Thousands of aspiring nurses are participating in BSN pre-licensure programs throughout North Carolina, while thousands more licensed RNs and LPNs are enrolled in BSN completion programs designed to attract more job opportunities, facilitate career advancement, and increase salary potential.
In 2013, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported there were 5,113 students enrolled in bachelor’s-level nursing programs in North Carolina.
According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, advertised job openings for registered nurses in February 2015 listed minimum educational levels distributed as shown here:
- Bachelor’s Degree: 37%
- Associate’s Degree: 27%
- High School Diploma or Equivalent: 55%
- Master’s Degree: 29%
- Vocational School Certificate: .39%
However, these employer-driven desired educational levels do not match the actual education levels among nurses seeking jobs that year:
- Associate’s Degree: 44%
- Bachelor’s Degree: 58%
- Master’s Degree: 73%
- 1-3 Years of College/Tech/Vocational: 79%
- High School Diploma or Equivalent: 93%
Nurses that achieve BSN degrees become more attractive to high paying employers in North Carolina.
BSN Salaries Trump ADN Salaries in North Carolina
BSN-educated nurses typically receive two to three times the clinical training as ADN-educated nurses. As a result, nursing employers are willing to award BSN nurses higher salaries because they are better equipped to deliver more complex, high-quality patient care services.
In 2013, the North Carolina Department of Commerce found that ADN registered nurses earned an average annual salary of $45,820 and an average hourly wage of $22.00. By contrast, BSN registered nurses benefitted from an average annual salary of $66,030 and an average hourly wage of $32.00.
A more accurate portrait of the disparity between ADN and BSN pay averages is made evident through recent job postings. In February 2015, online job advertisements in North Carolina offered ADN nurses an average annual salary of $46,663 and an average hourly wage of $22.43, while BSN-educated nurses were offered an average annual salary of $69,250 and an average hourly wage of $33.29.
Regional BSN Salaries in North Carolina
Registered nurses with BSNs in North Carolina earn within the highest percentiles of their occupation. In 2013, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics documented salaries for BSN-educated registered nurses throughout several metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of North Carolina in the table shown below: