RNs with bachelor’s degrees are better equipped to provide high quality care and generally earn higher salaries as a result of their education.
Jobs made available to ADN-educated RNs in Kentucky are increasingly requiring new-hires to obtain a BSN within a set number of years after having been hired. A number of Kentucky’s nursing students are getting this training, with 3,705 enrolled in BSN pre-licensure and RN-BSN bridge programs in the Commonwealth as of 2013, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
A Comparison of Salaries Among ADN and BSN Prepared RNs
The level of education of Kentucky’s nurses has a substantial effect on their income. According to the Advanced Healthcare Network for Nurses 2012 salary survey of the Midwestern United States, the salary among RNs with BSNs was an average of 17.2% higher than those with associate’s degrees.
The average salary for BSN-prepared RNs in the Midwest was $69,253, while ADN-educated RNs in this area earned $59,074 on average.
The high rate of pay for BSN educated nurses is further illustrated in the findings of a 2013 survey conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for high-earning RNs in Kentucky. The survey found that Kentucky’s highest paid BSN-educated RNs earned:
Salary Analysis for BSN-Prepared RNs Throughout Kentucky
Kentucky’s residents face a number of health challenges that include a much higher incidence of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. These chronic conditions are found at higher levels in Kentucky than in surrounding states according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that Kentucky had the second highest percentage of adult smokers in the country in 2013.
Addressing these chronic conditions has not come without its challenges. Kentucky has 127 designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), indicating the critical demand for skilled nursing services throughout the state. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 80.87% of the residents in these areas face a shortage of primary care providers.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides an analysis of salaries for BSN-prepared RNs in areas throughout Kentucky (2013):