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 There is a great demand for BSN-prepared nurses because of expanding professional roles as a result of an evolving healthcare environment, which is increasing in complexity. Some healthcare settings will only hire bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses thereby decreasing job opportunities for those without a bachelors. Bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses have a greater earning potential because of the types of positions they are qualified for. ADN-prepared nurses have a limited chance of obtaining such roles and responsibilities that require a BSN degree.


According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), educational preparation of BSN nurses includes:

  • Community education, clinical, scientific, decision making, and humanistic skills
  • Management, leadership, public health, critical thinking and communication courses 
  • Nursing theory and nursing informatics
  • Additional courses advanced from an ADN level that help nurses have a better understanding of the complex issues affecting both the patient and the healthcare environment

Because of this additional education, nurses with a BSN degree can aspire to administrative and leadership positions or various nursing specialties like nurse education, nurse research, or public health nurse and case nurse managers, to name a few.  


According to the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing, there is correlation between a nurse’s level of education and patient mortality and this has been confirmed in the last 10 years of nursing research. Research has shown that patient outcomes and quality of care improve with BSN-prepared nurses. Therefore, to manage complex care, improve mortality, and contain costs, BSN-prepared nurses are essential.


Research and public policy recommendations strongly address the need for more highly educated nurses. The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of all nurses should hold a BSN degree by 2020. According to AACN, hospitals and other medical facilities are following the IOM guidelines. These guidlines advocate for nurses to have their BSN by 2020, or face job termination. This argument is based on the importance of nursing’s future and healthcare’s importance, which hinges on highly trained nurses. The research shows that higher nursing education is reflected in the quality of clinical practice and improved patient outcomes.


Maria De Los Santos, Ph.D.c., DNP, ARNP, MSN, MPH,  is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida International University in the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. For more information about earning your BSN degree online, visit https://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-science-in-nursing.php