The fact that BSN-educated RNs consistently earn higher salaries is among the top reasons why more nursing students are opting for the BSN path to licensure and more RNs are returning to school to complete RN-BSN bridge programs.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing there were 8,910 students enrolled in BSN nursing programs throughout New Jersey in 2013. In that same year, 2,343 students successfully completed baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in the state.
Both aspiring nurses and licensed nurses returning to school are taking advantage of the state’s diverse BSN programs to ensure their maximum salary potential in future positions. Right now, the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing reports the state houses:
- 16 RN to BSN post-licensure programs
- 13 schools with BSN programs
- 8 schools with accelerated BSN programs
- 1 RN to BSN online degree program
In an effort to encourage nurses to earn a BSN so they may cultivate a higher quality career complete with exemplary pay benefits, New Jersey is offering some unique incentive options:
- Multi-hospital health systems, like Meridian Health, offer BSN nurses priority in hiring as well as offer tuition reimbursement and time-off incentives for staff nurses earning BSNs
- Organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offer scholarship opportunities like the New Jersey Nursing Initiative’s Faculty Preparation Program to support nursing students pursuing higher education
RN-BSN Salary and Wage Averages in New Jersey
Many nurses are motivated to earn their BSN degree because they will earn considerably higher salaries as compared to their less educated colleagues.
For instance, in 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that New Jersey RNs with associate’s degrees or diplomas earned an average annual salary of $66,200 and an average hourly wage of $31.85.
In that same year, the federal government found that employers were willing to offer BSN-educated nurses much higher pay. Here, nurses with BSN degrees earned an average annual salary of $89,400 and an average hourly wage of $43.00.
These salary statistics show that BSN-educated registered nurses in New Jersey consistently earn higher salaries than the current national salary standard. The national average annual salary for BSN nurses was $80,200 and the average hourly wage rate was $38.55 in 2013.
Regional RN-BSN Salary and Wage Averages in New Jersey
It is not unusual for RN salaries to differ according to location even within New Jersey. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics published the findings of their 2013 salary survey showing BSN-educated RNs earning within the 75th and 90th percentiles in several metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of New Jersey: