The Commonwealth has 19 AACN-accredited schools of nursing, which offer BSN programs for both new nursing students and licensed RNs interested in RN-BSN bridge programs. The extra effort pays off in terms of higher salaries and leadership opportunities.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that in 2013 7,090 nursing students were enrolled in BSN programs in Vermont and 2,987 students graduated with a BSN degree or higher that year. By comparison, only 3.732 students graduated with BSN degrees in 2003. This is in keeping with the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action’s goal of implementing strategies to develop a more educated nursing workforce in Vermont.
Salaries of BSD-Educated RNs in Vermont
Higher salaries for nurses are linked to both higher education and more experience. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual survey of RN salaries shows the top earning BSN-educated RNs in Vermont earning the following average salary (shown here are the top 10% and 25%):
- 75th Percentile Annual Salary – $74,140
- 90th Percentile Annual Salary – $87,910
- 75th Percentile Hourly Wage – $35.64
- 90th Percentile Hourly Wage – $42.26
The average annual salary for RNs with just an associate’s degree was just $62,750 that year, more than $12,000 less than what BSNs typically earn.
The monetary advantage of a baccalaureate degree or higher is additionally pointed out by the highly respected annual national survey of the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. Among other variables, they calculate salary differences by educational achievement. The results of the 2012 survey for the Mid-Atlantic States were as follows:
- Diploma – $58,151
- AND – $59,074
- BSN – $67,253
- MSN – $82,546
This also helps show how Vermont’s BSN-educated RNs earn more on average than those in the rest of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Salaries of BSN-Educated RNs in Different Cities and Regions of Vermont
The Department of Labor’s annual salary survey (2013) also points out salary differences for BSN-educated RNs in various cities and regions.