A bachelor of science in nursing can help you advance your career and impact healthcare more. Many RNs find that a BSN can open doors for them in various nurse specialties and even leadership roles in their current healthcare systems.

App State Online’s RN to BSN program allows you to complete your degree flexibly and affordably.

What Is an RN to BSN Degree?

An RN to BSN degree is a bridge program that allows licensed registered nurses (RN) to get a bachelor’s in nursing. This program teaches students more in-depth nursing courses than a standard ADN or diploma.

A bachelor’s in nursing is a four-year degree typically taken by students pursuing a nursing career or those with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). A BSN can also be a stepping stone to earning a master’s in nursing.

Many healthcare facilities now prefer, or even require, that their nurses have a BSN. This is due to research showing that a higher level of education can lead to better patient outcomes. This is why more and more RNs are choosing to continue their education by enrolling in RN to accelerated BSN programs online.

What Are the Requirements?

A bachelor’s degree is a common requirement for nurses. RN-to-BSN programs at La Salle University are designed to provide a pathway for current registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree. Program requirements can vary, but a good rule of thumb is to look for ACEN or CCNE-accredited programs.

Some RN-to-BSN programs are also offered online, ideal for busy RNs who need the flexibility of online learning. Students take non-clinical courses online and submit assignments according to set deadlines. Clinical experiences may be arranged through the school or in various local hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, and other medical locations.

Some RN-to-BSN programs, such as WGUs, are competency-based, and students move through courses on their schedule, only stopping when they demonstrate mastery of course materials. This allows ambitious RNs to complete their degrees in 18 months or less.

How Can I Get Started?

Consider a fully accredited program if you’re ready to move from RN to BSN. This will show that a respected third party has vetted your university, helped you qualify for financial aid, and made transferring to other universities or programs easier.

Nurses are used to balancing work and life, so find an online program that accommodates your schedule. Look for flexible course formats, such as six- or 12-week courses that allow you to graduate in less time and fit into your busy life.

Finally, choose a school that offers strong faculty and student support. This will be important if you face challenges while working through your degree.

How Long Will It Take?

The time it takes to complete your online RN to BSN program will depend on how many general education courses you have left to earn and whether or not you need to satisfy any prerequisites. Some programs allow students to self-evaluate their readiness and may offer conditional admission if they work toward meeting the entry requirements before enrolling in a nursing degree program.

Some programs, referred to as bridge fast track programs, are designed for those who have already earned an associate degree in nursing and can transfer up to 45 credits into the program. This can significantly shorten the program length and allow you to pursue your career goals in less time than a traditional bachelor’s degree. The online format also allows you to progress through the curriculum at your own pace as long as you can demonstrate mastery of the course material.

What Are the Benefits?

The immediate application of degree concepts in nursing helps online students stay engaged with their studies. It is also a convenient option for those who want to study while working in a role that allows this flexibility.

BSN programs offer more profound physical and social sciences, communication, and leadership training. This is why employers, from hospitals to physicians’ offices, seek nurses with a bachelor’s-level education.

Online RN-to-BSN programs maximize flexibility and suit focused, self-motivated, and goal-oriented students. However, someone other than them may be the right fit for someone who struggles with accountability or requires more rules and structure in their learning environment. Students should consider their “why” to help them stay motivated throughout their degree.