The benefits of completing a BSN degree

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published a report called "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health." It was, essentially, a call for nurses to improve patient outcomes by incorporating evidence-based research into their practice. In order for nurses to know how to find and interpret nursing research, the IOM called for more nurses to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. For thousands of nurses, this means enrolling in an RN to BSN program to obtain that degree, but what are the benefits?

Nurses with BSN degrees provide better patient care

Research conducted by the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing shows that nurses with BSNs have better patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates, and higher rates of correct nursing diagnoses. The association said this is because bachelor's degree programs teach improved communication, critical thinking and leadership skills.

A BSN prepares nurses to partner with other healthcare professionals

The IOM report calls for the highest quality of patient care and for nurses to collaborate with other healthcare professionals. To do this, nurses must deepen clinical and leadership skills and have the ability to integrate research and evaluation skills. These are the goals of a solid online RN to BSN program.

Some nursing careers are open only to those with a BSN

After examining research that indicates nurses with BSNs produce better outcomes, hospitals are increasingly only hiring nurses with a minimum of a BSN. This decision is often influenced by the desire of hospitals and medical centers to earn a Magnet hospital designation. One of the qualifications of a Magnet hospital is a nursing staff with a high level of education. A Magnet hospital designation means that the American Nurses Credentialing Center recognizes the institution as one that demonstrates excellence in patient care in more than 35 areas of focus throughout the entire hospital.

A BSN is required in order to pursue positions beyond basic clinical care and a necessity for those who want to enter graduate nurse programs. In short, the highest paying nursing jobs require a BSN and beyond.

Earning a BSN is a win-win-win

A better educated nurse force raises the standard of healthcare. Nurses with BSN degrees are necessary for creating a healthcare system that is evidence-based and cost-effective and provides an exceptional quality of care. A strong force of BSN nurses is a mutually beneficial situation for the healthcare system, for institutions that employ the BSN nurses and for nurses themselves.

There are many reasons to get a BSN. Earning this degree facilitates career advancement, improves the number of job prospects, and increases job mobility, security and the potential for higher earnings.

Learn more about the Cal State San Marcos online RN to BSN program.


American Nurses Association. "Recommendations from IOM report on the future of nursing."

Hinkle, Janice L. et all. "Integrating the Institute of Medicine's 'Future of Nursing’ report into the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses strategic plan."

Steele, Ann. "Top 9 advantages of a BSN degree."

Trossman, S. "Have BSN? Will hire."

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