It usually takes 18 to 24 months to complete a BSN program, but once you take a look at the pay difference between someone with an RN and someone with a BSN, you’ll find that going back to school is well worth it. In two years or less of college, you can significantly increase your salary and gain the education needed to work in a number of different nursing jobs. After looking at the difference in salaries, you’ll also want to look at the types of jobs available with either degree and consider the cost of a BSN program.
According to a survey of working nurses, the pay difference between an RN and a BSN is quite high. RN degree holders earn a mean salary of $66,000 a year. Those who have a BSN degree earn a mean salary of $75,000 a year. The median salary for RN holders is just over $39,000 a year, but the median salary of BSN holders is $69,000 a year.
Working as an RN requires that you have an associate’s degree. Some schools make you choose between an LPN and RN program when you first enroll. LPN stands for licensed practical nurse. These nurses usually work in retirement homes or assisted living facilities. RN holders can work in a larger number of facilities. A registered nurse might work in the ICU or the emergency room of a hospital, but can also work for private offices and in rehabilitation centers. With a BSN, you can work in more specialized areas of nursing, including oncology, geriatrics, pediatrics and surgery. Some of these fields require that nurses pass a certification test after finishing a bachelor’s degree.
Cost of BSN Programs
The cost of completing a BSN program depends on where you go. Public colleges often charge less than private colleges do and offer more financial aid. Most schools charge a set rate per credit hour that ranges from around $300 to more than $1,000 per credit hour. As a full-time BSN student, you’ll take 12 to 15 credits of classes or more each semester. Part-time students can take just one class every semester. Talk with your employer about tuition assistance or reimbursement. If you work for a doctor or hospital, your employer may pay for your college classes or reimburse you, at the end of the semester, for the money you spent.
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Benefits of a BSN
Getting your BSN helps you provide better services for your patients. The more education you have, the more you understand the human body and how to work with patients of different backgrounds. Depending on what you want to do with your degree and who you want to work with, you may find that you must have a BSN. Many specialized areas of nursing require that you have a certificate and experience. You’ll need to complete your BSN before you can take the certification exam.
You have the right to decide what type of nursing degree you want to complete, but you may find that you can take advantage of more benefits with a BSN than you could with a basic RN degree. The pay difference between an RN and a BSN alone might make you decide to go back to school.