RN vs. BSN: What You Should Know

Students watch instructor give instruction in a lab.

During the last decade, policymakers and practice leaders have acknowledged that increased education makes a positive difference* and they have begun to encourage all registered nurses to further their education.

The Institute of Medicine has advised the nursing profession to educate nurses at a higher level and to better prepare graduates for the new challenges of the 21st century.  Nursing environments are now more complex and require advanced skills such as leadership, research and evidence-based practice, teamwork and collaboration, and an increased focus on safety. **

So what’s the difference between becoming an RN and achieving a higher education with your BSN?

A Bachelor of Science in nursing includes all of the class work found with an associate degree or diploma program as well as a more comprehensive coverage of the social and physical sciences, research, public and community health and management.  The extra class work enriches professional development, prepares you for a larger scope of practice, and provides an increased awareness of issues that impact patients and effect health care delivery.

What does this mean for you? 

A BSN will provide you with a broader scope of practice and more opportunities in specialized areas than your non-BSN counterparts.  You’ll be better prepared to handle the increased challenges of the nation’s health care system and better trained to handle increased responsibilities.  A BSN will also help with career advancement by arming you with the credentials to apply for leadership and management roles in a variety of healthcare settings.



*American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013). The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice.  //www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/impact-of-education

**The Institute of Medicine. (2011). The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education.  //www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health/Report-Brief-Education.aspx

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