How Much Does a Nurse with a BSN Make?

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Are you considering a career in nursing and wondering how much nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) make? Pursuing a BSN degree can open doors to higher-paying positions and increased opportunities for advancement within the nursing field. In this article, we will explore the salary potential for nurses with a BSN and shed light on the factors that influence their earnings.

What is a BSN?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, commonly known as a BSN, is an undergraduate degree that prepares individuals to become registered nurses (RNs). This comprehensive program equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide high-quality patient care. By pursuing a BSN, nurses gain a deeper understanding of nursing theory, research, leadership, and critical thinking.

Factors Affecting Nurse Salary with a BSN

Several factors come into play when determining the salary of a nurse with a BSN. It’s essential to consider these factors to understand the potential earnings in this profession.

Experience Level

Experience plays a vital role in determining the salary of a nurse with a BSN. As nurses gain more years of experience, their skills and knowledge grow, leading to increased responsibilities and higher pay scales. Entry-level BSN nurses may start at a lower salary range, while seasoned professionals with several years of experience can expect higher compensation.

Location and Regional Differences

Nurse salaries can vary significantly based on the geographic location where they practice. Cost of living, demand for nurses, and regional economic factors all contribute to the differences in pay scales. Generally, urban areas or regions with higher healthcare demands tend to offer higher salaries to BSN nurses, while rural or less populated areas may have lower salary ranges.

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Industry and Work Setting

The industry and work setting in which a nurse with a BSN is employed can also impact their salary. BSN nurses can work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or research institutions. Salaries may vary depending on the type of healthcare facility, with hospitals often offering higher compensation due to their complex and demanding nature.

Additional Certifications or Specializations

Nurses who obtain additional certifications or pursue specialized areas of practice can potentially earn higher salaries. Certifications such as Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN), or Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) demonstrate advanced knowledge and expertise, making BSN nurses more valuable and eligible for higher-paying positions.

Average Salary Range for Nurses with a BSN

Now that we’ve explored the factors influencing nurse salaries, let’s delve into the average salary range for nurses with a BSN. It’s important to note that salaries can vary based on factors mentioned earlier.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses, including those with a BSN, earned a median annual wage of $75,330 as of May 2020. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this figure represents the median salary for all registered nurses, including those with various educational backgrounds.

Research suggests that nurses with a BSN tend to earn higher salaries compared to those with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The BLS reports that registered nurses with a BSN earn a median wage of $80,010, which is higher than the median wage for all registered nurses.

It’s important to remember that these figures are averages and do not account for the variations in salaries based on experience, location, industry, or additional certifications.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Nurse Salaries with a BSN

Can a nurse with a BSN earn more than a nurse without a BSN?

Yes, nurses with a BSN generally have the potential to earn higher salaries compared to those without a BSN. The additional education and training provided by a BSN program equip nurses with advanced skills and knowledge, making them more competitive in the job market and eligible for higher-paying positions.

Are there any specific regions or states where BSN nurses earn higher salaries?

While nurse salaries can vary by region and state, certain areas tend to offer higher salaries for BSN nurses. Metropolitan areas, particularly those with higher costs of living, often provide better compensation to attract and retain qualified nurses. States such as California, New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii are known for offering higher nurse salaries.

Do certain specialties or certifications impact a BSN nurse’s salary?

Yes, pursuing specialized areas of practice or obtaining certifications can positively impact a BSN nurse’s salary. Specializations such as pediatrics, critical care, or oncology often come with higher salary ranges. Additionally, certifications like Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) can lead to increased earning potential.


In conclusion, nurses with a BSN degree have the potential to earn higher salaries compared to their counterparts with lower levels of education. Factors such as experience level, geographic location, industry, and additional certifications all contribute to the earning potential of BSN nurses. It’s important to keep in mind that salaries can vary widely based on these factors, but obtaining a BSN can provide nurses with increased opportunities for career advancement and higher compensation.

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If you are considering a career in nursing and aiming for higher earning potential, pursuing a BSN degree may be a wise choice. By investing in your education and gaining valuable experience, you can open doors to a rewarding and financially satisfying nursing career.

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