Do I Need a BSN to Become a Nurse?

Ethnic nurse male with stethoscope around his neck smiles backed by an African-American female nurse in darker scrubs and a young blonde female in a white lab coat behind his left

Do you need a BSN to become a nurse? The simple answer is technically, no, you don’t need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to become a nurse. However, pursuing a BSN offers many advantages for individuals who want to advance their nursing career, become a leader in the field or improve their employment opportunities. The following are several reasons why you should consider earning a BSN:

BSNs Are Growing in Demand

You can become a registered nurse by completing an associate degree or diploma from an approved nursing program and passing the licensure exam. However, a BSN is becoming the new standard in healthcare. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended that 80% of nurses have a BSN by 2020, so demand for nursing professionals with this degree is expected to continue to grow.1 Earning a BSN will expand your knowledge and experience in professional nursing practice, application of research and healthcare management. Additionally, it will also broaden your range of employment opportunities and put you in a better position to advance your career.

Hospitals with Magnet Status Prefer BSNs

Magnet status is a reward that is offered by an affiliate association of the American Nurses Association, called the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC). The award is presented to hospitals that meet a set of criteria focused on measuring outcomes specifically related to clinical, community, workforce and organizational outcomes. Because BSN degrees are linked to better patient outcomes, many hospitals with Magnet status prefer to hire nurses with this academic credential.

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GCU just lowered the price of our accredited RN to BSN program by 30% to help make college more affordable!

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A BSN Offers Many Benefits

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can increase your employment opportunities by opening doors. Additionally, BSN holders can anticipate increased credibility and pay. For these reasons, if you feel called to serve others by becoming a nurse, then earning a BSN as part of your pre-licensure program or post licensure through an RN to BSN program is recommended.

For information about our online RN to BSN program, use the Request More Information button on this page or visit the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions website.


1 Nelson, Lee (2017, Dec. 30). Report: 80% of nursing workforce should have a BSN by 2020. Retrieved Sept. 2017.

2 Cannot be used in conjunction with other GCU scholarships or awards.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.


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