage in physicians, especially primary care doctors, increases the likelihood that advanced degree nurses will fill these gaps. Those nurses willing to work in rural and other underserved settings, in which the shortage will be most severe, will especially be in high demand. Many academic and supervisory positions also require advanced degrees, and those nurses with a BSN hoping to serve their country may become officers in the military.
Improving clinical skills
Those individuals graduating with a nursing BSN acquire additional training in research and management, thus entering the workforce with a broader range of clinical skills. Working in leadership roles puts nurses in a position to share what they have learned with others. These are important factors for nurses who are ultimately expected to work more independently over time. With accompanying improvements in both safety and quality, the nursing profession as a whole will benefit.
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