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Benefits of nurses completing an online RN to BSN program

In 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recognized that the delivery of healthcare in the country was changing and would require a more highly educated nurse workforce. One of the goals these institutions set was that 80 percent of registered nurses would have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020. Because of this, many diploma and associate degree nurses are considering entering an online RN to BSN program, an ideal way of taking classes while continuing to work.

20th century education no longer meets 21st century needs

Both inpatient and outpatient care has become more complicated in recent decades, and yesterday's education does not prepare nurses for all of its complexities. Today's nurses must be competent in many areas: health policy, evidence-based practice, system improvement, geriatric care, population health, collaboration with other members of the healthcare team and leadership.

The need for nurses is great and growing

The need for nurses, especially those who have completed a BSN program, has never been greater and the need will continue to grow. This is because millions more patients have insurance due to the Affordable Care Act, the number of aging baby boomers and those with chronic conditions is growing, and many nurses are reaching retirement age. Nurses who have completed RN to BSN programs are ideal candidates to fill these positions.

Many hospitals require a BSN

Many hospitals are making a BSN a requirement for employment, giving preference to those applicants with BSNs, or requiring current employees to complete a BSN program within a certain time limit. The desirability of the BSN-prepared nurse is high because many hospitals and medical centers are striving to obtain Magnet® status, which requires a staff with a high percentage of BSN nurses. In addition, Medicare penalizes hospitals with high re-admission rates, and studies, such as one published in the October 2014 issue of Medical Care, have demonstrated that hospitals employing a high percentage of BSN nurses have lower re-admission rates.

Personal benefits of BSN completion

BSN-prepared nurses, in general, make more money than associate degree or diploma nurses do. According to, the median salary for BSN-prepared nurses is almost $63,000 and for associate degree nurses, the median salary is nearly $51,000. BSN completion can open job opportunities in management and four of the top 10 highest paid specialties: research, orthopedic nursing, neonatal nursing and pediatric oncology.

Look to the future

The RWJF and IOM recognized in 2008 that education must transform the nursing profession. Online RN to BSN programs are a key component to achieving this goal, and for those working full or part time, an online RN to BSN program is an ideal way to pursue that degree.

It is time for nurses to step up and meet the challenges of healthcare in the 21st century. BSN completion allows you to be a full participant in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.

Learn more about Columbus State University’s online RN to BSN program.


The Institute of Medicine. "The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education." Retrieved from

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "Creating a More Highly Qualified Nursing Workforce." Retrieved from

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "Nursing shortage." Retrieved from "6 reasons to get a BSN." Retrieved from

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