BSN Starting Salary & Career Opportunities

With an aging population, the demand for quality health care and experienced nurses is increasing. For registered nurses, having a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can prove to be advantageous for nurses who wish to boost their salaries. Along with better pay and job opportunities, earning a BSN allows nurses to specialize their training to increase their job prospects.

In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80% of nurses have a BSN by 2020 to help with the shortage of qualified nurses. And many hospitals, which are the largest employers of nurses, require that their RNs have a bachelor’s degree. Though earning a BSN is not a requirement for RNs working in some states, places like New York mandate that new nurses earn a BSN within 10 years of becoming an RN in order to retain their license.

Currently, the median annual salary for RNs is $71,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. How does that compare to the BSN starting salary? Here are three careers, along with salary information, that you can pursue after earning a BSN.

Nurse Manager

A nurse manager supervises the nursing staff either at an entire facility or within a unit, such as a pediatric or intensive care unit. The role requires clinical experience and the ability to manage the business side of health care, such as budgeting, strategic planning and human resources. While they oversee their unit or facility’s daily operations, a nurse manager ensures the nursing staff is providing quality patient care that complies with laws, regulations and policies. They inspect patient rooms for cleanliness and assist patients and families.

According to PayScale, entry-level nurse managers make an average salary of $75,000 per year. Those with at least 20 years of experience earn around $92,500 a year.

Surgical Nurse

Responsible for patient care before, during and after surgery, a surgical nurse assists physicians or surgeons during procedures. They help patients prepare for surgery and work to create a patient’s post-surgery plan of care for recovery. During procedures, a surgical nurse checks the patient’s vital signs, administers IV fluids and medications and hands instruments to the surgeon. They also monitor patients for complications and take action should any arise.

According to PayScale, the average salary for all surgical nurses is $61,700 per year. Entry-level surgical nurses earn about $53,500 annually, while those who have been in the profession for 20 years or more earn about $72,800 a year.

Nurse Case Manager

A nurse case manager works with patients who have long-term conditions, such as cancer or AIDS, and their health care providers. After evaluating patient needs, they develop care plans to help coordinate treatments for long-term care, which may include nutrition, medications and exercises. Along with patient care, a nurse case manager collaborates with health insurance companies to determine the patient’s eligibility for various programs and treatments. In this mostly administrative position, a nurse case manager schedules surgeries and conducts admissions and discharge planning for patients. Sometimes, they may have to perform patient exams and evaluations.

Working in either a hospital, nursing home or other health care environment, entry-level nurse case managers earn an average salary of $64,500 a year, according to PayScale. While the average salary for all nurse case managers is around $70,500 per year, those with 20 or more years of experience earn an average annual wage of $74,750.

Increase Your BSN Starting Salary

When you further your education with a BSN, you can increase your starting salary and long-term earning potential. With the online RN to BSN program from Emmanuel College, you can gain the valuable knowledge and clinical experience you need to open the door to more career opportunities. The fully online program offers you the ability to study when it’s most convenient as you learn from educators who are experienced in the field.