If you’re a registered nurse (RN) who would like to move into more of a management position in a hospital or other healthcare setting, the best ticket is usually a “BSN” or Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. Besides increasing you knowledge of technology in nursing, this bachelor’s degree boosts your understanding of management and leadership. Some RNs use this degree (sometimes called an “RN to BSN completion degree” because it turns an RN into a completed Bachelor of Science degree) as a way of getting a teaching position. Although a number of online BSN degree programs require you to take some courses on-campus, there are many programs you can take purely online.
What courses you have to take: You generally need to have an up to date license to practice nursing. Along with for a BSN, the RN generally needs to do some clinical study in his or her home state, working with a local clinical facility or preceptor (an approved instructor and facilitator).
Because the BSN is a full bachelors degree, you are generally required to have completed a semester each of college English, chemistry, statistics or other courses before you start. Be sure to check this requirement with any school you’re looking at.
There’s a good deal of variation in the length of BSN degree study. Because nurses are obviously busy, schools offer a variety of options, from one-year “cram” degrees to 15 month or two-year options. The BSN degree will usually cost $9,000. to $17,000 in total (though you must, as mentioned above, have completed several course requirements before you start).
Here’s a sampling of the specific courses you may actually study to get a BSN, culled from the course lists of several RN to BSN online programs:
- Introduction to nursing research and evidence based practice
- Community assessment
- Nursing leadership in health policy
- Family and community nursing
- Research in nursing
- Anatomy and physiology
- Maternity and woman’s health
- Senior clinical practicum
- Therapeutic communication in health care