If you’re at all involved in the nursing industry, you’re likely familiar with the "80 by ‘20" initiative. This movement launched as a result of a 2010 report published by the Institute of Medicine, setting an ambitious goal to increase the percentage of nurses holding a bachelor’s degree to 80 percent by the year 2020.
"BSN in 10" is a similar initiative encouraging the increase in advanced education for nurses. This is a proposed policy that would require new nurses to obtain their BSN within 10 years of entering the field.
All of this talk has probably prompted you to think about the prospect of earning a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN). But you don’t want to invest your time and money just because some regulation forced you to. You want to know that it’s benefiting you and has the ability to advance your career.
Regulations aside, a BSN degree can lead you down several nursing career paths. So why wait for the mandate? Keep reading for a list of seven BSN jobs you could land with your degree in hand.
7 BSN jobs employers are looking to fill
We used real-time job analysis software to examine more than 475,000 BSN jobs posted over the past year.* The data helped us identify seven popular positions for BSN holders. Keep reading to learn more about the doors this degree could open.
1. Registered nurse (RN) at a hospital
Mandate or not, more and more hospitals are already requiring RNs to have a BSN. Hospitals also continue to be the largest employers of nurses. There are pros and cons to working in a hospital, but most nurses who do often work in an area of specialization such as pediatrics, intensive care or emergency. So if you’re an aspiring nurse who hopes to work at a hospital, earning a BSN may increase your hiring potential from the get-go.
2. Nurse manager
Nurse managers are required to have at least a BSN. Less of their time is focused on working in direct patient care and more is spent 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
Case management nurses are responsible for the long-term care of patients. This typically includes coordinating several treatments across an extending period of time. Responsibilities can range from scheduling surgeries to advising the best course of action for the patient.
4. Nurse educator
As a nurse educator, you typically need to have a degree above the level you are teaching. So in order to teach in a nursing diploma program, you would need a bachelor’s degree, and so on. If you are passionate about the profession, becoming a nurse educator can be an extremely rewarding way to make an impression on the next generation of nurses.
For those who 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 currently a major shortage of nursing faculty due to an aging workforce and increased competition with hospitals and other clinical sites.
5. Clinical research nurse
Clinical research nurses (CRNs) 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. BSN curriculum provides the foundational knowledge needed to become a CRN, with certification programs available to acquire more specialized skills.
6. Public health nurse
Public health nurses care for entire populations rather than individual patients. Instead of waiting for patients to seek treatment, they go out into communities to advocate for lifestyle improvements and disease prevention. They often work through healthcare programs and government services to educate the community and improve access for individuals.
7. Quality coordinator
One of the components of the Affordable Care Act is using ratings to improve quality care. Nurses have an interesting perspective on the measurement and analysis of this data because of their knowledge of working with patients. These individuals are responsible for ensuring the nursing staff is in compliance with procedures in place to provide quality care. This is another opportunity for you to make a positive and lasting impact on the industry.
Is a BSN right for you?
The variety of BSN jobs out there is just one of the many reasons nurses should consider earning a bachelor's degree. If you’re passionate about improving as a nurse while also helping improve the industry at large, it’s time to consider this credential.
Are you already a registered nurse with an associate degree? Learn how you can earn your BSN online in as little as 12 months.2
Are you not yet working in the nursing field? Learn how you can get on the fast-track to earning your BSN.
1 Burning-Glass.com (analysis of 476,694 BSN job postings, March 1, 2015 – Feb. 29, 2016)
2 Completion time is dependent on credit transfers accepted and courses completed each term.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in November 2013. It has since been updated to reflect information relevant to 2016.