As the healthcare field continues to grow, nurses with a bachelor’s of science in nursing are in increased demand. While some students choose to obtain just an RN degree, there are more job opportunities available for nurses with a BSN. From achieving a higher pay rate to offering better patient care, nurses with a BSN can enjoy a number of benefits in their career.

1. Earn More Money

In 2014, there was a drastic difference in the pay of nurses with an RN or a BSN. Nurses with an RN license earned a median wage of $39,100 per year. In comparison, someone with a BSN earned a median wage of $69,000. For just one to three years of additional schooling, the average nurse earned nearly $30,000 more per year with a BSN.

2. Provide Better Patient Care

The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN) decided to do a research study on the impact of nursing education and patient outcomes. During the study, nurses with a BSN were found to have a lower patient mortality rate and better patient outcomes. They also had a lower failure to rescue rate than their counterparts. Due to this research, it seems fairly clear that the average BSN holder can offer better patient care than the average RN.

3. Access More Jobs

While some nursing jobs require just a few months of schooling, these positions are limited and the pay is often lower. In a study conducted by, 60 percent of nursing jobs required a bachelor’s degree or higher. This means that someone with a BSN was eligible for significantly more jobs than another nurse with less schooling.

4. May Be Required

Recently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a study that recommended that BSN holders increase from 50 percent to 80 percent of the profession by 2020. AACN also recommended that large medical institutes focus on hiring more nurses with BSNs. Since most clinics and health care employers follow the recommendations of the AACN and the IOM, a BSN may be a standard requirement by 2020.

5. Learn More Than Just Clinical Skills

During an RN degree, students often focus on just the essentials of clinical care. A BSN curriculum has more time to focus on additional skills like leadership, critical thinking and communication. To achieve a higher paying job, nurses may be expected to do these additional skills. Additionally, a BSN is the minimum requirement for a nursing practice according to the AACN. While nurses can still work for employers with just an RN, they will need to get a BSN if they want to set up a private, professional practice.

With more employers requiring a BSN, getting an advanced nursing degree is a major advantage for future and current nurses. Since leading organizations now recommend at least a BSN, current nurses should begin working on getting this degree now (for more information, please see: Top 10 Cheapest Online RN to BSN Degree Programs). By 2020, the majority of employers will expect nurses to have a higher degree level. As long as nurses are prepared for this change, they will be able to navigate the future of nursing with ease.