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If you have earned a diploma or an associate degree in Nursing, you probably know that the next best step to take is to aim for higher education. You have two options to advance your education to hire degree; either you can go for BSN via RN to BSN program or you can go for MSN via RN to MSN

The RN to BSN program takes between 1 to 2 year to complete depending your previous academic achievements, the program curriculum, weather the program is offered online or in classroom and your commitment (weather you are studying full-time or part-time).

A lot of health care settings these days already require or prefer a BSN degree holders as opposed to diploma/associate degree holders. In response to the need for more BSN graduate RNs, the enrollment in RN to BSN programs have long since increased. From 2005 through 2006, there was a 14.8% increase in students, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and that number has been steadily increasing ever since.

Click on the state name you are interested in to view all available programs in the state.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the RN-BSN bridge programs is contingent on an Associate Degree or Nursing Diploma from an accredited institution. You will also need to have an unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse before enrollment in the program as well as a pre admission exam like the HESI or the TEAS.

RN-BSN programs commonly require applicants to complete all pre-requisites for a BSN degree including general education requirements (roughly 49 credits English, Natural Science, Humanities, Math and Social Science) to make a total of 120 semester hours for the baccalaureate degree.  Pre-requisites courses can include but are not limited to human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, heath assessment, psychology, biology, chemistry and statistics.

The clinical component of the RN-BSN offered in healthcare facilities will, depending on the requirements of the healthcare facility, require physical examination, laboratory tests for contagious diseases, current CPR certification, drug screening, and a criminal background check prior to enrollment.

Clinical experience opportunities requires students to take part in a range of clinical settings learning the duties and responsibilities of medical and surgical nursing as well as particular nursing roles in pediatrics, acute care and emergency room.

Working While Studying 

The most common question when it comes to RN to BSN program enrollees is if they can still work while studying. The answer is, yes! A lot of RNs have done it through online programs but make sure that you discuss this decision with your employer. There may be tuition reimbursement programs that you can avail of. 

If you have been working as an RN for the longest time, then it is time to discover the opportunities that come with a BSN degree. There are, after all, some cases when you are limited in terms of your jobs when you are an RN without a BSN. Management positions, for instance, require a BSN degree holder. Some employers are even willing to pay more if you have a BSN from the onset. 

Consider these four things when enrolling: 

  • Your learning style (ask yourself if you prefer to study traditionally or online)
  • Check weather the program is accredited or not 
  • Life situation (consider your family needs and work commitments)
  • Career goals 

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