BSN Nurse at the hospital

BSN’s are professionals who have earned a Bachelor's degree in nursing. A BSN is a degree awarded to the registered nurses (RN) at an undergraduate level. 

According to ElizabethChristman, DNP, R.N., CNE, a member of the clinical faculty of nursing programs at Sothern New Hampshire University, the students go through an introduction to topics like: 

  • The technology of patient care

  • Health promotion 

  • Research 

  • Safety 

  • Quality of the healthcare setting

The nursing profession is increasingly calling upon registered nurses to earn a BSN so that they can improve safety as they discharge their duties and also help in preparation for the healthcare challenges that might come in the future.

What Is the Difference Between a BSN and a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Here, the difference is simply about licensure and education level. A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has met all education and exam requirements and has a license to practice nursing in their state. On the other hand, B.Sc. and nursing are educational degrees, and today a BSN is the future of nursing.

What Is the Difference Between a BSN and a Nurse Practitioner?

To become a nurse practitioner, you must have earned a master's degree in nursing or higher. It would be best also if you had achieved substantial clinical hours. The nurses who would like to work with a particular set of patients also need to have completed additional certifications and training. 

On the contrary, as a registered nurse, you will need a bachelor's degree in nursing, pass the national licensure examination (NCLEX), and then obtain state licensure to get started in the medical field.

What Qualifications Does a BSN Need?

To qualify for a BSN, you must have met the set standards. Requirements for a Bachelor's degree in nursing differ in every university. Although there are general expectations, you should have completed the standard requirements.

For example, you must have earned a nursing diploma and a GPA of 2.0, which is an absolute threshold, and better universities could require more than that. Specifically, the R.N. to BSN program is for the nurses who hold a diploma in nursing and are working as Associate Degree Nurses.

What Work Does a BSN Do Day to Day?

Nurses who have their Bachelor's Degrees continue handling their roles as registered nurses. That is working directly with the patients in necessary clinical care settings. 

As an advanced registered nurse, you will;

  • Evaluate the patients' conditions

  • Develop treatment plans

  • Administer patient care

  • Operate complex medical equipment, and 

  • Carry out diagnostic tests, among other duties

These are the nurses who work alongside physicians and other medical team members. In addition, they supervise licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.

Where Do BSNs Work?

BSNs are some of the most sorts after professionals. Consequently, employers prefer to employ candidates with a BSN or higher for certain positions.

Here is a rundown of those positions.

1. A registered nurse working in a hospital

Today, hospitals, the biggest employers of nurses, increasingly require R.N.s to have a BSN. In hospitals, nurses typically work in areas they specialize in, such as intensive care, pediatrics, and emergency. 

2. Clinical Nurse Specialists

These specialists are one category that has advanced nursing professionals using their expertise in a specific area to care for patients. For example, we have oncology, pediatrics, or critical care. These specialists can have a broader scope of practice to prescribe durable medical equipment and drugs.

3. Nurse Manager

A Nurse Manager is a leadership duty in nursing, and a nurse manager handles all the operations of a nursing unit. Most of the nurses at this level work diligently to be promoted from the bedside care to take on administrative duties until they reach their management roles.

4. Nurse Director

Nurse Directors are the next in the hierarchy after the nurse managers. This senior-level mandate emphasizes the management and administration functions in nursing. While making the executive decisions, the nursing directors are the high-level representatives for the nurses at the healthcare facilities and hospitals.

5. Nurse Educator

As a nurse educator, you must have earned a degree higher than the training level. For instance, if you are to teach a nursing diploma course, you will need a bachelor's degree in nursing. Nevertheless, this can be a very fulfilling way to impact the coming generation of nurses.

6. Clinical Research Nurse (CRNs)

CRNs are the nurses who deal with research patients in clinical trials for drugs and other necessary medical treatments. Such nurses end up in a great position since they have the privilege to see the treatments that could be game-changers in their early stages. 

CRNs are mandated to handle the safety of patients, coordination, and documentation that happens before, during, and after their procedures.

7. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are the nurses who take care of the entire population in a given area and not individuals. They do not wait for the patients to get sick and look for them. Instead, their role is to go into communities and proactively improve people’s health.

Public Health Nurses are the ones who work in healthcare programs and government services so that they can educate the public and create access for individuals.

8. Quality Assurance Coordinators

The affordable care act uses ratings to ensure the quality of healthcare is improved. Nurses have a perception that is interesting as they measure and analyze this data, and this is because of the knowledge they have as they work with patients daily. 

