One of the objectives of a BSN degree is to provide the practicing nurse a broad educational base to help them advance in their careers. Nurses who have a goal of moving into leadership positions, clinical nurse specialist or who wish to advance their education to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing, will need to have a BSN degree. Generalized studies, combined with advanced nursing courses, helps provide nurses with a broader understanding of patients, families and co-workers; and, a BSN will provide nurses with enhanced communication skills, improved written abilities, critical thinking skills, as well as a global view of the nursing field. Best Medical Degrees has developed a ranking 30 Most Affordable Online RN To BSN Degree Programs to identify programs for you to consider.
Once you’ve chosen a school, you’ll be expected to complete required undergraduate courses similar to the courses required by four-year nursing programs. Nursing programs follow similar requirements for the BSN.
RN to BSN online programs typically require a total of 120 credit hours for completion. Courses are usually divided into 60 credit hours in lower division, general education undergraduate courses, 30 upper division nursing courses and approximately 30 credit hours derived from equivalency exams, professional or clinical training. Students who enter an RN to BSN program who have Associate Degree Nursing degrees may also receive credit for transfer hours from an accredited institution.
Some schools may require students entering the RN to BSN program to complete a set of prerequisite courses before admission into the RN to BSN program. Examples of prerequisite classes may include anatomy, biology, human nutrition, statistics, psychology and behavioral science. If you’ve taken any of the prerequisite classes at another accredited educational institution, such as a community college, you may be able to transfer those hours to your new school to satisfy the requirement.
Students who are enrolled in traditional, four-year undergraduate nursing program must take general education courses. The same is true for the RN to BSN online program curriculum. Typically, general education coursework will include undergraduate classes in English, history, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, etc. Of course, the exact coursework will be dependent on your school choice and what courses you can transfer to apply towards the general education component.
Nursing Concentration Courses
Again, subject to previous classes taken, the nursing core studies will, perhaps, offer courses in nursing research, evidence based practice, nursing informatics, nursing communication, nursing leadership, pathophysiology for nurses, nutrition, health assessment, community health and quality improvement. Of course, specific required nursing courses will depend on the school’s requirements.
Frequently, RN to BSN degrees will require clinical or practicum experiences. These programs will offer these experiences in the student’s home community under the supervision of a qualified preceptor. Often, students are able to conduct their clinical experience in the place of employment.
Capstone projects are also required in some programs. These projects involve the students identifying nursing topics and synthesizing studies to present a detailed written report.