Many quality schools now offer an online rn to bsn program (bachelor of science degree in nursing) because it can be done very effectively through distance learning. An rn to bsn is a “completion” type program, designed for experienced registered nurses who have done some college-level study and who want to improve their career options by either moving up to a supervisor or administrator position, or by specializing in a particular area of nursing.
These nursing degrees can prepare you to work in an emergency room, a neonatal clinic, psychiatric hospital or in a high-tech (and often higher-paying) specialty like nuclear medicine or becoming a nurse anesthetist. Like other bachelor degree programs, an RN-to-BSN will also give you broader training in communication, critical thinking and decision-making skills that can apply to a wide variety of careers in nursing or public health. Nurses who are already working in profession, and most bsn students are, benefit from the fact that the bachelor’s degree can often be done online, because it involves mainly book and lecture-based study.
An online rn to bsn program can be completed with absolutely no visits to a campus in many cases. Because many of the students are working registered nurses, colleges, are generally very aware that nursing bachelor programs must be very friendly to adult learners, and flexible enough to fit into their busy schedules. About 180 credits are usually required, including credits from previous college level study. Most schools will allow you to take anywhere from a single course in a semester up to a full load of 12, depending on how much time you can dedicate to your studies.
As the admission counselor for your rn to bsn program online about transferring credits you have already accumulated toward your bachelor of science degree. Most schools will accept not only the credits from an associate’s degree, but even more. In some cases, transferred credits may take care of up to 70% of your total course load, which means it won’t take you very long to complete your bsn. You can also get credit if you have already completed a bachelors degree in a non-nursing specialty. In addition, a significant number of credits may be awarded to you for simply having your RN license.
Just be aware that if you have come close to completing an rn to bsn degree already, the most advanced courses may not be transferrable to a new school. But don’t be afraid to ask – admissions counselors at online schools in particular will usually try to be as helpful as possible about credit transfers, and also about finding tuition assistance to aid you in paying for your degree.
Admission And Course of Study
A typical online rn to bsn program will require that you have already completed about 60 humanities and science type credits. Undergraduate credits in everything from humanities to psychology or arts may be used to cover your degree requirements for the rn to bsn. Most schools also require you to have taken science courses like anatomy and physiology. You’ll generally be required to be proficient in English language, show your state RN license, provide transcripts from any school you have previously studied at and fill out an application that will include a statement of what you want to accomplish in your career as a nurse. Because of the higher level of critical thinking skills emphasized in bsn programs, many schools also require that you take the Nurse Entrance Test (NET), which assesses your skills at basic math, science reading and comprehension and grammar. The NET is given regularly on a national basis.
The remaining credits will typically be a mix of courses like gerontology, research in nursing practice, community nursing and informatics (more on courses for an rn to bsn degree here). There is almost always some clinical study required for this degree. In an online rn to bsn program, that’s handled by working with a preceptor in your locality, who oversees your hands-on work. Be aware that it’s easier to get a preceptor if you live in an area where there are large hospitals or medical practices.
A Step Up
A distance learning bsn degree can be a great step up you can get without interrupting your life or your current career, and it’s probably a good way to keep yourself competitive. So many nurses are opting for a bachelors degree today that it’s getting harder to get a really desirable job without one, particularly at one of the larger, well-funded medical centers. This degree can also give you an opportunity to move into some of the more cutting-edge specialties in health care, which means you could achieve a salary increase and do more interesting work too. In terms of specialties, it’s important to take a very close look at the curriculum before signing on to any online rn to bsn program. Some of them have a very strong technology focus, with a lot of course work in computer science, research, informatics and similar subjects. Others are a bit more focused on decision making, scholarship and communications. Make sure you pick a program that will help you reach your particular career goals in nursing.
Key Career Benefits Of An RN to BSN Online
Both young and experienced registered nurses decide to invest in a BSN degree for a few basic reasons. Nursing and medicine are professions where there is constant, rapid change. It’s important to keep your career training up to date to avoid being left behind – and to avoid missing opportunites as they arise. Because of treatment and technology advances, new treatment approaches that require specialized training will constantly be arising during your RN career.
A BSN degree can be a kind of “insurance policy” for your nursing career. Nursing, obviously, is a physically strenuous job. Many nurses begin to find that aspect of the job tougher to deal with as they get into their late 40’s, and become more interested in more a “desk” type hospital supervisors job. A bachelor’s degree can provide you with the clinical and business management skills to make that kind of career move. Another key beneift is that the online BSN can make your career more “portable” if you decide to move to another area. Especially if you move to a large city with lots of other nurses competing for jobs, your bachelor’s degree will make it more a more attractive hire. It’s estimated that in just a few years, over two-thirds of all nurses will hold bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Getting an RN to BSN online while you work can help protect you against being “underqualified” whenever the time comes to look for a new nursing job. Large hospital facilities that are looking for a nursing teacher or supervisor, a nurse anesthetist, critical care nurse or other specialty practitioner will often interview only candidates with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, because there are simply so many of them out there who have this academic credential.