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Job and Career Outlook for Nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree

Career News March 30, 2015

Nurses administer medication, oversee health management plans, and provide care to patients. They may find work in various healthcare settings, such as rehabilitation centers or hospitals. Those who graduate from the bachelor’s program in nursing may become registered nurses (RN).

Career Information for Those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) are usually registered nurses working with healthcare professionals, such as physicians, to provide medical care to disabled, injured, or sick patients. Nurses can seek employment in numerous settings, such as nursing homes and hospitals, and may seek occupations in a specialized area, such as surgery or emergency room care.

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, 19% job growth rates have been predicted for RNs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The growth is partially attributed to an expected rise in demand for health care owing to an aging population, in addition to technological advances in the field, including preventive care.

Educational Information

Those seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing can obtain it through three different ways. Apart from an RN-to-BSN degree track, candidates can pursue either a first-time degree or an accelerated second bachelor’s degree, both of which are aimed at individuals without prior training in nursing.

In these programs, students are introduced to the nursing field via hands-on experiences and nursing coursework. Schools may offer the second bachelor’s programs for nurses in an accelerated format without coursework outside of nursing included in these programs.

Those who complete these programs can aim to become registered nurses by taking the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administered National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Licensed RNs seeking bachelor’s degrees would benefit by completing RN-to-BSN programs whose coursework includes supervised clinical work to augment the coursework in general education and nursing topics. Admission criteria in these programs typically require incoming students to possess valid RN licensure as well as a certain amount of nursing work experience.

Schools may offer these degrees on an accelerated track, and working nurses enrolled in the programs may be provided flexible class schedules.

License Information

Licensure is compulsory for nurses in every state (BLS). Licensure norms include possession of a degree in nursing and passage of the NCLEX-RN exam and other requirements that may vary by state, although a common requirement for license renewal is continuing education.

Salary Information for Those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

In May 2012, registered nurses brought home an average annual wage of $65,470, with most individuals earning between $45,040 and $94,720 (BLS). During that time, the top five employers for these professionals were outpatient care centers, nursing care institutions, home healthcare services, physicians’ offices, and hospitals. While hospitals paid nurses an average annual wage of $69,490, nurses employed in physicians’ offices earned $62,120, on average.

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