Do BSN-Prepared Nurses Have Lower Risks of Patient Mortality?

We live in a world where a strong education is key and new cutting-edge technology is a constant in the medical world. While registered nurses provide excellent care to all of their patients, the Institute of Medicine is recommending that 80% of nurses earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing by 2020. However, according to the American Nurses Association, only 45% to 50% of nurses currently hold this credential.

Why should nurses earn their BSN? Why are hospitals and other healthcare organizations seeking BSN-prepared nurses? One reason is that studies show that BSN-prepared nurses have lower rates of patient mortality.

Lower Rates of Patient Mortality

According to an article published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, several studies have been conducted that show a direct correlation between a higher number of BSN-prepared nurses and lower rates of patient mortality. In one study by Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, in 2014, a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses with a BSN was associated with a 7% decrease in patient mortality. Aiken has been conducting this research since 2003, when she published a groundbreaking article in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” finding that a 10% increase in the proportion of nurses with a BSN was associated with a 5% decrease in patient deaths. These findings have been consistent in each case study she has conducted over the last decade, which has led to the call for more nurses to advance their education by earning their BSN degree.

Why Now is the Time to Earn Your BSN

There has never been a better time than now to earn your RN to BSN from GCU. We offer plenty of benefits for students, including a transfer-friendly program with transparency about the program length and cost. You can advance your education and increase your career opportunities by earning your BSN in as few as 16 months! Learn more by visiting the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions website or by contacting a university counselor who can help you learn about the program, transfer credit opportunities and more. Just click the Request More Information button on this page to get started.

Written by Judah Esparza, a senior majoring in business management and marketing at GCU.


  • “Building the Case for More Highly Educated Nurses.”(2014). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Retrieved from:
  • “Higher Number of Nurses with Baccalaureate Degrees: Linked to Lower Rates of Mortality.” American Nurses Association. Retrieved from:

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