“Written by Laura Goldman – Executive Recruiter at Advanced Care Placement Services.”
That is the question many Nurses are facing these days. There are many good reasons to get your BSN degree. The BSN is rapidly becoming the new Nursing standard – in fact, some states, such as New York and New Jersey, have introduced legislation that, if passed, will require new RN’s to obtain their BSN within 10 years. A BSN will generally lead to more opportunities for advancement, as well as a higher salary. That being said, many Nurses have had quite lucrative careers and climbed the ranks without a BSN.
The cost/benefit analysis dependent on 3 main factors:
1. Career goals / aspirations
2. Your experience
3. Time / money – both valuable and limited commodities
Your experience, combined with your career goals / aspirations, plays a major role in your decision. A highly experienced Nurse, particularly one who is looking at the end of his/her career, and who has no desire for further advancement will not see significant financial benefit from a BSN. However, any Nurse who is interested in advancing her career, particularly within the Management track, should most definitely find a good RN-BSN program. The Nursing environment is not what it was 10 or even 5 years ago, and the lack of a BSN will hurt your upward career trajectory. Some companies are already requiring a BSN for even entry-level positions, and highly-experienced Nurses that have risen to the Management track are now being rejected for positions that they would otherwise qualify for, due to the lack of a BSN.
If you simply do not have the time and/or money, than this is a moot point. However, there are many creative options available to you. There are a number of schools that offer online RN-BSN degrees, and you can study part-time. Ask your co-workers what they thought of their school(s), and don’t forget to check for accreditation. Just make sure that you budget yourself enough time to complete all your classwork! Ask your employer about tuition reimbursement. If the company disagrees, ask about paying via a FSA (flexible spending account). There also may be scholarship and/or grant money available to you. We at Advanced Care have a number of clients who offer tuition reimbursement as part of their benefits package – perhaps is might be time to see what else is available to you?
Call me today to discuss your career goals!