A Noble Calling
Those called to the field of nursing have a deep compassion for others. They want to reach out and help people when those people are at their most vulnerable. Today, the term “nurse” can apply to people working at many different career levels. This can include Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RN’s) who work with doctors in hospitals and clinics. It can even refer to Nurse Practitioners who can have a private practice and work as a patient’s primary care provider. Each of these professions has different levels of training and responsibilities. Even Registered Nurses are divided into two different groups.
What is the Difference between RN and BSN?
Nurses who work with an RN degree and those with a BSN are both considered registered nurses, and both need to take the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam to earn their nursing license. The difference between the two is that you can become an RN with a two-year associate degree, while to become a BSN, you must earn a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Which is Right for Me?
Licensed Registered nurses with either an RN or a BSN degree can immediately start working. Why would you want to earn a four-year degree, then, when you could get the same job with a two-year degree? Pay is one answer. While at the entry level, both types of nurses earn about the same, nurses with a BSN can expect to be paid more as they build experience. Another reason to earn your BSN is the possibility of advancement. With a four-year degree, you would be qualified to apply for nursing positions in management, education and even research. A BSN is also a stepping-stone to other, higher degrees.
On the other hand, if you are not completely sure that a career in nursing is right for you, then starting with a less time-consuming degree would allow you to actually work in the field before you commit more resources to your education. If, after working in the field you find that it is your true calling, you can always return to school for your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Follow your Heart
Whether you choose to work as an LPN, RN or BSN, you will know that you have chosen a truly noble profession. Few people ever touch the lives of others as profoundly as nurses do every day.