In the world of nursing, how you enter the field is the first big question you must answer for yourself. Do you want a faster course load and a career waiting for you after a 2-year, Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program? Or do you want a 4-year, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree? Perhaps you already have a 4-year degree (in another unrelated field) and you want to go for an Accelerated BSN degree but you are not sure if you have the transcripts to get in. What are your options in this case? Secondly, how much more money (if any) will a BSN degree holder make vs. the lesser (at least in study time) for the ADN degree holder?
Our editors answer the above questions and explain differences between these degree options, and what the benefits of each are upon graduation. When you are ready to apply for nursing school – keep in mind the Top 50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN programs available for the 2017-2018 school year.
Is More Really More?
While in most professional fields, the more degrees a person has, the more money they make. In fact, some jobs make it seem like every advanced level of education can almost double your salary! With nursing, people who graduate from 2-year and 4-year programs each have the same nursing qualifications (registered nurse or RN) and must pass the same nursing examination, the NCLEX-RN exam. Many of the required courses are the same for each of these programs, and many of the entry-level job opportunities are the same upon graduation. The major difference in the levels of schooling is that BSN graduates received up to 2 years more nursing theory education vs. their ADN co-workers. This lack of theory does not leave ADN nurses with fewer abilities to be exceptional nurses, quite the contrary! ADNs often have a sharper and more direct sense of practical nursing, uncomplicated by the nursing ideas that do not directly apply to administration of care. BSN degree holders are simply in a position to advance in and contribute to the evolution of the profession more directly than ADN degree holders.
How Much Money Are We Talking?
Statistics for salary information on the difference between associates and bachelors in nursing degrees reveal that many states report a similar salary for the same number of years’ experience, with only slightly more money earned by BSN holders across the board. The average mean salary for BSN holders is $68,450, while the average for RNs with a two-year degree is $64,500. Much of this increase is because BSN degree holders are often selected over others with the same number of years in the field to be nurse supervisors. Nurse supervisors make up to $78,000/year, or up to $35 per hour. Men who are nurses make disproportionately more money than women, even with the same degree and the same number of years’ experience or fewer. Nurses with a four year nursing degree also stand out, in that they are able to achieve high paying nursing certifications like becoming Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or with the ability to work with specific vulnerable populations who require special care, like those with whom AIDS Certified Registered nurses work.
In short, if nursing is something that you want to do as soon as possible and will worry about advancement later, the BSN degree is not necessarily your best bet. The salary differences for nurses begin to intensify when nurses earn their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and even more with their Doctorate in Practical Nursing (DPN) vs. the undergraduate nursing options. To advance to these levels, or to learn and be selected for supervisory roles within your RN practice, those two extra years make a world of difference.