Online RN to BSN: What to Expect

The nursing world is filled with fair wages and rewarding careers. It is also a career filled with a significant number of opportunities for advancement. A common way to advance your nursing career is through additional education. If you are an RN looking to advance your career, you may want to consider online RN to BSN programs.

 

Students can become an RN with a 2 year Associate in Science Degree. This is the easiest and quickest way to become an RN. It is a great way to enter the field quickly, but by continuing your education you can receive additional opportunities and higher pay.

 

Nurses with a BSN degree are able to hold management and administrative positions and receive higher pay from their work. They are often reported as feeling more satisfied with their career, as they have the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. The BSN program also allows nurses to specialize in a specific field, such as Pediatrics or Orthopedics. Specialization adds to salary increases and overall job satisfaction. The RN to BSN program can even be eventually followed by a Master’s program to further education once again and to introduce title opportunities including Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager.

 

RN to BSN programs are offered in an online, hybrid, or in-person setting. The in-person courses are often offered at clinics or hospitals. However, online schooling tends to be the easiest for current RN’s who work long and unpredictable hours.

 

What Are The RN to BSN Online Program Admission Requirements?

To enroll in an RN to BSN course, students need to first have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. They also need to have a current RN license, which is received by passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Each school may have different admissions requirements such as a specific grade point average, a clean background report, or certain basic nursing courses shown on a previous college transcript. Some schools may also require their students to take a placement exam to ensure they are ready to succeed in a higher education setting.

 

How Long Is the RN to BSN Online Program?

Most students can complete their schooling in two years. This includes participation as a part time student. Students can also take an accelerated version of the program and finish in as little as 12-18 months, but this option is better suited for nurses who are able to take time off work to fully focus on school.

 

Is the Program Completely Online?

Many schools across the country offer RN to BSN classes that are one hundred percent online. This allows the work to fit well into the busy schedule of an RN. The students are able to complete their online coursework at nights or even on their breaks at work.

 

However, every RN to BSN program does require in-person clinicals. These clinicals are similar to those that happen in the RN Associate’s degree training. They are necessary to teach medical skills and nurse-to-patient communication. Though these have to be done in person, they can usually be done at the workplace of each student. Since students are able to complete clinicals while they are at work, it is still possible to get them completed on an RN’s schedule. The only requirement to do clinicals in the workplace is to have the college approve the clinical location before completing the hours.

 

What Does the Program Teach?

The RN to BSN program is made up of three main factors. The first of these is professional development. Students learn to do administrative work and manage a team of nurses. They learn to communicate with staff and patients with kindness and professionalism. They practice the skills necessary to lead team meetings and community workshops as well.

 

The second piece of the program is skill building. Nurses learn to complete more medical procedures than they could do with their previous degree. This allows them to treat a wider patient base and gives them advances medical skill sets.

 

The last piece of the program is cultural awareness. Students learn to work with colleagues and patients of various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This gives them the ability to welcome and comfort every type of person they come into contact with in their career.

 

What Courses are Included in the RN to BSN Coursework?

The first 30 credits of the RN to BSN degree are made up of advanced general classes. These are typically courses that are required for a Bachelor’s degree, but were not taken to receive the initial Associate’s degree. Many of the courses are in the science field. They include Biology Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, and Chemistry. They can also include courses such as Sociology, Communications, Statistics, and higher level Math classes.

 

The second 30 credits of the degree include advanced nursing courses. These include a wide variety of topics. Some courses that may be included are Nutrition, Ethics in Nursing, Global and Community Health, Healthcare Innovations, Nursing Management, and Evidence-Based Nursing. They can also include special topic courses for students who choose to specialize in a specific area of medicine.

 

What do Students Learn in Clinicals?

The required clinical hours are equally as important as the courses that are taken in this program. Clinicals teach both direct and indirect care. Direct care topics that are taught include patient interaction training, medical skills practice, and record keeping. Indirect care topics include staff training, creating policies, speaking to a hospital board, working with community members for emergency-preparedness, leading seminars and workshops, and grant writing.

 

Overall, the RN to BSN online program is an excellent option for current RNs who are ready to advance their career in terms of responsibility, satisfaction, and salary. It is a good option for nurses who feel they could take on a rigorous part-time program on top of an already challenging career. It provides thorough education and a variety of useful in-person experiences on a flexible and convenient schedule. It is a realistic and promising way for RN’s to further their education and reach their career-related goals.

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