If you are looking for new challenges and new achievements, you may want to consider the RN to BSN programs offered by a myriad of scholastic institutions. These programs are designed to help you obtain more medical knowledge as well as train you in areas you may not have thought were right for you.
Before you get all excited, take some time to read all about the purpose, goals, and other important details these programs have to offer. Those offerings include helping you earn more money than you would if you remained as an RN.
It is possible to say that the RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is a bridge program to help you move from a two-year nursing associate degree to a full Bachelors’s degree in less time.
Some of these programs can be completed in 19 months or less if you take the accelerated options. There is also a part-time option that takes a little longer, but you do not have to leave your job to advance your nursing knowledge.
The other good aspect of these programs is that your previous school work is taken into consideration and helps cut your workload down, making it easier and faster to obtain the BSN degree. Each school and there are a lot of them that offer this program will have their own special twist to qualifications, credit acceptance for past work, and other minor details.
Your biggest concern is narrowing the long list of academic institutions down to the one you would like to attend. It will take some work as you will have you see if your past school work matches with the schools’ qualifications.
One school, the U of Lafayette, requires 28 credits in an associate nursing degree program and a current RN license. The good news is that they accept all your credits no matter how old they are.
As you can see, different schools have different criteria for you to meet. The U of Lafayette seems to be lax in its criteria, but do not let a surface examination fool you. There are other steps to meet if you want to enter the RN to BSN program at their school.
That school does offer co-requisite classes if your earlier program does not meet U of L requirements. It will take some more research to see if you qualify for the program at that school.
Other colleges are more strict as Bellevue College has an application process you must follow. That process begins at filling out the application for enrollment, and if you are a current Bellevue Student, you can skip this step.
After filling out the application, you will need to submit your previous transcripts in hopes of making it into the Spring or Fall sessions. The college states that they are simply meeting the minimum requirements is not going to be enough to gain acceptance.
Marshall College is a bit different as it requires a minimum 2.50 grade point average, passing a background and drug test, have an unencumbered RN license** and have graduated from a nationally accredited nursing school or program.
**An unencumbered RN license is one that has not been subject to any formal discipline by any board of nursing. The forms of discipline include but are not limited to– reprimand, revocation, probation, suspension, restriction, limitation, disciplinary action, discretionary review/hearing, and so on.
Also, an unencumbered license is one that has no conditions or provisions limiting your practice of nursing.
To prepare you for what you will have to face, this section deals with those requirements most BSN programs have in common.
The individual colleges have their own schedule of fees and tuition for their BSN, RN to BSN degree programs, and those costs will also depend if you are an in-state student or an out of state student. To give you a perspective of the full four years BSN cost, it is included in this section.
Keep in mind that all these tuition fees will vary greatly because there are numerous factors involved in setting the tuition cost at individual colleges. In other words, each college uses its own criteria to set their tuition rates.
The good news is that you can get a student and other loans to cover these costs. Since most schools offer these degrees, you should be able to qualify for the federal student loan program. Then you can pay back what you borrowed when you have landed that perfect job.
What to expect from an RN to BSN program
This program helps you build on your experience as a nurse and the previous education you have already had. This program helps you expand your knowledge of nursing and medicine, making you more valuable to the hospital, clinic, or other health care provider you are employed by.
If you went the normal BSN route straight from high school, then you could expect to spend the next four years in school learning your chosen career path. That is the traditional way, but it is not the only option available to you.
If you already have an RN associate degree, then you can expect to finish the program in about two more years. If you had previously decided to enroll in any number of other four-year degree programs, then you may qualify for the accelerated BSN program and complete the degree in as little as one year and as long as 1 1/2 years.
It is possible to enroll in an online BSN degree program where you can work at your own pace. These programs may also come with a set schedule, so your completion time is already mandated by the university you enrolled at.
The key with online degrees is that you have to research them well and fully understand what you need to do to graduate and what is expected of you. Each state has different licensing requirements, and before you decide, you need to check those requirements out to see if the degree program, any version, meets those requirements.
Before you enroll and as you do your research into the different RN to BSN degree programs, you should be asking yourself some tough questions to make sure this is the right direction for your life. Here is a list of those questions:
If you find that the answers clear up any misconceptions, confusion, and other issues, then taking this degree path is probably what you should do. If you are still at a loss and am unsure about taking this step, maybe the benefits of getting more education will help provide you with the answers you need.
Remember, the more valuable you become to your employer, the more responsibility you will receive. Those extra duties may cut into your family and personal time and are you willing to make that sacrifice? Having an answer to that important question will help you decide if you want to continue down this path.
No matter what you do in this world, there are always good aspects that are very rewarding, no matter the career path you choose. The RN to BSN degree path is no exception to this rule, and you should look at the benefits to make sure they fit in with your goals, beliefs, and desires. Here are a few benefits that come with upgrading your education and experience:
Like every other career path or industry, there are some negatives that will impact your decision. These cons also help you keep a better perspective on the degree and what will happen after you complete it. Here are some of the negatives you need to consider:
As you look to upgrade your nursing medical knowledge, you need to consider the fact that the industry is changing. At one time, all a person needed to be a nurse was an RN license and an associate degree. But as the medical field changes and upgrades its technology while becoming more specialized, the RN is not enough.
Advancing your knowledge and skills is becoming essential if you want to remain competitive and employed. Here are some facts to help you see how important going through the RN to BSN program to your career in nursing:
Your career outlook is looking very good. It may be prudent that you do not delay this decision and make a move now before it is too late.
It is impossible to list all the top schools in this space. There are a lot of them that are well worth the time and the expense to attend. We will get you started by placing two links to lists that are already compiled and waiting for you to look through.
The first one is a list of the best ones in the country right now. You can get to it by clicking on this button. The second one is a list of affordable programs and can be found at this location. There are more good schools than appear on those lists. They are just a starting point.
The second list also gives you good criteria to help guide your search for the right program. They are good points to consider as you make your decision.
Upgrading yourself and your knowledge, as well as your skills through an Rn to BSN program, is probably a smart move for most RNs out there. Making yourself more valuable is the way to remain employed and a candidate for higher medical positions.
This training can also help place you in the spot of being a mentor to younger nurses who have not had the experience and need a little more guidance to do their job better. This is an investment in your future, and your decision should not be made lightly.
Do your research to make sure you get the right program for you and your situation.
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