Best Online RN to BSN Nursing ProgramsEdited by Elizabeth Binsfield, BA, RN
Registered nurses (RNs) who are seeking a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) can consider online RN to BSN programs. By earning their RN to BSN online, students can gain the knowledge and skills they need to take on more leadership and responsibility in health care systems. While RNs with an associate degree and RNs with a bachelor’s degree perform primarily the same tasks in the field, those with BSNs are more likely to be hired by hospitals and doctors, as this is quickly becoming the standard of education for nurses. Additionally, RNs with BSNs typically make more than RNs with an ADN. Accredited RN to BSN online programs are an excellent choice for professionals looking to advance in their career. They offer flexibility and personalization. Students will not have to take time off from work to complete their studies; rather, they can schedule their learning around their working hours. What’s more, they can often complete their studies faster than they would in an in-person program because of accelerated curriculum options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online RN to BSN Degrees
What Is a Fast Track RN to BSN Online Program?
A fast track RN to BSN online program gives students the ability to earn their BSN in less time than in a standard program because of their on-the-job work experience or previous education. Rather than taking standardized core classes, students will have the opportunity to complete competency tests to evaluate their current knowledge. If they do well enough on certain subjects, they can earn credits toward specific classes, reducing their overall course load and shortening the amount of time they spend in the program.
Why Is It Important to Choose Accredited RN to BSN Online Programs?
Students should always choose an accredited RN to BSN online program to ensure that they earn a quality education. If a program isn’t accredited, students may not receive the proper knowledge they need to build a strong foundation for their nursing careers. If they choose a program that isn't accredited, their credits may not transfer to accredited schools in the future if they want to pursue further education. Accrediting bodies set standardized levels of education. A school that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) will meet or exceed these levels.
Can You Do an RN to BSN Online With No Clinicals?
RN to BSN programs usually require clinical hours, but they are often reduced compared to the hours required for BSN students pursuing their first nursing degree. This is because RN to BSN students have already completed an associate nursing degree during which they carried out significant clinical hours. In addition to that, there are schools that offer virtual clinical experiences and other convenient ways to complete clinical hours. Nevertheless, all students should consult their State Board of Nursing for exact requirements, in addition to confirming schools are accredited by ACEN or CCNE. There are some online RN to BSN programs that do not require in-person clinicals as a graduation requirement. Students in these programs will satisfy the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE) clinical requirements through previous clinical hours (requires academic supervision), clinical practice at their current place of employment, online activities, or through experiences in their local community. Amount and type of clinical hours required, training site locations, and whether or not work hours for existing nurses are considered credited clinical hours will depend on the school and state policies and regulations.