How Much Does a BSN Make?

how much does a BSN make

Nursing is a fast growing and highly in demand career, with thousands of new nurses finding work every year. There are multiple routes available to becoming a nurse, and different degrees and programs promise different benefits. One of the most common routes is to obtain a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN).

What Does a Nurse with a BSN Do?

Someone with a BSN is able to work as a Registered Nurse (RN). RNs provide routine nursing care to the patients under their watch, including:

  • administering medication
  • monitoring vital signs 
  • educating patients on current status
  • instructing family on techniques to ensure safe discharge
  • documenting all treatment provided
  • communicating with doctors and other nurses
  • ensuring the comfort and safety of the patient. 

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Ensuring all of the above for every patient in their care is no small task, and specific tasks may vary depending on experience, facility specific guidelines, and treatment setting. Some nurses have to make regular use of electronic devices such as electrocardiograms and advanced monitoring devices. Others must help with the birthing process. Still others will provide care for those in a non-traditional medical environment, such as on a cruise ship or in a prison. So while all RNs provide basic nursing care, the nature of their day-to-day can vary greatly.

Regardless of the setting worked in, all RNs must have a few key qualities in order to succeed. One such quality is compassion. Without compassion, nursing care would be performed under obligation, viewing it as simply a job. This could be damaging to the patient, as they will not receive the quality of care that they require. Compassion will also allow the nurse to see things from the patient's perspective, to better understand how they feel, what they need, and how the nurse can help.

Excellent communication skills are also vital for a nurse. Nurses are in regular communication with doctors, patients, family members, other nurses, additional care providers such as therapists and social workers, and insurance regulating agencies. Therefore, strong communication skills will allow for the nurse to express what they mean in a dignified and diplomatic way and to ensure the smooth function of the healthcare team.

Where Does a Nurse with a BSN Work?

The most common treatment setting for RNs to work in is in a hospital. Hospitals employ over half of all nurses that are actively working in the United States. The remainder are dispersed across a variety of treatment areas, including school systems, inpatient nursing facilities, privately owned clinics, home health companies, prisons, birthing centers, doctors offices, outpatient clinics and more. Nurses can also work in less traditional fields, for example as a telephone triage nurse, or providing consultation services to insurance agencies.

How Much Does a Nurse with a BSN Earn?

The average salary for an RN with a BSN is $68,000 a year. However, it is not unheard of to earn upwards of $100,000 a year. This range is due in part to experience, treatment setting, and state. The state one lives in may offer a different standard of living, which comes at a different cost, and the average salaries in that area will reflect that difference.

Nurses with a BSN have more opportunities for growth than other nurses, which can mean higher-paying positions and more advancement. Some treatment settings, such as working as a travel nurse, pay much higher than others also, and this must be taken into account when reflecting upon salary.