Part One Average Salary for a Nurse With a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN)?
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median average registered nurse salary is $77,600 or $37.31 per hour, which includes both ADN and BSN prepared nurses.
To find out how much nurses with a BSN earn, Nurse.org ran a salary survey and found that nurses with a BSN earn $40.98 per hour, on average. Which is $3.89 more per hour than ADNs!
Part Two BSN Nurse Salary by City & State
Highest Paying States for Nurses With a BSN
The amount you can make as a nurse can vary largely depending on the state you work. The highest-paying states for registered nurses according to the BLS are:
- California: $124,000 annual, or $59.62/hr
- Hawaii: $106,530 annual, or $51.22/hr
- Oregon: $98,630 annual, or $47.42/hr
- District of Columbia: $98,540 annual, or $47.38/hr
- Alaska: $97,230 annual, or $46.74/hr
BSN Salary by State
|District of Columbia||$98,540|
Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses With a BSN
The highest-paid BSN nurses are earning a monthly income between 8k to 9k per month! According to Zip Recruiter, the top-paying cities for BSN nurses include:
- San Mateo, CA: $116,047 annual, or $55.79/hr
- Daly City, CA: $114,818 annual, or $55.20/hr
- Berkeley, CA: $114,193 annual, or $54.90/hr
- Green River, WY: $110,150 annual, or $52.96/her
- Richmond, CA: $108,598 annual, or $52.21/hr
- Stamford, CT: $107,302 annual, or $51.59/hr
- Bellevue, WA: $106,282 annual, or $51.10/hr
- Brooklyn, NY: $106,239 annual, or $51.08/hr
- Belgrade, MT: $105,525 annual, or $50.73/hr
- Santa Clara, CA: $105,439 annual, or $50.69/hr
>> Related: Nurse Starting Salary Guide
Part Three BSN Nurse Salary by Industry
The type of business or industry also influences how much you can earn as an RN. According to the BLS, the top-paying industries for registered nurses are:
- Government: $85,970 annual
- Hospitals; state, local, and private: $78,070 annual
- Ambulatory healthcare services: $76,700 annual
- Nursing and residential care facilities: $72,420 annual
- Educational services; state, local, and private: $61,780 annual
Part Four Highest Paying Jobs for Nurses with a BSN
The amount of money a BSN nurse can make depends on the type of job the nurse does. Some of the highest paying roles for nurses with a BSN include:
Pharmaceutical RN - $100,359
Pharmaceutical RNs earn an average annual salary of $100,359. These nurses usually work for pharmaceutical or medical device companies as representatives for products or assist with medication education.
Nurse Educators - $93,981
Nurse educators earn an average salary of $93,981 per year. Nursing educators are primarily responsible for ensuring that the nursing staff knows current practices and unit protocols. They often teach evidence-based care based on the most recent studies. Some nurse educators are also responsible for educating patients as well, such as diabetes educators.
Nurse Informaticists - $82,640
Nurse Informaticisists earn an average salary of $82,640. The job involves developing new communication technologies for health care and improvement of medical record systems.
RN Case Manager - $76,677
On average, RN cases managers in the US earn an annual salary of $76,677. In this role, registered nurses help develop and manage health plans for patients who need longer-term care. Nurses coordinate the care their patients need, such as scheduling post-discharge appointments and ordering home supplies.
Part Five Why Is There a Push for Nurses to Have a BSN?
The most important reason that there is such a push for nurses to have a BSN is that studies show a connection between nurses with a BSN and better patient outcomes. The evidence that nurses with a BSN can provide a higher level of patient care is growing every year. Here are some of the findings:
- The American Association of Colleges Of Nursing (AACN) found that "baccalaureate-prepared RNs reported being significantly better prepared than associate degree nurses on 12 out of 16 areas related to quality and safety, including evidence-based practice, data analysis, and project implementation."
- The National Institutes Of Health (NIH) reported on a 2014 nurse education study that found that BSN prepared nurses were associated with fewer deaths. The NIH study stated that “for every 10% increase in nurses with bachelor’s degrees, there was a drop in the likelihood of patient death by 7%."
- A study by BMI Quality and Safety found that nurses who had a “richer nurse skill mix” were associated with lower patient mortality rates, more satisfied patients, and decreased low safety grades.
- Hospitals striving to earn Magnet status must provide evidence that they are increasing their bachelor's prepared workforce to 80%.
- AACN also emphasizes that hospitals who want to earn or maintain Magnet status must provide proof of plans to increase their BSN workforce to 80% by 2020. Also, as of 2013:
- 100% of Nurse Managers must have a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing.
- 100% of Nurse Leaders must have a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing
Part Six What Is the Difference Between a BSN and an ADN?
In the US, there are two routes to obtaining an RN license. One way is to achieve an ADN, or Associates Degree in Nursing Degree, a two-year community college education. The second and more preferred method by most employers today is to earn a BSN degree, which takes about four years to complete. Both BSN and ADN prepared nurses are required to pass the NCLEX exam to obtain RN licensure.
Some of the differences between a BSN and ADN are:
- A BSN may provide more new graduate job opportunities. Most employers will only hire (or at least prefer) bachelor's-prepared nurses. Many nurses who have graduated with an ADN return to get a BSN due to having more limited employment opportunities, especially within the hospital setting.
- Earning a BSN can improve your chances of promotion.
- Nurses with a BSN often earn more money than those with only an ADN.
- A BSN provides more classroom and clinical training in different specialties.
- A BSN usually costs significantly more money than an ADN (4-year degree vs. a 2-year community college)
Many nurses with an ADN will make a similar salary to nurses with a BSN early on in their careers. However, having a BSN is usually a consideration for promotional opportunities or taking another job in a different facility. In these situations, BSN nurses are often selected above a nurse with an ADN, allowing the BSN nurse to earn higher wages, develop higher-level nursing skills, and gain more experience.
In other words, achieving your BSN can be an essential component to advancing your skills and earning higher-paying jobs throughout your entire career!
Part Seven Is Earning Your BSN Worth It?
If you are trying to decide if obtaining a BSN is the best choice for you, there are many aspects to consider, including career potential, salary, and geographical location where you want to work. Also, many employers will only consider BSN-trained nurses for employment.
It is faster and less expensive to obtain a two-year ADN versus a 4-year BSN. Only you can decide what is suitable for you in the long run. Many ADN nurses end up returning to college to obtain a BSN at a later date.
A BSN is worth obtaining in most cases as it provides additional education, skills, career potential, and employment opportunities overall. Many studies also show that BSN-trained nurses can serve their patients better and deliver higher nursing care overall.
>>Related: Top 10 Online RN to BSN Programs 2021