Currently, there are two types of nursing degrees offered to students who want to become registered nurses. Students can either earn an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or they may choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). In order to become a licensed registered nurse (RN), a prospective nurse must pass a certified examination after completing an ADN or BSN program. RN to BSN programs are intended for registered nurses who have only completed an ADN program, but wish to acquire a BSN degree to update their skills and qualifications. With the help of RN to BSN programs, registered nurses could earn a BSN degree in a shorter duration.
RN to BSN Programs Online
Individuals who wish to acquire nursing education, but cannot afford to attend an on-campus institute, could choose to enroll in online nursing programs. Online programs are both convenient and cost effective, as students acquire education at their own pace and do not incur costs related to commuting, dorm room accommodation, or textbooks. Since online programs are self-paced, students are able to set their own class and study schedule. In addition, some online programs may have lower tuition costs due to their cost efficient setup.
Admission into RN to BSN Programs
Admission requirements for these programs normally include a high school degree, and the student must be a certified RN. Students who already have an Associate's Degree in Nursing could complete the nursing program in a lesser time, as they can transfer various credits from their associate's degree program.
Coursework of RN to BSN Programs
Most programs require 30 to 40 credit hours of nursing coursework, with 30 to 50 credit hours of general education. The clinical component is likely to be based at a facility that services the community. Clinical settings may include elementary and secondary schools, public health agencies, free clinics, outreach agencies, homeless shelters, and mental health facilities. Clinical training for a BSN is geared toward learning how to practice nursing in different settings and variable conditions, taking leadership roles, and working more closely with doctors.
Major courses offered may include:
Nurse Leadership in the 21st Century
Global Health Perspectives
Population Based Nursing
Community Health Assessment
Advanced Nursing Theory
Translating Research into Evidence Based Practice
Nursing: Lifespan Development
Career Outlook for Registered Nurses
According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow at a rate of 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average growth for all occupations. Demand for healthcare services will be higher due to the aging population. There will also be a demand for nurses to take care of patients suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and dementia. Nurses with at least a bachelor's degree in nursing may be more likely to have better opportunities. Employers may also prefer applicants with some relevant work experience.