Is There a Difference Between an RN and a BSN?


There are several differences between BSN and RN. The first thing to understand when trying to understand these two is that one refers to licensure and the other a level of education. Read on to understand the differences between RN and BSN.

What is a Registered(RN)?

Registered nurses are individuals who have completed all their educational and examination requirements. Before one can be called a registered nurse, they also need to meet the necessary licensing requirements so they can practice. Registered nurse is also used as a job title in most adverts.

If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse, you need to study for an associate degree. You can also get registered by attaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Once you are done, you will have to sit for the NCLEX-RN Exam. This examination is set by the National Council of States Board of Nursing. To practice as a registered nurse, you should apply for licensure in the state where you intend to work. Once you have satisfied your testing and education requirements, you can then start working as a registered nurse.

What is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?

The chief difference between BSN and RN is that BSN(Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is a degree program and not a job title or licensure. There are two ways to earn a BSN degree. You can pursue RN and BSN simultaneously. Alternately, you can do it through an online RN-BSN program.

So, is there a difference between RN and BSN? The short answer is yes. As described before, a BSN is a degree that you earn. On the other hand, RN is the licensure that you need to practice in your state. RN is also used as a job title.

In considering BSN vs. RN, you should think about the level of education you are willing to attain. You can become a registered nurse without a BSN. All you need to do is get an associate degree or diploma. This route takes less time, and it’s usually more cost-effective than a BSN degree. This means that you will be able to start working faster. Of course, there are some downsides to taking this seemingly quicker and cheaper route. One of the most significant disadvantages is RN vs. BSN compensation levels. Registered nurses with a BSN degree generally have better job prospects than those with diplomas and associate degrees.

Why Should You Study For a BSN Degree?

Most people who want to pursue a career in nursing are going via the BSN route. There are several reasons why this is becoming the preferred choice.

Career Flexibility

With a BSN degree, you can use your qualifications to branch out into patient education. This means you will be able to work in public health or even as a nurse educator. BSN enables you to be more flexible when it comes to your career choices. If you want to become an educator in a university setting, you can use your BSN as a stepping stone, then a master’s degree to meet the requirements.

Better Earning Potential

According to nursejournal.org, nurses with a BSN generally earn about $3,000 to $8,000 a year more than those without it. While both ADN and BSN registered nurses usually start off earning the same amount of money, within a few years, the gap starts to open. With one to four years of experience, a registered nurse without a BSN will earn an average salary of $61,360. On the other hand, BSNs with the same level of experience will be getting an average salary of $69,697

A BSN is a great way to set yourself apart from other registered nurses. While a two-year ADN provides a shorter path to employment, you need to look at the bigger picture. If the budget allows, you should consider enrolling in an RN to BSN program. That way, you can get a headstart and start making some money while you are pursuing your BSN. All you need to do is find a reliable school, and you will be on your way to success.

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