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Can Earning a BSN Help Your Nursing Career?

The career benefits of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) cannot be overstated. While the value of a bachelor's degree has come into question over the last decade, primarily due to the rising cost of college, the numbers surrounding a BSN paint a completely different picture. How exactly? Adding a BSN to your resume opens up additional career opportunities that can lead you to nurse leadership and other management positions in healthcare.

BSN: By the Numbers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the RN job category -- one of the fasting growing in the United States -- expects to add 15 percent more jobs between 2016 and 2026. The median yearly wage for RNs is $70,000 as of May 2017, which places the RN job category among the best-paying bachelor's professions -- especially if you land a job with the government.

The BSN Career Path

Nurses with a BSN typically work in general medical and surgical hospitals (30%), with the rest working in physician offices, home health care services, nursing care facilities and outpatient care centers (see Table 1). For example, you may work as a cardiovascular nurse caring for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery. Critical care nurses, on the other hand, support intensive-care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious injuries or illnesses that require very close monitoring and treatment.

Table 1. Industry Profile, Registered Nurse

Industry Employment Percentage of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,685,820 30.64 $36.45

$75,820

Offices of Physicians 196,040 7.69 $32.16 $66,890
Home Health Care Services 179,310 12.84 $33.77 $70,230
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) 155,450 9.59 $31.59 $65,710
Outpatient Care Centers 132,070 15.00 $36.39 $75,680


A Step Into Management

Regardless of the direction you take, each year of work experience brings you one step closer to a management position. Hospital leaders and healthcare administrators -- responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating medical and health services within the hospital -- are often recruited from within the hospital system. A BSN also better equips you to later take on a role as a nurse leader.

How exactly? Some RN to BSN programs offer courses on nursing leadership. For instance, the University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a course on Leadership and Management in Nursing, which introduces the core concepts in the context of professional nursing. Additionally, courses on health policy walk students through the various factors that shape healthcare delivery systems today. Earning a BSN can help your career by increasing your wage, opening new pathways for your career, and ultimately, preparing you to take up a management position.

Are you interested in enrolling in a RN to BSN program to improve your nursing career? First, make a and decide if continuing education is right for you. Then search for the RN to BSN program that supports your schedule and goals. If you are seeking to build a foundation for career advancement into administration, research, consulting and teaching, consider the University of North Carolina Wilmington RN to BSN curriculum.

Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017 - Registered Nurses


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