What Does BSN Stand for Nursing? | Meaning, Job & Salary

Are you a nurse wanting to learn what “BSN” means? BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing, one of the most essential credentials in nursing. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, nurses can learn more about medicine while having better opportunities for advancement in their chosen field.

Becoming a BSN-level nurse is essential for any RN who wants to provide first-rate care and move up the career ladder.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why having a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree is essential and discuss how to acquire it.

What Does BSN Mean?

If you’re exploring the world of nursing, you may have come across the acronym BSN. But what does bsn stand for, exactly? BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree program prepares students to become registered nurses (RNs).

Typically, a BSN program takes four years to complete, and students will study nursing theory, health assessment, pharmacology, and more. Along with gaining valuable knowledge and skills, earning a BSN also opens up a wide range of career opportunities in nursing.

So if you’re considering a career in nursing, understanding the meaning of BSN is an essential first step.

What is the Difference Between an ADN Vs. BSN Degree?

There are similarities and differences between a BSN and an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). Both degrees can lead to becoming an RN, but some crucial distinctions must be made.

Education Difference

The most significant difference is the amount of education required for each degree. An ADN program typically takes just two years of study – compared to four for a BSN program. That’s because a BSN degree includes more detailed instruction in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, health promotion and management, leadership skills, and more.

Career Opportunities

The comprehensive education of a BSN program opens up a wider range of job opportunities than an ADN. In addition to being able to work in traditional roles, those with a BSN are eligible for positions such as nurse educator, nurse administrator, clinical nurse specialist, and more.


BSN programs also offer more courses that allow nurses to specialize in specific areas such as pediatrics, gerontology, or mental health nursing. This can give you a competitive edge when applying for management–level jobs.

NCLEX Pass Rates

BSN programs also often have higher NCLEX pass rates than ADN programs. This means that nurses who have earned a BSN degree are more likely to pass the licensing examination and move on to begin their careers as an RN.

The NCLEX reported that from January through June 2022, 85% of candidates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) passed the exam, while 80% of those with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) succeeded. In 2020, these rates varied more significantly – 90% for BSN and 82% for ADN. Having a BSN might better equip you to pass the exam.

Salary and Job Outlook

It is important to note that some healthcare organizations and facilities prioritize hiring RNs with BSN degrees over ADN degrees, such as those awarded the prestigious American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Hospital award. Therefore, finding job opportunities requiring only an ADN rather than a BSN may take more work. Nonetheless, plenty of employment opportunities remain available for nurses with an ADN.

How to Become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Now that you know the differences between a BSN and an ADN, let’s look at how to become an RN.

Complete an accredited nursing program.

The first step is to earn either a BSN or an ADN degree. Both degrees can be earned through traditional college programs and online RN programs.

Take (and pass) the nurse licensing exam.

Once you have your degree, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This nationally recognized nursing certification examination evaluates your knowledge and skills as an RN. Once you have passed the exam, you are officially a registered nurse and can begin practicing in your chosen specialty.

Which is Best For Me: ADN or BSN?

When deciding whether to earn an ADN or BSN, you should weigh each degree’s advantages. An ADN degree requires less time to complete and is more affordable, but a BSN offers more career opportunities and provides you with the educational foundation necessary for further specialization.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your goals and decide which degree best meets your needs. You can pursue a beautiful career as a registered nurse with the proper education and dedication.

What are the Job Settings of BSN Registered Nurses?

Here are some of the examples of positions you could get:

1. Hospital Nurses: Nurses with BSN degrees work in hospitals, where they provide patient care and help coordinate treatments. They may also participate in research projects or specialize in a particular area of medicine. In hospitals, nurses can work in the following unit:

  • NICU: Nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care for preterm or ill newborns.
  • Emergency Department: Emergency department nurses provide lifesaving treatments to patients with severe injuries or illnesses and help stabilize them until they can be transferred to another facility for further treatment.
  • Oncology: In oncology units, BSN nurses work with cancer patients, providing emotional support and physical care.
  • Women’s Health/Obstetrics: Nurses in this area of women’s health specialize in caring for pregnant women and new mothers. They assist during labor and delivery, monitor newborns’ vital signs, and provide postpartum education.
  • Oprating Room: nurses in the Oprating Room assist surgeons and other healthcare professionals during surgery. They prep patients for surgery, pass instruments to doctors, monitor vital signs, and provide postoperative care.

2. Home Health Care Nurses: These nurses visit patients’ homes to monitor their health and administer treatments as needed.

3. School Nurses: School nurses are responsible for overseeing the daily health of students at schools and educating them on health topics, such as proper nutrition and exercise habits.

4. Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs): CNSs use evidence-based practices to diagnose problems, develop treatment plans, and oversee patient care in clinics and other facilities.

5- Travel Nurses: Travel nurses work with agencies to provide care in different locations, often for short-term assignments.

How Much Do BSN Nurses Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for all registered nurses is $77.6K. RNs with BSNs can also expect to command higher-than-average salaries. 

According to an aggregate job posting data from Lightcast™, the median advertised salary for an RN with a BSN is $82.3K, a 6% increase from BLS reported median salaries.

What’s the future Job opportunity for BSN RNs?

BSN-educated nurses are highly sought after in the nursing field. Job prospects for registered nurses are anticipated to increase 7% between now and 2029, creating over 200,000 new opportunities.

As a result, healthcare providers need experienced and skilled nurse leaders to ensure their patients receive the best care possible. This allows BSN nurses to take on leadership roles or explore specialized fields such as pediatrics, travel nursing, surgical/perioperative nursing, and oncology nursing. Higher-level specialties may even require a master’s degree for more lucrative positions.

Frequently Asked Questions

RN Diploma Vs. ADN Vs. BSN Degree: What’s The Difference?

Regarding patient care, nurses are rigorously trained for their profession. To understand the various levels of training, one has to look at the letters following a nurse’s name. BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing, ADN stands for Associate Degree in Nursing, and RN denotes Registered Nurse.

BSN is a degree from a 4-year program: A student with a BSN has graduated from a 4-year nursing program offered by a college, university, or nursing school.

ADN is a degree from a 2-year program: On the other hand, someone with an ADN has completed a two-year course from a nursing school. This is a quicker way to become an Rn.

RN is a certification: Finally, RN is used as certification – after completing either BSN or ADN program, all nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Can I get a BSN without being an RN?

Yes, you can get a BSN without being an RN. Many universities offer BSN programs that do not require a nursing degree or certification. These programs are specially designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to become successful nurses without going through the lengthy process of becoming a registered nurse. 

However, these programs may take longer to complete as they include more general education courses than traditional BSN programs. 

Additionally, most employers prefer candidates with both their BSN and RN certifications. Therefore, individuals are often recommended to pursue both certificates if they wish to enter nursing. 

Final Thoughts

A BSN degree is essential for nurses looking to advance in their careers. Achieving a BSN may take longer than getting an ADN, but it often leads to better job opportunities and higher salaries. With the increasing demand for healthcare professionals, now could be the ideal time to pursue your BSN and explore the job market.

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