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Nurses take different specialization paths to reach their profession. Some follow RN courses, and others study to obtain a BSN degree. Each avenue differs from the other and decides the student’s job as a nurse once they are eligible for one.
If you want to become a nurse, but you can’t tell the difference between RN and BSN, this short guide should clear the air and help you choose the path that suits you best.
What does RN stand for?
The term RN refers to a registered nurse who is a medical professional licensed to treat patients and ensure support for them and their loved ones.
Registered nurses have several duties that vary depending on their specialty. Regularly, they have to assess the patients’ condition, administer medication, stay in contact with the patients’ family and keep track of the medical records
Any medical professional with an RN license can work in various medical facilities, including pediatrics, geriatrics, and oncology, among others. Additionally, they are not restricted to hospitals, and they can practice their job in rehabilitation centers or specialty clinics.
What does BSN stand for?
BSN is short for a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing. It is a four-year study program that helps individuals become registered nurses. Also, it supports registered nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree on top of their associate degree in nursing.
Registered nurses with a BSN have better chances at employment than those who only have an associate degree. Also, after they obtain their BSN, they can further their education even more by obtaining a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Once they obtain these qualifications, they should have even better chances of getting a job not only in nursing but in nurse training and education as well.
What are the Differences between RN and BSN?
As you have probably guessed by now, BSN is a level of education above RN. While RN can still work in the medical field with only their associate degree, most medical facilities prefer employing BSN. Both RN and BSN have to pass the NCLEX exam to become a licensed medical professional.
As is the case in almost any field of work, the more stages of higher education you complete, the better the salary will be. Therefore, BSN generally earns more than an RN, and they also have more opportunities for employment since they can occupy the same position in many more facilities. Going from RN to BSN is not easy, but it is more fruitful in the long run.
Becoming an RN without a BSN
An individual who wants to become a registered nurse (RN) only has to pass the NCLEX exam. To qualify for that exam, he or she has to complete an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). Here is where RN has an advantage over BSN since an ADN takes less time to complete and become eligible for taking the NCLEX exam.
Registered nurses that do not want to follow the RN to BSN program path usually get more hands-on experience early in their medical careers. The main downside of choosing this path is that they will have fewer employment opportunities.
RN with an ADN can work in hospitals, care centers, and even provide home health care services in the employment of a doctor.
Becoming an RN with a BSN
Registered nurses can further their education and follow on their ADN degree with a BSN degree. Then, they have to undergo a 4-year course to obtain the BSN.
However, upon completion, they can work in various medical fields and be eligible to occupy different positions, such as a pediatric nurse, surgical nurse, hospice nurse, and gynecological nurse. Additionally, they have the chance to obtain a much better salary than they used to earn as RN with ADN only.
RN vs. BSN – Deciding which one is the best for you?
Some people believe that BSN is the only way to become a registered nurse and that using an ADN does not fulfill the potential of a medical professional. While you have more advantages and the possibility of higher pay as a BSN, being an RN is not that bad.
When it comes to deciding between an RN and a BSN, the only question that you should ask yourself is “how soon do you want to enter the medical field?”
If you want to get right in there and get some precious hands-on experience, then the RN without the BSN path is the best for you.
However, if studying is more important than getting early experience for you, then you can study to become a BSN for four years and then enter the field.
RN allows you to earn experience, networking, and a decent salary right after obtaining your ADN. Sure, the employment offer is not that rich and doesn’t vary much, but you can always study to go from RN to BSN later.
BSN gives you time to study more about nursing. You sacrifice the RN advantages for an attempt at enriching your knowledge and furthering your skills. Sure, you have to study for four years, and you will have to wait longer for your first payment. However, with a BSN in your hands, you will be able to apply to more high-paying jobs in more medical sectors than an RN.