RN vs BNSc: What’s the Difference Between RN and BNSc?

Nursing as a career path offers a wealth of specialties and paths – from nursing at the bedside, to research, to education, to executive leadership and more. Depending on the path you choose, you may need different certifications and even levels of education. One question aspiring nurses often ask as they explore their options is ‘What is the difference between RN and BNSc?

Below, we break down the difference between RN and BNSc and explore what path might be the best choice for you.

Difference Between RN and BNSc

When comparing RN vs BSN, first know that we are talking about a licensure versus a level of education. Let’s dive into this main difference between RN and BNSc further:

What is an RN?

A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has completed all educational and examination requirements, and has been licensed to practice nursing in their country. You will also see ‘registered nurse’ as a job title or position.

The first step to become an RN is to earn a diploma in nursing, an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. Once completed, RN candidates sit for the council exam by Nursing and midwifery Council Of Nigeria NMCN. Registered nurse candidates apply for licensure in the country where they intend to practice, once testing and education requirements have been satisfied.

What is a BNSc?

The main difference between RN and BNSc is that a Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) is an educational degree, rather than a licensure or job title.

Nurses can earn a BNSc in one of two ways. You can pursue a BNSc and RN at the same time through an entry-level program like 3-Year BNSc degree. Alternately, you could become an RN through a diploma and later return to school to complete your BNSc through an RN to BNSc
So what is the difference between RN and BNSc? In a nutshell, a BNSc is the degree you earn. RN is the licensure you are granted through your country.

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In considering RN vs BNSc your first decision will be what level of education preparation you’d like to pursue. Earning a diploma  takes less time to complete, may cost less than a BNSc and can get you into the workforce faster. Of course, this route has some downsides too – which might include RN vs BNSc salary levels. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook: ”Generally, registered nurses who have a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BNSc) will have better job prospects than those without one.”

Increasingly, a BNSc is becoming the degree of choice for other reasons as well. Let’s further explore the difference between RN and BNSc:

The Difference Between RN and BSN: Final Analysis

The key thing to remember when thinking about RN vs BNSc is that a RN is a licensure granted by your state to practice nursing. A BNSc is your level of education – and one that is increasingly being seen as the future of nursing.


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