One of the great things about a career in nursing is how versatile and meaningful this line of work really is. You can work with newborns or help treat the elderly. You can practice in a busy hospital ward or work from home. You can care for tens of patients daily or direct all your professional attention towards one or a few individual cases at a time. And the key to unlocking this vast realm of employment opportunities is getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After that, your interests, passions, personal requirements (expected financial gains, schedule length, days of vacation, etc.) will help you narrow down the long list of BSN jobs and find the one nursing career that fits you like a glove.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most common BSN jobs, complete with their respective job descriptions and average annual salaries. What better way to convince you of the benefits of pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing than to present you with all the facts? Then you’ll see for yourself what you can actually do with a BSN degree.
Before we dive in, you may wonder if pursuing a BSN is genuinely worth it, especially if you already work as a Registered Nurse based on your ADN qualification. Of course, a larger pool of employment opportunities is nice, but what other benefits are there to getting your Bachelor’s in Nursing? So, before you discover what BSN jobs are available, let’s take a look at why advancing your nursing degree is an excellent idea in the first place.
Why Get a BSN Degree?
Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is increasingly becoming the gold standard for Registered Nurses. We’ve emphasized that there’s a direct correlation between a BSN and more job prospects, but, frankly, there are multiple more advantages to pursuing this educational path.
First off, as a BSN nurse, you are much more likely to have better patient outcomes. Studies show that improved clinical results, fewer medical errors, and lower mortality rates are linked to more advanced nursing education. That is one reason why employers in the healthcare industry show a preference for BSN-trained nurses. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) yearly surveys RN employment opportunities, and the findings are telling: over 41% of hospitals and other healthcare settings already require their new hires to have a BSN degree under their belt. In comparison, over 82% of employers say they strongly prefer BSN graduates.
Enroll in our online RN-to-BSN program and become the best Registered Nurse you can be – an addition any medical institution would be lucky to have.
Moreover, a BSN degree is generally linked to higher paychecks and more job benefits. It also gives you an advantage when negotiating your salary and grants you a competitive edge, putting you ahead of other candidates with similar years of experience.
Unquestionably, there are more benefits to advancing your nursing education. Find out what they are in our complete guide on why you should pursue a BSN qualification even if you’re already working as an RN.
Having gone through some of the reasons why getting a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is a good idea, it is time to see what BSN careers you can pursue.
What jobs can you get with a BSN degree?
Registered Nurses with BSN qualifications have a wide range of career opportunities at their disposal. The job descriptions vary, and so do the schedules, wages, and benefits of the job. Are you wondering what jobs are available with a BSN degree? Wonder no more. Here are some of the most common yet still highly in-demand BSN jobs:
As an ICU Nurse, you are responsible for treating and assisting patients who have found themselves in a hospital’s intensive care unit through some unfortunate event. The patients you deal with daily are in extremely critical condition, facing genuinely life-threatening symptoms. You’ll be in charge of monitoring them, assessing their medical situation, and helping them through some of their worst suffering. Therefore, as an ICU RN, you must be knowledgeable and empathetic. You must possess the technical skillset as much as the interpersonal abilities. Every day, you can be the difference between life and death. And what greater reward than knowing you save lives and alleviate suffering for a living?
For their vital role in the hospital ecosystem, ICU nurses are compensated reasonably well. Their average salary is around $86,268, higher than the mean salary for Registered Nurses, which, per BLS data, stands at $77,460.
Find out how much ICU Nurses earn across the USA.
If you don’t shy away from a challenge and want a BSN job that will surprise and keep you on your toes every day, then becoming an Emergency Room Nurse is the way for you to go. As an ER RN, your job gravitates around attending to patients in need of urgent medical care. On any given day, you may have to deal with victims of a car crash, gunshot wounds, people experiencing severe allergic reactions, kids accidentally swallowing toys, and much more.
Because they never know what to expect, ER Nurses must be highly trained, they should think fast and have the ability to make decisions in a split second. Their duties include triaging, taking vital signs, recording the patient’s state, administering medication, and assisting doctors with medical procedures. For their efforts, ER nurses earn about $78,868 a year.
Does the dynamism and unexpectedness of the ER entice you? Discover your earning potential based on where you live.
Registered Nurses who work alongside doctors in the operating room are crucial in the healthcare environment by providing assistance and care to patients before, during, and after surgery. They work in a high-stakes environment which requires considerable technical abilities, knowledge, and interpersonal skills. An OR RN must realize the importance of teamwork – especially during surgery. The communication between surgeon and nurse is central to the patient’s wellbeing.
