Bachelor of Science in Nursing Overview
Nursing is an interesting career in that there are so many different ways to get started. Some nurses start out as CNAs or Certified Nurse Assistants, while others go on to get advanced degrees such as a Master of Science in Nursing. The most common way to enter the workforce is to start out with a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing or ADN. This degree allows nurses to get started quickly but does not allow access to more advanced job opportunities. A BSN on the other hand allows access to other jobs and may not be that much more of an expense depending on the school or program. Becoming a BSN RN can be very beneficial to your nursing career.
If you already have your ADN you can find out if your hospital will support your education. Many hospitals offer tuition reimbursements for those who want to get their BSNs. Others offer special RN to BSN programs for Registered Nurses who just need a quick refresher course before getting their BSN. Still other hospitals offer special diploma programs. A diploma does not always have the same advantage as a Bachelor’s degree. As you can see there are several ways to become a BSN RN.
After you decide to get your degree, you will need to decide which type of program best suits you. A traditional classroom environment offers face-to-face interaction that cannot be replaced in online courses. You will be able to ask your professors right away if you have any problems or concerns. This type of program may not be suitable for someone who works long hours or has children at home. Excellent BSN RN programs include those offered by Boston College, John Hopkins University, the University of Washington-Seattle, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California-San Francisco.
An online course might be best for someone who has many obligations and needs the extra flexibility. You should not fool yourself into believing the coursework will be easy as some online programs can be very difficult. You will need to be very motivated if you wish to be successful in the program. Many online programs have a classroom component that will give you an opportunity to practice what you have learned. Schools with online BSN RN programs include Kaplan University, the University of Phoenix, Capella University, South University, Walden University, and Western Governors University. South University and Western Governors University offer complete BSN programs for those with no college experience while the other schools listed offer RN to BSN bridge programs.