RN to BSN: Get Your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, experts are predicting a severe shortage of nurses by the end of the decade. This has propelled a surge in nurses’ salaries and more licensed practical nurses are taking the leap toward becoming registered nurses.

A registered nurse is a nurse who either has an associate’s degree or has advanced from his/her position as a licensed practical nurse through proper training and licensing. A nurse will only become a registered nurse upon clearing the NCLEX-RN or the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. This examination enables nurses to obtain a license to practice nursing within the state that the license was issued. It is worth noting though, that many states recognize other states’ licenses.

However, to really advance in your career, a bachelor’s degree in nursing will definitely help pave your path towards a brighter future. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree alone will not get you promoted immediately but it is a prerequisite to many higher level positions in the nursing profession. It is also a qualification for master’s degree or doctoral degree programs that are required for advanced practice nursing positions and teaching positions.

Advanced practice nurses consist of four specialties — nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists. All four professions may be the pinnacle of most nurses’ careers, second perhaps only to the position of hospital director. In any case, nurses with a BSN are generally better trained in critical thinking, leadership skills and management skills, all of which make them strong candidates for top managerial positions and higher salaries.

Most BSN programs last four years, but registered nurses are eligible to apply for an accelerated RN to BSN program which runs for only two or three semesters. Credit transfers are possible and prior job experience may earn the students some additional credit. Many of these programs can be found online while other programs promote distance learning from home. This approach reduces the need for registered nurses to leave the hospital in pursuit of their degrees. The only times the students need to turn up at the university or colleges are either for registration or graduation.

With modern day technology, it is possible for these programs to be conducted online, allowing students to put theory to practice without actually being in class. For those who prefer more traditional education methods, there of course are many universities and colleges that offer conventional programs which require attendance. However, classes are not usually conducted during the evenings, nights or over the weekends so RNs do not have to miss out on their hospital routines.

Apart from that, RNs who wish to pursue a master’s degree after their BSN can look into BSN/MSN programs. Furthermore, students with financial difficulties can choose programs that allow tuition fees to be paid in installments or they can choose to utilize employee tuition reimbursement benefits. All in all, these programs are catered to meet the needs of registered nurses who intend to pursue their goal in obtaining a higher education.

Interested in earning an RN to BSN degree? Begin your search for the right school here:

Search for a nursing degree now