After serving as a nurse for some time, you may be noticing signs that it is time to take the next step and earn an RN to BSN degree. Even though it may be difficult to head back to school, the rewards of expanding your role in the nursing field may be very appealing. You may not be totally sure that you are prepared to accept the challenges, but here are five reasons that a BSN would make a positive change in your career path.

1. Leadership is an Attractive Role

When you want to excel in a leadership role, it is a sure sign that it is time to pursue your RN to BSN degree. This degree prepares a nurse to take charge in the highly complex medical environment. Topics covered include health policy, disease prevention, interprofessional communication, finance, and population management. All of these help a nurse take a central role in the healthcare field and adapt to the constant changes that are occurring, including healthcare reform. Nurses with this type of degree often oversee an entire nursing staff and must understand how to effectively retain nurses and assist patients and their families.

2. You Want a Higher Salary

According to a 2013 ADVANCE Nurses Salary Survey, nurses who pursue RN to BSN degrees are the highest paid professionals in the license class. Although an BSN earns a similar salary as an RN in the same position, an individual with a BSN will earn more over the course of his or her career. BSN nurses are employed at higher levels in the medical industry and have increased chances of possessing leadership positions that pay better. When an RN feels as though he or she has maximized his or her earning potential, it may be time to head back to the classroom.

3. You Are Dealing With Burnout

The medical industry is extremely fast paced and competitive. Also, many hospitals and similar facilities are understaffed, which means that nurses must complete the jobs of multiple people. Burnout is a common issue. Working long shifts and dealing with sensitive subjects puts a toll on a nurse’s emotions as well. If you often feel as though you are burning the candle at both ends, it may be a sign that it is wise to consider earning your RN to BSN degree. This will provide the opportunity to learn new skills and reignite the passion for the nursing field. Also, it will offer insight into new ways to deal with various patient challenges and to avoid burnout.

4. You Want to Better Help Patients

Any RN is capable of delivering quality patient care. However, knowledge is power. When you wish to receive more medical training and to hone your skills in the medical industry, a BSN will help fulfill these needs. Nurses with BSNs often feel better prepared around patients and have a better understanding of the newest methods and technologies in the healthcare environment. BSN training covers a variety of topics that help nurses do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

5. You Are Interested in a Magnet Hospital

A “Magnet” hospital is a hospital that has been specially recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for mastering excellence in patient care. This organization rates a facility based on 35 different areas. It is considered the ultimate achievement and enures that patients and their families receive the highest level of care from nurses. Status is only awarded to institutions that have top patient satisfaction, retain qualified staff in all areas, and have the best nurse-patient ratios. Since Magnet hospitals strive for excellent nurses, individuals who hold BSN degrees are the first choices of hiring managers. If you wish to find a position at one of these facilities, it is smart to begin the path to your BSN degree.

The decision to seek a BSN degree requires thought and consideration. Nurses must weigh many factors, including goals, home life, and current working conditions. If the above signs are relatable to your present circumstances, you can be reasonably sure that you are ready to earn your RN to BSN degree.

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