The nursing profession spans many different types of degrees and certifications. One of the most helpful is the BSN. But what exactly is a BSN in nursing?

What BSN Means

The letters BSN stand for Bachelor of Science in Nursing, meaning a person with a BSN has an undergraduate degree in nursing.

Benefits

Nurses who have BSNs are usually licensed as Registered Nurses (RNs). You do not need a BSN to work as an RN (the entry level degree is an associate's degree), but having a BSN can boost your attractiveness to potential employers and lead to higher salaries.

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Time Frame

As with most other undergraduate degrees, a BSN encompasses about four years of full-time study in a college or university.

Theories/Speculation

Some employers will only hire RNs who hold a BSN. It is possible that a BSN may become the new minimum degree for prospective RNs, so new nurses are well advised to attain one.

Potential

Completing a BSN can be beneficial for nurses who aspire to become nurse practitioners, as a bachelor's degree is often a prerequisite.

Considerations

It is possible to apply directly to a BSN program and apply for an RN license in conjunction with completing the program, but it is also possible to start with an associate's degree. RN to BSN programs are often available online or via part-time schedules that can accommodate full-time work.

About the Author

Kay Daniels is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience writing and editing online. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Excelsior College, a certificate in copy editing from University of California, San Diego Extension, and is in her second year of medical school.