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Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing is a four-year program that offers a broad foundation in liberal arts and science and an extensive range of nursing courses. Graduates are eligible to take the national examination for licensure (NCLEX) as registered nurses. A four-year education helps nurses navigate the increasingly complex medical field; in its Future of Nursing Report, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of all nurses have, at minimum, a baccalaureate degree by 2020. Hospitals applying for Magnet status employ a larger proportion of nurses with a B.S. degree than without. Many institutions also have higher pay grades for bachelor's-prepared nurses. A four-year degree also is the foundation for the advanced education needed to become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, or nurse researcher.