RN To BSN Degree Programs in Nursing
Nursing is a greatly in-demand profession and hospitals and many healthcare facilities want to attract the best, brightest and friendliest staff of nurses to work in the industry. One of the most common ways that individuals can enter the nursing profession is by earning a short, 2-year associate’s degree program in the field. An associate degree program can essentially make you a “Registered Nurse.” Oftentimes, there is confusion with the term “RN” because nurses with a bachelor’s degree in the field are given the same designation.
However, a registered nurse with only an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is often paid less than one with a bachelor’s degree. Though earning your ADN may be practical in the beginning, it behooves you to continue your education in the field by entering into one of the many RN to BSN nursing degree programs. These programs are not only convenient for nurses that already have an associate degree program, but you may also be able to get tuition reimbursement from your employer to further your education. Following graduation of an RN to BSN degree program, you’ll be eligible for higher pay, additional leadership roles and the chance to further your degree, if desired.
RN to BSN Courses
When you enroll in an RN to BSN nursing program, you can expect to complete courses that teach concepts above the practical and laboratory concepts taught in an associate’s or short-term degree program. A bachelor’s degree in nursing often includes a curriculum where you’ll gain an understanding of various issues that affect patients and the healthcare industry as a whole, including cultural, economic and social issues.
The courses you take in a bachelor’s degree program also include a foundation in both the sciences and research. For example, you may be required to complete anatomy and physiology courses, chemistry or a course on disease processes. A research course might emphasize the importance of evidence-based practice in nursing and instruct you on how to evaluate research reports.
Schools that Offer RN-to-BSN Programs
You have a couple different options for earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing if you’re only a registered nurse with an associate’s degree. Most colleges and universities offer the traditional, classroom-style approach to learning and you can find these programs in many cities and states across the country.
The other major option you have as a registered nurse is to enroll in an accredited online school that offers the RN-to-BSN degree program. The benefit of enrolling in an online school is that you can often work at your own pace, learn from your own home and still work a full-time schedule to earn living expenses.
Many accredited online schools allow you to take most courses on the Internet, but also have an “offline” component. For example, Kaplan University’s RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Kaplan University’s program requires students to complete a laboratory course as well as a clinical in the state in which they want to be licensed.
Another example is Keiser University. This online college’s program is unique because it allows students to tailor their education with a few electives, options being offered in business, nursing and criminal justice. In addition to the primary online course component, Keiser University’s RN-to-BSN program requires students to take clinical practicum courses offered in nearby community settings.
Many other online colleges and schools exist through which you can earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing. For example, the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the top-ranked universities in terms of funding from the National Institutes of Health. You take one course per term in the RN to BSN program and courses last for an eight-week period. Other schools with BSN nursing programs include South University, Drexel University and Indiana State University.
There are many schools that offer nursing courses to choose from. To see these and others, visit the Nursing Schools directory today.