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For nurses looking to expand their career options, bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs can offer the greatest opportunities for advancement. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports health care employers consider that the BSN degree offers the broadest scope in nursing practice, preparing graduates for administrative positions, consulting, teaching, and research. If you're just now enrolling in a nursing program, you can pursue your BSN as your first degree. BSN nursing programs typically take four years to complete. Many nurses earn a two-year associate's degree or complete a one-year licensed practical nurse (LPN) program to enter the profession. Colleges and universities offer online LPN to BSN nursing degree programs for LPNs who are already working in the field. Accelerated BSN nursing programs last from 12 to 18 months and offer the quickest way to the bachelor's degree.

Advancing in the Nursing Professions with a BSN Degree

Nurses who hold a license and a BSN degree are qualified to take on great responsibilities in patient care, which may justify increases in annual earnings. Nurses who complete RN to BSN nursing programs and have experience can be promoted to supervisory or management roles. Head nurses that hold BSN degrees typically earn more than those with two-year nursing degrees. BSN holders may manage small health care facilities, work as assistant directors of nursing, or work in consulting with research labs, pharmaceutical companies, or insurance firms. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to increase by 22 percent, 2008-2018. The BLS adds that RNs with at least a bachelor's degree will have better job prospects than those without a bachelor's.


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