Research has shown that RNs with a BSN have better problem solving skills and provide better patient care. They also receive higher salaries for their enhanced level of expertise. The Institute of Medicine has set a goal for 80% of the country’s RNs to have a BSN by 2020.
Alabama has a ways to go to meet this goal. Only 33.9% of the 4,278 nurses who graduated in 2013 had BSNs according to the Alabama Board of Nursing. In 2013, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 5,371 nurses were enrolled in BSN programs in Alabama
The need for nurses is rising nationally, and the Alabama Office of Workforce Development reported that RNs were the most in-demand occupation in the southwestern part of the state in 2013.
RNs in Alabama are in a position to help address some of the state’s severe healthcare challenges. American’s Health Rankings rated Alabama as 43rd in the country for its quality of health in 2014, citing these specific health issues:
- The highest rate of diabetes in the country
- The second highest rate of infant mortality in the U.S.
- High prevalence of babies with a low birthrate
Salary Analysis of ADN Versus BSN Prepared RNs in Alabama
The salaries that nurses earn strongly correlate with their level of education, and this is no less true of RNs in Alabama. The high earnings that nurses with BSNs enjoy are apparent in a US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary analysis of high-earning RNs who worked in Alabama in 2013:
The Alabama Department of Labor provides an analysis of the salaries of entry-level RNs who tend to have ADNs and experienced RNs who more often have BSNs. Their average annual salaries differed by $20,458 a year in 2014:
The average salaries for RNs in the south with differing degrees are available from an Advance Network for Nurses 2013 survey. It found that RNs with a BSN made an average of $60,969, while those with ADNs earned an average of $57,414. This difference results in an additional $71,1000 for nurses with a BSN over a 20-year career period.
BSN Salaries in Alabama’s Major Cities
RNs with the highest salaries are frequently those who have BSN degrees and have advanced to positions of leadership because of their expertise. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the salaries of RNs throughout Alabama in 2013. RNs in the top tier of their profession earned the most in the Montgomery area: