According to the Utah Action Coalition for Health, only 28 percent of new RNs who graduated in 2014 had a BSN, while 72 percent were prepared at the associate level. However, that same year 308 working ADN-educated RNs returned to school to earn their BSN in an effort to increase their earning potential and compete for jobs that involve more clinical responsibility.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that Utah has nine member schools that offer BSN and graduate degree programs in nursing. These schools had 6,668 students enrolled in BSN programs in 2013. Another 3,121 graduated that year with a BSN degree or higher.
New nursing students enrolling in pre-licensure BSN programs as well as RNs returning to school to complete RN-BSN bridge programs are all recognizing that the extra time spent in school will pay off in terms of greater job security, higher incomes and more opportunities for advancement.
An Analysis of Salaries for BSN-Educated RNs in Utah
In the field of nursing, there is a direct correlation between education and expected earnings. BSN-educated RNs are recognized as being the top earners among nurses, with the exception of those in advanced practice. The US Department of Labor’s annual survey of RN salaries showed BSN-educated RNs to be the top earners in their class of licensure (2012):
- 75th Percentile Annual Salary – $69,140
- 90th Percentile Annual Salary – $76,050
- 75th Percentile Hourly Wage – $33.24
- 90th Percentile Hourly Wage – $36.56
The value of education is also emphasized by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which reports that in contrast, the average annual salary of an RN with an associate degree is just $59,040.
In its 2013 annual salary survey, the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses found that RNs with a BSN in the Western US earned an average of nearly $8,000 more annually than those with a diploma, and $4000 more than those with an associate degree:
- Diploma – $67,994
- Associate Degree – $71,469
- Baccalaureate Degree – $75,473
The survey also revealed that salaries for BSN-educated RNs in Utah compared favorably to BSN-educated RNs in the remainder of the western states.
Salaries of BSN-Educated Nurses in Different Cities and Regions of Utah
The results of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual survey is published in the table below, revealing the subtle differences in expected earnings for BSN-educated RNs in various metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of Utah.