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How Can Nurses Increase Their Earning Potential?

The nursing profession is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reporting more than 3.8 million registered nurses. Many in nursing see it as a calling. In fact, the profession maintains an 18-year streak of ranking at the top of Gallup’s annual list of honest and ethical professions.

Nurses spend most of their time with the patients, developing authentic connections and advocating for their best care options. Many registered nursing (RN) to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs emphasize the skills needed to succeed in this aspect of the job while also providing the knowledge to be well-rounded healthcare professionals. These programs can also reveal the diverse options available for nurses to advance their careers and compensation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average salary for registered nurses in 2019 was $73,300 annually, or $35.24 an hour. This report, however, does not differentiate between nurses who have earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) versus those who have earned a BSN. According to a recent poll, nurses with an ADN earned on average $34.79 per hour, while nurses with a BSN earned an average of $38.28 per hour. That $3.49 is a significant difference over the course of a year.

Today, more employers have expressed a preference for nurses with some type of baccalaureate preparation. In fact, 46% of employers “require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree,” according to the AACN.

Continued education through a program like the online RN to BSN program at Mississippi College can help RNs further their reach as healthcare providers and increase their earning potential. Mississippi College’s program is designed specifically with working RNs in mind and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education — a sign of quality and integrity. Students in the program focus on:

  • Patient-centered care for diverse populations
  • Integrating knowledge and accountability with relevant evidence-based practice
  • Effective use of technology in healthcare
  • Applying management and leadership concepts in the delivery of quality care services
  • Utilizing effective communication and collaboration to facilitate safe, quality outcomes for patients, families and populations

Potential Jobs for Nurses with a BSN

Earning a BSN can open doors to a wider range of opportunities for nurse professionals. Some of these jobs include:

  • Pharmaceutical Nurse: A BSN offers opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, from work as a sales representative to a career as a trainer who offers industry guidance regarding certain drugs and therapies.

Annual Median Salary: $84,348 (March 2021)

  • Informatics Nurse: This position bridges the gap between IT staff and healthcare staff. In this role, nurses analyze data to improve patient outcomes and support healthcare technology. This job makes the perfect match for nurses with a second passion for technology.

Annual Median Salary: $102,230 (March 2021)

  • Nurse Educator: Nurses with a passion for sharing their knowledge with future nurse professionals could pursue a career as a nurse educator. With the shortage of nurse educators due to an aging faculty and increased competition at clinical sites, this position is critical to the future of the profession.

Annual Median Salary: $75,223 (March 2021)

The number of BSN-prepared nurses in the field is at an all-time high, as is the demand for competent and compassionate nurses. The BLS predicts a seven percent rise in hiring opportunities due to the aging population and increased use of preventative medicine. That said, nurse professionals will continue to earn relatively high wages. While there are several other factors that could impact a nurse’s salary, including job location and overtime pay, earning a BSN is a surefire way to increase earning potential, stability and job variety.

Learn more about Mississippi College’s online RN to BSN program.


Indeed: How Much Do Nurses Make? Nurse Salaries 2021: How Much Do Nurses Make?

American Association of Colleges of Nursing:

Nursing Fact Sheet

Nursing Faculty Shortage

Gallup: Nurses Continue to Rank Highest in Honesty, Ethics

Zip Recruiter:

Pharmaceutical RN Salary

Informatics Nurse Salary

Nurse Educator Salary

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses

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