BSN Nurses are Registered Nurses who are qualified by earning a BSN Degree. Read on to understand how much BSN Registered Nurses make each year.
There is no definitive data on BSN RN vs. ADN RN salaries, so we only go by the latest data for all RNs in the United States. However, if you have a BSN, you may be offered a starting salary or hourly wage that exceeds the national average.
Is a BSN a registered nurse?
BSN is a bachelor’s of science in nursing, an undergraduate degree, and an RN is a registered nurse with a license from their state. However, having a BSN does not make you an RN. To become an RN, you must pass the NCLEX exam and apply for a license with your state’s board of nursing.
Earning your BSN is the first step toward becoming an RN, and it is an excellent degree if you plan on furthering your career even more in the future. In addition, nurses who want to become Nurse Practitioners will need to earn a master’s degree, so they need a BSN before starting undergraduate studies.
Nurses can also become RNs after earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). Having an ADN can also open up new career paths, and it’s even possible to make your bachelor’s later through an RN to BSN program.
A BSN is considered the best choice if you want to start your career with more job opportunities and a higher salary. Generally, nurses with BSNs are considered more qualified and will earn higher pay than their colleagues with associate’s degrees.
Recommended Reading - What is a Bachelor Of Science Nurse (BSN) in The USA?
Does a BSN registered nurse make more than an ADN registered nurse?
On average, BSN RNs can expect to earn more than ADN RNs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average RN salary is $77,600 per year or $37.31 per hour. While these figures reflect salaries for BSN and ADN RNs, the BLS lists the typical educational requirement of a bachelor’s degree.
While employers can’t discriminate against a nurse for having an ADN vs. a BSN, they can set their qualifications for employees. In recent years, more hospitals and healthcare institutions are looking for RNs with BSNs due to their higher education level.
BSN salaries in the United States
We have looked at various sources to understand precisely how much a BSN registered nurse makes compared to other registered nurses. However, most data is for registered nurses generally.
How much does a BSN RN make a year?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average RN in the United States earns $77,600 annually. According to Zippia.com, RNs in the United States earn $84,027 annually, with a typical starting salary of $46,000.
If you have a BSN, your starting salary could be significantly higher than someone with an ASN. In addition, because BSN nurses have more education, they are often considered better equipped to handle more complicated tasks.
BSN programs emphasize nurse management and nursing theory, whereas ADN programs focus more on practical nursing skills and health education. Another reason BSN RNS qualify for higher pay is their potential for career growth.
Holding a BSN makes you qualified to enter graduate studies, which allows you to become an Advanced Practice registered nurse or Nurse Practitioner in the future.
Companies value nurses who may take on further studies and become valuable members of their advanced nursing staff in the future.
How much does a BSN RN make an hour?
The average hourly wage for an RN is $37.31 per hour. Zippia.com reports average hourly pay of $34.63.
RN salary by state
Here is a compiled list of registered nurse salaries and hourly pay by state.
Hourly median wage
Annual median wage
Compared To National Average
District of Columbia
Factors that affect how much a BSN RN makes
There are several factors to consider that affect how much a BSN RN makes on average. These are:
1. Education and experience level
Having a BSN can qualify you for a higher salary than an ADN, and you'll be eligible for higher pay based on your years of nursing experience. Expect to earn less at the start of your nursing career, then gradually receive raises and bonuses as you gain more experience.
Nurses with BSNs have more career opportunities from the start and can further their careers more quickly. In addition, with a BSN, you can qualify to enter management roles through promotions.
2. Where you work
You can choose your place of employment based on personal preferences, as RNs are needed in various healthcare settings. For example, many registered nurses work in hospitals, but you can also work in physician's offices, healthcare clinics, and even at-home care.
Geographic location affects a BSN RNs salary, and high earners in one state could still earn less than the average RN in another. However, metropolitan areas tend to offer higher pay than rural ones due to cities' increased cost of living.
When exploring your work options, you may consider relocating to a state with higher pay or even taking your job on the road as a travel nurse. Travel nurses with BSNs can earn significantly higher than local RNs while working shorter assignments in different healthcare settings around the country.
The average travel nurse earns between $1,200 to over $3,000 a week, depending on their assignment.
You can specialize in a particular type of nursing you're passionate about and increase your earnings and skills. In addition, pursuing a nursing specialty allows you to work with a specific type of patient, like new mothers and babies, children, and surgical patients.
Some of the most common BSN RN specialties are:
*Note: All data is collected from the most recent information on Zippia.com in August 2022.
