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The Distinction Between an RN and a BSN



Distinction Between an RN and a BSN

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Aside from a general desire to help people, your path to becoming a nurse can make a big difference in your career. With New York requiring all RNs to get their bachelor’s degree within ten years of graduating with an associate degree and other healthcare facilities requesting BSN-educated nurses, a BSN may be the best choice for your long-term career goals.

Education Requirements

While some RNs have met education requirements with an associate degree or nursing diploma, it’s becoming more common for nurses to choose the BSN path. The bachelor of science in nursing elevates critical thinking and focuses on advanced topics like health promotion, ethics and patient care technology. This degree opens up more career opportunities and allows RNs to move into leadership roles. While earning a BSN takes more time than an associate degree, RNs already working in the field can fulfill this educational requirement through online RN to BSN programs in Massachusetts. It is an ideal path for RNs who are looking to gain valuable experience in the medical industry while still being able to pursue their BSN degree. The RN to BSN program can also prepare those interested in continuing their education by earning an MSN or other advanced practice nursing (APRN) degree.


Nurses pursuing a BSN will better understand nursing theory, human biology and psychology, and cutting-edge healthcare techniques. It may help them earn a higher salary than those who have completed an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and it could open doors to accelerated workplace advancements. A BSN also focuses on critical thinking skills essential for healthcare professionals. The industry moves quickly, and nurses must be able to adapt rapidly to new policies, procedures and technological advances.

Compassion and dedication are also important nursing traits to possess. RNs often work with patients in unfamiliar, emotionally stressful situations and need to be compassionate and caring toward their patients. Being empathetic and non-judgmental allows nurses to listen well to patients, providing them comfort and confidence. It can reduce emotional burnout and foster a positive work environment.

Career Opportunities

The BSN degree can expand the career opportunities available to nurses. In addition to preparing students for work as an RN, it provides a more in-depth education, focusing on nursing management and theory. It allows graduates to take on higher-level nursing positions, such as nurse educator and nursing manager. Some states, such as New York, require ADN graduates to earn their BSN within ten years of licensure, further expanding career options. Nurses can become nurse health coaches, legal consultants, and aesthetic nurses outside hospitals.

Additionally, a BSN opens the door to non-clinical nursing jobs like writing and educational support. For example, a BSN-holder could be an academic nurse writer, producing textbooks and online training courses for other healthcare professionals. It can be a particularly flexible option for RNs, as it doesn’t require leaving current jobs or cutting back on hours. RNs can complete an online baccalaureate program, such as Maryville University’s RN to BSN bridge program, while continuing to work.


As a registered nurse, you must be licensed by your state board of nursing (BON) to practice. You can track your license status with Nursys. BSN-prepared nurses have been linked to improved patient outcomes, including lower mortality rates and failure to rescue. Nurses with higher education can cultivate the skills necessary to provide high-quality care and support other healthcare professionals. Nursing students are normally required to complete a recognized associate degree in nursing school and get a license to practice as an RN. It might also have extra requirements like background checks or health exams. The good news is that many states have passed laws requiring all nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree within ten years of earning their initial RN license. It can help raise standards for RNs and create a clearer path towards the BSN.

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