Exploring Different Aspects of a BSN: Understanding the Meaning, Opportunities, and Differences From RN

In the dynamic landscape of today’s healthcare system, nursing stands out as one of the most challenging yet rewarding professions, valued for its steadfast service to patients. You can become one of these leaders by earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. The University of Florida’s online BSN program from the UF College of Nursing prepares graduates for career opportunities in a variety of care settings with clients of all ages and diverse populations.

What is a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN)?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, also known as a BSN, is an undergraduate degree designed for Registered Nurses (RN) and aspiring nurses. This four-year degree program has general education requirements and courses designed for the nursing field, with topics including anatomy, pharmacology, and clinical experience. Those who hold this degree are often referred to as BSNs.

The BSN online degree program offered through UF Online is designed to provide graduates with the technical skills and requirements needed to assist in all kinds of medical settings. UF Online accepts students who have an active, unencumbered Florida RN license or enhanced licensure through the Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).

Why pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing?

“In the healthcare sector, nurses are essential for delivering comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of a patient’s well-being. Nurses possess an array of technical skills across various areas, while doctors traditionally specialize in a single domain and are fewer in number. Earning a BSN provides access to opportunities in a wide range of professional careers and career paths, ranging from entry-level practitioner to nurse manager to high-level research professional. Nurses are currently in high demand, with an expected growth rate of 6% through 2032 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Due to the technical knowledge and precise medical procedures required in any health-related field, a Bachelor of Science degree is an invaluable asset when becoming a nurse. Nursing carries numerous responsibilities such as communicating with doctors, providing primary care to patients, and overseeing extensive medical procedures. UF Online’s nursing program helps students develop the skills necessary to effectively manage and perform these diverse tasks.

Career opportunities with a Bachelor of Science in nursing

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing prepares students to effectively apply their education to support the needs of their patients, illustrating the diverse opportunities of what you can achieve with a nursing degree. Nurses earn their bachelor’s degrees to open their career opportunities enabling them to work in highly specialized roles. Below are several career paths attainable with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, accompanied by brief descriptions of the typical duties, requisite skills, and estimated annual salaries. All salary information is sourced from publicly available data provided by Payscale.com.

Pediatric Nurse $72,000

Humans need medical care from the moment they enter the world. Pediatric nurses receive specialized medical training to work with children, infants, and adolescents to deliver optimal care to young patients. Pediatric nurses at minimum will have obtained an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have earned their certification as a registered nurse.

Clinical Nurse Specialist $94,000

Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) are certified to practice within a specific nursing specialty or niche, leveraging advanced knowledge, training, and years of experience. These professionals undergo graduate-level education and rigorous training and obtaining a BSN serving as the foundational step towards entering this field. Due to the advanced level of education required, a CNS is often mistaken for a nurse practitioner, which is another type of advanced nurse specialty with notable differences. Nurse practitioners are considered primary care providers, whereas a CNS focuses on the research, development, and education in their specialty.

Surgical Nurse $73,000

One of the most sought-after nursing specialties is surgical nursing, making this a potentially lucrative nursing career option. A surgical nurse, as the name denotes, practices in an operating room setting and assists patients and doctors with all aspects of a procedure before, during, and after an operation. The surgical nursing certification requires a BSN and two years of work experience as a registered nurse.

Registered nurse (RN) vs. Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN)

Prospective nursing students often explore the RN vs BSN comparison to understand the fundamental differences between these nursing pathways. Understanding these designations is crucial in selecting the best path and nursing program to align with your career goals. While the primary difference is that RNs possess an associate degree and BSNs hold a bachelor’s degree, there are additional distinctions between the two.

What is the difference between a registered nurse and a Bachelor of Science in nursing?

RNs are registered and licensed nurses, serving as working professionals dedicated to patient care. To become an RN, individuals must complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam to obtain nursing licensure. In the healthcare field, many employers either encourage or mandate that RNs pursue a BSN degree within a specific timeframe to improve standard practices and quality of patient care.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a four-year undergraduate degree program designed to prepare students for the nursing field. The degree incorporates general education requirements and emphasizes relevant subjects such as anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, and clinicals. Obtaining a BSN is required for many specialties and leadership roles within the nursing field.

A critical factor to consider when choosing between an RN or BSN is the duration of schooling, with RNs completing a two-year associate degree program, whereas BSNs undertake a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Certain RN to BSN programs, like UF Online, offer the opportunity for RNs who have already earned a two-year associate degree to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in a shorter timeframe. While both RNs and BSNs are registered nurses capable of providing patient care, BSNs are more likely to qualify for promotion opportunities and advanced roles within the healthcare system.

Career advancement opportunities with a BSN

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing propels graduates toward advanced education and management roles in the medical field. The BSN curriculum equips students for career progression, nursing specialties, and promotional pathways. A BSN is also essential for students aspiring to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing degree to become an MSN. BSN graduates from UF Online acquire skills in information management, navigating the evolution of healthcare policies, shaping professional nursing standards, and implementing wellness promotion strategies through illness prevention.

The online nursing degree program from UF equips graduates to pursue further education or enter the workforce directly after graduation. The UF Online RN to BSN program delivers a fully online education while maintaining a quality student experience, providing unmatched flexibility and convenience.