If you are thinking about starting a career in nursing, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can be a great first step, especially in the Fort Lauderdale area. This article will explore the benefits of pursuing a BSN in Fort Lauderdale and highlight the added value this degree brings to a career in nursing. This article will also discuss why hospitals in Fort Lauderdale prefer BSN-prepared nurses and the advantages BSN may provide in hiring preference, earning potential, and employment options.
What is the Value of a BSN?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a degree that provides a comprehensive education in nursing leadership, theory, research, and clinical practice that goes beyond the scope of an associate’s degree or LPN degree. In addition to the course work taught in these shorter programs, a BSN provides more depth in physical and social sciences, nursing research, public and community health, nursing management, and the humanities.
According to the American Association of Colleges, a BSN program offers better:
- Professional development for career advancement
- Skills for a broader scope of healthcare practice
- Understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and social issues
Since a BSN equips nurses with a greater level of knowledge and enhanced patient-care skills, many healthcare systems now prefer the BSN as the standard of entry-level practice.
Why Do Hospitals Prefer Nurses with a BSN in Fort Lauderdale?
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), employers nationwide strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses as the entry standard to nursing practice. Their research shows that these nurses contribute to higher quality care and better patient outcomes, such as lower mortality rates and fewer medication errors, which are critical quality measures for hospitals and healthcare facilities.
As of September 2022, the AACN also reports that 41% of employers now require new nurses to have a BSN, while 77% state they strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses for the above reasons. Due to this data from the AACN and employer preference for BSN-prepared nurses, prospective students should consider a BSN nursing program.
What Percentages of Nurses Hold a BSN?
While specific data for Fort Lauderdale is unavailable, the AACN estimates that as of 2020, about 65% of registered nurses nationwide held a BSN degree.
Advantages of Pursuing a BSN in Fort Lauderdale
In Fort Lauderdale, earning a BSN may position new nurses competitively in the job market and increase job opportunities. A BSN may also provide higher earning potential and ongoing job security as BSN-prepared nurses are equipped better to adapt to the constantly changing needs of the healthcare field.
Increased Job Opportunities
Fort Lauderdale has a robust healthcare industry, including many hospitals, clinics, and more. Combined with the growing national preference for BSN-prepared nurses and an expected job growth of 15% by 2030, the Fort Lauderdale area has a strong demand for BSN graduates.
In fact, surveys performed in 2021 by the AACN showed that many new BSN graduates received employment offers right at graduation and that most were employed within six months after graduation. In the South, including Fort Lauderdale, nursing schools that responded to the survey reported at the time of graduation, 84% of new graduates already had offers for employment. At 4-6 months after graduation, this rate was even better at 93%.
Higher Earning Potential
While specific wage data comparing earnings by BSN versus non-BSN-prepared nurses are not reported on by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or O*Net Online, the average salary of a registered nurse (RN) in Fort Lauderdale is estimated to be $79,870 as of 2022. This is significantly higher than the average salary of $51,250 for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area. Since few LVN or LPN positions require a college-level credential while many registered nursing jobs require a BSN degree, the data show a strong connection between higher education and higher salaries for nurses.
Nursing Job Security
With the ever-changing healthcare landscape, having a BSN may also support nursing job security because BSN-prepared nurses are able to work in a far wider variety of environments and roles. With a broader scope in their education, students who complete full Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs possess the variety of skills and competencies needed to adapt to changing healthcare trends and take on diverse professional roles. According to the AACN’s collected research, skills like critical thinking, leadership, and case management have been shown to positively impact inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings in many ways, including:
- Being better equipped for evidence-based practice, data analysis, and project implementation
- Contributing to significantly lower readmission rates and shorter lengths of stay for patients
- Lowering rates of 30-day inpatient surgical mortality and reducing deaths from other complications
- Reducing errors in administering patient medication and other forms of care
As Fort Lauderdale’s healthcare industry grows, BSN-prepared nurses should be better prepared to perform well in their roles and have access to a much broader array of jobs in the nursing field.
Start Your Nursing Career With Arizona College of Nursing
BSN programs prepare graduates to provide the highest quality care compared to non-BSN-prepared nurses. New nurses that enter the job market with a BSN often enjoy preferential hiring, higher pay, and better employment prospects. That’s why Arizona College of Nursing proudly offers a 3-year accelerated program so you can earn your BSN faster than a traditional four-year degree.
Are you ready to start your journey toward a nursing career? Arizona College of Nursing invites you to explore our CCNE-accredited BSN program at our nursing school in Fort Lauderdale. Let us help you gain the knowledge and expertise you need to provide excellent patient care.
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Tana Bao MSN, FNP-BC, NP-C, APRN
Tana Bao is an experienced advanced practice registered nurse. She earned her BSN from The University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 and her MSN from Thomas Jefferson University in 2019. She is board certified to practice as a family nurse practitioner with both The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP-C) and The American Nurses Credentialing Center (FNP-BC). Clinically, she has worked in various medical settings including family planning, women’s health, sleep medicine, and primary care. She now also writes professionally as a health content writer and journalist and is also pursuing a post master’s certificate in nursing education.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2022 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL, at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33100.htm
O*Net Online. Florida Wages – Registered Nurses at https://www.onetonline.org/link/localwages/29-1141.00?st=FL
O*Net Online. Florida Employment Trends – Registered Nurses at https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/29-1141.00?st=FL
O*Net Online. Local Wages for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
O*Net Online. Local Wages for Registered Nurses
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Fact Sheet: The Impact of Nursing Education on Nursing Practice, at https://www.aacnnursing.org/news-information/fact-sheets/impact-of-education
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Employment of New Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses at Research-Brief-10-21.pdf (aacnnursing.org)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nursing Fact Sheet at https://www.aacnnursing.org/news-data/fact-sheets/nursing-fact-sheet.
Information in this blog post is accurate as of July 13, 2023.