With some employers, it’s easier to get the best nursing jobs if you have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In some areas, it’s already a requirement. That’s why the emergence of online RN to BSN degree programs is so important for those who hold a two-year degree but don’t want to leave their current job to attend school.

As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while a two-year degree can get you a nursing job, “employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree” And while Texas will allow people to become nurses with an associate’s degree, the better pay and job opportunities are available for those who earn an advanced degree. BSN degree advantages are compelling.

BSN Degree Advantages and Texas Jobs

Earning a BSN shows potential employers that job candidates have done all they can to attain the best skills to bring into their professional careers. That’s especially useful in a place such as Texas, where nursing jobs are plentiful. Nationwide, the BLS projects 15% growth in the number of people working as an RN by 2026. That’s more than 438,000 people joining the profession.

In Texas, that projection is at 24.1%, much higher than the national average. This will result in almost 51,000 nurses becoming an RN in Texas, according to the BLS-powered Projections Central website.

The state already employs more nurses than every state other than California. There were 212,230 nurses working in the state in May 2017. The mean annual salary reached $72,070 in May 2017. That’s on par with the national average, but the cost of living in Texas is generally lower than high-paying states such as California, New York, and Massachusetts.

The top 25% of nurses in Texas made $83,310. It’s those higher paying jobs that someone who holds a BSN has a better chance of landing. That’s one of many BSN degree advantages.

BSN Degree Advantages: Advanced Skills

The main reason for increasingly making a BSN necessary to work as an RN, especially in hospitals, is because of the advanced skills that students learn. For example, the RN to BSN program at Houston Christian University offers students eight upper-level nursing courses in addition to foundational general courses. Those nursing courses include:

  • Perspectives on the healthcare system. Students analyze the trends currently influencing the U.S. healthcare system
  • Pharmacology for Nurses. Students learn pharmacological principles and drug classifications, as well as understanding the clinical applications of drugs to ensure optimal patient care.
  • Care of Vulnerable Populations. Students learn the concepts of epidemiology that determine factors that contribute to health vulnerability in specific types of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
  • Applied Nursing Research. This includes both the concepts and theories of researching but also how to apply research findings to real-world challenges.

The nursing profession provides a wealth of opportunity in Texas. With the convenience and flexibility of online learning coupled with the benefits in pay and skills that earning a BSN offers, it’s worthwhile to consider meeting this new standard for nursing as soon as possible.