Those familiar with the healthcare field may have heard that the American Association for Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is requiring 80 percent of nurses employed by a hospital have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) by 2020. Current registered nurses have probably already started thinking about what this means for them and wondering about other types of BSN jobs are available for those looking to advance their careers.
Mandate aside, a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) is a credential that can open a lot of doors. And if you are already a registered nurse with an associate degree, the BSN track can be completed online in as little as 12 months.
We used Burning Glass* to identify more than 370,000 BSN-related jobs and corresponding salary information from the past 12 months. If these trends continue, here are seven of the most in-demand jobs out there:
1. Registered nurse at a hospital
Annual job postings: 253,111
Mean salary: $67,150
In anticipation of the 2020 requirement, more and more hospitals are already limiting the number of registered nurses to bachelor’s degree candidates. Hospitals also continue to be the largest employers of nurses. There are pros and cons to working in a hospital, but most nurses that do often work in an area of specialization such as pediatrics, intensive care or emergency.
2. Nurse manager / nurse supervisor / nurse director
Annual job postings: 80,692
Mean salary: $75,500
Nurse managers are required to have at least a BSN. Less of their time is focused on working with patients and more on training and managing the nursing staff. This often requires them to act as the liaison between doctors, staff, patients and other members of the medical team.
3. Case management nurse
Annual job postings: 26,601
Mean salary: $68,575
Case management nurses are responsible for the long-term care of patients. This typically includes coordinating several treatments across a span of time. Responsibilities can range from scheduling surgeries to advising the best course of action for the patient.
4. Nursing faculty / nurse educator
Annual job postings: 7,559
Mean salary: $81,969
As a nurse educator, you usually need to have a degree above the level you are teaching. So in order to teach at an associate level you would need a bachelor degree, and so on. For those that are very passionate about their nursing career, education can be an excellent option because that passion is generally passed on to the next generation of nurses. There is also a major shortage of nursing faculty due to an aging workforce and increase competition with hospitals and other clinical sites. With a smaller faculty pool to pull from, this path is certain to have strong demand for the coming years.
5. Clinical research nurse
Annual job postings: 3,812
Mean salary: $64,304
Clinical research nurses work with research patients during clinical trials. They are responsible for the patient safety, care coordination and follow-up after the procedure. These specialized registered nurses may work for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or even commercial industries.
6. Public health nurse
Annual job postings: 1,502
Mean salary: $59,502
Public health nurses do not have the highest salary in this list but these individuals choose their career because of their dedication to the community. They work through healthcare programs and government services to educate the community and improve access for individuals. This job can often include a great deal of travel in order to reach the underserved areas.
7. Quality coordinator / specialist / manager
Annual job postings: 1,256
Mean salary: $76,701
One of the components of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform bill signed into law in 2010, is using ratings to improve quality care. Nurses have an interesting perspective on the measurement and analysis of the quality data because of their knowledge of working with patients. Nearly 75 percent of current postings require a bachelor’s degree in either nursing or business/healthcare management.
Is a BSN right for you?
Just as there are dozens of occupational specializations within nursing, there are many degree levels for nurses to pursue. Whether you are deciding between LPN versus RN or RN versus BSN, there a lot of factors to consider.
If you are currently a registered nurse and are considering your options, a bachelor’s degree is a choice that will ensure you remain competitive in coming years. Sure an associate’s degree is always a good option and can make an excellent starting point. But with so many BSN jobs making their way onto career websites, the opportunities for bachelor-prepared nurses are clearly on the rise.
So if you’re thinking about going back to school, find out more about why earning your BSN online simply makes sense to advance your career.
*Source: BurningGlass.com (analysis of “bachelor of nursing science”-related job openings, Nov. 1, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2013)
**Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.