I Have a Bachelor’s Degree. How Can I Become an RN?
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, you have a few options open to you in order to become an RN. There are three ways in which a person who already holds a bachelor degree can become an RN: a second degree BSN, an accelerated BSN degree and a direct entry MSN degree program. Depending on your needs and educational goals, either of these options will work just fine for you in order for you to become an RN.
Some people who want to become registered nurses decide to pursue a second bachelor degree in nursing. This is an okay option if you either have the money to pay for it, the hospital is paying for your education expenses or you did not receive any federal financial aid for your first bachelor’s degree. Usually though, this option is only used by those who have worked out a tuition reimbursement deal with a hospital that they will be working for as a nurse. Once you already get one undergraduate degree, your financial aid options are limited, even if you did not receive any financial aid for the first degree. The most you can look at being eligible for are student loans and it is best to avoid those if at all possible.
The next option is an accelerated BSN degree. Financially it works the same as getting a regular BSN degree. You would still have to pay for it yourself, take out student loans or work out a tuition reimbursement agreement with an employer. The difference is that it takes less time to earn the accelerated BSN degree, so you will be working as a nurse much quicker than if you got a traditional BSN degree. This is appealing, especially for those who work out a contract with a hospital where the hospital pays for your degree in exchange for employment with them for a certain amount of time.
The final way to become a nurse if you already have an undergraduate degree is to get an MSN degree. This master’s degree will enable you to become a registered nurse, plus you will qualify for federal financial aid and many grants and scholarships. This is actually one of the most popular methods of becoming a nurse for those who already have undergraduate degrees in other fields. Not only does it enable you to enter another career field, but you are advancing in your education by getting a master’s degree instead of another bachelor’s degree. Of course, either way, you will have to pass the RN licensing exam and all of these options will give you the skills and knowledge you need in order to do just that.