What is an Online RN to BSN?
Online RN to BSN programs are common in the nursing industry, and are designed specifically for current Registered Nurses that are employed now, but want to get their BSN for career advancement opportunities and other benefits.
Benefits of Online Degrees
RN to BSN programs were brought online so RN’s could work while taking classes on the way to earning their BSN. RN-BSN programs were some of the first programs being brought online. They allow you to work while taking classes, study from home, and study at night and on the weekend.
Tips to Keep in Mind
There are many benefits of the Online RN to BSN program, but online learning is not for everyone. People that succeed with online learning are self-motivated, ambitious, and eager to earn their RN to BSN degree.
The Online RN to BSN
There are many things to take into consideration when looking for an online RN-BSN program: program length, accreditation, employer partnerships, online learning environment, and tuition costs are a few of the most common characteristics to review and compare for any program.
There are a lot of nursing schools in the U.S. that now offer RN-BSN programs online. Our goal is to gather all of them, along with the above information and other facts that you can use when figuring out which program to choose from, so the only place you need to make a decision on where to go to school is RNtoBSNPrograms.com.
We hand-edit our database and have actual people scour the web to find Online RN to BSN programs – not many websites can state that. According to our research, there are around 100 entirely online RN to BSN programs. Don’t be fooled – some programs are halfway online, or hybrid programs. This means at least a few classes must be taken on campus.
After practicing as an RN for awhile many people later decide they want more out of their career. Maybe they only earned an associate’s degree in nursing and they are looking at their options. There are many, some including earning another degree. One of the quickest ways to help you advance your career is to complete an accelerated nursing degree program. If you are currently working as an RN there are a couple degrees you may wish to consider depending on your career goals.
If you are planning to work then the online option does become more attractive since it should give you more flexibility in your schedule. If your job schedule changes then having some of the freedom associated with an online school nursing program may also be a deciding factor.
Look for Accredited Nursing Schools
The top accrediting bodies specifically for nursing are the CCNE and the ACEN. These two accrediting boards are the basis of our research when looking for programs. There are other forms of accreditation, however. Generally, regional accreditation is the best (outside of the CCNE or ACEN), and there are plenty of schools that have only regional accreditation that have quality programs.
Why Should RN’s Consider an Online RN to BSN Program?
With the “BSN in 10” recommendation by the American Nurses Association (recommending that RNs who graduate from an ADN- or diploma-program be required to obtain a BSN within 10 years of licensure by the year 2020), it is extremely important for current RNs to get their BSN. Because RNs are in the unique situation of being currently employed in a stable area like healthcare, online RN to BSN programs are extremely popular the help them study for their BSN while continuing to work as an RN.
A lot of nurses dream more of having an advanced practice, a licensure other than what has been held, a certification, and a continued education. Assisting clients towards recovery and optimum wealth is not an easy job. The level of difficulty in caring a patient also depends on the level of knowledge and skill the nurse has.
The Key Reasons for a BSN Degree
Besides the recommendation by the reputable American Nurses Association, which many hospitals and healthcare employers use as a guideline when hiring nurses, there are many other reasons for registered nurses to get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A specialized education as well as a basic liberal foundation is vital. What we do sometimes reflects the patient’s understanding and the patient’s recovery. It is also the same as getting an RN to BSN degree.
Those who are aspiring to become a registered nurse can earn a 2-year associate’s degree while students earn a BSN at a 4-year university or college, so the time it takes to finish is much longer. Here are the advantages of studying a BSN degree:
- The “BSN in 10” recommendation will leave RNs with an ADN in a difficult situation where they may get surpassed by up and coming BSN degree holders.
- Some nursing careers are open only to BSN holders.
- The Medical Care Journal stated that hospitals that have a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses decreased the odds of patient death by 10% – source.
- For the highest paying nursing jobs such as a nurse anesthetist, it is required for you to have a BSN degree. If you also want to become an administrator which you plan bring up your position over time or an instructor, then you would need to have this degree.
- Hospitals and institutions want higher educated nurses.
- The education level of nurses working in an institution is one of the most important factors. The ANA requires 48% of nurses to have a BSN or higher.
- BSN teaches leadership and critical skills.
- Critical thinking and leadership skills are essential to moving into a higher paying jobs accompanied by the difficulty of responsibilities.
Who Should Study Online?
Registered nurses that are currently employed and want to enhance their skillset in the nursing field should study online. Additionally, registered nurses who are interested in a specific nursing field or who want to have an advanced practice or a specialization such as a nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, geriatric nurse, or pediatric nurse. Each of these fields demand a BSN degree and in most cases an advanced degree.
There are many RN to BSN programs that are offered online, and the number of nurses enrolling for an online system is increasing as technology expands. Making nurse education more accessible is vital to contribute to nursing shortage. Time is essential and nurses are busy working.
The comfort of staying at home while studying has an edge especially for those who are working. Nothing beats studying at the same time earning as a nurse. Totally, a productive time for a nurse. Studying online is different from one person to another because the environment is distinctive. Maximizing student engagement is critical to achieving clinical learning outcomes considered to the clinical curriculum in the nursing education.
