Can You Do An RN to BSN Online?
Online RN to BSN degrees are generally known as “completion” or “bridge” programs, that allow you to turn your basic nursing credential (which must include an RN license) into a full nursing bachelors degree. They’re some of the most popular of all online degree programs, because employers generally have a positive attitude towards them (partly because there’s an ongoing shortage of nurses in the U.S. and the large hospitals have to look harder and harder to find qualified workers). The importance of the degree has only grown in recent years, partly due to an initiative started in 2010 buy The Institute of Medicine, which said that hospitals should aim to have 80% of their nurses be bachelor degree holders.
How Much Does It Cost To Get A BSN Online?
RN to BSN programs at online schools can run anywhere from about $20,000 up to $85,000. While that may sound like a lot, it’s good to keep in mind that a campus-based program, which can involve dormitory, food and other fees, can cost well over $100,000. Online colleges and universities also tend to make a big effort to help their students get as many grants and, if necessary, loans to finance their degrees.
The University of Phoenix, as an example, has a base price of just over $9,400 per year for tuition in its online BSN program. Western Governor’s University’s total cost for a nursing bachelors two year degree is often around $15,000, depending on which exact courses need to be completed. University of Texas at Arlington, a state school, offers a BSN online that can cost under $9,000. per year in tuition.
Easiest Ways To Get Your BSN Fast
We’ve looked at some of the most affordable RN to BSN online programs to see which ones stand up in terms of real quality, and out list appears at the bottom of the page. A BSN is a degree worth considering if you already have an associate’s in nursing and an RN license. Doing it online can allow you to study while you continue to work – the only realistic approach for many nurses. This degree is designed to can give you more advanced skills that can be applied to more specialized types of nursing or to a job as a hospital supervisor or administrator. It should also provide you with the kind of broader learning that’s typical with any bachelor’s degree, and the credibility that goes with having a diploma from a full four-year college program.
RN to BSN degree programs work online because they require far less hands-on clinical work than a nursing AS or LPN training program. But like other bachelor’s degrees, they can be pricey. Finishing a BSN, which usually takes from 18 months to 2 years, can cost you about the same as the second half of any undergraduate degree – well over $60,000. Fortunately, there have been more and more accredited RN to BSN programs offered in recent years at a lower price.
One Year Programs And Other Accelerated Options
State schools and community colleges might be a good place to start looking for the most affordable RN to BSN online program. Unfortunately, however, many of them don’t offer online programs. That means you need to figure out a way to fit classroom trips into your busy schedule. Online nursing programs are designed to cater to the nurse who has a full work schedule, may have a family to take care of, and who may want to either get the BSN done on an accelerated schedule or take breaks from school now and then to attend to life responsibilities. If you want to work at a very full pace, it’s possible to complete many of these degree programs in 18 months or even one year.
Online nursing schools often have official tuition rates higher than public colleges. But they tend to be aggressive about helping their students transfer credits from previous school work toward their BSN and working to get as many grants and loans for students as possible – both of which can make your degree much more affordable.
How many credit hours are involved in a nursing bachelor’s?
A BSN degree is generally 120 credits, like any other undergrad bachelors degree. Some schools have slight variations on this requirement, depending on how they count credits. But the total credits needed will almost always be close to 120. An associate degree generally counts for 60 credits, which can be accepted in transfer at most BSN colleges. Most RNs will need to earn 60 more credits to finish their RN to BSN.
How long does it take to go from an RN to BSN?
A full bachelor’s in nursing would take four years from start to finish, partly because it includes a number of general education credits in subjects outside nursing like English, math or chemistry. But most online nursing bachelors are “completion” degrees designed for certified RNs who have already an associates degree. If you have your RN, your BSN completion should take two years at a normal pace. If you want to work at an accelerated pace, you may be able to finish it in 18 months or, in some cases, as little as one year.
