The Bachelor of Science in Nursing or “BSN” may not guarantee that you’ll get a promotion, but especially in larger hospitals or health centers, tends to be a necessary credential if you want to move from 100% direct patient care into any type of supervisory position or a clinical specialty. BSN online degrees have become extremely popular because they’re among the best accepted degrees by employers, and have a good track record in producing career results for nurses.
What exactly is a BSN?
A BSN is, as the name implies, a full bachelor’s degree of about 120 credits. And like virtually all other bachelors degrees, it requires you to study subjects both in and outside the main specialty. A BSN program will include courses in nursing practice, more general science and humanities courses. And while the latter may seem like a waste of time, humanities topics like English and communication can actually be very helpful to your career as you move up. Of course, you also need to have a bachelor’s degree finished if you intend to get a master’s in nursing at some point.
Who is a good candidate to get a BSN online?
Because the first two years of a nurse’s training involve a tons of hands-on clinical study, the associate’s degree component for nurses is usually not delivered online. The second two years that close out the bachelor’s degree can be done mainly online, which is why most BSN online degrees are called “completion” or “bridge” programs. But in just about every case, you need to have your RN license in hand before you can gain admission to a BSN program.
What if I only have an LPN or LVN qualification?
There are few pure online programs for licensed practical nurses or vocational nurses without an RN who want to jump all the way to a nursing bachelor’s degree. One new program of this type that’s gained attention is an online LPN to BSN program from Indiana State University. More here in Indiana State’s LPN to BSN Program Online
Generally, what do I need specifically to get into a BSN online program?
The main qualifications are a nursing associate’s or ADN degree and an RN license in good standing. Most BSN programs also require the student to have already taken approximately 70 credits of science and humanities courses like English, psychology, basic anatomy, and speech, for example. A nurse with an associates degree will usually have these done, while an LPN or LVN may not.
Other typical requirements for admission are one year of acute patient care experience and a minimum grade average in an ADN program. Of course, if you are going to take a BSN online, you’ll need to have a decent computer, online access and a good comfort level in using it.
Can you take all the courses for a BSN online?
Every BSN degree has at least some clinical components involving direct patient care. Online students usually handle this part of their studies under the supervision of a “preceptor” or clinical faculty representative in their own geographic area who is approved by their school. But a bachelor of science degree in nursing leans more toward book learning than an ADN or LPN degree or certificate program. That’s why the BSN is so popular as an online option at this point.
Do BSNs earn more than nurses who have only an ADN or associates degree?
Not automatically. There are hospital settings where a nurse with an associates degree and one with a BSN earn the same salaries. But the BSN tends to make it easier for a nurse to advance into management, nurse education or a specialized area of nursing.
Some nurses are perfectly happy to remain 100% in direct patient care. But let’s face it, nursing is a physically demanding job, and as you get older the idea of spending at least a bit more of their time behind a desk or in supervisory work can become more attractive.
Many nurses report that having the BSN helps make their careers more portable – in other words, it makes it easier to get a new job if they want to move or simply switch employers.
Can a student who gets a BSN online attend graduation?
The answer is yes in many cases, though you need to check with your particular online school.
Do the same professors teach online nursing programs as the campus programs?
The answer is a bit complicated. The truth is that even in the Harvards and Yales of this world, many professors have their on-campus courses taught by adjuncts or student assistants. Generally speaking, most schools have faculty with exactly the same qualifications teach their online and offline nursing courses.
How long does it take to get a BSN online?
Two years is the most standard time, but there are many schools that now offer accelerated programs that take 15 or even 12 months total. It’s important to realize that if you opt into an accelerated bsn program, you’ll have less time for other work or life responsibilities while you are in school.