For those who are considering nursing as a career, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may be an educational option. Because of the growing need for nurses to provide care for increased numbers of ill or injured patients, many colleges are developing programs to prepare students for the workforce. Nurses also work in settings to educate patients or community members, and many employers expect their nurses to hold bachelor's degrees as a condition of employment. There are different types of BSN programs, each with their own options for students to complete their degrees.
Students pursuing bachelor's degrees in nursing may train through various programs, depending on their backgrounds. Many registered nurses who have achieved associate's degrees are considering returning to school to complete their BSN degrees because of employment circumstances or personal fulfillment. Many colleges offer RN to BSN completion programs, which are accelerated programs that consider the education and training of the RNs who apply. They are shorter in duration than traditional BSN programs, because the students typically have experience with patient care.
Many BSN programs are offered through universities and private colleges; their traditional programs are typically four years in duration. Students attend classes where they learn about the concepts of nursing, such as patient care, medication administration and healthcare communication. Students must also fulfill clinical education requirements where they work as student nurses in order to train for future careers. Bachelor's degree programs in nursing may also offer coursework in advanced subjects, such as public health, nursing research and theory, or nursing management.
For students who are unable to attend traditional classes, online BSN programs are often available. These types of programs allow students to study nursing at their own paces, while fulfilling clinical practice requirements in the community. There are also RN to BSN online programs for students who are working as nurses and who want to complete their bachelor's degrees. These options provide flexibility for students who wish to advance within nursing but who may not have time to attend traditional classes.