Bachelor of Nursing Benefits
About a third of all BSN’s in the U.S. are earned in Registered Nurse to BSN completion programs. It’s a widely accepted credential that can help you earn a position in administration (an important goal as you get older and want to limit physical work), earn more and potentially make it easier to get a new position if you decide to move to another geographic area at some point. If you shop intelligently, you can find a lower cost BSN program online to help you toward your career goals and not break the bank. Below is a list of lower-priced RN to BSN programs online, which you can learn more about by requesting free information. Be aware that all of these programs are designed for registered nurses who have either an associate’s degree or most of the credits toward an AS in nursing. Most schools will also give credits for your work experience as a nurse.
A Word On State School Online BSN’s
State university systems are often the first choice for students who want to save on tuition. But in truth, they often don’t have the lowest cost rn to bsn online options. As an example, several forum websites on nursing mention The University of Wyoming as an example of a very low cost online BSN program. The school’s $129. cost per credit does, indeed, sound low. But a closer look shows that, like other state universities, Wyoming charges a $40. additional per credit fee to anyone using it’s “outreach” or online programs. Also, a BSN program that’s designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing specialty is priced higher – $243. per credit. And to add one last complication, U of Wyoming’s nursing school does not accept students from Arkansas, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts or Minnesota into it’s online program because of legal restrictions.
The moral is that, while it definitely makes sense to shop state university programs, the true net tuition for their online nursing degrees is not always the best bargain you can find, particularly if you decide you want to look outside your own state.
Courses You Take For An RN to BSN Degree Online
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.
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
Why A BSN Degree Is Even More Important Today
If you wish to be a nurse at a high quality hospital, a BSN nursing degree has become considerably more important due to a program created by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).The ANCC began to develop a “Magnet Recognition Program” back in the late 1980’s, which focused on hospitals that had certain qualities that had the highest ability to attract and retain nurses. In 2014, the program was given a major boost by a research study in The Lancet, an old and respected medical journal, that showed that hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN-degree nurses had lower rates of patient mortality. The ANCC then began to award a “Magnet Hospital” credential to the institutions that achieved the highest nursing standards.
Today there are 461 Magnet Hospitals in the U.S. as of the start of 2021 – about 8% of all hospitals in the country. But because the designation means they must offer certain benefits and job opportunities to nurses, they represent some of the most attractive employers for an RN. The price of admission to work at a Magnet hospital today is almost always a BSN. In the 1990’s, a hospital could get the Magnet credential if 75% of its nurses had BSNs. For a hospital to apply for Magnet status today, however, it must have a staff of 100% nurses with a BSN bachelor degree.
Hospitals Compete For BSN’s
The hospital industry has become vastly more competitive in the past two decades. As a result, hospitals want to get anything that can be seen as a distinguishing honor. The Magnet credential has become a highly sought-after certification, which will only encourage more and more hospitals to increase the percentage of nurses on staff with BSNs. There are still many hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities across the country where a nurse can work with an RN earned through an associate’s program. But the drive by more and more hospitals to get ANCC’s blessing as a Magnet institution means that more and more of the best hospitals will be looking only at nurses with BSN’s.
Good, Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs
Purdue University Global
A very large and well-known school with over 40,000 students on 11 campuses and in a large online degree program, and quality accreditation. Purdue has kept its tuition fees in a relatively moderate range, and it accepts credit transfer for previous schoolwork:
Get free info on Purdue’s RN to BSN program
Grand Canyon University
A large private school offering online degrees at a relatively moderate price for a school with strong name recognition across the country. Grand Canyon offers bachelors and masters degrees in varied nursing specialties.
Get info on Grand Canyon University’s RN to BSN program
University of Texas at Arlington
UT Arlington is a very large school with over 41,000 students. Earning a BSN at the school “prepares you to offer patients a higher level of knowledge and expertise,” the school says. The cost of it’s BSN program is affordable:
Get free info on UT Artlington’s RN to BSN program
Indiana Wesleyan University
A private liberal arts university in Indiana, as the name infers. IW, founded in 1920, has about 15,000 students, and a Christian foundation. Tuition for it’s RN to BSN online program on the lower end of the mid range.
Get information on Indiana Wesleyan’s RN to BSN program