Explore the Possibilities With a BSN

It takes two years to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and become a registered nurse. From there, RNs can start a career, earn a salary and gain valuable experience. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), on the other hand, takes more time and can be costly. But, a BSN has many benefits, including more job possibilities. An online RN to BSN program is a way for nurses to achieve a bachelor's degree without sacrificing their jobs or paychecks.

Why Do Nurses Choose an ADN Program?

An ADN program is a quicker and less expensive way to complete a nursing degree and begin a career.

Is There a Difference Between ADN and BSN Preparation?

ADN and BSN nurses can both become RNs. While a BSN builds on the preparation of an ADN, graduates from both programs have to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLCEX) in order to receive their license to practice.

ADN nurses are prepared for entry-level positions. They learn how to perform basic nursing care that includes recording symptoms, operating medical equipment, educating patients about diseases, and consulting with co-workers and physicians regarding a patient's progress.

The comprehensive curricula students complete in a BSN program strengthens their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These programs also prepare them to incorporate evidence-based practice into the delivery of care. A BSN prepares nurses for their expanding role in healthcare. Having finished a bachelor's program, they understand how to collaborate and communicate with interdisciplinary teams and provide care to an aging patient population with complex medical conditions.

Why Do Nurses Pursue a BSN?

A BSN is a path to more opportunities for nurses. Here are reasons why nurses pursue a BSN:

  • Promotion to a leadership position
  • Higher salary
  • New knowledge
  • Job security
  • Path to a graduate degree

What Is the Average Annual Salary for ADN- and BSN-Prepared Nurses?

According to ZipRecruiter as of April 2019, the average annual salary for an RN with an ADN is $72,894. BSN-prepared nurses earn an average of $82,378.

Why Is a BSN Preferred?

Besides fulfilling the BSN requirement for hospitals to earn the Magnet designation, there are other factors that influence the preference for baccalaureate degrees. They include:

Hiring practices at hospitals have changed. The result is that most hospitals want new hires with a BSN, and they require established ADN-prepared RNs to earn a bachelor's degree within a certain time frame. For working nurses with an associate degree who want to go back to school, an online RN to BSN program is a good fit that is also affordable. The multiple start dates and flexible schedule let nurses complete their degree at their own pace but in less time than a traditional, four-year BSN program.

Learn more about the University of New Mexico's online RN to BSN program.


NCBI: Effects of Hospital Care Environment on Patient Mortality and Nurse Outcomes

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Associate Degree in Nursing Programs and AACN's Support for Articulation

Nurse Journal: Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN)

NCBI: Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes

Nurse Journal: BSN Degree vs RN Differences

National Academy of Medicine: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

American Nurses Credentialing Center: Eligibility Requirements

NCBI: An Increase in the Number of Nurses With Baccalaureate Degree Is Linked to Lower Rates of Postsurgery Mortality

Chron.com: Advantages of an Associate Degree for Nurses

ZipRecruiter: RN ADN Salary

ZipRecruiter: RN BSN Salary

HealthLeaders: 'BSN in 10' Becomes Law in New York

Nurse Journal: Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Why Nurses Go Back to School

Nurse.com: 11 Things to Know About New York's BSN-in-10 Law

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