The average salary of a nurse depends on the amount of experience that nurse has as well as where he or she works. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help you earn more money and qualify you for jobs where you manage other employees and handle more tasks at work. Many schools now offer RN to BSN programs that let you choose between taking classes online or on a traditional campus. Before you take the time to go back to school though, you should get an idea of how much you can make with a BSN degree.
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How Do RN-BSN Programs Work?
An RN-BSN program is a little different than a standard nursing school program. When you apply to a program, the college or university will ask for a transcript from the college where you obtained your RN degree. It will use some of the credits you earned towards your BSN degree. You typically spend two years in the program and graduate with a BSN. Many of these programs do not require that you do any more fieldwork or clinical rotations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a nurse is $68,450 per year or $32.91 per hour. The average salary of a nurse depends on where you work and other factors. The BLS found that the need for nurses will grow at a faster than average rate by 2024 and that there will be a need for more than 430,000 new nurses by then. These figures apply to registered nurses and not other professions in the nursing field. Having the credentials to work in a specialized field of nursing can further increase your earning potential.
Specialized fields of nursing include oncology, pediatrics and critical care departments. To work in one of these fields, you usually need to have several years of experience and a certificate that you earn after taking a specialized exam. Individuals working in these fields often earn much more than standard nurses, but your salary can also depend on the amount of experience you have, the city or state in which you live and where you work. Private hospitals and facilities pay more than those that accept patients without insurance. Nurses living in larger cities often make more because they have a higher cost of living.
Things to Consider
Before you decide to enroll in an RN-BSN program, you should make sure you have time in your schedule for studying. You need to devote several hours of work to your classes each week. Some programs feature shorter courses that run for eight weeks or less and will require that you do more work to keep up with those classes. You may find it helpful to look at the job market in your area and see if earning a BSN can really help increase your salary. If your city doesn’t have a high need for nurses, you may find that you’ll earn the same amount that you currently earn with an RN.
A RN-BSN program lets you finish your nursing degree in two years, and you can work on your degree after getting your nursing license and going to work. The average salary of a nurse working in a general field is more than $60,000 a year.