Emergency Nurse (CEN): $95,521 per year
ICU Nurse (CCRN): $86,263 per year
Perioperative Nurse (CNOR): $78,287 per year
Psychiatric Nurse (PMH-BC): $72,323 per year
Pediatric Nurse (CPN): $70,185 per year
How quickly can you become a BSN RN and start earning?
It takes four years to complete a BSN program through an accredited nursing school. However, as soon as you graduate and pass the NCLEX exam, you can apply for your RN license and apply to local nursing jobs.
If you have previous college experience or participate in an accelerated BSN program, you can complete your BSN RN education in as few as 36 months.
BSN RN salary vs. other nursing professions
Earning your BSN sets you up to earn an average salary of over $80,000. The best way to increase your earnings is to pursue certifications or a graduate degree. Here is how much you could earn in the future.
Nurse Practitioner: $116,438.80 per year
Nurse Administrator: $76,104.25 per year
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): $140,357.71 per year
With a BSN and several years of experience, you can qualify to work as a Charge Nurse. Charge Nurses manage a specific department or hospital ward during their shift. In addition to overviewing patient care, they manage staff, assign work, and coordinate care plans with physicians.
The average Charge Nurse earns $73,298.27 annually.
BSN RN salary FAQs
Am I being paid fairly as a BSN RN?
Fair pay is the minimum wage in your state, plus overtime-and-a-half for any work over 40 hours per week, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, the minimum wage is not typical for a nurse, especially one with a bachelor's degree.
You should bring this up with your employer if you earn less than $20 an hour as an RN. BSN RNs are eligible for higher pay due to their education level.
If you aren't sure how much you should be earning, compare the national average to your state's average. If you are underpaid in both scenarios, or you aren't given overtime, you should consider looking for work elsewhere.
Nurses must be their own advocates. Remember that salaries vary by location, experience, and each nurse's ability to negotiate. Keep your pay in mind alongside other benefits you receive as part of your compensation package.
Are BSN RNs paid mostly hourly or annually?
Most RNs are paid hourly, even those who work full-time in hospitals. So, for example, if you work as floor staff in a hospital, you're likely to be offered an hourly pay plus an hour-and-a-half pay for any work over 40 hours a week.
Annual salaries are more commonly offered to nurses in supervisory and administrative positions, such as Nurse Administrators.
You could also be offered a salary if you work in an outpatient clinic or doctor's office.
Do BSN RNs get paid overtime?
Yes, BSN RNs get paid overtime, which is their hourly pay plus a half. So, if your hourly wage is $31 an hour, your overtime pay would be $31 plus a half for $46.50.
Overtime rates can also apply to nurses who are called in at the last minute to fill in for another nurse. They could also get offered overtime pay when they work nights or take shifts on holidays.
Do BSN RNs get paid more privately or in hospitals?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses get paid the most in outpatient facilities, with an average salary of $93,070 per year.
Here are how their earnings compare in other locations:
Average Mean Hourly Pay
Average Mean Annual Salary
General and Surgical Hospitals
Home Healthcare Services
Nursing Care Facilities
What states pay BSN RNs the most per hour?
Here are the top 5 states with the highest paying RN salaries:
Average Mean Hourly Pay
Average Mean Annual Salary
Can you live off a BSN RN salary in the US?
The cost of living and your personal expenses will impact how comfortably you can live off your salary with a BSN. However, holding a BSN does qualify you for higher pay, and you have more opportunity to further your nursing career with additional certifications and future degrees.
RNs jobs in the U.S. are increasing steadily at 9% with 194,500 openings expected each year through 2030.
Job growth for RNs is projected to be especially high in long-term care rehabilitative facilities, treating patients recovering from stroke, head injuries, and patients living with Alzheimer’s disease. Pursuing jobs in this sector could qualify you for even higher pay in your state.
Take your nursing career to the next level
Download our app or join ShiftMed to find full-time and part-time RN jobs near you! A note about our data. We use the median of the data gathered from The BLS at data.bls.gov and other salary data sources such as Salary.com, Indeed.com and Zippia.com. We believe that this is the best average to follow, rather than the mean or mode. The mean will find the average of all salaries in each state; the mode will favor the most frequently reported salaries. However, the median will find the middle. All data in this report will favor the middle salary from all ranges, which means 50% will fall below and 50% will be above the salary data reported below. On another note, we have removed data from Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands from the data we have sourced as we have focused on the 50 US States plus The District Of Colombia.