According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses earn a yearly salary of $62,450 on average. Many factors are known to play a role in how much an RN is capable of earning. Years of experience, geographic location and nursing specialty can all determine a nurse’s salary. Does college degree level have an effect on a nurse’s earning potential?
Degree Options for Registered Nurses
There are three college degree options for registered nurses. Nurses can earn an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor degree of science in nursing (BSN). The third option is to earn a nursing diploma, which is completed at a hospital. Nursing diplomas are becoming rarer to find, however. Most RNs opt for either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in their field.
RN vs. BSN Earnings
Registered nurses who earn a BSN degree are likely to earn more money than those who earn an ADN. RNs who have bachelor degrees earn $6,000 more per year on average, according to Drexel University. Students can complete RN to BSN degree programs, which offer them the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s degree in a shorter period of time.
Should You Earn an ADN or BSN?
When making the decision to pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing, it is important to consider which is the most ideal option for you. Not only do nurses who earn BSN degrees have a higher earning potential, but they are also more in demand by some employers because they are qualified to handle a greater array of job responsibilities.
Bachelor degrees in nursing take four years to complete, while associate degrees generally take about three. Thus, with only one additional year of schooling, students will be able to earn about $6,000 more a year. ADN degrees are generally offered at community colleges, so they are a more affordable option. When students have completed the degree, they can work as an RN and enroll in a RN to BSN degree program.
Nursing can be a very lucrative career choice, whether you choose to earn an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor degree of science in nursing. Due to the current nursing shortage, there are many opportunities available to nurses with both ADN and BSN degrees. Not only do RNs earn competitive salaries, but they also are generally offered good benefits packages.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Registered Nurses.”
Drexel University, “Average & Starting Nurse Salary for Registered Nurses (RN’s).”