Considering a BSN program? Or maybe an RN to BSN? Then you might have questions about why a BSN in nursing is important. What are the benefits of a BSN, and is a BSN worth it? “Why should I get a BSN in nursing?” a lot of people ask, especially if they already have an associate’s degree.
For some nurses, the associate’s degree is more than enough to get the career that they want, especially with the current need for nurses in the US. For others, the benefits of a BSN outweigh the challenges. They know why a BSN in nursing is important to them.
So, is a BSN worth it? That depends on which category you fall into. If you’re happy and fulfilled as an RN, then you don’t necessarily need a BSN. However, there are plenty of benefits to a BSN education, and if you want those benefits, a good nursing school can help you get what you need.
Of course, there’s more to the decision than the “Why should I get a BSN in nursing?” question. The next several paragraphs will explore some potential reasons, but they’ll also cover different types of nursing programs, what to look for in a good school, and more. If you’re thinking about a BSN program and you have questions, read on. You’ll find plenty of answers.
Nursing School Accreditation
Earning a BSN starts with finding the right school.
When choosing a program, the most important thing is to look for nursing school accreditations. You may start by searching “colleges near me with nursing programs,” and that’s a great place to start, but make sure that your school is accredited before you commit. When it comes to online nursing programs, accredited isn’t just best. It’s vital. When a nursing program is accredited, it meets basic standards in nursing education. And standards in nursing education are especially important because nurses save lives.
When it comes to nursing school accreditations, look for two things: school accreditation and program accreditation. First, the school itself should be accredited. There are several accrediting bodies across the United States that put their stamp of approval on schools. If a school has accreditation from one of these organizations, then you can trust the education you’d get from this school.
Next, there’s nursing school accreditation. What to look for varies, since there are several nursing accreditation organizations, too. No matter the organization, though, it’s very important to look for accredited RN to BSN online programs, or accredited on-campus programs, depending on your needs. Either way, if you’re searching “colleges near me with nursing programs,” accreditation should come first.
How do you find accredited online nursing programs? Accredited programs usually display their accreditation status on their web page. You can verify the accreditation status by checking the accrediting body’s database. Another option is to start by finding a list of accredited nursing schools. You might find your ideal nursing school on that list.
Now, when it comes to accredited RN to BSN online programs, the stamp of approval can come from one of three places: The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE accreditation standards), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN standards), and the National League for Nursing (NLN accreditation).
If a college has accreditation from any one of these organizations, that program meets common nursing education standards. Since there are a few organizations, a lot of people want to know the difference between the three. Is one better than the other? What about ACEN vs CCNE, for example? Is ACEN accreditation good? Are NLN competencies the same as CCNE accreditation standards or ACEN standards?
The truth is that when it comes to nursing school accreditation, what to look for is the accreditation itself. On a list of accredited nursing schools, any one of those schools will meet the right standards. All will meet the 11 core competencies of nursing.
The difference comes from the type of program that these organizations approve. Take the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, for example. CCNE accredited schools are schools that offer bachelor programs and/or graduate programs. So if you’re looking for a BSN, you’ll probably have several CCNE accredited schools on your list.
What about ACEN vs CCNE? ACEN accredits bachelor and graduate programs, but it also accredits associate degree programs. It has a broader range, so some CCNE nursing schools could also qualify for ACEN accreditation. Is ACEN accreditation good? Absolutely. Both ACEN nursing schools and CCNE nursing schools provide educational excellence.
NLN accreditation hasn’t existed for as long as the two other types. Like ACEN, the NLN accredits associate programs as well as bachelor’s and master’s programs. Aside from the 11 core competencies of nursing, the NLN requires schools to learn the NLN competencies, or core values, for approval: caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence.
Types of Nursing Bachelor Degrees
There are several different types of nursing degrees. The different types of nursing degrees include five levels.
First, there’s the LPN, which isn’t technically a degree, but it’s included here because it’s a good option for nursing education. You may find online LPN nursing programs, among other options. Online LPN nursing programs are diploma programs. They prepare students for the basics in nursing.
Then there are ASN programs. ASN programs are associate programs that help students qualify to become registered nurses. Many nurses take this option, and some of the best colleges for nursing in the US are colleges that only offer associate degrees. These are also some of the most affordable nursing schools.
Then there are BSN programs, which provide a full bachelor degree. These programs take learning a step further. They go beyond the basics to cover more theoretical topics, and they prepare nurses for certain leadership positions. If you’re looking for a Bachelor of Science in nursing schools, you may qualify for higher-paid positions once you finish your degree. You might earn a nursing bachelor online or on campus.
