10 Reasons Why a BSN is Better Than an RN

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Do you think nursing is the career for you? Well then, you should know that there are mainly two paths you can take to enter this field, the ADN which is also called the RN route, or through the BSN path. Both these paths, leading to the NCLEX-RN exam, prepare you for a career as a registered nurse.

So, you may wonder, is a BSN better than an RN? Because both paths will help you become a registered nurse, it is sometimes confusing when choosing the right option. Through 10 reasons why a BSN is better than an RN, we expound as we go on and help you understand why a BSN could be a better path for you than an RN.


(Following are the 10 reasons why a BSN is better than an RN)

1. A BSN Makes You More Marketable

Advancements in the healthcare industry have come with a new wave of career opportunities. At the same time, more healthcare institutions are seeking nurses with advanced education, specifically the BSN.

As a result, having a BSN increases your chances of landing the nursing job you want.

2. You'll Be Part of The Majority

Currently, over half of the registered nurses in the United States have a Bachelor's Degree or higher. In fact, within the registered nurse workforce, the Institute of Medicine has set a specific target of increasing the overall share of BSN nurses to 80%. This means that BSN might be a basic requirement for employers in years to come.

Even if you get hired with a diploma or associate degree, you might be the first to get laid off if downsizing ever comes up.

3. A BSN Makes You Better at Your Job

Statistics show that medical facilities with more registered nurses have lower mortality rates. With an ADN, you are well within your rights to start working as an RN. However, this does not prepare you enough for the responsibilities of an RN. ADN programs are not as comprehensive as 4 years of BSN studies.

You will notice clear gaps of knowledge between you and other BSN-prepared nurses. This is one of the top reasons why a BSN is better than an RN.

4. You'll Earn More Money

Money is not the sole reason people sign up for nursing. However, it is important. One of the biggest reasons why a BSN is better than an RN is the potential to grow your income. According to PayScale, healthcare professionals with BSN make an average of $86,524 annually. On the other hand, nurses with an associate degree earn around $70,702. That's a huge difference if you do the math.

5. Your Employer Might Foot Your Tuition Bill

It just keeps getting better. Medical facilities and ERs alike believe in the academic preparation of their staff. The more learned the staff, the higher the reputation, and the more the referrals.

For this reason, many healthcare employers choose to foot the tuition bill for nurses willing to give BSN a chance by going back to school. Some employers might pay the whole tuition fee, while others just a portion. Try working out the details with your employer.

6. A BSN is the Gateway to More Opportunities

Most nurses spend all their working years in direct patient care without other plans. Others might want to switch to teaching, case management, or policy after a few years in the field. If you want to leave your career options open, then a BSN is the course for you.

With this degree, you are qualified to take on an advanced degree. For instance, BSN graduates can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice. This advanced degree sets you up for well-paying nursing jobs like those of family nurse practitioners.

7. A BSN Breeds Confidence

One of the main reasons why a BSN is better than an RN is that the BSN degree gives you an in-depth understanding of the job at hand. Studying for the BSN as a fresher will take you around four years. However, the training and knowledge imparted during your coursework will make you confident and better at critical decision-making. This certainly translates into better work efficiency and job satisfaction.

8. The Military is Ready for You

One reason why a BSN is better than an RN is the potential it gives you to serve your country. Not everyone wants to work in the hospitals, some nurses prefer being on-field, serving the defense forces. If you want to be military-ready, then a BSN can be your entry ticket to the army.

Currently, the three branches of the military require active-duty RNs to hold a BSN.

9. BSN Makes You More Versatile

BSN registered nurses are well prepared for their leadership, critical thinking, and ability to adapt to any inpatient or outpatient setting. This is because BSN training includes extensive clinical experiences in various types of rural and urban clinical settings. This ‘out-of-class’ learning not only makes you more versatile but also better equipped at offering care to a diverse patient population.

10. It's Now Easier Than Ever

Completing your BSN has never been easier, especially if you're a registered nurse. By just enrolling in any of the many online RN to BSN curriculums, you can pursue your degree while still working full-time as a nurse. The ease of earning a degree from the comfort of your home should take you closer to thinking a BSN is better than an RN and then even acting upon it.

Summing Up

So, it all comes down to this: Is a BSN better than an RN? Well, Yes, it is! Because through a BSN you will not only explore wider and more promising career options but also earn the respect of your employers and peers. So, if you are ready to take the plunge, you will have options galore to choose from. Regardless of the college or program you choose, the additional two years of BSN study will certainly be well worth it.

Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.