What is an Online Learning Environment Like for an Online BSN?
In a RN to BSN online learning environment, student can log on and review their courses whenever they want. Always remember that everything solely depends on the internet so be sure you can access that every minute.
Students who are uncomfortable asking in class with bunch of people can communicate comfortably in an online setting. The facilitator will give you an ample time to finish your assignments and also, he or she will design your learning module.
Typical Courses for an Online RN to BSN Degree
For clinical purposes, your facilitator may share a video to you especially for nursing procedures and the sterility rule. Audio and videoconferencing are also used for lectures and shared ideas of students. The curriculum of an RN-BSN online class generally includes dealing with Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and for the specific nursing classes, it includes:
- Primary healthcare
- Clinical nursing practice
- Healthcare Informatics
- Caring for Families
- Community Health Nursing
- Evidence-Based Nursing
- Ethics in Nursing
- Nursing Leadership
- Different careers for BSN graduates
In addition to this, AACN notes that these programs should also manifest hands-on learning experience. It means they should also get the chance to practice what they learned online in an institution, a hospital facility, or a rehabilitative facility. It should also consist of mock laboratory procedures for direct and indirect care.
Career Opportunities for BSN Graduates
After graduation, you are more likely to land a job. However, jobs don’t easily fall on your lap, it is important to get certifications to be more competitive compared to other nurses applying for the same institution you are applying for.
According to a survey conducted by the AACN, nurses’ average job offer rate is 57% after graduation. This practically means that you are ensured of your future if and only if you work hard to get it. It also showed that nurses with a BSN degree linked to patient’s lower mortality and better patient outcomes. This is because of their enhanced knowledge and skills. Critical thinking ability and nursing independence are several areas that are important as a registered nurse.
All BSNs are RNs if you pass the board, but not all RNs are BSNs. A RN is a registered nurse, and you can get an RN degree through a diploma program, an associate of science in nursing (ASN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Online RN to BSN Courses and Curriculum
Although there are many benefits to earning your RN to BSN degree online, you may be apprehensive about spending the money to get an online degree. There is some uncertainty with online learning, especially for those that have been working in the field as a Registered Nurse for years.
We have gathered a few sample online video courses below. You can view these to get a better idea of what the online learning environment might look like.
Online Nursing Courses
This video is an example of an online lecture from the University of Texas Extension Office for N. 309 (a course in Global Health), which is very common for lecture-based courses.
E-Learning Sample Critical Care Nursing Course Online
RN to BSN Curriculum
Typical online RN to BSN programs are actually degree completion degrees, since it is a requirement that the student has their RN license already. As a result, the course is typically less than 2 years long, and can even be measured at a span of 15-18 months.
Credit hours vary by program, so be sure to check with the nursing schools you are most interested in getting your BSN degree from online. But in our research, we find that most online RN-BSN programs range from 30 to 40 credit hours, depending on your previous degree. It seems that the most common number of credit hours is 34, on a 15-18 month length of program.
Most programs are online, but follow traditional semester schedules. There are several programs that are trying to get more flexible with start date of enrollment.
Typical Core Nursing Courses
The following is by no means a sample curriculum, but we’ve gathered a few course names (most are 2-3 credits each) from different universities that have RN to BSN programs online.
It should at least give you an idea of what courses to expect, but be sure to chat with your admissions representative at whichever nursing schools you are talking with.
- Conceptual Nursing Theory: Covers the philosophical basics of the science of nursing, and gives students a foundational understanding of nursing as a profession. Consider this to be “Nursing 101”.
- Nursing Professional Ethics: In a role of taking care of other people, it is important to have extremely high levels of integrity and focus. There are specific standards to adhere to – professionally and ethically.
- Research Based Nursing: Review of factual, evidence-based research in the nursing profession. With many, many patients over many years, there is a ton of data and research that can help you make better decisions as a care taker.
- Family Nursing: Most nurses work in hospital facilities or something similar. Understanding family needs for all age groups is extremely important.
- Safety and Quality Control in Nursing: Safety is of the utmost importance for patients and the facility.
- Leadership / Management in Nursing: Usually a course for later on in your degree, this course helps with different leadership learning and management methodology. You may not be managing other nurses per say in your next job, but having the qualities and skills to be able to manage schedules, patients, and families is extremely helpful.
Non Nursing Courses
Some degrees require non-nursing courses, or general education courses. These are pretty basic yet still related to how you will work in the field. Here are a few examples of courses you may take:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Business Administration
- Philosophy or Sociology
Top Skills for Nurses
Aligning your natural skills and qualities with typical traits most RN’s have in common can help you determine if nursing is right for you. These are not an end-all-be-all for becoming a nurse, but it gives you an idea of a few qualities that make for the best nurses.
Online RN to BSN Programs List
Online RN to BSN Programs
We have hand-gathered nearly 100 online RN to BSN programs. Unlike some websites that use basic data, our hand-editing allows us to gather the below list, which consists ONLY of programs that are 100% online (or nearly 100%, minus any clinical requirements).
List of Accredited Online RN to BSN Programs
The following featured schools have online RN to BSN Programs and are accepting applicants.