It is important that you understand that being an RN is not the highest qualification in the nursing profession that is open to you. It is surprisingly easy and beneficial to get an RN to BSN qualification, and this in turn will open up many employment opportunities for you as well as bringing many other advantages to your life. Read on to find out what the benefits of these programs are and how to select the best program for you.
What is a RN to BSN Program?
An RN to BSN program is an accelerated method of getting a BSN nursing degree. In order to qualify for such a program you will already need to be a registered nurse. This program offers a method for registered nurses to advance their education and open up new avenues for employment opportunities. A nurse with a BSN is likely to earn in the region of $77,000, which is more than nurses without such degrees are able to make.
Prerequisites for a RN to BSN Program
There are several requirements that you will have to meet with in order to be eligible to complete an RN to BSN program.
- You must have completed a degree or diploma in nursing, the most common being an Associate’s Degree in nursing before you are eligible for taking part in an RN to BSN program.
- You will also need to have a current, valid and active license to practice as a nurse, and this license needs to be relevant to the state where you will be attending your RN to BSN course.
- You will need to have received the minimum GPA in all of the courses that are prerequisite for the RN to BSN program you are applying for, as well as complying with all of the other academic requirements specified by the course conveners.
- There will be further prerequisite courses that you will have to complete once your application has been accepted, although in some situations nurses who are deemed to have had enough relevant experience or who has completed other courses out of her own initiative may be able to gain credits for the additional courses without needing to complete them all.
Reasons to do a RN to BSN Program
There are many excellent reasons why doing an RN to BSN program is a good idea. This is possibly one of the best career moves that you could hope to make.
- Financially speaking, it is easy enough to find a way to study further and advance your nursing credentials. There are several schools and programs that are very affordable and that nearly anyone should be able to take part in. Online RN to BSN programs, for example, are cheaper than on-campus programs. If you require financial aid, there are many options open to you. Many of the schools that offer RN to BSN programs also offer scholarships and other financial aid programs. If you are already working as a nurse for an institute, you may find that your employer will be happy to pay the cost of the program in order to have a nurse on their staff that has more advanced qualifications. It can’t hurt to ask your employer for help, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the answer that they may give you.
- If you have a BSN then you will have more job opportunities open to you then if you are simply a registered nurse without the necessary degrees. There are several jobs out there that only nurses that have a bachelor’s degree are eligible for, and these are the kind of jobs that pay the most and that come with the most prestige and respect. Opening up avenues in your professional life can never be a bad thing, and this is one of the most compelling reasons to convert your RN qualification to a BSN degree.
- Money is of course one of the main driving factors for many nurses who choose to do an RN to BSN program. The salary is significantly higher than what you would get as an RN, and certainly a lot higher than what LPNs are paid. The more qualifications you have as a nurse, the more money you are able to earn. Now, money isn’t everything, but it is a very important consideration for anyone living in this modern world. If you are able to advance yourself in this way, then why not take the opportunity?
- The healthcare industry is currently under a lot of scrutiny in terms of quality, and consequently hospitals and other institutes that hire nurses are expecting more and more from their nursing staff. They are much more likely to hire you if you have a bachelor’s degree than if you have the most basic qualifications for being an RN. The more professional you can show yourself to be, the more demand there will be for your services as a nurse. The bottom line is that there will be substantially more job opportunities out there for someone holding a BSN for someone that doesn’t have one.
- You will most likely be able to continue working at your current employer without having to put your career on hold while you study. There are several online RN to BSN programs available that will make it possible for you to work and learn at the same time. These programs are highly flexible, making it easy enough for you to fit the work into your busy schedule outside of your working hours. There are also courses that you may be able to complete on-campus at the weekends or in the evenings, so these are well worth looking into and considering if you are one of those people who cannot quite their job in order to study.
- If you want to take part in the various graduate nursing programs available, or if you want to specialize in a particular field, then you will have to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing if you want to qualify for this. If you are looking at one of these options as your primary career aim, then you will need to take the necessary step and do an RN to BSN program. Make sure that you know what you want from your nursing career so that you can make the best choices possible about where you are going to end up.
- Last but definitely not least is the fact that you will be trained in a variety of advanced skills that you otherwise would not have had access to. The field of nursing increases in complexity with each passing year, so professionals who have advanced skills in this field are in greater demand. One of your main motivations for being a nurse in the first place should be a love for the profession, and consequently you should want to increases your knowledge about the profession as much as possible. Completing an RN to BSN program will give you the opportunity to achieve this.
Looking For The Best RN to BSN Program
There are many different RN to BSN programs from many different universities that you can choose from, but how do you know which the best program is, or which one is right for you? There are, for example, many online RN to BSN programs that you may want to consider as well as on campus face-to-face options. The amount of choice you have may be a little overwhelming, so make sure that you keep the following in mind when making your decision about which RN to BSN program you would most like to take.
- Remember that you are not the first person who has decided to do an RN to BSN program. A great way to find the best program for you is to talk to other students who have already completed such a program. Find out what their experiences were and whether to not they enjoyed their program or have found a relevant job now that their program is completed. It may also be useful to search the web for reviews about the various online RN to BSN courses to find out what people have thought about them in the past. Remember to never stop after just reading a few reviews. Read as many reviews from as many different sources and about as many different universities as possible in order to get a good overall picture of what the nest RN to BSN programs are.
- Getting opinions from others is always a good idea, but does not, unfortunately, guarantee success. People are different. If your best friend did their RN to BSN online and loved it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will also be successful if you try to do the same. Different people learn and study in different ways, and it is important to very carefully consider what the best sort of program for you will be. You could start by recalling your RN and LPN training, and even go as far back as high school. What were the most successful study methods for you personally at that time? Can you work alone, or do you need guidance? When looking at the various RN to BSN options, make sure that you are comfortable with the study methods that you will have to use before making your final decision about which program you will take part in.
