How a BSN Prepares You for Advanced Nursing Degrees

Advanced nursing degrees are required if you’re looking to become a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist. The first step toward any of these roles is earning your BSN. These advanced nursing careers offer more leadership and higher salaries.

Utica ABSN student standing and smiling in simulation lab

As a graduate of the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Utica University, your path to nursing will expand in ways you may not expect. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree opens the door for you to become a great nurse, but it can also act as a stepping stone to higher education.

Advanced nursing degrees allow you to pursue opportunities to take your career to the next level — including more responsibility and specialization along with a higher salary. So, what is advanced practice nursing? This blog will take you through what advanced degree options are out there and how to decide if they’re right for you.

Utica ABSN student using computer at desk

What Is Advanced Practice Nursing?

In the simplest sense, advanced practice nurses are registered nurses who hold post-graduate education and specialized training. The ABSN program at Utica University prepares you to become a confident nurse through online coursework, hands-on labs and clinical placement.

These three components set you up for success in the nursing field. The clinical portion of our program will expose you to different specialties, which will help you see where you fit in best and what areas you may want to pursue.

Once you have a good idea of what kind of advanced nursing practice interests you most, you can earn a higher education, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The MSN is the minimum amount of education you’ll need to become an advanced practice nurse.

Utica nursing student studying

The highest level of nursing degree is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which empowers advanced practice nurses to take on more impactful leadership roles.

At any level of advanced practice nursing, you will need an advanced degree, a certificate of specialization in your chosen area and a BSN. The four main positions in advanced practice nursing include:

  • Certified nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • Certified nurse midwife

If any of these roles sound like they might be the right fit for you, the Utica University ABSN program can help you put your best foot forward.

Let’s take a deeper look at what each of these roles entail and how a BSN from Utica prepares you for success.

airplane lifting off

Interested in nursing outside the hospital? Take a look at these alternative nursing careers.

Certified Nurse Practitioners

A nurse practitioner, or NP, typically holds an MSN and has been certified in an area of specialization. They are able to see patients and help create treatment plans. They can also diagnose and manage health issues, offer health education, perform exams, prescribe medications, and give advice to groups and individuals.

How a BSN from Utica Prepares You to Be a CNP

During your clinical rotations in our ABSN program, you’ll work with healthcare professionals to treat people from all walks of life. You’ll learn how to spot symptoms of larger health issues and implement the correct treatment.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Advanced practice registered nurses who hold an MSN or DNP are eligible to be clinical nurse specialists. While a CNS can have a focused specialization, these advanced practice registered nurses are also trained in advanced physiology, pharmacology and physical evaluation. Like NPs, they are licensed to treat patients as well.

Salaries for a CNS can vary. Because these advanced practice nurses can have a specific specialization, their unique expertise can be needed by healthcare facilities, and this can result in a competitive wage.

How a BSN from Utica Prepares You to Be a CNS

Your ABSN coursework will expose you to all areas of nursing practice and build a solid foundational of knowledge to pull from. You’ll learn the basics of physiology, pharmacology and physical evaluation and put those skills to the test in the lab portion of our program.

Wisdom - ABSN Program student - Class of December 2019

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

CRNAs primarily administer anesthesia. They also give other medications and support patients who are recovering from anesthesia. To become a CRNA, you’ll need a doctorate degree focusing on anesthesia, clinical training, and a passing score on the certification exam approved by the National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).

How a BSN from Utica Prepares You to Be a CRNA

You’ll learn about the effects of anesthesia during the simulation lab and clinical rotation portion of our program. You’ll also be prepared to sit for the NCLEX, and you’ll learn key test-taking strategies that you can also apply to the NBCRNA.

Certified Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife is an expert in delivery and women’s reproductive health. Women receive treatment from nurse midwives from adolescence through menopause. They offer care to expectant mothers during prenatal appointments, during childbirth and after the baby is born.

CNMs complete a graduate-level nurse midwife program and must pass an exam from the American Midwifery Certification Board to earn this specialization.

How a BSN from Utica Prepares You to Be a CNM

You’ll learn more about this role in your coursework and clinicals in the ABSN program, where you’ll see how a maternity wing of a hospital runs. If this is a specialization that interests you, you may be able to focus more on it in clinicals.

Utica ABSN students studying together

Advanced Practice Nurse Salary

APNs are in high demand; in fact the position is one of the fastest growing in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The profession is slated to grow 46 percent through 2031.

As such, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners make a high salary. The average salary for these three advanced nursing positions is $123,780, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2021.

Get Started Today

Regardless of which advanced nursing role interests you, the first step toward a lucrative career changing lives as a nurse starts with chatting with our ABSN admission team. Learn more today.

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Our ABSN has three start dates a year, so you can begin nursing school whenever you're ready.

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