Should You Do an RN to BSN Program Online?

If you earned your registered nurse license (RN) with a diploma or associates degree, you may be wondering if now is the right time to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). However, a busy schedule may not be allow you to go back to school full-time. There are many reasons why earning your BSN online could be your best option.

Benefits. By earning a BSN, you’ll have more job prospects and opportunities available to you, as well as the chance to earn a higher pay. Furthermore, a BSN will make you qualified to earn a higher level degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced practice nurses such as clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners need a master’s degree to practice.

Accreditation. Over 45 traditional institutions that are either accredited by the CCNE (Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education) or NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) offer online degrees in nursing. When finding the right program for you, you’ll want to make sure your school is also regionally accredited from one of these six regional accreditors: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA); Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA); Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS); Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC); and Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)

Clinicals. Though your lectures and class assignments will be done online, you can still complete your clinical requirements. Your online nursing program will provide you with a list of guidelines regarding appropriate clinical sites and how to find one in your area. Many programs allow you to do your clinical rotations at a hospital close to you pending approval from the course instructor.

Flexibility. Online nursing students have the chance to choose their course schedule to fit into their lives with convenience. Travelling to campus is usually not a requirement at any point in most programs.

Affordability.Most schools offer federal financial aid provided that students annually file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Your employer or hospital may also be willing to pay part of your tuition. Costs may differ between in-state and out-of-state residents, so your best option may be to find out which schools in your state offer online nursing programs before venturing out of state.

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