If you’re searching for “bachelor’s in nursing near me,” you should note that there are two types of BSN programs. One is the RN to BSN program, which is for nurses who already have an associate’s degree. These programs also exist online. BSN programs for non-nurses exist, too. You don’t necessarily need to be an RN to meet bachelor of science in nursing requirements. These programs tend to take longer than RN to BSN programs because they require students to learn the basics before getting into advanced topics.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, a nurse might earn a master’s degree. These programs qualify nurses for more advanced positions like nurse practitioner or educator.
As you can see, the best colleges for nursing in the US have a lot of options. Not all of them offer the same programs, so before you set your sights on a school, make sure that school offers what you need.
Accelerated Nursing Programs
BSN programs have other variations. For example, some nurses choose accelerated nursing programs. Whether you earn a nursing bachelor degree online or in person, accelerated nursing programs can help you earn your degree quickly. There are some fast track RN to BSN programs. In fact, some of the best RN to BSN online programs are accelerated. Some online BSN programs for non-nurses are also accelerated.
Whether you’re looking for fast track RN to BSN programs or online BSN programs for non-nurses, this pathway can make a great choice if you want to finish your degree as quickly as possible.
However, these programs aren’t easy. Some people look for accelerated options when they want the easiest and cheapest online RN to BSN program. They assume that finishing a degree in less time means taking fewer courses. In reality, you’ll still need to meet the minimum bachelor of science in nursing requirements. Accelerated programs require the same amount of courses. Students just take those courses in a shorter amount of time. You can earn an accelerated 1 year BSN online, but if you’re looking for the easiest online RN to BSN programs, the accelerated option won’t fit the bill.
Furthermore, while these programs can often help students save money, but there are no guarantees. The cheapest online RN to BSN programs aren’t always accelerated. Some may offer tuition discounts, but others require students to pay the same amount for each course, no matter how quickly they take those courses.
That being said, for many students, accelerated programs are some of the best RN to BSN online programs. You can save some money by searching for the cheapest accelerated nursing programs.
Earning a Bachelor’s in Nursing Online
Other options include online learning. When you earn your BSN online, nursing education can become much more attainable. With a bachelor’s in nursing online, you can learn from your home. Some of the best online BSN programs offer flexible scheduling. While nursing school is never easy, if you are looking for the easiest online RN to BSN programs, that extra flexibility might make a difference.
There are quick online RN to BSN programs, and there are programs that take a little longer. Either way, you can choose from the best online nursing programs.
Once you decide to learn online, you can narrow your school options based on your needs. You might want the cheapest online RN to BSN programs or the easiest online RN to BSN program. Maybe you’re searching for “cheap nursing schools near me,” but you also want an online option. In any case, you have a lot of choice. The best online BSN programs are the ones that will fit your needs best.
RN to BSN Online No Clinicals
For some students earning an RN to BSN online, no clinicals are required. It depends on the program and state laws. Some of the best online nursing programs don’t include clinicals, but make sure you double check if this factor is important to you.
Most Affordable Nursing Schools
When it comes to Bachelor of Science nursing programs, t’s not always easy to afford school. These days, though, the most affordable nursing schools offer a lot of options. That includes some of the best online schools for nursing prerequisites. You might search for the cheapest accelerated BSN programs. Nursing schools sometimes offer these options because of the current US nursing shortage. Schools want to do what they can to help fill in the gap. Some students may even be able to earn free nursing degrees thanks to scholarship opportunities. It may not be easy to find free online nursing courses with certificate options, but it’s also not impossible.
Next, think about nursing certifications. Remember that the qualifications for a registered nurse include earning a nursing board certification. You cannot work as a nurse without at least RN licensure. And then there are other concerns such as nursing license renewal.
Sometimes, nurses will need nursing board certification from a specific state in order to work as a nurse in that state. This can make things challenging, especially when it comes to nursing certifications for new grads. However, thanks to the nurse licensure compact, not all nurses need state-specific nursing certifications.
What is the nurse licensure compact? It’s an agreement between multiple states. If a nurse earns RN licensure in an NLC state, they don’t need to get a new license to work in another NLC state. The RN certification requirements are the same across all of these states.
Outside of NLC states, different states have different RN certification requirements. They may have different rules for nursing license renewal, for instance. If you plan to move to a specific state, take a look at that state’s requirements for nursing certifications online. This knowledge is an important part of researching nursing certifications for new grads.