- Make sure that you have a clear idea of your study goals as well as your career aims in mind before you start looking for an RN to BSN program. This will help you narrow down your options, and it will also aid you in discussions with representatives from the various universities under your consideration. Knowing your goals makes it easier for you to ask intelligent and relevant questions about the school you are considering, and should make your overall choice of which school is best for you quite a fair bit easier.
- Don’t just think about the questions you want to ask – write them down too. If you don’t, you may forget them, and you want to make the most of your conversation with the representatives from the school. A good way to do this is by creating a spread sheet with all of your questions that you can print out and take with you to each of the universities. Make notes of the answers you receive ion the spread sheet, and leave room for any extra questions that may occur to you while you are there. When you get home, type the information up and compare. This will make your selection of a university to do your RN to BSN at a whole lot easier.
- Many people are suspicious of the online RN to BSN options, but you shouldn’t rule this course of action out. Many people have successfully gone through their BSN to RN training online. The point is that you have already done most of the clinical and practical work, so a large part of getting your BSN involves doing more theory, which is easy enough to complete online. So, make sure that you consider at least a few online options. In order for your comparisons to be comprehensive and efficient you will need to compare online options to on-campus options in order to get the clearest idea possible of what your options are and what may be best for you as an individual. As mentioned previously, everyone is different and everyone learns in a different way. It is important that you find the best way for you, and that may be online. It can’t hurt to have a look at what options are available and to explore the possibilities.
- A very important thing to consider before making your final decision about which RN to BSN program you are most interested in is how long you are willing to spend on the program. If you want to get the program done as quickly as possible, then queries regarding the expected time frame for completion are very important and should be somewhere at the top of your list when speaking with university representatives. However if you have all the time in the world, on the other hand, and are under no pressure to finish your program as quickly as you can, then this question will not have such a high priority on your list. But it is still very important that you ask this question as all information regarding the various programs will be beneficial in helping you make your final decision.
- There are different types of RN to BSN programs, so you need to be aware of what kind of program you are looking for. There are of course the traditional programs, but there are also new programs out there that are innovative and that are extremely progressive. Perhaps one way to assess what type of program you want is to compare the success rates of the various students that have graduated from various programs. Make sure that you have a good idea of what kind of program you are looking for so that you can ask the relevant questions when you meet with a representative from the university.
- You need to consider exactly how far you want to advance in your nursing education. If a BSN is where you want to stop, then find a program that offers that sort of course. If, however, you want to earn your master’s in nursing, then you may want to do an RN to BSN program that gives you the opportunity to go on to Master’s. There are also several RN to MSN programs that you may want to consider if skipping the Bachelor’s degree seems like a good idea.
- The particular career that you want to pursue in nursing is also very important. There is a wide variety of options for a professional nurse to consider. You needn’t, for example, restrict yourself to patient care. There are many management and supervision positions open in the nursing field, for example. Do a bit of research on this topic. Find out what sort of careers a professional nurse has access to, and decide on which ones you think you will enjoy most. Then, when you are looking for the perfect RN to BSN program you will be able to ask intelligent questions regarding these career goals. This will help you narrow down your search to include only those schools that will help you to reach your specific career aims and that offer programs that are in line with where you want to be. This is not a decision to be made lightly so consider all of the options carefully. You may effectively be closing the door on other career options with your choice of RN to BSN program, so you need to be sure that you have made the right decision.
- Which state would you like to work in? Remember that there are a variety of different rules and regulations regarding the nursing profession and these can differ quite significantly from state to state. You need to decide right from the outset which state you would most like to work in, and then you will need to make sure that the program you choose will qualify you to work in that state. It will need to meet all of the requirements laid out by that state. This is a very important consideration to make. If you finish your degree and then realize that you cannot work where you had planned to work, then would have effectively wasted your time studying. If you want to be a travel nurse or to leave your state, this is an even more important step in the decision-making process.
- Deciding on whether you want to move to a BSN or an MSN is one of the more important decisions you will have to make. You need to consider and research all of the similarities and differences between the two degrees before making your decisions make sure that you have a proper understanding of what each of these degrees will mean for your career options and then decide which one is more appropriate for reaching your personal aims.
- If you need to continue working at your current job while doing your RN to BSN program than that will have a big impact on which school you will end up choosing. You will basically need a school where there is a lot of flexibility in order to continue working and learning at the same time. This is where an online RN to BSN program may suit you best. As it is online you will be able to complete the course work and the program in your own time. You will not be tied down by a university schedule that may limit your freedom and your opportunities to advance your education while maintaining your job. There are also on-campus options that you could consider. For example, some schools offer weekend or evening classes, which you may be able to fit into your schedule with a little bit of negotiation.
- The price of the course is also something that you will need to consider. Of course it may be possible that money is not an object in which case you will be able to take your pick of courses. However, many people struggle financially when it comes to education. This is an important point to consider when choosing the best RN to BSN program. You may need to limit your search to schools that are within a certain price range, or you may have to enquire after what financial aid the university can offer. There are plenty of universities that are willing to help you pay your way, as well as several other institutions who offer scholarships for these purposes.
Having read and considered the above information you should be well-equipped to now make your decision. Your decision should be made in two parts:
- Do I want to do an RN to BSN qualification?
- If yes, which school is the best one for me?
Once you have answered these questions and made your decision, you will be well on your way to advancing your career as a nurse and bettering your position in the nursing field. There is no reason why you cannot take this opportunity to achieve great things. Enrol for an RN to BSN program today.