Quality assurance professionals are mandated to ensure the nursing staff complies with the set procedures to provide quality healthcare.

9. Case Management Nurse

Primarily, case management nurses handle patients dealing with long-term health issues. An example of this is AIDS and cancer. They create care plans for easier coordination of several treatments over a long period.

What Is It Like To Be a BSN?

Earning a BSN is one of the most important things you can ever do to yourself in the nursing profession. There are lots of privileges that come with having this degree. 

You will benefit from career advancement and more excellent nursing knowledge. In addition, it will put you in a position where you are ready for graduate study or advanced practice nursing, improving your opportunities.

How Much Do BSNs Make?

The median average registered nurse salary is $76,944.90, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it is important to note that advancing your education pays. Compensation platforms report that BSNs can make more than ADN nurses. 

Are There Different Specialties of BSNs?

Are you looking to specialize after earning a BSN? Becoming a specialist will enable you to focus on a specific area of healthcare or a population of patients. 

Here is a top list of specialties that you can choose.

1. Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Psychiatric nurses work with primary care and specialty providers. In addition, they take care of patients with mental health issues. 

Psychiatric nurses evaluate symptoms, assess patients' medical histories, and devise treatment plans.

2. Pain Management Nursing

Pain management nurses are well equipped to assess the cause of the patient's pain and its severity. The main goal of these nurses is to help the patients manage short-term and long-term pain. 

Pain management nurses perform physical assessments perform diagnostic tests, and examine medical histories.

3. Informatics Nursing

These are the nurses who combine the care of patients with analytics. They develop strategies that help in the maintenance of data. They also foster technologies whose work is to support nursing. 

Informatics nurses are responsible for monitoring health systems, programs, and initiatives using technology for patient care. Nurse informatics is the one who determines what works and what doesn't in the healthcare setting.

4. Perioperative Nursing

These are the operating room nurses. They are the ones who take care of the patients before, during, and after the surgery has taken place. They either work as:

  • Scrub nurses are the nurses who clean, organize, and pass surgical equipment to the surgeon.

  • Circulating nurse: the one who makes sure the operating room is safe.

They are also the nurses who help patients to complete paperwork and answer the questions concerning the procedure before the operation procedure.

5. Critical Care Nursing

They are the nurses known as intensive care unit nurses. They work with doctors to diagnose, monitor and treat critically ill patients. For example, a nurse in the ICU provides patients with the initial medical assessment and then starts treatment awaiting the doctor.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Career as a BSN

BSN nurses are critical in the medical field. However, their career has a lot of advantages and disadvantages at the same time. Read on to see the highs and lows of this career.

Advantages of Choosing a Career as a BSN

  1. Nurses get their fulfillment as they help others. They care for the well-being of patients at their bedside and help shape the health and wellness of the community at large.

  2. Nurses with BSN continue to be in high demand every year.

  3. Being a BSN nurse, you have high earning potential because of your level of skills.

  4. BSN nurses have the advantage of diverse opportunities since they do not only need to work in a hospital setting.

  5. They have flexible schedules depending on the employer. They can choose to work part-time, full time or on-call basis.

Disadvantages of Choosing a Career as a BSN

  1. Nurses have to spend most of their time on their feet and lifting and moving patients regularly, giving them foot and back problems.

  2. They are always at a risk of catching something from a patient. This risk exists because they go through extreme exposure forms, including being accidentally stuck by a needle from a patient with a blood-borne illness.

  3. Nurses don't have too much downtime on the job. But, at the same time, they must think critically in life and death situations and maintain composure when they have complicated parents.

  4. They witness all kinds of suffering in their patients daily, which alone can wreak havoc on their emotions.

  5. BSN nurses work 12-hour shifts. After the shift lapses, they have a lot of patient reporting work to do before changing shifts. That can add up to 15 hours in one day. 

How to Become a BSN

Earning a bachelor of science in nursing will make you a professional registered nurse. Getting a BSN is a great solution that will take you to the next step in your career if you are already a registered nurse. 

You may have been working as an R.N. without the degree, and deciding to get it will open up more opportunities.

Earning your Bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) will take four years. There is also an option for acquiring your ADN in a 2 -3 year associate degree program and then furthering your education after you have begun working as a registered nurse. In addition, R.N. to BSN programs is available to help propel you to the next level.