What else should you know about certifications for nursing students? For one thing, a few organizations offer certifications for nursing students when they graduate. Students can learn about these nursing certifications online. These certifications tend to require a specific type of education and experience. They also require passing an exam. Some nursing students search for nursing certifications without experience, but nursing certifications without experience are virtually nonexistent.
Careers in Nursing With a Bachelor’s
If you’re unfamiliar with nursing, then the types of nurses and salaries can be more complex than you may have realized. There are several types of nurse and a lot of nursing career options. The work environment of a nurse may look similar from one place to the next, but the different types of nurses and descriptions vary.
While there are several types of nursing careers, not all nurses are qualified for every nursing job. When you look up the different types of nursing jobs and salaries, or the different types of nurses and descriptions, you’ll notice that some nursing career options are available to RNs, while other nursing career options require a more advanced degree.
There are plenty of benefits of nursing career choices, but you can make the most of those choices with a BSN. BSN nurses are qualified for many types of nursing careers. And when it comes to types of nurses and salaries, some of the highest-paid jobs require a BSN or higher. You can find BSN nurses across most of the list of nursing fields. When BSN nurses search for “nursing careers near me,” they have a longer list of possible options.
For some, the best nursing careers are bachelor of science in nursing jobs. That’s because RN training is more general, while BSN training provides more specific career training. When it comes to the different types of nurse, the more specific the job, the more education the nurse will need.
BSN nurses are also more equipped to handle today’s nursing specialties in demand. For some, these are the best nursing careers. Instead of choosing any option off of a nursing careers list, these nurses can go where they’re needed most.
Salary Expectations for a BSN
Next, you probably have questions about salary. For example, what is a bachelor’s in nursing salary? What about an RN vs BSN salary, or an ADN vs BSN salary? How much does a nurse make a month?
You can start with the first question. How much do nurses make an hour starting out? For brand-new nurses, a bachelors in nursing salary is $47,127 on average. That adds up to $23 per hour.
Next, there’s the RN vs BSN salary or ADN vs BSN salary. RNs make an average of $29.62 per hour. The average Bachelor of Science in nursing salary is $32.20 per hour. Over the course of a year, that difference can really add up.
Of course, when it comes to nursing careers, salary can be impacted by a lot of factors. Location plays a big role, for example. Some states pay their nurses a generous salary, while other states struggle to keep nurses because they don’t pay as much.
Experience makes a difference, too. At the mid-point of your career, you can expect to make more money than you’ll make at the beginning of your career.
Nursing specialties can also impact salary, as BSN nurses have opportunities to focus on a specific area. The more in-demand specialties may pay more than others.
Finally, once you’ve earned your nursing degree, you might consider joining one or more professional organizations. Nurse.org offers a list of nursing organizations. It’s a long list, but it’s worth looking over. Take a look at the list and see if you notice any organizations that could meet your needs.
Some of these organizations serve nurses in general, and they allow any nurse to join. Others serve nurses in specific specialties like pediatrics, neonatal care, and nurse practitioners. Others focus on specific nursing demographics. For example, the American Assembly for Men in Nurses helps connect male members of the nursing profession. Likewise, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses offers resources and information for Hispanics and Latinos in the nursing community.
There are several reasons to consider joining an organization. For example, membership in a professional organization can look good on a resume. When your resume includes the name of a professional organization, you can show potential employers that you take your work seriously and that you’re willing to learn, grow, and connect.
Incidentally, learning, growing, and connecting are a few of the other reasons for joining a nursing organization. Professional nursing organizations can offer learning materials and other resources to help you stay up to date. A lot of this information can help you in your career. The healthcare world is always changing, and professional organizations can help you adapt to those changes. You’ll have the information you’ll need to thrive in all kinds of healthcare landscapes.
Professional organizations also provide some great opportunities for networking. Organizations often hold conferences and similar get-togethers. These conferences also provide important information. They can also help you make important career connections and even friendships. When you attend conferences, you can talk to other people who understand the joys and challenges of the nursing profession.
These connections can help you when times get difficult. The nursing profession is far from easy. It’s necessary and important, of course, but it’s not easy. If you don’t have many fellow nurses in your social circle, then the challenges you face can become isolating. On the other hand, if you can connect with people who understand those challenges, you may just get the support you need to keep going. Fellow nurses can offer advice, or they can simply offer an understanding ear. Either way, connections make a difference.
You may also find potential jobs thanks to some of these connections. Some professional organizations have job boards and other resources that members can use to find employment. You may even find job opportunities that you wouldn’t have found elsewhere. Instead of scouring the internet for job possibilities, you can find those possibilities all in one place, making your job search much easier.