Advancing Your RN Title: What are the Benefits to Earning a BSN or MSN?

Nurse next to wall full of colorful handprints

There are many educational routes to choose from in the field of nursing. Different options such as earning an LPN, RN, BSN degree, master’s degree or even a doctorate degree in nursing are available, and these different credentials lead to different career paths.

How can you determine which path is right for you? The more education you earn, the more opportunities may become available to you. For this reason, there are many reasons to advance your RN title.

RN to BSN

Those who earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) experience many benefits. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, BSN-prepared nurses have been linked to better patient outcomes, lower mortality and lower failure to rescue rates.

As opposed to those who earn their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to become an RN, BSN-prepared nurses have additional education and have gained further professional practice and knowledge in healthcare theory. While ADN-prepared nurses and BSN-prepared nurses can both care for patients and carry out standard duties, nurses with a BSN degree can take on more responsibilities in a hospital or healthcare organization.

In addition to increased benefits in the workplace, BSN-prepared nurses have the potential for increased income. According to Nurse Journal, data from 2014 has shown RN’s earn a median salary of $39,100, while a nurse with a BSN degree can earn more than $69,000 per year.

The ease of earning your BSN degree is another reason to advance your RN title. If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree, diploma or certification who wants to further your knowledge in the field, an RN to BSN degree program is a great option. The format of this program is tailored to maximize the strengths that a working RN possesses, and the program strengthens your ability to care for patients, resulting in leadership opportunities in the workplace.

RN to MSN

There are even more benefits for those who want to further their education beyond a BSN. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is very rewarding, and it allows for individuals to become advanced practice nurses.

While BSN-prepared nurses possess general knowledge about nursing, MSN-prepared nurses can specialize in areas such as healthcare informatics, nursing education, nursing leadership in healthcare systems and public health. This specialized knowledge allows nurses to pursue a degree in an area of the field they are passionate about.

Earning an MSN also increases job and salary potential. According to Nurse Journal, more and more employers today are looking to hire highly educated nurses in order to create an advanced practice workforce. This is because MSN-prepared nurses can take on more responsibilities, such as being able to prescribe medication in some states. In addition, the average salary range of a BSN-prepared nurse is between $42,343 and $81,768, whereas the average salary range for an MSN-prepared nurse is between $62,281 and $195,743.

Today, it is easier than ever to advance your RN title and earn an MSN. Grand Canyon University offers an accelerated MSN program designed for working RN’s, laying the groundwork for a new path in nursing and preparing nurses to advance their abilities to care for patients.

There are many benefits to advancing your RN title, whether it be by earning a BSN or MSN. While furthering your education requires hard work, doing so can help ensure your career is a lasting one.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has been equipping students to fill evolving healthcare roles as qualified professionals for 35 years. To learn more about the variety of degree programs available at GCU, including those in the fields of nursing and healthcare, visit our website or fill out the Request More Information form at the top of the page. 

Written by Lauren Abraham, a junior majoring in communications at GCU.

References:

  • BSN vs. MSN Degree Which is Best? (n.d.) Retrieved from nursejournal.org/bsn-degree/bsn-vs-msn-degree/
  • Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses. (2012). Retrieved from aacn.nche.edu/leading_initiatives_news/news/2012/employment12
  • Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree. (n.d.). Retrieved from nursejournal.org/bsn-degree/top-9-advantages-of-a-bsn-degree/

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