7 Reasons Why a BSN in Nursing is Important

A BSN in nursing is important because it supports better patient outcomes, meets changing industry demands, offers a path toward higher job security, provides higher earning potential, and opens career advancement opportunities. Additionally, a BSN may soon be mandated, so earning one will put you ahead of the curve.

Utica ABSN student standing in hallway smiling

Do you want a rewarding healthcare career that offers high job security and ample advancement opportunities? One of the best ways to increase your odds of making that your reality is by pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape and the increasing complexity of patient care continue to add to the responsibilities of the nursing profession, making the demand for highly skilled nurses in the workplace greater than ever.

We outline seven reasons that highlight the importance of a BSN in nursing below.

What is a B.S. in Nursing?

A bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as the one offered through Utica University’s Accelerated B.S. in Nursing (ABSN) program, encompasses a broad, interdisciplinary approach geared toward helping students bolster their writing and research knowledge.

Besides receiving standard nurse training in clinics and hospitals, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing cites many baccalaureate-level nursing programs also include aspects of:

  • Community and patient education
  • Management and leadership
  • Health promotion
  • Clinical, scientific and decision-making skills

7 Reasons to Earn a B.S. in Nursing

What makes pursuing a baccalaureate nursing education, as opposed to another nursing degree, so worthwhile?

Utica nursing student studying

1. Better Patient Outcomes

Patient care continues to become more and more complex, leading nursing leaders to push for more baccalaureate-educated nurses in clinical settings. That’s because research supports the idea of education correlating with the quality of patient outcomes. According to the AACN, hospitals with more baccalaureate-educated nurses reported lower rates of:

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Post-operative deep vein thrombosis
  • Hospital acquired infections
  • Post-surgical mortality

2. Changing Industry Demands

Healthcare employers and industry associations have taken notice of these outcomes in concert with the growing demands of the nursing profession, causing them to investigate the importance of a bachelor’s degree in nursing further.

The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 “Future of Nursing” report found “the ways in which nurses were educated during the 20th century are no longer adequate for dealing with the realities of health care in the 21st century,” and they recommended 80 percent of nurses earn their B.S. in Nursing by 2020. While that number has not yet been reached, it has seemed to boost the number of BSN-prepared nurses in the field.

3. Higher Job Security

The advantages of a BSN in nursing also include higher marketability. For many of the reasons above, more healthcare employers are seeking out baccalaureate-educated nurses. With a B.S. in Nursing, you’ll be in high demand as a job candidate.

In fact, Magnet hospitals around the country, which are known for their excellent nursing care and patient outcomes, have taken the initiative to mandate that all nurse managers and nurse leaders possess a bachelor or graduate degree in nursing. Additionally, settings seeking Magnet designation must demonstrate how they will meet the IOM objective of having an 80% baccalaureate-prepared RN workforce.

Kathryn - Utica ABSN Student, Class of August 2019

4. More Career Advancement Opportunities

Not only will a B.S. in Nursing increase your odds of getting hired, but also having this degree sets a great foundation for further education for those who want to pursue advanced nursing specialty roles. Whether you desire a leadership position or advanced nursing specialty job such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist or nurse educator, more doors open for you — and that happens once you earn a B.S. in Nursing.

That fact was a motivating factor for Utica University alumnus Terence, ABSN graduate. “I chose to earn my bachelor’s in nursing because having a B.S. in Nursing gives you a leg up over someone who has an associate’s if you’re trying for a management position,” he says.

5. Higher Earning Potential

Not to mention, while there’s a high upfront cost with pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing, you’ll have a high return on your investment once you graduate and start working. As of May 2021, RNs with a B.S. in Nursing can earn up to a mean annual wage of about $77,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many hospitals also offer incentive programs to encourage nurses to advance their education, so that could help defray some of the cost of paying for advanced credentials, too.

6. More States May Soon Mandate It

Career advancement opportunities aside, some states have set ratio standards for hiring nurses with bachelor’s degrees for many of the reasons outlined above. That means you may soon have to earn a B.S. in Nursing if you want to be a nurse.

The most publicized example is New York’s so-called “BSN in 10” legislation, which became law Dec. 19, 2017, and requires nurses in that state to earn their B.S. in Nursing within 10 years of working as a nurse.

Utica ABSN student, Stacy, in lab

What Is BSN in 10?

The law states: “In order to continue to maintain registration as a registered professional nurse in New York state, (nurses must) have attained a baccalaureate degree or higher in nursing within 10 years of initial licensure,” effective immediately.

What Does BSN in 10 Mean for Me?

As a prospective nursing student, BSN in 10 will have some implications on your future career path. Read on to learn how you can make the most of it.

For Licensure in New York

Going forward, RNs working in New York state who don’t receive a B.S. in Nursing within 10 years will have their license suspended. Right now, RNs with a New York license are grandfathered in regardless of degree level. Current nursing students enrolled in nursing programs within New York are also exempt from the bill.

For Licensure in Other States

While BSN in 10 is not the law in other states, many, including New Jersey, are considering the value of passing similar legislation. As of May 2018, laws similar to BSN in 10 have the support of the American Nurses Association, all the state action coalitions, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, so it’s looking likely similar legislation soon will be up for consideration elsewhere, too.

7. Earning a B.S. in Nursing Is More Accessible Than Ever

As you can see, a B.S. in Nursing can only help your career in the end. The good news is you don’t have to wait to earn it. If you qualify for Utica University’s accredited ABSN program, you can earn your degree in as few as 16 months. And with three start dates a year, you can skip a waitlist and get on the road to nursing sooner.

Utica ABSN student, George

The ABSN curriculum at Utica University contains three elements: online coursework, in-person simulation and skills labs and clinical rotations that take place at area healthcare facilities. This hybrid learning model provides greater accessibility and allows you to tailor your studying to your learning style.

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