What can you do with a BSN degree?

Your BSN isn’t just a degree. It’s a direction.

Your BSN is more than a degree. It’s a sign of credibility that proves your commitment to providing quality care for today’s diverse patient population. Earning your BSN from Duquesne University can open doors to new career opportunities and help you advance to higher management positions. You’re entering into a complex healthcare environment that’s constantly evolving, and you need to be ready.

Prepare to move your nursing education forward.


To become a registered nurse, it doesn’t matter which degree you have — associate, bachelor’s or diploma in nursing. But if your goal is to advance into professional leadership roles, you’ll want to consider your path carefully.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), associate and bachelor’s degree coursework is similar, but bachelor’s-level coursework is designed to give you a deeper understanding of physical and social sciences, community health and leadership.

ADN programs compress basic nursing content into a few courses, while BSN programs focus on strengthening your writing and research knowledge to prepare you for graduate school. That’s why an ADN can be completed in 18-24 months and a BSN typically takes four years.

Duquesne’s RN-BSN coursework is rooted in a liberal arts education, which means our curriculum incorporates a variety of topics to equip you with a well-rounded education. These topics include communication, management, cultural sensitivity, ethics and evidence-based practice. The benefit of this is that you can develop a holistic understanding of the cultural and societal issues that may affect the way patients respond to treatment.

What’s the market outlook for registered nurses with a BSN?

  • BSN-level nurses earn an average of $380,000 more over their careers than RNs who don’t hold their BSN
  • A BSN is often seen as a stepping stone into advanced practice nursing degrees, like an MSN or DNP
  • BSN coursework prepares you for leadership positions, which have a stronger influence over patient care and professional development
  • Of 1.3 million nursing jobs posted in 2016 and analyzed by software firm Burning-Glass.com, RNs with an associate degree only qualified for 53%, while RNs with a BSN qualified for 82%

Duquesne Nurse

BSN-level nurses are the new standard for quality patient care.

Changes made over the past two decades by policy-makers and healthcare leaders have made earning your bachelor’s degree a requirement if you want to become a nurse in today’s competitive landscape. Why? Because today’s nurses are caring for a more diverse population and are focused on prevention as well as treatment. That takes advanced skills like communication, critical thinking and leadership.

Studies show that hospitalized patients under the care of BSN-prepared nurses had lower mortality rates along with a shorter length of stay as compared to patients under the care of nurses with an ADN or diploma.

Consider this: The Institute of Medicine recommended that the percentage of nurses with a BSN increase from 50% to 80% by 2020. And while the nursing profession hasn’t quite reached that goal, employers and health systems are strengthening their push to hire more nurses who have earned their BSN. Because of this, the AACN recognizes the BSN as the minimum educational requirement for professional nursing practice.

BSN-prepared nurses are poised to work in hospitals with Magnet designation.

Magnet hospital recognition was created by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in 1990. Its purpose is to identify work environments that meet standards of excellence in patient care, improved patient safety and satisfaction.

Only 8% of hospitals in the U.S. have Magnet recognition, which makes it a valuable credential that recognizes high-quality nursing. While the Magnet program does not require specific education levels of its nurses, during the application process hospitals can choose to establish education objectives for their staffs — like setting a goal to have the majority of RNs hold their BSN.

Work in a variety of settings with your BSN.

  • Hospitals
  • Federal agencies
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Trauma centers
  • Private practice
  • Community centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Retirement homes
  • Research labs
  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities

Broaden your career opportunities with a BSN.

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026*, and four of the highest-paying nursing jobs require you to have a BSN — nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist and clinical nurse specialist.

The time to earn your BSN is now.

RN Case Manager

Nurses in this role typically work in nursing homes, home health agencies, hospitals and hospice organizations. You’ll be an advocate for patient welfare from a social level and be responsible for educating patients and their families about treatment options.
Average salary: $66,644**

Clinical Research Nurses

Clinical research nurses are responsible for managing patient health during clinical trials and other experimental treatments. In this role, you may assist other healthcare professionals in the design of different trials, collect and analyze data from participants, and communicate findings to organizations like the FDA or CDC.
Average salary: $60,000 to $95,000**

School Nurse

The primary role of a school nurse is to keep students healthy and to administer medication to those with health issues like asthma or diabetes. You’ll typically work during the school year with summers off, much like a teacher.
Average salary: $45,000 to $70,000**

Community Health Nurse

Community health nurses are responsible for providing healthcare to communities and examining the impact of disease on specific populations. Nurses in this role are also referred to as public health nurses because they work in county or state health departments.
Average salary: $60,000**

Corporate Wellness Coordinator

A corporate wellness coordinator is responsible for implementing and maintaining health and wellness programs in a corporate setting. Businesses hire a coordinator to promote a healthy lifestyle among employees — developing care plans for participants and conducting standard health screenings.
Average salary: $52,000**

Travel Nurse

A travel nurse is hired to work at a hospital or other healthcare facility for a specified period of time to provide support during a staffing shortage. You’re able to choose when and where you want to work, with the added bonus of exposure to a variety of specialties.
Average salary: $101,288**

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | ** Glassdoor.com