Numerous studies have shown that nurses with BSNs provide a higher level of patient care that has statistically been shown to reduce patient mortality rates. Of course, this means BSN-prepared nurses are compensated more highly for their expertise than RNs who have ADNs or diplomas. Salary data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity showed that nurses with BSNs earned 40.9% more on average than those with ADNs as of 2014.
Another advantage of getting a BSN is that it provides more opportunities for advancement. According to a 2013 survey of nurse leaders in Florida carried out by the Florida Action Coalition, 76% of those in the state had at least a BSN.
Nursing students in Florida are taking advantage of opportunities to earn the higher salaries awarded to bachelor’s-prepared RNs by enrolling in BSN programs. In 2013, there were 10,299 Florida nursing students enrolled in BSN programs according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Many of these students are licensed RNs who are going back to school to get their bachelor’s degree through RN-BSN bridge programs. According to a study of the 2012-13 academic year conducted by the Florida Center for Nursing, 3,711 nurses enrolled in RN to BSN bridge programs that year. The number of such students has increased dramatically in Florida. Between 2007 and 2013, the number of graduates from RN-BSN programs increased from 1,000 to 2,026.
An Analysis of Salaries Among Florida’s Nurses According to Credential
Data from the US Department of Labor indicates that the median salary among RNs in Florida was 47.3% greater than that for LPNs in 2013:
- LPN – $41,000
- RN – $60,400
BSN-educated RNs are the highest earning RNs in Florida other than those in advanced practice. Salary data from the US Department of Labor reveals that the highest paid BSN-educated RNs in Florida earned as much as $20,000 per year more than the median RN salary in the state (2013):
- 90th Percentile Annual Salary – $81,380
- 75th Percentile Annual Salary – $71,120
- 90th Percentile Hourly Wage – $39.13
- 75th Percentile Hourly Wage – $34.23
The 2013 salary survey of RNs in the Southern US conducted by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses revealed the difference in average salary for the region based on degree level. Further, the results of this survey show that Florida’s BSN-educated RNs earned considerably more on average than their peers in the rest of the Southern US:
- Diploma – $55,849
- ADN – $57,414
- BSN – $60,969
Salaries for BSN-Educated RNs in Key Regions of Florida
The US Department of Labor provides a full analysis of salaries for BSN-educated RNs in key regions of the state (2013):