This BSN career is no walk in the park (but then again, what is?) It’s a job that, at times, can be physically and emotionally taxing. During surgery, the RN may have to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods. Preparing the patient for the operation can require heavy lifting, and there are hours of being on your feet. But at the end of the day, or rather – year, OR nurses take home an average salary of $89,325, almost $13,000 more than the mean wage for RNs.
Oncology nurses are BSN RNs who help treat, care for, and educate patients who suffer from cancer. This role relies heavily on a nurse’s ability to assess a patient’s situation, given that Oncology Nurses are there to guide and evaluate the person’s state before, during, and after chemotherapy. They observe and manage the potential side effects of treatment efficiently and must understand test results and their meaning.
Equally important, an Oncology Nurse has to educate the patients and their families about the disease and its implications. It can be a particularly emotionally demanding job as cancer is an unforgiving disease. But being by a patient’s side when they find out they’re finally cancer-free is a reward that makes the job’s stresses fade in comparison. Speaking of rewards, as far as BSN careers go, Oncology Nursing is a relatively well-compensated job. RNs working in this position earn around $87,340 yearly.
RNs who have a particular affinity for caring for children, all the way from their infancy to their late teens, are perfect for the role of Pediatric Nurse. As for most BSN nursing jobs, the Pediatric RN’s duties include but are not limited to performing physical exams, taking vital signs, ordering and conducting tests, and, with more advanced training, even interpreting test results.
Treating children comes with its own set of challenges. Pediatric RNs must be able to “speak their language” in order to chase away their fears, convince them to take a medical test, or answer essential questions about their state. Educating the parents on how to best care for their child’s health is also a big part of the job. For their efforts, Pediatric Nurses take home paychecks around $59,000.
Are you considering a career switch to Nurse Pediatrics? Enroll in our RN-to-BSN program and be ready to work in the field in as few as 12 months.
If you like children but would enjoy a more specialized BSN nursing role, consider becoming a Neonatal Nurse after completing your Bachelor’s education. Neonatal nurses work with newborn babies, especially infants born prematurely or with serious health problems, like cardiac problems, infections, physical defects, or others. They also serve as the bridge between the parents and the medical specialists working in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Neonatal Nurses care for babies during the first days or weeks of their life. That’s why they need to be extremely detail-oriented, attentive, and intuitive: when it comes to babies, even the slightest change in behavior can be a sign of some underlying issue. However, seeing the parents happy to take their healthy baby home from the hospital brings a tremendous sense of professional accomplishment. In addition to that, the financial benefits coming with the job are not to be overlooked: Neonatal Nurses earn on average $101,727 a year.
Are you thinking of becoming a Neonatal RN? Make that decision fully informed! Here’s how much Neonatal Nurses earn in every state.
Have you ever wondered if you can combine your love for treating people and saving lives with your passion for travel? With a BSN degree under your belt, you sure can. Travel nursing is one of the more adventurous BSN nursing careers as it doesn’t tie you down to one place. Travel RNs generally engage in short-term roles at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They are instrumental in bridging the gap, even temporarily, in places where the nursing shortages are most prominent.
The job comes with a plethora of perks: great pay – which can be in the ballpark of $99,200 yearly, expanding one’s social network, and the possibility to explore new places. As far as duties go, they typically resemble those of a Registered Nurse. What sets Travel Nurses apart is their mobility and unrelenting desire for new professional and personal experiences.
Discover more about the earning potential of Travel Nurses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 37 million, or one in seven American adults, are estimated to have CKD – Chronic Kidney Disease. Over half a million of these people receive dialysis three times a week to replace kidney function.
The statistics may be grim, but they point out how instrumental to the healthcare system Dialysis Nurses are, particularly given the growing numbers of people suffering from CKD. A Dialysis Nurse’s duties revolve around treating and supporting patients who need dialysis and others with kidney-related conditions. This BSN career brings in an annual salary of around $73,769.
With the AACN reporting that by 2030 almost 20% of the American population will be 65 or older, a Geriatric Nurse’s role is – and will continue to be – one of the most in-demand BSN nursing jobs. What a Geriatric Nurse does is essentially care for and help treat the elderly population. They focus mainly on developing and implementing treatments for various chronic illnesses, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and other age-related medical conditions.
