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Registered Nurse vs BSN

A registered nurse, commonly abbreviated as an RN, is nurse who completes an exam known as the NCLEX-RN exam after taking and completing an accredited nursing degree program.

  There are two degree programs that a prospective registered nurse may take:

  • Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN or ADN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

An ASN degree program is typically a two year program that will teach you the same information youll learn in other nursing programs.  After earning your ASN degree and passing your NCLEX-RN, you will be able to start applying to entry-level positions within nursing.  The main difference between an ASN and a BSN is that your BSN degree program will take about four years and will provide you with a broader education than an ASN degree program.  In addition, registered nurses with a BSN may have seniority over an ASN graduate when it comes to applying for the same position.

There also may be a difference in salary between registered nurses with an ASN verses a BSN.  Salary is one of those factors that really varies depending on location, experience and the company you are working for.  Websites such as PayScale and the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics report average salaries for different careers, but they dont discriminate between RNs with an ASN or a BSN.  As a whole, RNs earn an average of $50,000 annually in an entry level position.  The important thing to know when it comes to salary is that having a BSN makes it more likely to be promoted than one was an ASN degree.

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