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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’s 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’s 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.

Professional Organizations

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.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Nursing

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Nursing

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Nursing

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Nursing