This BSN job allows you to find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice organizations, different types of assisted living facilities, or even offer in-home treatments. Geriatric Nurses are also compensated handsomely. Their wages average around $98,860 yearly.
Enroll in our BSN program and become one of the most sought-after nursing professionals in all medical institutions across the country.
Public Health Nurse
Public Health Nurses devote their knowledge and skill to caring for entire populations of people. They work with whole communities instead of taking care of individual patients, which makes their job description fairly different from most Registered Nurses’. A Public Health Nurse’s main areas of expertise are monitoring health trends and identifying risk factors, improving health and safety on a community level, and, just as significantly, ensuring access to care.
This BSN nursing career also comes with the great responsibility of providing members of a population with timely, reliable information on how to best protect their health. For their essential services and the invaluable health education they offer, Public Health Nurses earn somewhere around $61,739.
At the intersection of nursing, computer science, and information technology stands one of the fastest-growing BSN professions in the healthcare industry – Nursing Informatics Specialists. Nurses who specialize in this particular field are helping integrate vast amounts of digital knowledge and skills into traditional nursing practice, which makes their role indispensable in an increasingly digitized society. The importance of their contribution to the field of nursing also reflects on their wages. NI Specialists typically earn around $102,230 a year.
Learn everything you need to know about specializing in nursing informatics.
Nurses who specialize in the orthopedics field devote their care and expertise to patients who suffer from musculoskeletal conditions and disorders. Caring for people with arthritis, bone fractures, joint replacements, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many more diseases, deformities, and problems related to bones and muscles falls under the primary duties of an Orthopedic Nurse.
Extensive knowledge of things like casting, mobility devices, and pain management is necessary. This BSN job opportunity may require you to assist patients before and after surgeries. In some cases, you may have to work alongside orthopedic surgeons in the operating room. Because of their specialized area of expertise, Orthopedic Nurses also make more money than Registered Nurses, around $96,259 yearly.
Occupational Health Nurse
One of the less stressful BSN careers is Occupational Health Nursing. RNs who go into this field focus on providing help and educating workers, worker populations, and communities on health and safety programs and protocols. They are also in charge of monitoring workers’ health status as employed by various organizations or industries and, when necessary, providing aid and care to injured or suffering employees.
As an Occupational Health Nurse, you can be hired by manufacturing and production facilities, hospitals, or even other employment sectors, like the government. Their wages vary depending on the employing industry, but generally, Occupational Health RNs make around $73,870 annually.
The good thing about nursing is that you can easily combine your passion for helping people with other interests you may have. Such is the case for Nutrition Nurses or Nurse Nutritionists who manage to convert their passion for nutrition into a viable BSN nursing career opportunity.
Nutrition Nurses work closely with patients in need of nutrition support, offering them advice, guidance, counseling, and relevant information based on their health needs. It’s reasonably easy for them to be working in a medical facility’s gastroenterology departments or even as nutrition consultants for diverse organizations. Nutrition Nurses earn a median salary of $63,889.
Find out which are the most in-demand types of nurses and pursue a BSN career that ticks all the boxes: meaningful work, good pay, and excellent job prospects.
Nursing practice doesn’t necessarily need to tie you to working in a medical facility. There are plenty of alternative nursing careers you can pursue with a BSN degree that will allow you to find work outside hospital walls or even from home. One way you can do that is to go after a career in telehealth nursing.
Telehealth Nurses are RNs who help people navigate their health problems with the aid of telecommunication technologies, most commonly over the phone or via video services. Telehealth Nurses often help people with minor health issues. However, they are also responsible for scheduling in-person appointments and referring patients to medical specialists in more severe cases. Their role is essential because they can help reduce the numbers of patients who overcrowd the medical institutions – a task critical in crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth Nurses earn around $72,200 yearly.
Read our guide on telehealth nursing for a comprehensive overview of the profession.
The Perfect BSN Job For You Is One Application Away. Are You Ready to Pursue It?
As you can see, there is an ample array of BSN nursing careers from which RNs can choose a profession. With the help of a Bachelor’s Degree, you can forge your way ahead towards a job that requires more – or less – responsibility. You can find BSN employment opportunities that offer stricter – or more flexible – hours. You can pursue some of the highest-paid BSN nursing careers, or you can opt for a less stressful work environment. Regardless of your professional goal, a BSN degree will go a long way towards achieving it.
Embark on your Nightingale College RN-to-BSN journey now. Excellent job prospects are waiting on the other side!